Copycat Holiday Spice Flat White

This is my version of the Starbucks Holiday Spice Flat White.  Yes, I know the holidays are over.  But my craving for Starbucks seasonal flavored coffee is NOT!  

Copycat Holiday Spice Flat White coffee in a Christmas mug.

Why You’ll Love This

The Holiday Spice Flat White grabbed me at first sip this year!

Not too sweet, perfectly spiced with a touch of tangerine. I am making it at home several times a week.  Don’t judge…the struggle is real!

You can have this at home any time of the year!

You will save loads of money.

You can adjust the sweetness and flavors to your desired taste.

Looking for Christmas treats to accompany this coffee? Try our old fashioned molasses cookies, pumpkin spice latte biscotti, cranberry pistachio biscotti, and gingerbread biscotti recipe.

How to Make Starbucks Holiday Spice Flat White

Ingredients for the holiday white flat white on a dark background.

Here’s the setup.  And, yes, I’m still using my holiday mugs too!

I would use them all year if my husband would allow it.

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Tangerine zest mixed with the granulated sugar in a dark bowl.
Tangerine sugar
Holiday spice flat white spice mixture in the bottom of a glass coffee mug.
Tangerine sugar mixed with the spices
Espresso shot pulled over the holiday spice flat white spice mixture in the glass mug.
Espresso pulled over the spice mixture

I made a tangerine sugar.  1 cup of granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon of tangerine zest = mix.  

I use 1 1/2 teaspoons of tangerine sugar mixed with cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.  Place the spice mixture in your vessel (mug) of choice.

You can mix it right in the mug or use a small bowl to mix, then transfer it to the coffee mug.

Copycat Holiday Spice Flat White - espresso pulled into a red Christmas mug

Starbucks pulls ristretto shots of the Christmas Blend Espresso Roast. Ristretto is a shorter espresso pull that differs in taste because it’s more concentrated, resulting in a bolder, fuller flavor.

I cannot do the ristretto technique with my automatic espresso machine. It locks up, and it has to be reset to go back to full working order.  


Update – I had a Saeco Odeo Giro for 15 years. YES, 15 years! I loved it, but it started acting up on me. I just recently purchased the Philips 1200-Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine. So far, I have been happy, but the steaming wand gave me a thicker foam for these updated photos. But I didn’t mind; the flat white was still delicious.

I pull one shot of espresso for a mug this small directly over the spice mixture, then give it a swirl or two. (Normally, I’m making a travel mug to go and pull two shots)

Enjoy this flat white with one of our Pumpkin Muffins!

Holiday Spice Flat White - milk being steamed in a metal frothing container

Steam the milk. I have read that Starbucks uses steamed whole milk for the Holiday Spice Flat White.  

I usually only have skim milk in my fridge, so that’s what I use.  Choose what you like.

Steamed milk and foam being poured into the glass mug.

Pour the steamed milk over the espresso and when almost full, stream the foam right down the middle of the mug for that signature dot.  I think I did fairly well with this one.

And I typically use more foam than they do. It’s just a preference.

Holiday spice flat white in a glass mug. A spoon resting in a small red plate to the side.

Wrap your hands around that mug, breathe deep, and sip away on this delicious espresso infused with warm holiday spices and topped with a light foam!

I think my version comes extremely close to Starbucks.  I have added a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg a couple of times. It didn’t quite taste like theirs but still very tasty.

Holiday spice flat white in a glass mug. A spoon resting in a small red plate to the side.

Tips and Variations

  • You can use your milk of choice, such as almond milk, coconut milk, or oat milk. Just be aware that these all steam differently, and you won’t necessarily get a microfoam.
  • Use can use any citrus fruit. A regular orange will work too.
  • You can use the tangerine sugar immediately, but the citrus flavor does get stronger if you let it sit for a little bit.
  • You can also use a sugar substitute like granulated monk fruit. I have only tested this with Lakanto Golden monk fruit.
  • You don’t have to use Starbucks Christmas blend espresso roast beans. Choose your favorite.
  • Although flat whites typically aren’t served with whipped cream on top, you can certainly indulge and try it out for yourself.


What is a flat white coffee?

A flat white is an espresso beverage using less steamed milk than a latte. It uses a smooth microfoam but less than other creamy drinks. The foam should be flat (a thin layer of velvety steamed whole milk), as its name states.

What is in a holiday spice flat white at Starbucks?

Starbucks pulls a ristretto shot of their Christmas Blend Espresso Roast over their spice blend of tangerine sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Then added steamed milk with microfoam.

