Fall Coffee Drinks 2023: 5 “Scary” Good Coffee Drinks (That Aren’t Pumpkin Spice)

When the nights get longer and pumpkin spice everything starts to dominate grocery store shelves, it can only mean one thing: autumn has arrived! Nothing pairs better with chilly weather or day-old Halloween candy than fall coffee drinks, so I’ve compiled several fall coffee drink recipes for you below.

Fall Coffee Drinks with Recipes

When the nights get longer and pumpkin spice everything starts to dominate grocery store shelves, it can only mean one thing: autumn has arrived! Nothing pairs better with chilly weather or day-old Halloween candy than fall coffee drinks, so I’ve compiled several fall coffee drink recipes for you below.

So, grab your cauldron and get ready to brew up some wickedly seasonal coffee drinks!

Fall Coffee Drinks Overview

If you’ve read my pumpkin spice latte recipe, you’ll know I’ve got nothing against this super popular flavoring. Pumpkin spice is a staple of the autumn season – even if pumpkin-flavored coffee drinks and treats aren’t always kind to your wallet.

And while I’m on the subject, here’s something that may break the hearts of my pumpkin lovers out there: a pumpkin spice latte doesn’t always contain any real pumpkin. Really, most pumpkin spice flavorings and syrups are just a combination of spices used to flavor pumpkin pie – like ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and others.

If that betrayal stings, don’t worry. There are plenty of other fall flavors waiting to take their turn in the spotlight. Maple, apple, salted caramel, chai, pears – these flavors have all been playing the understudy for a little too long if you ask me.

This year, I’ve taken it upon myself to whip up some fall coffee drinks that are so good you’ll still be making them when the leaves turn green again!

Fall Coffee Drink Recipes

I know it’s a bit cheesy to say that these fall coffee drinks are “scary” good, but it’s the truth. It’s also the one time of year that I can make that pun. Regardless of your coffee preferences, I think you’ll find that there’s an autumn coffee drink for everyone to enjoy on this list!

Caramel Candy Apple Latte

Did you know that candy apples have been around for more than a hundred years? That’s more than a century that adults have been tricking kids with a healthy treat disguised in a sugar candy coating.

In recent years, I’ve seen all kinds of variations of the traditional candy apple, including caramel apples. So, why not combine the two? That’s exactly what I’ve done with this recipe, and if you like caramel and apples, this one’s for you!

Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • 1-2 shots of espresso
  • 3-4 ounces (88-118 milliliters) of the milk of your choice
  • 1 candy apple
  • Apple spice
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) apple butter
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) caramel sauce 
  • Chopped nuts (optional)
  • Dash of apple-flavored syrup (optional) 

While this recipe calls for a homemade apple caramel sauce that you’ll whip up with apple butter and caramel sauce, you can substitute apple syrup if you don’t have apple butter on hand. Additionally, for my coffee lovers without an espresso machine, you can use a cup of strong coffee instead of espresso.

With that said, here’s how to prepare this delicious fall-themed drink: 

  • Brew one or two shots of espresso in your home espresso maker and steam three to four ounces of milk accordingly. Remember, lattes use a 1:3 ratio of coffee to milk. 
  • While you’re waiting for the espresso machine to do its job, it’s time to make the caramel apple sauce. Add the caramel sauce and apple butter to a bowl, stirring until it’s well-combined. The final mixture may be a little thick, but should still be easy to spoon. 
  • Spoon some of that caramel apple sauce into the bottom of your mug. If you’re substituting apple flavor syrup, you’ll want to add a dash of that to the bottom instead. Since you’ll have some of the homemade caramel apple sauce left over, you can save it for another latte or use the rest for serving. 
  • Next, add those hot espresso shots and a little steamed milk to the mug and stir well. You’ll want to make sure the coffee and milk combine well with the caramel apple sauce. Otherwise, you won’t get to taste any of the caramel apple flavoring until you’re almost at the bottom of the latte. 
  • Once you’ve added the rest of your steamed milk, slice up a candy apple and use one of the slices to garnish your latte. If you’re only making one drink, you can save the rest of the slices or eat them as you drink the latte. 
  • Top the latte off with some chopped nuts and a drizzle of caramel sauce. Ground cinnamon and whipped cream are also great additions, but not required. 

