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How much exercise does it take to burn off a pumpkin spice latte?

Compare pumpkin spice calories

Profile picture of Kathryn Parkman
by Kathryn Parkman ConsumerAffairs Research Team
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We compared popular pumpkin spice coffee drinks from Starbucks, Dunkin’ and McDonald’s by calories, fat and sugar per 16-ounce serving. We also calculated how many flights of stairs or miles of jogging it would take to expend those calories.

If you’re ready for pumpkin spice season but don’t want to spend extra time at the gym, check out our top picks for pumpkin spice syrups to use at home.

Pumpkin spice nutrition by coffeehouse chain

Pumpkin spice is a blend of traditional autumnal flavors — typically cinnamon, ginger, clove and nutmeg. When added to coffee with sugar and cream, the results are magic. Like most magical treats, however, a PSL is high in calories, sugar and fat.

girl holding starbucks pumpkin spice latte

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte

You can’t go wrong with a classic. Starbucks’ standard PSL is made with pumpkin spice sauce, espresso, steamed 2% milk and whipped cream with pumpkin spice toppings. A grande Starbucks PSL also comes with plenty of calories, fat and sugar.

starbucks pumpkin spice latte
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
  • Calories: 380
  • Fat: 14 grams
  • Sugar: 50 grams

On average, you would need to climb 42 flights of stairs or jog for 3.9 miles to burn off a grande PSL. For comparison, a small nonfat PSL without whipped cream only has 200 calories and would require climbing 22 flights of stairs or jogging 2 miles jog to burn off.

girl holding starbucks pumpkin cream cold brew

Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew

The newest addition to Starbucks’ pumpkin spice family is made with the company’s signature pumpkin spice sauce (made with sugar, condensed skim milk, pumpkin puree, less than 2% fruit and vegetable juice for color, natural flavors, annatto, salt and potassium sorbate), ice, brewed coffee, pumpkin cream cold foam and pumpkin spice topping.

starbucks pumpkin cream cold brew
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
  • Calories: 250
  • Fat: 12 grams
  • Sugar: 31 grams

To burn off a standard grande Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, you would have to climb 28 flights of stairs or jog 2.6 miles. You can reduce the calories to 140 by ordering the tall (12 ounces), which would require climbing 15 flights of stairs or jogging for 1.4 miles.

girl holding mcdonalds mccafe pumpkin spice latte

McDonald’s McCafe Pumpkin Spice Latte

McDonald’s McCafe has around the same amount of calories and sugar as the Starbucks version, but it’s made with fewer quality ingredients and costs half the price. McCafe PSL ingredients include fructose, water, natural and artificial flavors, nonfat milk, annatto extract, caramel color, potassium sorbate, xanthan gum, salt and sucralose. There’s no real pumpkin in it, but there are plenty of calories, sugar and fat.

mcdonalds mccafe pumpkin spice latte
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
  • Calories: 340
  • Fat: 10 grams
  • Sugar: 48 grams

To burn off a medium McCafe Pumpkin Spice Latte, you’d have to climb 38 flights of stairs or jog 3.5 miles. That’s about the same as jogging across the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York City or taking the stairs to the top floor of the North Dakota State Capitol (the tallest building in Bismarck).

girl holding dunkin pumpkin swirl hot latte

Dunkin’ Pumpkin Swirl Hot Latte

Dunkin’ Pumpkin Swirl Latte is comparable to Starbucks and McCafe PSLs in calories, and some people prefer the taste. The Pumpkin Swirl Latte is a blend of milk, espresso and pumpkin spice-flavored swirl syrup (made with sweetened condensed milk, high fructose corn syrup, water, natural and artificial flavors, brown sugar and preservatives).

dunkin pumpkin swirl hot latte
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
  • Calories: 340
  • Fat: 9 grams
  • Sugar: 52 grams

To burn off a regular medium Dunkin’ PSL, you would need to jog 3.5 miles or climb 38 flights of stairs. Opting for a small Pumpkin Swirl Latte with skim milk reduces the drink to 180 calories, which can be burned off with a much shorter 1.6-mile jog.

girl holding pumpkin swirl frozen coffee

Dunkin’ Pumpkin Swirl Frozen Coffee

Dunkin’ Pumpkin Swirl Frozen Coffee is basically a pumpkin spice milkshake. It’s a blend of cream, liquid cane sugar, coffee swirl syrup, pumpkin spice-flavored swirl syrup, caramel-flavored syrup and whipped cream.

dunkin pumpkin swirl frozen coffee
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
  • Calories: 890
  • Fat: 30 grams
  • Sugar: 140 grams

To expend all the calories in a medium Dunkin’ Pumpkin Swirl Frozen Coffee, you would have to climb 99 flights of stairs, the equivalent of taking the stairs to the top floor of the Transamerica Pyramid building in San Francisco. Or you could jog 9.2 miles, the same distance from Elysian Park in Hoboken, New Jersey, to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

A standard 16-ounce pumpkin spice coffee drink from popular chains comes with anywhere from 250 to 890 calories. You can reduce the number of calories by ordering a smaller size or opting for non-fat milk.