Does Starbucks have the holiday spice flat white?

No, sadly, they discontinued this holiday drink in 2018.


The tangerine sugar will keep for about one month in an airtight container kept at room temperature.

More Starbucks Copycat Recipes

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Copycat Holiday Spice Flat White coffee in a Christmas mug.

Copycat Holiday Spice Flat White Recipe

Copycat Holiday Spice Flat White – Christmas in a cup! Now you can make your own at home!
4.75 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Coffee, Drinks
Cuisine: American, Italian
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 49kcal
Author: Leigh Harris


  • 1 – 2 teaspoons tangerine sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


  • Prepare a tangerine sugar: Mix 1 cup granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon of finely grated tangerine zest.
  • Mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of the tangerine sugar (I use 1 1/2 teaspoons) with the cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Place in the bottom of your coffee mug, pull a shot or two of espresso (ristretto espresso if you have the capability) over the spice mixture and swirl a couple of times, steam the milk with a microfoam and pour over the espresso without stirring directly in the center.


— You can substitute any citrus for tangerine.
— You can use a milk of your choice, such as almond milk, oat milk, skim milk, or coconut milk. Just be aware that these all steam differently and you won’t necessarily get a microfoam.
— You can also use a sugar substitute like granulated monk fruit. I have only tested this with Lakanto Golden monk fruit.
— I make mine with 2 shots of espresso now, about 5-6 ounces of milk, 1 1/2 teaspoons of tangerine sugar, and a pinch of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
Storing – The tangerine sugar will last about a month stored in an airtight container at room temperature. It will eventually become hard and I usually just make more.


Calories: 49kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Sugar: 12g

Share With Your Friends And Family!


  1. Do you use fresh or dried zest for the tangerine sugar? I used fresh orange zest and it seems like my sugar is way too moist.

  2. So very thankful for this recipe this morning. I was so upset when I learned Sbucks didn’t bring back Holiday Flat White! This is a fabulous dupe. Thank you!

  3. So glad to find this!! I have been told Starbucks will not have Holiday Spice this year! What the heck!
    Really disappointed.

  4. Thank you for sharing!! It is not on the menu this year, so I am so grateful to have a way to make this at home!!5 stars

  5. Thanks for this recipe!! The holiday spice flat white is my favorite Starbucks drink. Not too sweet, and yummy winter spices.

  6. Thank goodness I found your site. I am already having holiday spice flat white withdrawal! They should just offer it all year and make themselves a bunch more $$$.
    Thanks for the recipe – I’ll definitely be giving this a try. Happy New Year5 stars

  7. What is your milk to espresso shot ratio? I received a Verismo system for my birthday and would like to make this after having one from Starbucks yesterday.

    1. I usually pull two shots and steam about 1/2 cup milk. I hope you enjoy the coffee and thank you for coming by!

  8. I was just thinking today how much I miss Starbuck’s Christmas Blend coffee. I bought tons of it this year but it’s all gone! This is a beautiful flat white and I just love the tangerine sugar. I can think of so many ways to use it! Thank you for being a part of our Hearth and Soul Hop.5 stars

  9. Oh you are playing at all my favorites this week. Love a good flat white coffee and starbucks does it well. Great combo. #sharewithme5 stars

  10. I loved the Holiday Spice Flat White! One of my students gave me a Starbucks gift card and I definitely indulged over the holidays with this drink. Your recipe has been bookmarked for future reference 🙂

  11. This looks absolutely delicious even if it’s not the holidays! Great for any cold time of the year! Thanks for linking up at delicious dishes recipe party!

  12. Oh yum! Your coffee looks just like Starbucks! The flat white I noticed today said it is made with whole milk, I was so surprised! I neeeever drink whole milk either, it’s skim over here too! Thanks for link up at Thursday favorite things

  13. I have a real holiday drink obsession when it comes to Starbucks. I just tried the (normal) flat white the other day, and I’m totally hooked!

    1. Yeah, me to Morgan! I hope you try the Holiday Spice because someone needs to be as addicted as me. I can’t be alone in this obsession! Thank you for stopping by!

      1. I am completely addicted and craving and found this and am making this tomorrow! (Need to get the tangerine zest.) Thank you for this!!

  14. Are you the lady that was crying in the Starbucks drive-thru this weekend because they don’t have Christmas coffee anymore? (LOL)

    I miss the seasonal flavors, too, but I’ve never had this one. I’ll have to give it a try. Thanks for the recipe!

4.75 from 8 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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