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Fall is upon us. We are getting out our sweaters, mittens, and scarves and getting into the holiday spirit.

Before we head into gingerbread territory let’s be sure to give our Half Moon Bay pride — the pumpkin — it’s well deserved time in the limelight. There are still a few weeks left for us to get our Pumpkin Spice on. This syrup can be used in coffee, cocktails, ice cream and even to top French toast.

Pumpkin Spice Syrup

Yields 2 cups

  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ¾ cup brown sugar (light or dark)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
    (or substitute 3 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice for the 4 spices above)
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tbsp good quality vanilla extract


  1. Add water and sugars to a sauce pan over medium heat. 
  2. Stir until sugar dissolves.
  3. Reduce heat to low and whisk in the spices and pumpkin.
  4. Simmer, stirring frequently for 10 minutes. Do not bring to a boil.
  5. Line a strainer with cheesecloth and place over a bowl. 
  6. Strain warm liquid and add vanilla.
  7. Mix thoroughly. 

Can be stored in a jar in the fridge for up to 2 months.

Double the batch and share with a friend! It makes a great hostess gift when paired with a bag of coffee or a small bottle of bourbon. 

Liz Smith Finders is a chef, who sometimes writes. Originally from the Midwest, she grew up fishing, hunting, foraging and gardening. Growing up on an organic farm her happiest memories include the smell of wet dirt, the snap of a sour apple fresh from the tree, and watching the humble strength of a tiny seed. As a chef, she has been lucky enough to train in some of the best kitchens in the world from Chez Panisse to Noma. Liz, her husband, 2 dogs, and 6 chickens are so grateful to have made a home on the Coastside and are loving every minute.