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Starbucks sells around 28 million Pumpkin Spice Lattes every single year.
Whether you’re proud (or slightly embarrassed) to be a contributor to that number, there’s no doubt that most of us buy into the pumpkin spice phenomenon.
But there are a ton of other holiday flavors out there (some even tastier, I dare say) that get pushed to the back during fall and the holiday season.
Add in the fact that every PSL (Pumpkin Spice Lattes to the uninitiated) will set you back $5-7and the pull to check out a few holiday coffee flavors that you can make at home becomes more appealing than ever.
While you might feel the need to go out and buy some expensive beans for your holiday coffee flavor explosion, you don’t need to. All of these recipes that we’re about to share can simply be brewed as modifications to your daily cup or (even better) in your Keurig.
My 10 Favorite Holiday Coffee Recipes For Home
As winter is creeping into my bones, nothing is more appealing than a warm mug of something caffeinated.
To that end, I’ve arranged the following in order of my personal love of the flavor. Because I’m a strange duck you’ll probably want to go through all of them to find what really speaks to you!
1. Candy Cane
Peppermint and winter go together like bread and butter. In fact, peppermint was a winter flavor long before pumpkin spice became associated with autumn.
Peppermint and the holiday season have been married for at least 400 years, since the advent of the candy cane in the 1600s.
Not only is peppermint coffee the perfect holiday treat but it is also incredibly easy to make. With the right ingredients on hand, you can enjoy a minty mug any time of year! And if you have chocolate on hand? So much better!
If you rely on your Keurig for your daily cup, try Cameron’s Coffee White Chocolate Peppermint cups for a quick and easy peppermint treat!
For traditional ground coffee beans, try Starbucks’ own Peppermint Mocha Flavored Ground Coffee which you can prepare at home.
2. Crème brûlée
I don’t know that I’ve ever had crème brûlée but I can picture it easily from every movie that had a fancy restaurant scene.
Once the dessert has set, a hand torch melts a thin layer of sugar on top.
The name crème brûlée, meaning “burnt cream” comes from the creation of the dessert. After the “pudding stuff” is set a hand torch is used to melt and crisp the top layer of sugar leaving a delicious upper crust.
Traditionally, crème brûlée wasn’t associated with any particular season. Then along came the Starbucks winter menu which placed its use in coffee solidly in holiday territory.
The creamy flavor of crème brûlée has become such a classic pairing with coffee that it’s not hard to find flavored coffee beans. If you’re a Starbucks fan the obvious choice is their Crème brûlée K-cup pods.
For the more hipstery among us, there is Crème Brûlée flavored coffee from Lola Savannah to try.
Crème brûlée’s creamy flavor pairs excellently with brewed coffee, so it’s not hard to find flavored beans. If you like the coffee chain’s seasonal drinks, try the Starbucks Crème Brûlée Flavored Coffee K-Cup Pods. For something from a smaller bean roaster, we like the Lola Savannah Crème Brulee Flavored Coffee
Do you prefer lattes over plain old brewed coffee? Then you’ll be thrilled to hear how easy it is to make a crème brûlée-inspired drink.
Torani has its own Crème Brûlée Latte recipe that uses its own syrups if you need some inspiration. But you can make a latte with any combination of caramel and vanilla you prefer.
3. Black Forest
Black Forest cake probably isn’t the first thing to come to mind when brainstorming holiday coffee flavors. But it just makes sense and sounds delicious.
What’s not to love about rich, dark chocolate paired with the tartness of wild cherries?
At this time, no major coffee roasters have come up with their own version of this flavor. So if you want to try Black Forest coffee, you’ll need to make your own.
Start with your favorite dark chocolate mocha recipe. You can melt down chocolate bars or use a ready-to-go drink syrup like the Monin Dark Chocolate Flavored Syrup. Once you have your mocha, mix in a little bit of tart cherry juice or cherry syrup to taste. Whipped cream is optional but always recommended.
Served with or without a spike of alcohol, eggnog is one of those seasonal food items backed by an incredibly loyal fan base. Love it or hate it, eggnog is undeniably quintessential to the Christmas season.
The easiest way to enjoy an eggnog-infused coffee is a lot simpler than you might think. Just replace regular creamer with your favorite eggnog brand or homemade recipe! Use French vanilla coffee beans as a base to up the flavor.
If you prefer your coffee without cream or want to savor eggnog-flavored java outside of the creamy beverage’s brief sales window, opt for flavored beans instead.
As always, if you can imagine a flavor, a concentrated syrup exists to replicate it. Many big brands sell eggnog syrups during the winter months — some may be available all year. Two to try right now include the Torani Italian Eggnog Syrup and the DaVinci Gourmet Classic Egg Nog Syrup.
We enjoy maple syrup on our pancakes and waffles year-round, yet maple is decidedly seasonal in the world of coffee. Most coffee shops roll out their maple recipes at the end of summer or the beginning of autumn — right alongside their beloved pumpkin flavors.
No breakfast spread would be complete without maple syrup, so it’s no surprise that maple-inspired coffees are pretty commonplace.
Our favorites are the Fall in Love Vermont Maple Grove Ground Coffee and the Crave Coffee Vermont Maple Flavored Coffee Pods. Maple-flavored creamer will up the intensity, but definitely isn’t necessary.
You can also easily transform an everyday latte into a maple one with a few servings of Torani Maple Flavor Syrup. Or use pure maple syrup from a local sugarmaker for a more authentic flavor.
6. Caramel Apple
Before pumpkin spice stole the spotlight, no flavor was more synonymous with fall than apple. Personally, we love the trend of infusing caramel apple flavors with brewed coffee.
The simplest way to enjoy some caramel apple coffee is with The Original Donut Shop Caramel Apple Pie K-Cup Pods. Keep in mind, though, that these coffee pods are only available during the fall!
You can use flavoring syrups, like the Monin Caramel Apple Butter Syrup, to make a fall latte. Add a tiny bit to your regular cup of joe for a caramel apple twist you can enjoy year-round.
If you find yourself craving a quick-and-easy mug of hot cider or have little ones who probably shouldn’t have caffeine, Grove Square Spiced Apple Cider Single Serve Cups work just like any coffee-filled pod or K-Cup.
Gingerbread isn’t just for nursery rhymes and holiday decor. This mix of sugar and spice is the perfect complement to roasted coffee beans or decadent lattes.
When it comes to flavored ground or whole-bean coffee, you have plenty of options. Most of these flavors only sell during the Christmas season, so stock up while you can.
For Keurig owners or similar single-cup brewers, we recommend the Brooklyn Bean Roastery Gingerbread Man Single Cup Coffee. Coffee lovers who prefer a traditional machine, French press, or Aeropress should try the Tis the Season Gingerbread Ground Coffee.
You can absolutely create your gingerbread latte with spices from your pantry. However, we suggest using flavored syrup, like Torani Gingerbread Syrup, for coffee. Use the dry spice mix for garnishing your holiday drinks instead.
8. Christmas Cookie
Of course, gingerbread men aren’t the only cookies left out for Santa. For a simple, sweet, and festive pick-me-up, look to Christmas sugar cookies for inspiration.
While many families have their heirloom recipes, the actual Christmas cookie flavor is unmistakable. You can replicate the taste and aroma of late December with little more than cinnamon and sugar.
This flavor combo brings a subtle sweetness to roasted coffee beans. We like the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Cinnamon Sugar Cookie K-Cup Pods or Cameron’s Coffee Cinnamon Sugar Cookie Coffee, depending on what brewing style your home uses.
You can also add Christmas cookie flavoring to your everyday coffee or create your own latte. The Torani Brown Sugar Cinnamon Syrup is an all-in-one option. If you’re on a low-sugar diet, try the Jordan’s Skinny Syrups Christmas Cookie Syrup as an alternative.
9. Chocolate orange
Over in Great Britain, Terry’s Chocolate Orange is a modern Christmas tradition. Don’t be fooled by appearances — it’s solid chocolate shaped like an orange, not a chocolate-coated orange.
Still, Terry’s does use a touch of orange oil to make these confectionery treats.
You might just be surprised by how well chocolate, orange, and coffee go together! If you enjoy coffee containing fruity notes, this combo is sure to be a hit.
Several roasters offer chocolate orange-flavored coffee beans, so we recommend checking your favorite local brand for this flavor. If you come back empty-handed, the San Marco Coffee Chocolate Orange Flavored Coffee and the Arbuckle’s Chocolate Orange Autodrip Ground Coffee are two great options.
Want to pay homage to this quaint stocking stuffer with a creamy mocha? Add a few drops of the McCormick Culinary Pure Orange Extract to your favorite dark chocolate mocha recipe.
Nearly everyone knows the line, “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.” But have you ever enjoyed roasted chestnuts during the holiday season?
While the tradition has faded over time, chestnuts were once a staple of winter diets in the eastern United States.
Cooked chestnuts are rich and slightly sweet, making them the perfect partner to a warm cup of coffee. Starbucks even features the flavor in its holiday-exclusive Chestnut Praline Latte.
For your basic cup of coffee with just a hint of chestnut, we recommend the San Marco Coffee Roasted Chestnuts Flavored Coffee. Try the Christopher Bean Coffee Salty Chestnut Praline Flavored Coffee if you want to enjoy notes of caramel as well.
Sadly, chestnut isn’t a popular enough flavor to warrant its own selection of latte syrups. Instead, you can add similar flavors of nutty sweetness to your espresso drinks with praline. We suggest the DaVinci Gourmet Classic Praline Syrup, but any praline-flavored sweetener will do the trick.
Spread Good Cheer With Coffee This Year
Do you like brewed coffee or rich espresso? Are you a fan of cream and sugar, or do you take your coffee black? It doesn’t matter because there’s a way for every type of coffee drinker to enjoy a festive cup of joe.
While you’re at it, try combining flavors for something brand new. Or swap in your favorite local brands for the ones suggested.
We’ve recommended some of the best methods to create these holiday coffee flavors at home, but don’t be afraid to take some creative liberty. You might just stumble on a caffeinated masterpiece!
Christmas inspires most mainstream holiday drinks, but we know this is just one of the countless holidays celebrated during the season. We’d love to hear your suggestions for fall and winter coffee flavors inspired by other holidays and seasonal traditions in the comments below!