The leaves will be changing soon, Starbucks’ 2023 fall specials are available, and we have gone through each menu item to tell you if it is vegan or not and if it can be veganized.
It officially feels like fall at Starbucks!
Starbucks’ 2023 Vegan Fall Guide
What Drink(s) Have Been Added?
- Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew
- Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte
- Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato
- Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso
Are Any Of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Flavored Drinks Vegan in 2023?
The shortest answer is no. Neither the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, Pumpkin Spice Latte or Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte are vegan or can be made vegan.
What makes the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew pumpkin flavored is the Pumpkin Cream that contains dairy. The ingredients are:
PUMPKIN CREAM [VANILLA SWEET CREAM (CREAM (CREAM, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, CARAGEENAN), MILK, VANILLA SYRUP (SUGAR, WATER, NATURAL FLAVORS, POTASSIUM SORBATE, CITRIC ACID)), PUMPKIN SPICE SAUCE (SUGAR, CONDENSED SKIM MILK, PUMPKIN PUREE, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF FRUIT AND VEGETABLE JUICE FOR COLOR, NATURAL FLAVORS, ANNATTO, SALT, POTASSIUM SORBATE)]
The Pumpkin Spice Latte is flavored with their Pumpkin Spice Sauce which contains dairy. The ingredients are:
PUMPKIN SPICE SAUCE [SUGAR, CONDENSED SKIM MILK, PUMPKIN PUREE, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF FRUIT AND VEGETABLE JUICE FOR COLOR, NATURAL FLAVORS, ANNATTO, SALT, POTASSIUM SORBATE]
Is Starbucks Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato Vegan?
Yes! Starbucks’ Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato is vegan, as-is. It has an Apple Brown Sugar Syrup and Spiced Apple Drizzle with Oatmilk and their Blonde Espresso (my favorite). Yum!
You can order it hot or iced! Both are incredible. The iced version is perfect for the hotter weather we have. And the hot version will be yummier the cooler it gets or if you prefer that warm apple pie taste.
We prefer the hotter version of this one because it really does taste like an apple pie with a cup of coffee. It’s sweet yet balanced with the oatmilk and espresso.
The Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato contains the following ingredients:
OATMILK [OATMILK (WATER, OATS), CANOLA OIL, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, CALCIUM CARBONATE, TRICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, SEA SALT, DICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, RIBOFLAVIN, VITAMIN A, VITAMIN D2, VITAMIN B12], BREWED ESPRESSO, APPLE BROWN SUGAR SYRUP [SUGARS (INVERT SUGAR, BROWN SUGAR), WATER, NATURAL FLAVORS, SALT, PRESERVATIVE: POTASSIUM SORBATE, MALIC ACID], SPICED APPLE DRIZZLE [SUGARS (CORN SYRUP, INVERT SUGAR, APPLE JUICE CONCENTRATE, SUGAR), WATER, CINNAMON, SALT, PRESERVATIVE: POTASSIUM SORBATE, CARAMELIZED SUGAR (FOR COLOR), MALIC ACID, NUTMEG]
Is Starbucks Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso Vegan?
Yes! Starbucks’ Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso is vegan, as-is! It is a combination of Starbucks’ Blonde Espresso, Apple Brown Sugar Syrup and Oatmilk.
This one is going to be the opposite of the macchiato. The espresso is palate forward while the creaminess from the oatmilk balances it a little and then you get a slight sweetness from the apple brown sugar syrup.
If you prefer a sweeter flavor, go with the macchiato. If you like the punchiness of espresso, go with this one, the shaken espresso.
The ingredients of the Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso are:
INGREDIENTS: ICE, OATMILK [OATMILK (WATER, OATS), CANOLA OIL, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, CALCIUM CARBONATE, TRICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, SEA SALT, DICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, RIBOFLAVIN, VITAMIN A, VITAMIN D2, VITAMIN B12], BREWED ESPRESSO, APPLE BROWN SUGAR SYRUP [SUGARS (INVERT SUGAR, BROWN SUGAR), WATER, NATURAL FLAVORS, SALT, PRESERVATIVE: POTASSIUM SORBATE, MALIC ACID]
What Is The Difference Between A Macchiato and Shaken Espresso Drink At Starbucks?
