The Best Tips for Making Fall Low Sugar Starbucks Drinks

Fall starbucks drink on a table with a mug. Showing an example of a low sugar starbucks drink

The Best Tips for Making Fall Low Sugar Starbucks Drinks

The air is getting crisp, and it is time for our favorite Starbucks fall drinks. Having gestational diabetes doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying some of your favorite fall flavors. Follow the below tips to order a low-sugar Starbucks drink this fall.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

For the world-famous Pumpkin Spice Latte, it is easy to make this drink lower in carbs and sugar while still enjoying the pumpkin spice flavor.

Make it a low-sugar Starbucks drink by reducing the size. Instead of ordering a Grande 16 oz. try a Tall 12 oz. or Short 8 oz drink. A Regular Grande Pumpkin Spiced Latte has 52g of carbs, and 50g of them are pure sugar, mainly from the pumpkin spice sauce.

Ask for one pump of the regular Pumpkin Spice Syrup. Each pump contains 5g of sugar. Pumpkin Spice Latte normally has four pumps at 20g of pure sugar! You still get the flavor without the overpowering rush of sugar. 

Choose your milk wisely. Pumpkin Spiced Latte comes typically with 2% milk, which contains 20g of carbs in a Grande latte. Swap it for a Tall (8 oz) and soy milk at 10g of carbs, almond milk at 6g of carbs, or coconut milk at 8g of carbs.

Keep the whip, and you deserve it. In a Short, the whipped cream only adds 1g of sugar and a ton of flavor. Keep it if you love the whipped topping.

Ask for an extra Pumpkin Spice Topping. The pumpkin spice topping is just cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove, which naturally have no carbs and contain so much of your pumpkin spice Latee flavor!

Ordering a low-sugar Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Latte with the tips above will give you a drink with about 12g of carbs, mostly from sugar. While it is not sugar-free, 12g of sugar is way better than the 50g of sugar in the original. 

Enjoy your low-sugar Starbucks drink with either Kale and Mushroom or Bacon and Gruyere Egg Bites, and you have a balanced Starbucks Fall treat.

Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew

The Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew is back as one of Starbuck’s fall drinks. This drink is the easiest to adjust into a low-sugar Starbucks drink. 

The Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew’s main ingredients are vanilla syrup, pumpkin cream made from the standard vanilla sweet cream (cream mixed with vanilla syrup), and four pumps of vanilla syrup.

A grande will give you 31 g of sugar, which is all coming from the vanilla syrup. Thankful Starbucks carries a sugar-free vanilla syrup that contains 0g of sugar. 

To make the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew a low-sugar Starbucks drink. Swap the vanilla syrup for the sugar-free vanilla syrup. If you’re not a fan of sugar-free syrups, ask for one pump of regular vanilla syrup instead of four pumps. Each pump of vanilla syrup contains 5g of sugar. These customizations will save you 15-20g of sugar.

The Pumpkin Cream Cold Foam combines cold foam with vanilla syrup. You can either skip the Pumpkin Cream Cold Foam and save anywhere from 5-10g of sugar, or if you still want your creamy topping, ask for light whipped cream, which only has 1g of sugar. 

Boost the pumpkin spice flavor by asking for extra Pumpkin Spice Topping. The Pumpkin Spice Topping contains only ginger, clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg spices, which have no carbs and add a natural sweetness to the fall Starbucks drink.

Making all these adjustments to make Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew a low-sugar fall Starbucks drink will reduce the sugar down to approximately 5g.

Iced Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso

There is a new Starbucks fall drink, and they are calling it the Iced Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso. The name actually makes me drool a little. Unfortunately, this one is a little trickier to get low sugar, but a few adjustments knock down the carbs and sugar quite a bit.

Instead of ordering a Grande 16 oz. try a Tall 12 oz. or Short 8 oz drink. A Regular Grande Iced Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso has 34g of carbs, and 21g of them are pure sugar, mainly from the pumpkin spice sauce. Simply swapping to a Short 8-ounce drink cuts the carbs and sugar in half, even if you do not customize the ingredients.

Consider swapping the milk. I know the whole reason for an Oat Milk Shaken is the oat milk; however, oat milk is the highest-carb milk alternative. Choosing almond, soy, or almond milk will save you carbs and sugar. 

A short (8oz) soy milk has 6g of carbs, almond milk has 6g of carbs, oat milk contains 10g, and coconut milk has 8g of carbs. 

There is no sugar-free option for the apple brown sugar syrup. Each pump will give you 5-6g of sugar, giving you 20-24g of sugar in each drink. Ask for one pump of apple brown sugar syrup to decrease this to 5-6g of sugar. To boost the sweetness, ask for a topping of cinnamon powder. 

Making all these customizations will cut the Iced Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Fall Starbucks drink to about 10-5g of sugar. Try enjoying a nice fall walk while having this drink to help lower the impact of sugar in this drink on your blood sugar. Our muscles do a great job of soaking up sugar when we exercise.

Iced Pumpkin Cream Chia Latte

The Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Latte is making its debut this year, and the standard recipe will give you a whopping 66g of sugar. That is more sugar than the 1-hour glucose tolerance test!

To make the Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Latte a low-sugar Starbucks drink, choose one pump instead of four pumps of the chai. 

To make the Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Latte a low-sugar Starbucks drink. Swap the regular vanilla syrup for sugar-free, or ask for one pump of regular vanilla syrup instead of four pumps. Each pump of vanilla syrup contains 5g of sugar. These customizations will save you 15-20g of sugar.

The Pumpkin Cream Cold Foam combines cold foam with vanilla syrup. You can either skip and save anywhere from 5-10g of sugar. If you still want your creamy topping, ask for light whipped cream, which only has 1g of sugar. 

Boost the fall flavor by asking for extra pumpkin spice topping and a dash of cinnamon. The pumpkin spice topping contains only ginger, clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg spices, which have no carbs. Cinnamon acts like a natural sweetener, so boosting the cinnamon will add a natural sweetness to the fall Starbucks drink.

Making all these adjustments to make Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Latte a low-sugar fall Starbucks drink will reduce the sugar to approximately 5g.

Bottom Line on Making Low-Sugar Starbucks Drink Orders

Starbucks does not make cutting sugar on our fall flavors easy, but it is possible. Try the above times to make your favorite fall Starbucks drink low sugar. Always pair these drinks with protein and enjoy a walk. I recommend the Kale and Mushroom or Bacon and Gruyere Egg Bites for a great high-protein option at Starbucks. The protein box containing apple slices, a hard-boiled egg, and cheese is an option, but you have a slightly increased risk for foodborne illness with this ready-to-eat option. 


*Reminder: these calculations are approximate based on the nutrition information shared on the Starbucks website (1). The exact grams of sugar and carbohydrates will depend on your barista.

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Ginger Cochran is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, functional medicine practitioner, Certified Diabetes Educator & Care Specialist, Certified Wellness Coach, Certified Exercise Physiologist, and owner of Nutritious Ginger, an integrative and functional nutrition practice focusing on full body self-care and nourishment. Ginger’s primary specialty is women’s health, with a special emphasis on gestational diabetes, weight management, infertility, digestive wellness, and overall health + happiness.
Ginger serves on the board of director for the Nutrition Care Manual by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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