Skip the trip to the coffee shop, and save a few bucks, by perfecting your own version of fall’s favorite drink.
You’ve waited all year for autumn to arrive, just to get that first sip of pumpkin spice latte. But the creamy, dreamy indulgence doesn’t have to be limited to one season, or require high-tailing it to Starbucks. You can make it at home. It’s a cinch to get your PSL fix anytime—spiced to your preference, sweetened however you like, and easier on your wallet. Best yet, no standing in line required.
Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe
Pumpkin Spice Mix
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ tablespoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
Pinch of finely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
1 to 1½ tablespoons packed light brown sugar, granulated sugar, or maple syrup to taste
1 cup milk (preferably whole or 2 percent)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup freshly brewed strong coffee or 1 to 2 shots espresso
Whipped cream for topping
Make pumpkin spice mix. Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl. Makes about 5 teaspoons. (Mix can be stored in a small airtight container on a cool countertop for one year.)
Make latte. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine pumpkin puree and 1 to 1½ teaspoons of pumpkin spice mix. Cook until spices become fragrant, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Pour in milk along with vanilla extract, stirring until mixture is warmed through.
Remove from heat. Place an immersion blender into the pot and froth milk mixture. Or pour milk into a blender—vent the lid but hold a thick towel over it—and blend until frothy, 10 to 15 seconds.
Pour coffee or espresso into a mug, then add the frothed milk. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin spice mix.
Vegan: Substitute your favorite non-dairy milk. Instead of traditional whipped cream, make coconut whipped cream by refrigerating coconut cream overnight, then beating until thick and airy.
No Blender: If you don’t have an immersion or countertop blender, the milk mixture can be frothed in a microwave, though it won’t be as aerated. Place milk mixture in a tall microwavable container, such as a 4-cup glass measuring cup for 1 cup of milk. Microwave on full power for 30 to 40 seconds, watching closely so it doesn’t boil over.
Ice-Blended: Allow coffee and pumpkin-milk mixture to cool to room temperature before transferring to a blender. Add a big handful of ice, along with another ½ teaspoon pumpkin spice mix (the ice will dilute the flavor). Blend until slushy. Top with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Simpler: Forgo making your own pumpkin pie spice and buy a jarred blend in the spice aisle of the grocery store.
Simplest: Skip buying both pumpkin pie spice and canned pumpkin. Instead buy a bottle of pumpkin pie–flavored sauce or syrup. Use about 2 tablespoons per 1 cup of heated milk. It will be sweeter with a less pronounced spice profile, but it works well in a pinch.
Kid-Friendly & Chocoholic: Swap out coffee for hot chocolate. When heating the milk with the pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice, add 1½ tablespoons cocoa powder along with an additional 1 tablespoon of sugar. Garnish with a big marshmallow or whipped cream, a sprinkle of pumpkin spice mix or cinnamon, and chocolate shavings.
Via Smart Tip: Keep ingredients on hand for when the mood strikes. Make a big batch of pumpkin spice mix and store in an airtight container on your counter. Freeze two tablespoons of canned pumpkin in each slot of an ice cube tray. Defrost one cube overnight in the refrigerator or pop it into the microwave on defrost for a few seconds.