And that’s all there is to this drink! Since it’s a candy caramel latte, candy apples are the garnish of choice here. However, you can easily sub caramel apples in their place. Either way, you’ll still get that delicious apple flavor with every sip. 

Spiced Pear and Honey Latte

Adding Honey to Coffee.

I know the name might raise some eyebrows, but hear me out. If there’s one underrated flavor of the fall season, it’s definitely pear. While pumpkin and apple might make their way into plenty of pies, cobblers and coffees, pears tend to get sidelined. I’m not sure why! The tangy, buttery taste of pears goes just as well with espresso and coffee.

So, if you’re tired of hearing about pumpkin spice, here’s a fall coffee drink you won’t find on most coffee shop menus. Now, I do have a disclaimer: you’ll need to make the spiced pear mixture yourself, so this is one of the more time-consuming recipes on my list. You may not have time for this one if you’re in a hurry, but if you can fit it into your schedule, the end result is worth it!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1-2 shots of espresso (you can also substitute 1/2 cup of cold brew if you’d like to make this iced) 
  • 3-4 ounces (88-118 milliliters) of the milk of your choice
  • 2 pears (whole, canned or puréed) 
  • 1/2 cup (64 grams) packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.8 grams) ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.4 grams) ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) vanilla extract
  • Honey (for serving) 
  • Salt (optional) 

As you can probably guess, most of these ingredients will go toward making the spiced pear base that gives this drink most of its flavor. Keep in mind that you won’t use all of the base for one drink. The recipe makes 4 to 5 servings of the spiced pear base, so you’ll only need a portion of it for an individual latte.

Here’s how to make my spiced pear and honey latte:

  • Start by peeling and cutting your pears into cubes before adding them to a saucepan and cooking over medium heat for around 20 minutes. When the pears are fork-tender, you’re ready to move on to the next step. If you’ve bought pureed pears, you can just warm them up in the saucepan. 
  • For whole pears, you’ll want to use a food processor or blender to purée them. 
  • In a bowl, combine the pear mixture with the vanilla, ground cinnamon, ginger and brown sugar
  • While brewing your espresso and steaming the milk, add 1/4 cup of the base mix to a mug or glass. 
  • Drizzle some honey onto the sides of the glass, add your espresso and stir until the base combines with the coffee. 
  • Top with steamed milk, followed by another drizzle of honey. If you’d like to garnish the latte, a pear slice on the side of the glass is only going to make your drink prettier. 

Creating the base is the most time-consuming part of this process, but since you can make multiple servings at once, you won’t need to cook pears every single time. Store the rest of the spiced pear base in the fridge, and next time, just scoop a single serving into your mug!

Red Maple Cinnamon Mocha

You might’ve already guessed, but this fall coffee drink gets its name from the red maple tree. These trees are a common sight across North America, and when autumn hits, their leaves turn a brilliant, fiery red. As a staple of the fall season, it’s only fair that these beautiful trees get their own coffee drink.

Combining warming cinnamon and luxurious chocolate, there’s no better way to spend an overcast fall day than cuddled up with this cozy mocha!

Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • 1-2 shots of brewed espresso (or two cups of strong coffee) 
  • 6-9 ounces (207-266 milliliters) steamed milk (non dairy milk is fine!)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) pure maple syrup 
  • 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.84 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Ground cinnamon (for serving)

If you don’t have maple syrup on hand, you can substitute honey or agave syrup for a similar taste. However, I’m not sure red honey cinnamon mocha has the same ring to it!

This is another drink you can enjoy hot or iced, but personally, nothing beats a piping hot mocha for me. Here’s how to make the drink:

  • As always, start by brewing your espresso and steaming the milk. If you have a drip coffee maker, you can sub two cups of strong coffee in place of the espresso. 
  • At the bottom of your mug or glass, mix the cocoa powder, maple syrup and vanilla together until the mixture is smooth and well-combined. 
  • Add your espresso and a little steamed milk to the mixture and give another good stir.
  • Next, top the glass off with steamed milk and foam. Extra points for fall-themed latte art! 
  • As for the finishing touches, dust the top of the mocha with your ground cinnamon and enjoy! 

Not only is this one of my favorite fall coffee drinks, but it’s one of the simpler recipes on this list. That’s what I call a win-win situation!

Extra Toasty Marshmallow Cold Brew

A Marshmallow Cold Brew Coffee.