 CaloriesFlights of stairs*Miles jogging*
Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew250282.6
McDonald’s McCafe Pumpkin Spice Latte340383.5
Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Swirl hot latte340383.5
Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte380423.9
Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Swirl Frozen Coffee890999.2
*Calculated for a 150-pound adult

Pumpkin spice latte FAQ

What’s in a pumpkin spice latte?
A pumpkin spice latte is typically made with coffee, milk, sugar, traditional fall spices (cinnamon, ginger, close, nutmeg) and whipped cream. Starbucks added pumpkin puree to their recipe in 2015, but most other pumpkin spice lattes don’t actually have pumpkin in them. Many PSL recipes call for sweetened condensed milk, which adds to the creamy texture.
How many calories are in pumpkin spice latte?
Most pumpkin spice lattes have between 280 and 400 calories. However, a PSL can have anywhere from zero to 1,000 calories, depending on the ingredients.
Who invented the pumpkin spice latte?
Peter Dukes first invented the pumpkin spice latte as a seasonal beverage for Starbucks in 2003.
What does pumpkin spice latte taste like?
A pumpkin spice latte tastes like sweet pumpkin pie filling, coffee and cream. Pumpkin pies are traditionally flavored with ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, which are historically valuable spices.
When do pumpkin spice lattes start?
Pumpkin spice latte season usually starts in late August and continues through January. Pumpkin spice latte season is not enforced by a regulatory agency, however, and you do not need a PSL permit to enjoy them between February and July.
Can you make a sugar-free pumpkin spice latte?
Yes. A sugar-free pumpkin spice latte is made with artificially sweetened syrup. You can also make dairy-free PSL by opting for almond or oat milk and leaving out the sweetened condensed milk.
How do you make a pumpkin spice latte?
To make a pumpkin spice latte at home, you need three essential elements: espresso, milk and a pumpkin spice-flavored syrup. You can buy pumpkin spice syrup at the store or make your own with sweetened condensed milk, pumpkin pie filling, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla extract and sugar.
Are pumpkin spice lattes basic?
If you have to ask, you’re basic.

Best pumpkin spice syrups for home

You can add pumpkin spice syrups and sauces to coffee, ciders and cocktails. You can even drizzle them over waffles or ice cream. When you use pumpkin spice syrup at home, you have more control over the calories, sugar and fat.

Best pumpkin spice syrup for coffee
Torani Pumpkin Pie Flavored Sauce

torani pumpkin pie flavored sauce
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PUMPKIN SPICE SYRUP DETAILS
  • 100 calories
  • 24 grams of sugar
  • $11.45

BUY ON AMAZON

Torani Pumpkin Pie Flavored Sauce is made with pure cane sugar and natural flavors. Try it in coffee, espresso drinks, teas or cocktails. (Note: This syrup contains trace dairy allergens.)

Best sugar-free pumpkin spice syrup
Jordan’s Skinny Pumpkin Spice Coffee Syrup

jordans skinny pumpkin spice coffee syrup
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PUMPKIN SPICE SYRUP DETAILS
  • 0 calories
  • 0 grams of sugar
  • $8.40

BUY ON AMAZON

Jordan’s Skinny Pumpkin Spice Coffee Syrup is sweetened with sucralose. Try it with coffee, tea, sodas, desserts or oatmeal.

Best vegan pumpkin spice syrup
Monin Pumpkin Flavored Spice Syrup

monin pumpkin flavored spice syrup
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PUMPKIN SPICE SYRUP DETAILS
  • 90 calories
  • 20 grams of sugar
  • $11.98

BUY ON AMAZON

Monin Pumpkin Flavored Spice Syrup is made with pure cane sugar, water, natural and artificial pumpkin spice flavors, salt and potassium sorbate (used as a preservative). Try it in coffee, cocktails, sodas, smoothies, teas or lemonade.

Best organic pumpkin spice syrup
Joe’s Organic Pumpkin Pie Spice Syrup

joes organic pumpkin pie spice syrup
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PUMPKIN SPICE SYRUP DETAILS
  • 100 calories
  • 26 grams of sugar
  • $15.74

BUY ON AMAZON

Joe’s Organic Pumpkin Pie Spice Syrup is made with organic cane sugar, filter water, organic pumpkin pie spice flavor and citric acid. Ingredients are non-GMO, gluten-free and vegan. Try it in coffee, lattes and Italian sodas.

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Profile picture of Kathryn Parkman
by Kathryn Parkman ConsumerAffairs Research Team

As a member of the ConsumerAffairs Research Team, Kathryn Parkman believes everyone deserves easy access to accurate and comprehensive information on products and businesses before they make a purchase, which is why she spends hours researching companies and industries for ConsumerAffairs. She believes conscious consumption is everyone's responsibility and that all content deserves integrity.