This homemade gingerbread syrup for coffee is made from fresh ginger, warming spices, treacle and dark sugar. It’s simple to prepare, smells fantastic and it has so many uses. Gingerbread simple syrup is not just for coffee and it’s not just for Christmas!
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The recipe for this homemade gingerbread syrup has been hiding within my gingerbread latte post for the last few years. I recently decided it was about time this highly useful gingerbread syrup for coffee had its own dedicated post full of handy information, so here it is.
I hope you’ll find this recipe for gingerbread latte syrup useful throughout autumn and winter, not just the Christmas period when gingerbread fever tends to take over.
What is Gingerbread syrup?
Essentially, it is simple syrup flavoured to taste like gingerbread. The answers to the following two questions help explain exactly what gingerbread syrup for coffee is though:
- What is gingerbread simple syrup made of? It’s a combination of sugar, water, treacle (molasses) fresh ginger, cloves, allspice, cinnamon and vanilla. Basically, the key ingredients commonly used to make gingerbread appear in this simple syrup recipe.
- What is gingerbread syrup used for? The most popular way to use it is to flavour drinks. This gingerbread simple syrup is for coffee plus many more beverages and a few recipes too – I’ve included a few ideas at the end of this post.
Why this gingerbread latte syrup is worth making
- Homemade gingerbread flavoured syrup costs a fraction of the price of the syrup used in coffee shops such as Costa or Starbucks.
- And it means you don’t have to spend a fortune at Starbucks or Costa whenever you get a craving for a gingerbread latte.
- The recipe is very easy to make.
- It keeps well in the fridge for a month.
- And it can be used in a wide range of recipes.
- The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled…
- As you make this recipe for gingerbread syrup for coffee your house will smell cosy, warm and oh-so Christmassy.
- And this DIY gingerbread coffee syrup makes a fabulous Christmas gift – edible gifts are always the best in my opinion.
Treacle or molasses: the most controversial ingredient in this gingerbread coffee syrup recipe is the black treacle. Decidedly British, black treacle has a distinctive dark colour. It is rich & mellow with impressive depth of flavour. It’s easy to find in the UK but can be harder to find elsewhere in the world.
If you cannot get hold of black treacle, molasses can be substituted in. Pick a medium-dark variety with plenty of flavour but beware of using any with a bitter aftertaste, such as blackstrap molasses.
Fresh ginger: this is an absolute must in this recipe – don’t swap for stem or crystallised versions.
Sugar: I recommend using only dark muscovado sugar in this recipe. It will help deliver a robust flavour and keep the liquid deliciously dark and mysterious.
Spices: it’s a grand blend of typical gingerbread spices including cinnamon, cloves and allspice. These should all be easy to get hold of. I favour using whole spices over ground spices as the final spiced syrup is much purer. Ground spices can lead to a sludgy residue in the bottom of drinks but this is avoided when using whole spices.
It takes 5 minutes of hands-on time to make this incredibly easy gingerbread coffee syrup, but don’t forget to allow plenty of time for the spices to infuse in the syrup once made:
- Roughly chop the ginger and lightly smash the cinnamon, cloves and allspice using a pestle and mortar to break them up (but do not grind them to a powder).
- Put all of the ingredients, except the vanilla extract, into a saucepan and heat gently to dissolve the sugar.
- Bring almost to a boil and then remove the pan from the heat then let the contents infuse for 2 hours.
- Stir in the vanilla extract and strain through a fine-meshed sieve.
- Store in a sealable bottle in the fridge for up to 1 month.
This gingerbread coffee syrup may be very easy to make, but there are a few points to note:
- There’s no need to remove the skin from the ginger, so don’t waste time doing so.
- Avoid boiling the syrup as it will turn thick. This syrup should have a thin pouring consistency so it blends into all drinks well.
- Don’t rush the infusion time. Two hours is the minimum it should be left for to allow the syrup to pick up all of the spice flavours. It’s fine to leave it longer for an even more intense gingerbread flavoured syrup.
- It’s best to use muslin cloth or a nut milk bag to strain homemade gingerbread coffee syrup to ensure no gritty pieces of spice remain otherwise they will get into your drinks.
- This is a highly flavoured gingerbread coffee syrup, so use it sparingly. I find that 30-40ml is sufficient for most drinks. The idea is to add a gentle waft of gingerbread flavour to the drink, not to overpower any other flavours completely.
