How to make a pumpkin spice latte: The perfect homemade recipe

Fall is here, and so is that beautiful taste of pumpkin. How do you make your own pumpkin spice mix, and what's the recipe for a pumpkin spice latte? Let's dive in!

This pumpkin spice latte recipe will bring you the perfect fall drink at home.
This pumpkin spice latte recipe will bring you the perfect fall drink at home.  © 123rf / Nesavinov

The taste of pumpkin in a nice warm coffee and in food might not float everyone's boat. But if the longevity of this trendy treat is anything to go by, we can all agree that it's here to stay.

How do you combine those autumnal tastes? Well, by making a fantastic pumpkin spice latte, of course!

If you're looking to save some time and money by not shelling out the big bucks, it's not very hard to make a pumpkin spice latte (aka PSL) at home.

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Tattoos Father with face tattoo says people call him a "bad dad" because of his ink

Using this pumpkin spice mix recipe and some pretty straight forward steps, you'll be able to avoid the coffee shop this fall and winter.

Here's how to make the perfect pumpkin spice latte with our recipe, and some tips and tricks for making the pumpkin spice mix.

DIY pumpkin spice is the perfect fall treat

Pumpkin spice lattes were originally widely introduced to us by Starbucks when they launched them as a seasonal drink in January 2003.

Since then, the drink has become one of the most successful products for the franchise, but also one of the most popular and versatile flavorings in the US overall.

You can use this perfect pumpkin spice mix for not only coffee, but cakes, meat seasonings, and all kinds of foods. Don't be afraid to put together your own spice mix and experiment with it – you won't have any regrets.

How to make pumkin spice coffee | Recipe

Before you make yourself some pumpkin spice mix and then put together your latte, you need to get yourself ready to rock 'n roll. In other words, you're going to need a few specific kitchen utensils!

Here's what you'll need:

  • A cutting board
  • A sharp knife (make it actually sharp, for safety reasons)
  • One large saucepan
  • A couple of smaller saucepans
  • Blender or mixer
  • A small bowl or cup
  • A plug in milk frother
  • A gorgeous glass to make your pumpkin spice latte fancy
  • Some kind of coffee machine (could be a percolator, a filter coffee machine, a French press, or a proper espresso machine)

Hot tip: It may be best to use a percolator, filter coffee machine, a French press, or a proper espresso machine to make your coffee. Try to avoid instant coffee – as most agree, it's a travesty.

Use homemade pumpkin purée to make a pumpkin spice latte delicious.
Use homemade pumpkin purée to make a pumpkin spice latte delicious.  © 123RF / Larryratt

Pumpkin spice mix | Ingredients

You're going to need a fantastic pumpkin spice mix if you ever hope to create a delicious latte. Feel free to use this bad-boy with any pumpkin-based treat (pumpkin pie is a great choice).

Here's what you need for the pumpkin spice blend:

  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger powder
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground clove powder

Keep in mind: This spice blend is meant to be mixed into a dish or beverage which includes pumpkin, hence it being called a "pumpkin spice blend". So, technically, add "pumpkin" to that list as well.

Pumpkin spice latte | Ingredients

There are a number of ingredients that you're going to need, on top of the pumpkin spice mix itself, to make one serving (about 1 cup) of this delicious fall treat.

Here are the ingredients for pumpkin spice latte:

  • Pumpkin spice mix
  • 1 pumpkin for pumpkin purée
  • Equivalent of one or two espresso shots of coffee (to taste)
  • Milk (5 oz)
  • Water (2 oz)
  • Sugar (4 oz)
  • Vanilla sugar (2 oz)

Pumpkin spice latte | Instructions

With just a few basic ingredients, you'll be putting together the ultimate pumpkin spice latte in no time at all.

How to make a proper PSL:

Step 1: Start with the pumpkin purée. Chop it up into small pieces and add it to a large pot of boiling water. Allow to boil with a small pinch of salt for about 15-20 minutes, or until soft and mushy. Now use a blender or a food processor to mush up the pumpkin into a purée.

Hot tip: You can actually keep the skin on the pumpkin. This saves a lot of work during the chopping process! Just make sure to remove the stem.

Step 2: While you have the pumpkin simmering away, prepare the pumpkin spice blend by mixing the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves in a small cup or bowl.

Step 3: In a medium-sized saucepan, add the water, sugar, and vanilla sugar. Heat over a low flame until the sugar has completely melted, and the mixture is slightly thick. Don't allow it to simmer too long, as you don't want to start caramelizing that sugar.

Step 4: Add about three tablespoons of the pumpkin purée, as well as your pumpkin spice blend, to your syrup and mix thoroughly. Personally, we prefer using a little more pumpkin purée, but you can adjust this to taste.

Step 5: Warm your milk in a small saucepan, or froth it using a milk frother. If you don't like either option, you can also heat up the milk in a microwave - but make sure to watch it like a hawk!

Warning: Be careful to not let the milk boil, this will destroy the proteins in your milk, ruin the flavor, and could potentially cause a huge mess.

Step 6: Now it's time to construct your coffee. Mix your pre-brewed coffee of choice (percolator or espresso coffee is where it's at) with the pumpkin spice concoction you've put together in a tall glass. Now pour in the milk so that it combines properly, or if you prefer, so that the layers are separate. Yum!

Fancy things up topping your pumpkin spice latte with whipped cream. Don't forget to garnish it with a sprinkle of cinnamon or a drizzle of pumpkin syrup.

Tips and tricks to making the perfect pumpkin spice mix

The perfect pumpkin spice latte is a flavorful, warming fall treat.
The perfect pumpkin spice latte is a flavorful, warming fall treat.  © 123rf / Matucha12

Individualizing your personal pumpkin spice recipe really is the "spice" of life.

It's not just about the construction of the coffee itself, as each individual ingredient plays a huge role in shaping the flavor profile you're after.

Here are a few tips and tricks for making a pumpkin spice latte:

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Fashion TikToker hits the designer jackpot in thrift store grab bag!

Tip 1 - Use real pumpkin purée: After putting together the pumpkin purée, you can keep it for about a week in the fridge. As a result, you should really use actual pumpkin, rather than the chemical stuff they use in most coffee shops. If you aren't drinking enough pumpkin spice lattes (get on that!), use the leftover purée to make soup.

Tip 2 - Use pumpkin syrup for other things: Once you have constructed the delicious pumpkin spice syrup, you can use it for all sorts of things. Put it in cakes, cookies, and pancakes, or use it as an ice cream topping.

Tip 3 - Don't forget that caffeine-free option: Feel free to use decaf coffee, if that is your preference. You can also add pumpkin spice to other drinks, like hot chocolate.

Tip 4 - Alternatives for those in a hurry: It is possible to buy ready-made pumpkin spice syrup from supermarkets, grocers, and markets. These won't taste nearly as good as your homemade version, but they work in a pinch if you don't have time to make it from scratch.

Tip 5 - A vegan variant: Everything in a pumpkin spice latte is vegan except for, of course, the milk itself. As a result, just replace the milk with a vegan alternative if necessary.

Remember that pumpkin spice is a versatile ingredient. Feel free to experiment and get creative with how you use it to create something special for your whole family.

Pumpkin pie spice is the absolute best!

While pumpkin spice lattes may have originated as a Starbucks product gone-viral in the early-to-mid 2000s, they have now made it firmly into the homes of many Americans. It's not hard to make, it's not scary, but it is delicious.

With our pumpkin spice latte recipe and mix, you'll be making this delicious beverage every single day. Check out more fall-inspired coffee recipes to keep you nice and warm throughout the cold months ahead.

Cover photo: 123rf / Nesavinov

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