Y’all know I love the holiday season. As such, I am counting down the days till I can get my hands on my favorite seasonal drinks from Starbucks. As most of ya know. I’m a bit impatient, so I decided to make the Starbucks copycat sugar cookie latte recipe at home. Nevermind that it’s the middle of summer. The best part? I also made the homemade sugar cookie syrup that makes the entire homemade latte the perfect starbucks copycat. It tastes exactly the same. I even tried it iced, with coffee ice cubes. It’s amazing! recipe
If you’re also missing this seasonal drink, today’s your lucky day, because I’ll be breaking down how to make a copycat version of their drink with this Sugar Cookie Latte Recipe.
What is a Sugar Cookie Latte?
Starbucks loves giving us seasonal drinks that we can’t wait to get our hands on. In 2021, they introduced us to the Sugar Cookie Latte – and I have been thinking about it ever sense.
Inspired by spritz cookies, this latte tastes like you are drinking the classic holiday cookie.
Spritz cookies are a type of sugar or butter cookie similar to shortbread that is “squirted” or pushed through a cookie press. They are delicious. During the holidays, you can find these cookies shaped like snowflakes and Christmas trees and covered in festive sprinkles.
What is Sugar Cookie Latte Recipe Syrup?
I love holiday themed lattes that get their flavor from the syrups used in them, which are all variations of simple syrup.
Simple syrup is a simple combination of equal parts sugar and water + flavoring.
In this Sugar Cookie Latte Recipe, the flavorings added need to create that sugar cookie taste. Sugar cookies contain sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
Because sugar is already an ingredient in simple syrups, adding vanilla, almond, and butter extract is the easiest and fastest way to get the sugar cookie taste.
What is Butter Extract
Butter extract is like any other baking extract where an ingredient (vanilla, almond, etc.) is infused in alcohol. So feel free to do this if you want a spiked version. I don’t do this often. In the infusion process, all lactose and fat are removed and only the flavor remains.
Butter extract can be found in the spice section of your grocery store, or you can buy it online. You can also make your own.
How to Make Butter Extract for this Sugar Cookie Latte Recipe
Combine unsalted butter and vodka in a 1:3 ratio (1/3 cup unsalted butter: 1 cup vodka) in a saucepan and heat on low.
Once the butter has completely melted, whisk the mixture until blended smoothly.
Pour into a mason jar and let it sit at room temperature for 5 to 6 hours. Before bedtime, put the mason jar in the freezer.
Overnight, the butter and the flavor infused vodka will naturally separate. The next day, remove the hardened fat from the top of the mason jar.
Then strain the extract through a cheesecloth or coffee filter.
Store in the refrigerator.
What if I don’t have an espresso machine?
Don’t worry, I don’t have an espresso machine either!
For those of you in the same boat, here are three different easy recipe ways to make or roast espresso without any fancy equipment.
Moka Pots are trusty, cute, retro, and easy to use. Moka Pots come in all different sizes, from small 3-ounce pots to huge 12 cup pots. I personally use a 3-ounce Moka Pot to make my daily cappuccino. I get about 2.5 to 3 ounces of strongly brewed coffee. Moka Pots are used all over Europe as the homebrew method. Hot water is added to taste for the daily cup of joe. Without adding water though, you get an extremely strong brew with a small amount of crema that makes a good espresso equivalent.
AeroPress brewed coffee is considered by coffee afficionados to approach the flavor and caffeine content of machine-made espresso most closely. Like the Moka Pot, water is added to taste to create your perfect cup of coffee. Without adding water, the amount of brew is like espresso shots.
French presses can be used to make a regular cup of joe or a strong espresso-like brew depending on the coffee and water ratio used. The results are considered less than a Moka Pot or AeroPress. But French Presses are most likely to be in an American’s kitchen.
If you don’t have any of these affordable pieces of equipment to make coffee, you can always steep medium ground coffee beans in a heat proof container for 4 minutes. The method would be very similar to using a French Press but instead of pressing the coffee grounds down, you would pour the liquid through a mine mesh strainer.
Dairy Milk Options or Substitutions
Almond milk was probably chosen by Starbucks recipe developers to help almond flavors stand out. Shortbread, butter, and sugar cookies often use equal parts vanilla and almond extract. Its foam quality is not very substantial because it is low in both fat and protein.
Oat nut milk pairs very well with espresso because of its mellow toasted flavor. One of my favorite drinks from Starbucks, the Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso, proves that point. The good news is that it foams well. It has a creamy mouthfeel and a rich taste.