- Do, however, use your own judgement and adjust the amount used up or down if you find that the gingerbread flavour in your drink is too strong, not strong enough or too sweet for your tastes.
Frequently asked questions
Once cooled decant it into a bottle or jug. Cover and keep it in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Technically, it is possible to freeze homemade gingerbread syrup for coffee. However, the flavour is likely to be slightly muted once defrosted. Try freezing in ice cube trays so that individual portions can be removed at a time when required.
If made with vegan sugar (not all of it is) and Lyle’s black treacle then this gingerbread simple syrup is vegan.
If using alternative molasses, be aware that some molasses are manufactured as a by-product of a production process that involves animal products (bone char). Any molasses made this way is clearly non-vegan, so it’s worth checking on the packaging to be certain.
In both instances, this homemade gingerbread syrup is gluten-free.
Starbucks have their own brand of syrups and Costa tend to use Monin. This gingerbread latte syrup is the same in principle: it’s a concentrated flavour so only a little is needed in a drink to add flavour. However, I have not tried to mimic either the Starbucks brand or the Monin gingerbread syrups here. Instead, I’ve created this recipe based on the ingredients present in a typical gingerbread cookie recipe.
Ways to use gingerbread syrup
This easy gingerbread coffee syrup is intensely flavoured and has been specifically devised to be diluted in drinks. I wouldn’t recommend using it to pour over waffles and pancakes as the flavour is quite punchy.
It can, however, be used in any recipe where you might ordinarily use a simple syrup such as hot drinks and cocktails. In fact, there are so many beverages this gingerbread simple syrup can be used in. Here are a few suggestions:
- Use it to make a gingerbread coffee (with or without a drop of alcohol).
- Adding a measure of this gingerbread simple syrup to warm milk makes a delicious milky drink. It’s ideal for children, adults who do not enjoy coffee or anybody in the mood for a late-night comfort drink without a caffeine buzz. Try using 30ml of the syrup with 180ml of steamed milk.
- Alternatively, use this gingerbread syrup for cocktails. Try it in a gingerbread martini or try it in a gingerbread Black Russian.
- And, of course, you can always get creative by inventing your own cocktail (hint: gingerbread simple syrup goes well with bourbon, rum and vodka).
- Make a milkshake – blitz 40ml syrup, 150ml cold milk and a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream together in a blender.
- Or stir some syrup into your favourite hot chocolate (pick one made with dark chocolate or cocoa powder – white or milk chocolate versions will be too sweet).
You could get away with stirring a little into your morning porridge for a relatively healthy Christmas breakfast. And if you happen to be making some cupcakes, try adding a little to the cake batter and/ or buttercream.
More Gingerbread Recipes
Have you made this gingerbread coffee syrup? How did you get along? What did you make with it? Feel free to leave a rating and/or comment below to let me know.
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Homemade Gingerbread Syrup
- 240 ml Water
- 75 g Dark muscovado sugar
- 1½ tablespoons Black treacle (dark molasses – not blackstrap)
- 30 g Fresh ginger (no need to peel it)
- 5 Cloves
- 2 Cinnamon sticks (each 10cm/ 3-inches long)
- ½ teaspoon Allspice berries
- ¼ teaspoon Vanilla extract
- Give the cinnamon, cloves and allspice a quick bash using a pestle and mortar to break them up, but do not grind them to a powder. Chop the ginger into small pieces
- Put all of the ingredients, except the vanilla extract, into a saucepan and heat gently to dissolve the sugar
- Bring almost to the boil and remove from the heat
- Let infuse for 2 hours (or longer for a more intense flavour)
- Stir in the vanilla extract and strain through a fine meshed sieve
- Store in a sealable bottle in the fridge for up to 1 month
- This recipe makes approximately 250ml which is enough for around eight 30ml servings
- Don’t waste time peeling the ginger – thesere’s no need
- There’s no need to boil this syrup – that will cause it to thicken and it won’t blend so well into some drinks
- Don’t rush the infusion time. Two hours is the minimum it should be left for the syrup to pick up all of the spice flavours. It’s fine to leave it longer for an even more intense flavour
- It’s best to use muslin cloth or a nut milk bag to strain this syrup to ensure no gritty pieces of spice remain
- Use this syrup sparingly. I find that 30-40ml is sufficient for most drinks. The idea is to add a gentle waft of gingerbread flavour to the drink, not to overpower any other flavours completely
- However, use your own judgement and adjust the amount used down/up if you find your drink too sweet/ too strong/ not strong enough
- This syrup is gluten-free