So, maybe you’re not a huge fan of lattes or mochas. That’s okay! While the summer campfire season may be fading away, there’s no reason you can’t experience toasted marshmallows with this extra toasty marshmallow cold brew.

Now, if you’ve never made cold brew before, I think it’s important to note that the preparation time can be quite lengthy. With that said, there are machines that’ll conjure up the black gold in a matter of minutes. Check out my cold brew coffee maker guide 2023 for inspiration. Anyway, you’ll most likely need to prepare the cold brew in advance, but once it’s ready, the hard part is over.

Here’s what you’ll need to make my extra toasty marshmallow cold brew: 

  • Cold brew concentrate
  • 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) toasted marshmallow syrup
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) of the milk of your choice 
  • Ice
  • Whipped cream 
  • A handful of mini marshmallows (for serving) 

Outside of preparing the cold brew, this is one of the easiest fall coffee drinks on the list. Here’s how to make it: 

  • Brew up a batch of cold brew using your preferred method. 
  • Pour cold brew concentrate into a tall glass, then add your desired amount of milk or non-dairy creamer.
  • Next, stir in the 2 teaspoons of toasted marshmallow syrup before adding a scoop of ice.
  • The last step is adding whipped cream and some mini marshmallows to the top of your creation. It’s not a requirement, but if you’d like your drink to look as “toasted” as it tastes, you can use a kitchen blowtorch to toast the marshmallows.

Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Pecan Pie Latte

Grandma's Pecan Pie.

As we all know, there are two types of people in the world: those who reach for the pumpkin pie at the Thanksgiving dinner table, and those who reach for the pecan pie. Admittedly, I’m part of the latter group. That’s why I dreamed up this autumn coffee drink recipe that’ll remind you of grandma’s old-fashioned pecan pie.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • 2 shots of espresso or a cup of cold brew concentrate
  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) pecan butter
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon (7.5 grams) unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces (59 milliliters) heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon (14 milliliters) condensed milk 
  • 4 ounces (118 milliliters) of the milk of your choice
  • Dash of vanilla extract
  • Ground cinnamon (optional)
  • Chopped pecans (for serving)

Now, my recipe runs through the process of creating your own homemade pecan sauce, but if you really want to skip the hard work, you can also buy butter pecan syrup. Nothing beats the homemade version, but not everyone has time to sweat over the stove.

Keep in mind that the homemade pecan sauce will make around four to five servings – more than enough for you to make this drink a couple of times.

Here’s how to make the drink:

  • In a saucepan, combine the butter, vanilla, heavy cream and brown sugar over medium heat. Once the sugar has dissolved and the mixture begins to bubble, turn the heat up to medium-high. Continuing to stir the mixture is important, otherwise, you may burn the butter. 
  • When the mixture has thickened, remove it from the heat and stir in the condensed milk and pecan butter. 
  • In the meantime, you’ll want to brew two shots of espresso and steam the milk of your choice. 
  • Add 2 tablespoons (29 milliliters) of the pecan sauce to your glassand then top with the espresso and milk. Be sure to stir until the mixture has combined with the coffee. 
  • The final step is dusting the top of your glass with chopped pecans and ground cinnamon. Both are optional, but I think they complete the look of this drink nicely.

The sauce may take a few minutes to prepare, but since it makes multiple servings, you won’t need to do it every time. Make this latte for a family member or friend this year, and you’ll definitely give them something to be grateful for!

Which Recipe Will You Try First?

If my list of fall coffee drinks proves anything, it’s that you don’t need pumpkin spice to make your coffee drinks seasonal. From toasted marshmallows to apples and pears, there are plenty of other flavors that will pair perfectly with espresso.

However, it doesn’t need to be fall to make some of these autumn coffee drinks. They taste just as good in the dead of winter or in the blistering summer heat. Whenever you make them, these homemade fall coffee drinks are sure to impress!

What are your favorite fall coffee drinks? Got any recipes to share with the global Coffeeness community? Please post them in the comments below!

Fall Coffee Drinks FAQ

No, there are plenty of other fall coffee drinks you can buy or make with flavors like caramel, apple, maple and pecan. 

Lattes and mochas are some of the most common coffee drinks to include maple flavorings. 

Yes, a lot of maple, pumpkin and apple coffee drinks use a dash of ground cinnamon. 

Any of my fall coffee drinks would go down well at a Halloween party, and you can even add spooky garnishes to dress them up! 

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