Cashew, walnut, and macadamia milks can add different subtle flavors to coffee drinks but because of their relativity low fat and protein content, they don’t froth as well.
Soy milk doesn’t pair well with coffee drinks in my opinion. But if you love it, go for it! It takes more time to froth and doesn’t add much flavor to lattes.
Coconut milk adds a distinct flavor to espresso drinks and would probably overpower the sugar cookie syrup flavor.
Whole cow’s milk makes the best latte foam, and the fat, protein, and natural sugars of milk are the gold standard for baristas. With each degree down in fat content (2%, 1%, nonfat), the foam and flavor are lessened. You can use cold foam as well if you are having yours iced which is a favorite drink choice of mine when I want this holiday favorite in the summer.
How do I steam milk for this sugar cookie latte recipe?
The easiest and fastest way to steam milk is in the microwave. I pour milk into a mason jar and microwave it for 20 seconds and then froth it with a milk frother.
Microwaves can have different settings so always error on the side of caution if you’ve never heated milk in the microwave. The milk should be steaming but never come to a simmer or boil.
You can also add milk to a small saucepan and heat it on the stove over medium heat until it is steaming.
Sugar Cookie Latte Toppings
- Whipped cream if you want to be EXTRA
- Red and green sprinkles
- Sparkling sanding sugar
- Cookie crumbs
- Ground cinnamon
Sugar Cookie Latte Recipe Ingredients
- Vanilla extract (use imitation vanilla if you want a stronger sugar cookie taste)
- Almond extract
- Butter extract
- Shots of espresso or strongly brewed coffee
- Milk of choice (almond milk if you want to stay true to the Starbucks drink version)
- Whipped cream and sprinkles (optional)
How to make the Sugar Cookie Syrup
Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk occasionally until all the sugar has dissolved. Do not bring the liquid to a simmer or a boil.
Take the homemade syrup (simple syrup) off the heat and whisk in the extracts. Pour into an airtight container (I use mason jars) and let cool completely before using. Store in the fridge.
How to make this Sugar Cookie Latte Recipe
Prepare your espresso or strongly brewed coffee. You’ll need 2 to 3 ounces depending on how strong you prefer your latte.
Once your espresso or coffee is close to finished brewing, heat your large mugs in the microwave to make the magic last longer. Pour the espresso or strongly brewed coffee into the heated mug or tall glass of choice. Just make sure it can take hot coffee.
Heat your milk of choice in the microwave and use a milk frother to froth the milk. If you are using whole milk, the milk should double in size. Oat milk also gets close to double its original size. For other types of milk, keep frothing the milk until it stops expanding.
Pour the froth milked over the espresso. Top with whipped cream, sprinkles, or cookie crumbs (or all three) and serve.
Now get your Holiday sugar cookie latte recipe on all year long
Pretty amazing right? Ya’ gotta give this recipe a try. I love it so much. Like I said you can have it iced or hot and even spiked! Keep the cheer going all year long. Want more Starbucks copycat recipes? Try the famous pink drink recipe if you need something a bit more fruity! Need more sugar? This cinnamon toast will get ya going – of that I am sure. Until next time. Love y’all and xoxo
Sugar Cookie Latte Recipe
Sugar Cookie Syrup Ingredients
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract *see Recipe Notes
- 1 tsp butter extract *see Recipe Notes
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
Sugar Cookie Latte Recipe Ingredients
- 3 oz brewed espresso or strongly brewed coffee
- 1 oz sugar cookie syrup
- 2 oz milk of choice
- Toppings of choice (whipped cream, sprinkles, cookie crumbs, etc.)
Sugar Cookie Syrup Instructions
- Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk occasionally until all the sugar has dissolved. Do not bring the liquid to a simmer or a boil.
- Take the simple syrup off the heat and whisk in the extracts. Pour into an airtight container (I use mason jars) and let cool completely before using. Store in the fridge.
Sugar Cookie Latte Recipe Instructions
- Prepare your espresso or strongly brewed coffee. You’ll need 2 to 3 ounces depending on how strong you prefer your latte.
- Once your espresso or coffee is close to finished brewing, heat your mug in the microwave to make the magic last longer. Pour the espresso or strongly brewed coffee into the heated mug.
- Heat your milk of choice in the microwave and use a milk frother to froth the milk. If you are using whole milk, the milk should double in size. Oat milk also gets close to double its original size. For other types of milk, keep frothing the milk until it stops expanding.
- Pour the froth milked over the espresso. Top with whipped cream, sprinkles, or cookie crumbs (or all three) and serve.