Make your own homemade vegan gingerbread latte at home and save your money! All you need to prepare this easy, delicious holiday season drink is a handful of simple ingredients and a few minutes.
If the Starbucks gingerbread latte was discontinued where you live, then this copycat recipe is just what you need.
Did you know it's very easy to make your specialty coffee drinks at home? Even the popular holiday drinks, too?
There's no need to leave your warm house on a cold winter day and no need to place that long, drawn-out order to make your drink vegan and then hope they get everything right.
Yes, you can make your own homemade vegan gingerbread latte any time of year, just the way you want, AND you'll also know exactly what's going into it.
Not only is this drink easy to make, but it's also perfectly spiced to give it just enough gingerbread flavour, it has a rich coffee flavour in the background, and everything is complemented by a creamy topping of foamed milk.
Enjoy it with chewy vegan gluten-free gingerbread cookies, a slice of gingerbread loaf, gingerbread people, a gingerbread chocolate chip muffin, or any other holiday baking you have waiting to be devoured in your kitchen!
If you're looking for more homemade winter drinks to cozy up with, how about one of these?
- Creamy Vegan Hot Chocolate
- Oat Milk Hot Chocolate
- Vegan Peppermint Mocha
- Vegan Peppermint Hot Chocolate
- Vegan Hot Chocolate Mix
Ingredients You'll Need
All you need is a few simple ingredients that are probably sitting in your kitchen right now. I've listed them all below with info on what you can and cannot substitute.
Ingredient and Substitution Notes
Dairy-Free Milk - Any type of milk can be used but make sure it's unsweetened and unflavoured since this will allow you to control the sweetness and flavour of your drink. (I usually use unsweetened almond milk or oat milk) You can use one that is sweetened if that's all you have, you'll just need to adjust the amount of sweetener you add accordingly or not add any at all.
To make your homemade gingerbread latte extra creamy, you can use a barista blend of non-dairy milk (oat milk, soy milk, almond milk, etc.) which is thicker and creamier than regular plant-based milk because it contains less water. You can also use canned lite coconut milk for a creamier version, I don't recommend using full-fat canned coconut milk or your drink will have a coconut flavour.
You'll also need extra milk to foam so you can add it to the top of the drink. I recommend using oat milk or soy milk for this part since they will foam up the best of all the plant milk choices.
Coffee - Usually, espresso is used when making this festive latte, but you can also use strong coffee if you don't keep espresso on hand. You can also use instant coffee if that is what you have or you can use decaffeinated coffee if you prefer a decaf gingerbread latte.
Molasses - I always use "fancy" molasses in my recipes. If you can't find this type, then you can use the type labelled "unsulphured," "dark," or "baking." I would avoid using blackstrap molasses since its flavour is so strong.
Spices - Along with the molasses, this spice blend is the second key to achieving the gingerbread flavour, I would not skip any of these ingredients if you want your latte to truly taste like gingerbread.
Sweetener - I use pure maple syrup as a sweetener, however, if you don't have any, you can use brown sugar, coconut sugar, cane sugar, or regular sugar to taste. Natural sweeteners will work, too. Be sure to taste the latte before adding any sweetener because the molasses is also sweet.
Vanilla Extract - Just a little is needed to enhance the flavour.
Need some ideas for what to enjoy alongside your latte, how about one of these vegan gluten-free Christmas cookies?
This cozy drink is not usually topped with anything other than foamed milk and a dusting of cinnamon or nutmeg, feel free to change things up and customize it how you like with any of the following:
- chocolate syrup / sauce or caramel sauce.
- coconut whipped cream, vegan marshmallows or some holiday vegan sprinkles!
And on the side, have cookies! Any of these will pair perfectly:
How to Make It
(Note: I’ve outlined the step-by-step on how to make this easy recipe here, but find the full recipe, ingredients, and directions in the recipe card at the end of this post.)
Start by brewing your coffee or espresso. Add the hot coffee or espresso to your mug and set it aside.
Next, make the milk mixture by adding the rest of the ingredients, except the vanilla extract, sweetener, and foaming milk to a small saucepan and whisk them together.
Place the pot over medium heat until the mixture is steaming, don't allow it to boil.
Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract.
Place a small strainer over the mug with the coffee and carefully pour the milk mixture into the mug, stir and then add sweetener to taste.
Heat the foaming milk and then using a handheld milk foamer, and whisk the milk until it's foamy. Pour or spoon it over the top of the drink. A whisk can also be used, see the "Frothing the Milk" section below.
If you'd like, you can sprinkle a little ground cinnamon or ground nutmeg over the foamed milk. If you want to change up the toppings, see the "Variations" section below.
Frothing the Milk
There are several types of milk frothers available, from inexpensive to very pricey. Unless you are an avid latte and specialty drink maker, I would recommend a simple, handheld milk frother.
When it comes to frothing plant-based milk, the types that will foam up the best are store-bought barista blends, oat milk, or soy milk. Always make sure the milk has been heated, cold milk will not foam up well.
If you don't have a frother, you can use a small whisk. Whisk the heated milk vigorously to add air to it and make it foamy. This method takes a little longer and the foam isn't going to be as thick but it will be good enough to go on top of your latte.
Another way to froth the milk is to add it to a blender and blend for a few seconds.
- If you don't drink coffee or if you are making this for kids, you can leave the coffee out and add a ¼ cup of milk in its place. If the coffee is left out, you may need to add less sweetener.
