Enjoy a classic white Russian cocktail with a fall twist by infusing its creamy coffee flavor with a mix of pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice.

This post contains affiliate links. Read the disclosure policy.

Side view of two glasses filled with pumpkin spice white Russian, garnished with ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks, and surrounded by ingredients and tools for mixing a drink.

About Pumpkin Spice White Russian Cocktail

This classic coffee-infused cocktail meets everything that’s great about fall with this deliciously creamy pumpkin pie white Russian.

What is a white Russian?

Traditionally, a white Russian is a cocktail mixed with vodka, coffee liqueur, and cream that’s served over ice in an old-fashioned glass. When prepared, it can either be shaken in a cocktail shaker (as pictured here) or the cocktail ingredients can be poured in such a way that the cream and alcohol create visual layers.

As for the name, the “white” part has to do with the heavy cream, and the “Russian” part is merely because some of vodka’s origins are rooted in Russia. The cocktail itself was first created and served at the Hotel Metropole in Belgium during the 1940s.

What’s in a pumpkin spice white Russian?

To make your own deliciously creamy pumpkin white Russian, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Pumpkin Puree and pumpkin pie spice – The stars of the show! Adds flavor and texture to create the perfect pumpkin-infused cocktail.
  • Maple syrup – For added sweetness and more classic fall flavor. You can also substitute this for an equal portion of caramel sauce or caramel syrup instead.
  • Vodka – A classic cocktail ingredient. Feel free to use any brand of vodka you’d like – especially if you can get your hands on a caramel vodka! – but I tend to stick to brands like Smirnoff when making mixed drinks.
  • Heavy whipping cream – The key ingredient that makes this a “white” Russian. If heavy cream is too, well, heavy for you, you can substitute this for milk or other dairy alternatives – just keep in mind that a thinner cream may result in less of a layering effect within the drink.
  • Kahlua – Another staple to a white Russian: coffee liqueur.
  • Ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks – Totally optional but adds delicious flavor and fun fall themes!
Close up side view of a single glass of pumpkin spice white Russian, showing off the extremely pale orange color.

Pumpkin puree vs pumpkin pie filling

When it comes to holiday treats, you’re going to be faced with two types of canned pumpkin in the baking aisle:

Pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling.

And while these types might seem interchangeable, there is a slight (yet significant) difference.

With pumpkin puree, the only contents are cooked and mashed pumpkin (or a variety of winter gourds), with no added flavors or spices. Pumpkin pie filling is made with cooked and mashed pumpkin, too, but it also has flavor added, typically with pumpkin pie spice.

The key difference here is convenience. If you don’t have (or don’t want to buy) pumpkin pie spice, using pumpkin pie filling can save you some time and effort; you simply add it to the recipe and skip measuring the spices. However, it does limit your ability to control the taste, and if you’re using the pumpkin pie filling with other flavors, there’s no way to guarantee how they’ll interact.

This is why you’ll see many homemade recipes use pumpkin puree (which, again, is just the gourds, no added flavor) and season and spice the recipe by hand as needed. It is a tad more work but it also gives you more control over the flavor of your fall treats.

How long is a white Russian good for?

For best results, I recommend enjoying this drink when it’s freshly mixed. However, you can mix these drinks up to 8 hours in advance, storing them in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Just keep in mind that the drinks may separate over time and require a quick stir before being served. TIP: You can avoid this by waiting to pour in the heavy cream until just before serving.

Notes & this for this pumpkin spice white Russian

  • If you’d like the traditional layered effect with this cocktail, only add the Kahlua, vodka, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice to the cocktail shaker, then divide evenly between two glasses. Hold a spoon over the mouth of the glass (upside down) and very slowly pour the heavy cream over the back of the spoon so that the cream slides off into the glass.
Close up top down view of a glass filled with pumpkin pie white Russian, showing off the ice, creamy color, and the ground cinnamon garnish.

More delicious drink recipes

How to make a pumpkin spice white Russian

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – In two short cocktail glasses, add some ice, filling them up about halfway.

Step 2 – Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, then add the following ingredients: heavy cream, Kahlua, vodka, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice. Shake everything together until combined.

Step 3 – Divide the pumpkin spice white Russian evenly between two glasses, then garnish with ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks (both optional).

Step 4 – Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Side view of two glasses filled with pumpkin spice white Russian, garnished with ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks, and surrounded by ingredients and tools for mixing a drink.
5 from 2 votes

Pumpkin Spice White Russian Cocktail

5 mins prep
651 kcal
Yields: 2 drinks
Enjoy a classic white Russian cocktail with a fall twist by infusing its creamy coffee flavor with a mix of pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice.

Ingredients 

Instructions

  • Fill two cocktail glasses halfway with ice, then set aside.
  • In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add heavy cream, Kahlua, vodka, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice. Shake well.
    3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, 1/2 cup Kahlua, 1/4 cup vodka, 6 tablespoons pumpkin puree, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • Pour pumpkin pie white Russian evenly between the two glasses. If desired, garnish drinks with ground cinnamon or cinnamon sticks.
    ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks
  • Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1drink | Calories: 651kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 34mg | Potassium: 236mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 44g | Vitamin A: 8321IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 1mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy