Holiday cups

Starbucks' holiday designs for 2019 include, from left, Merry Stripes, Merry Dance, Polka Dots and Candy Cane Stripe.

This year’s nonexistent War on Christmas drew less Twitter backlash than normal, yet Starbucks still didn’t emerge unscathed in the annual holiday battle we’ve all come to know and hashtag.

The coffee giant unveiled its holiday cups Thursday to less internet scorn than it normally garners. And while this year’s theme of “Merry Coffee” drew its share of lackluster enthusiasm and its cups — Merry Stripes, Merry Dance, Polka Dots and Candy Cane Stripe — rated nary a blip on the outrage scale, it was the omission of one holiday drink that set Twitter on fire.

Among the returning flavors of Peppermint Mocha, Toasted White Chocolate Mocha, Caramel Brulée Latte, Chestnut Praline Latte and Eggnog Latte for the 2019 holiday season, latte lovers noted one favorite missing: the Gingerbread Latte. For whatever reason, it didn’t make the cut and fans approvingly voiced their displeasure with the Seattle-based coffee company.

So what do you do when the latte you’ve come to know and crave each winter goes missing from the menu? You learn to make your own at home while mean tweeting Starbucks about it.

This copycat Starbucks Gingerbread Latte recipe provides you with the latte you love, and it comes with a bonus. The gingerbread syrup, which takes all of five minutes to make, is so good you’re going to be using it on top of pancakes, ice cream, pound cake or whatever other kitchen creation pairs with the seasonally sweet and spicy syrup. And with so many home coffee makers now including espresso and foaming attachments, making a coffee shop-quality latte isn’t a problem for coffee aficionados.

Don’t have a fancy coffee maker or foaming system for frothed milk? No worries there. You can easily use the syrup as a flavor boost in strong, black coffee hit with a splash of cream or half and half. A French press also makes a nice espresso if you don’t have access to or want to spend big bucks on a fancy espresso maker. You can also froth milk the old fashioned way by letting it come to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat while continuously whisking.

Whatever method you chose, you’ll end up with a gingerbread latte made to your liking, Starbucks be damned.

Copycat Starbucks Gingerbread Latte

3 tablespoons gingerbread syrup

2 shots espresso

3/4 cup 2% milk

fresh grated nutmeg

whipped cream (optional)

For the gingerbread syrup 

1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup water

3 tablespoons molasses

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


To make the gingerbread syrup, combine all the ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring until combined. Bring it to a slow boil reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer the mixture to a heat-proof storage vessel. Shake well before each use to distribute the spices.

To make the latte, in a large coffee cup, add two shots of espresso. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the syrup and top with frothed milk. Scoop the foam of the frothed milk onto the top of the latte and grate fresh nutmeg over the foam. If you want, add a big dollop of whipped cream before adding the nutmeg for more of a dessert-like drink.