- Make it an iced gingerbread latte. To do this, add the coffee, molasses, vanilla, and spices to a small pot and heat until it's steaming. Fill a glass with lots of ice, pour the cold milk into the glass, and then add the coffee mixture and stir. Sweeten to taste.
Tips for Success
- Use unsweetened, unflavoured milk. This will allow you to control both the sweetness and flavour.
- Heat the mixture only until it's steaming. Milk can scorch and boil over quickly, so remove it from the heat before it starts to boil.
- Make sure your spices are fresh and if you can, use fresh nutmeg that you grate yourself instead of pre-ground nutmeg for the very best flavour.
- Don't skip running the milk mixture through a sieve. A sieve will filter out large bits of the spices so there is no grit in your drink. If you don't have a sieve, your drink will be fine and still taste the same, the spices will just settle at the bottom of your drink.
- Adjust the amount of sweetener you add to suit your taste. The molasses will already provide some sweetness, so taste your drink before you add any additional sweetener and then adjust accordingly.
- If you don't have a handheld milk frother, you can whisk the milk vigorously with a small whisk until it's foamy or you can add the milk to a blender and blend for a few seconds.
- Use oat or soy milk for the foam or use a dairy-free barista blend milk since these types of vegan milk will foam up the best.
- Make sure the milk you are using to make the foam is hot, it will not foam if it's cold.
- Read through the recipe before getting started and read through this post from top to bottom for lots of tips to make this festive drink perfect, every single time.
- Follow the recipe exactly as it’s written for the very best results.
Want more Christmas recipes to get you in the holiday spirit? Check out these vegan gluten-free Christmas recipes and this list of vegan gluten-free Christmas desserts for lots of festive and delicious ideas!
A basic latte is a coffee drink made with espresso and steamed milk topped with a layer of foamed milk.
The dominant flavour in a gingerbread latte is the gingerbread flavour. with coffee flavour in the background but it does not overpower the drink, it complements the other flavours nicely.
At the time that this is being written, the gingerbread latte is no longer available in the United States, it was discontinued a few years ago, but it's still available in Canada. The standard gingerbread latte drink is made with dairy milk. To make the drink fully vegan, request that it be made with dairy-free milk and don't add any whipped cream or chocolate curls. The gingerbread syrup they use is currently vegan. Recipes and ingredients can change over time, so be sure to confirm this with the barista in case any of these things change.
If You Make This Recipe...
Let me know! Please leave a comment and star rating below or you can post a picture on Instagram and tag me so I can see it. (I’m @delightfuladventures on Instagram)
And If You Like This Recipe...
You may like these other vegan gluten-free gingerbread-flavoured recipes:
- Vegan Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies
- Vegan Gingerbread Pancakes
- Vegan Gluten-Free Gingerbread Waffles
- Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Muffins (Vegan + GF)
- Vegan Gluten-Free Gingerbread Loaf
Homemade Vegan Gingerbread Latte
- ¼ cup (60ml) strong coffee or espresso
- 1 cup (240ml) dairy-free milk
- 1 teaspoon fancy molasses
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup hot dairy-free milk for foaming
- sweetener to taste
- cinnamon or ground nutmeg for garnish (optional)
- Brew coffee or espresso, pour it into a mug and set aside.
- Add the dairy-free milk, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves to a small pot and whisk until everything is combined.
- Place the pot over medium-high heat and heat for 2 ½ - 3 minutes until the mixture is steaming. Whisk occasionally, don't allow it to boil.
- Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the vanilla.
- Place a small strainer over the mug with the coffee and pour the milk mixture into the mug. Add the sweetener, stir, taste, and adjust as necessary.
- Heat the foaming milk and using a milk frother, froth the milk until it's foamy. Pour onto the top of the drink.
- Sprinkle cinnamon or ground nutmeg on top of the milk foam for garnish (optional).
- Please read all of the information and FAQ info above, as well as the notes below before making this recipe.
- This recipe makes 1 ¼ cups of gingerbread latte. Halve, double, triple, or quadruple as needed. If you need to make a large amount, multiply the recipe by the number of servings required and it can either be made as the recipe is written or warmed slowly in a slow cooker / crockpot.
- For the best results, use unsweetened, unflavoured dairy-free milk to control the flavour and sweetness. If all you have is sweetened milk, you will need to adjust the sweetener you add accordingly.
- If you don't have maple syrup, sugar can be used such as brown, coconut, cane, or white.
- Keep a close eye on the milk mixture while it's heating, milk can scorch and boil over quickly, so only heat until it's steaming and remove it from the heat before it starts to boil.
- For an extra creamy drink, use your milk frother or a whisk to froth the drink after you pour it into the mug and before you pour the foam on top.
- To make it in the microwave, do step 1, then mix all the ingredients you would have added to the pot in a mug and microwave in 25-30 second intervals, whisking in between each interval, until it's steaming. Keep a close eye on it so it doesn't boil. Proceed with step 4. You can also reheat it using this same method.
- Nutrition info is for the full recipe prepared as written using unsweetened, unflavoured almond milk and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup as a sweetener. The data below is only to be used as a rough guide. Click to learn how nutrition info is determined on this website.
This post was originally published in December 2014. It was updated in December 2022 to add new images and more helpful info. These are the old images:
Sooo good! Super quick too (about the same amount of time it would've taken me to get a specialty coffee at Starbucks) and I didn't have to deal with the exasperated sighs from people behind me in the line up due to my long order ?. Thanks!
So glad you loved it, Jennifer! And yes, it's made in the same amount of time it would take them to make that "special" order 🙂