This vegan-friendly Pumpkin Spice Latte is made with spiced, lightly sweetened REAL pumpkin, steamed milk (or coconut milk), and espresso.
Does anything scream “Fall!” more than the Pumpkin Spice Latte? Well yes, probably. The mornings get chillier, the leaves start to turn, and we all start scrambling to remember where we stored warmer clothes (or is that just me?) Pumpkins and other squash begin proudly flaunting their brightly colored skins, daring us to take them home and devour them. And of course, I do.
The other (unofficial) fall kickoff is when Starbucks begins selling its Pumpkin Spice Latte. At $5-$6 a cup, however, it’s a pricey habit to maintain. Even if you have the cash to guzzle down one of these spiced coffee drinks daily, the chemical flavoring and excessive sweetness mean that this drink isn’t exactly the healthiest option.
Instead, try this recipe for a Pumpkin Spiced Latte with REAL pumpkin. Making this latte is quick– the most time-consuming, 10 minute part of the recipe can be completed ahead of time, meaning you don’t need to wake up any earlier to enjoy pumpkin deliciousness at home before starting your day. (In fact, it’s probably faster than waiting in line at the coffee shop!)
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Making a Pumpkin Spice Latte at Home
First, heat the pumpkin, spices, and cream (or coconut milk) in a small saucepan. Sweeten to taste with sugar, and set aside. Next, you need to make espresso.
Espresso is strong coffee made under extreme pressure. You’ll need an espresso maker to make it, but if you don’t have one– go ahead and substitute a strong dark coffee until you can get your hands on one. (I use this espresso maker at home.)
Finally, you need to steam the milk. If you have an espresso machine to do this for you– you’re golden. If not, heat up your milk, and then use an inexpensive hand-held milk frother, an electric milk frother, or an immersion blender to build froth.
Does all this sounds too complicated? Try making your drink with regular coffee and warm milk.
Finally, scoop 2-3 TB of pumpkin purée into a mug (use more or less pumpkin depending on how strong you want the flavor). Pour the brewed espresso over the pumpkin and stir it together. Top it off with the steamed frothy milk.
Store any extra in a sealed container in your fridge, warm up the amount you want as you’re brewing espresso, and use it all up within a few days. If you’re a Pumpkin Spice Latte maniac, and drink one every day, feel free to make larger batches of spiced pumpkin purée.
Enjoy your homemade latte, and go spend the $6 you just saved on those flashy, mouth-wateringly bright fall squash at the market.
Pumpkin Spice Latte with Real Pumpkin
Makes 2 lattes, plus extra Pumpkin Spice Purée
Pumpkin Spice Purée:
- 1/4 cup pumpkin purée (either canned or freshly roasted)
- 1/2 cup milk OR full-fat coconut milk
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp clove
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 tsp sugar, to taste
Pumpkin Spice Latte:
- 3 TB pumpkin spice purée
- 4 oz brewed espresso (more or less as desired)
- 1/2 cup milk for frothing (use at least 2%, skim won't froth well) OR full-fat coconut milk
- To Serve (Optional): whipped cream, extra cinnamon
In a small saucepan, mix all ingredients for pumpkin spice purée, stir, and heat on medium until hot. If you aren't sure how sweet you want the purée, add the sugar last and sweeten to taste. Set purée aside.
Next, brew espresso and steam milk. If you don't have a milk steamer, heat milk on stovetop and use a hand-held frother or immersion blender to create some froth (froth optional).
Scoop 2-3 TB of the pumpkin spice purée into 2 cups. Pour half the espresso in each cup, and then stir to help blend the pumpkin and espresso. Pour milk into each espresso, holding back the froth with a spoon. Top with foam.
Optional: Top lattes with whipped cream and dust with more cinnamon.
Leftover pumpkin purée can be saved for 2-3 more lattes.
*Calorie Information was calculated per serving using My Fitness Pal. Calorie calculations made using 2% milk.
Recipe inspired by: Bon appétit