From our understanding, a fun-flavored macchiato, like the Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato, is created differently than a traditional macchiato. And then a Shaken Espresso is pretty much like it sounds, shaken.
The specific layers of the Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato go in this order from first in the cup to last:
- Apple Brown Sugar Syrup
- Steamed Oatmilk
- Topped with Spiced Apple Drizzle
You can easily see this in the picture above. The macchiato is in the middle and on the right but obviously the iced is where you can see the layers.
The Shaken Espresso is an Espresso shot shaken with Ice, Apple Brown Sugar Syrup and Oatmilk. A noticeable difference is that there is less oat milk in a shaken espresso. And it does not have the Spiced Apple Drizzle in it. As mentioned above, this one is a lot less sweet than either Apple Crisp Macchiato.
What Food Has Been Added To The Fall 2023 Menu?
Another season, another disappointment… Starbucks chose to bring 3 fall returners to the 2023 menu and one new menu item. Not one of them is animal-free.
Again, the following are Starbucks’ fall specials. They are NOT vegan:
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin
- Owl Cake Pop
- Pumpkin & Petita Loaf
- Baked Apple Croissant
What Do We Suggest In Addition To Starbucks’ Fall Menu?
We think of apples, caramel, cinnamon, vanilla, maple, ginger, cloves and nutmeg when we think of fall.
The good news is Starbucks offers flavor syrups that match a few of these flavors which means you can create your own fall-inspired drink!
- Apple Brown Sugar Syrup (fall special)
- Brown Sugar Syrup
- Caramel Syrup (NOT caramel sauce)
- Cinnamon Dolce Syrup
- Toasted Vanilla Syrup
- Vanilla Syrup
- Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup
–> Plus you could ask for the Pumpkin Spice Topping (that their pumpkin-flavored drinks are topped with) to be added on top of your drink. And don’t forget about the Spiced Apple Drizzle.
Or you can make it easy on yourself and order one of our suggestions below.
Cinnamon Dolce Latte, hot or iced
To Make It Vegan: Order a Cinnamon Dolce Latte (hot or iced) with your choice of non-dairy milk (oat, soy, almond, coconut) and NO whip or cinnamon dolce topping.
You will have a Latte with non-dairy milk, espresso and cinnamon dolce syrup.
Blonde Vanilla Latte, hot or iced
To Make It Vegan: Order a Blonde Vanilla Latte (hot or iced) with your choice of non-dairy milk (oat, soy, almond, coconut).
You will have a Latte with non-dairy milk, espresso and vanilla syrup.
Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk Shaken Espresso
This one is vegan as is!
Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso
This one is also vegan as is!
Steamed Apple Juice
…as it sounds. 🙂
As a vegan, we are not getting any fall items at Starbucks but you do have a few food options you can choose from if need be:
- Plain and Everything Bagel. Look for packaged Organic Avocado Spread to spread on. Justin’s Hazelnut Butter or Classic Almond Butter may also be an option–check with your location for availability.
- Strawberry Overnight Grains … comes with oatmeal (in coconut milk), cooked steal-cut oats, red quinoa and chia seeds with shaved coconut, strawberries and toasted almonds.
- Rolled & Steel Cut Oatmeal (not labeled vegan but no animal-derived ingredients) … comes with whole grain oatmeal, brown sugar, dried fruit and a nut medley. It is optional to add in a splash of a non-dairy milk.
Out of nine fall menu items at Starbucks, we have two that work for us vegans and do not need a modification. The hot version of the Apple Crisp Macchiato is the one we both prefer.
I think our fall-inspired suggestions are a nice complement. I know we each have our favorites of those as well… mine being the Cinnamon Dolce Latte or Blonde Vanilla Latte, while Ryan’s is the Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk Shaken Espresso.
We also have an entire Vegan Guide for Starbucks if you would like to see other options as well. It is broken down by drinks and even drink types with all the details you need to order your drink vegan.
The fall food and beverages are available for a limited time and while supplies last.