If there’s one thing that really rings in the holidays for us, it’s when that famous mermaid store finally takes pity and releases their limited-edition holiday drinks. There’s one in particular that we love: the gingerbread latte.
However, we don’t always have the time to line up at the local ‘bucks and grab that drink, no matter how much we crave it. If this is the case, we go home and whip up our own with this Starbucks gingerbread latte copycat recipe.
Yes, we’ve figured out how to make this sweet and spicy drink at home! Now all we have to do fire up our Starbucks playlist on Spotify and we’ve basically got the whole T&T (tasty & toasty) experience at home.
What milk is best for a latte?
The key to a good latte is steamed milk but you can’t just use any type of milk. For lattes, the best type of milk are non-fat milk and 2% milk. There’s a lot of science that happens when milk is steamed, but simply put, the heated air becomes trapped in the protein molecules in your milk, giving you that light and airy consistency that you love in your lattes. This is also what helps your baristas make their unique coffee art!
If you want a dairy-free option, you can also use soy milk or almond milk.
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How to make a latte without an espresso machine
Even if you don’t have an espresso machine, you can still make steamed milk that has the volume and consistency that you want. You can use a microwave if you want, but if you want to control the heat, you should do it on your stovetop. You want the milk to produce bubbles without scalding the milk or changing its flavor.
To steam your milk, all you need is a small saucepan and a candy thermometer.
- Place the saucepan on your stovetop. Pour milk into saucepan.
- Place thermometer in the milk.
- Heat milk on medium-low. For nonfat or 2% milk, you want it to reach 150⁰F. If you are using soy milk, you want it at 160⁰F and for almond milk, you want it at 140⁰F.
- Stir milk occasionally to keep it from boiling. Once milk has reached the appropriate temperature, remove it from heat and pour directly into your coffee. Make sure to pour it gently but steadily.
Our CookingChew Cooking Tip:
For best results, use a dark roast coffee. Dark roast coffees have a fuller, deeper flavor, and is less acidic compared to lighter roasts. The deeper and richer taste of the coffee will complement the steamed milk and the gingerbread flavor of the latte well.
Important Note: Check out our recipe for the Gingerbread Syrup that is used to make this recipe.
For us, nothing says “Happy holidays!” quite like a big mug of gingerbread latte. You can easily make your own at home with this recipe. Whether you love it hot or chilled, this drink is the perfect companion after a busy day shopping for gifts or preparing for a get-together with your friends.
- ¾ c. extra strong coffee
- 2 T. gingerbread latte syrup
- 1 ½ c. milk
- whipped cream
- dash of cinnamon
- dash of nutmeg
- Preferred sweetener, to taste
- Brew coffee twice as strong as you normally brew it by doubling the amount of coffee grounds to a normal amount of water.
- While coffee is brewing, warm milk in a saucepan to create steamed milk for latte.
- After the coffee has brewed, add the coffee to saucepan with warmed milk. Add 2 T. of gingerbread syrup and mix well.
- Pour mixture into large coffee mug.
- Top with whipped cream
- Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg on top
- Add sweetener, if desired.
Top it with Toffee
If you want to make this drink a little bit closer to the real thing, you can grind up some toffee candy in your food processor and add the crushed candy bits to the top of your latte! If you don’t have a food processor, simply put the candy into a thick Ziplock bag, cover with a towel, and bash the bag with a rolling pin.
One of the best things about this recipe is that you can control the amount of sugar or sweetener that you add into your coffee. If there’s one complaint that we have with the Starbucks version, it’s that it can be a bit too sickly sweet.