There's something about a pumpkin spice latte that just screams Fall! Maybe it's the rich, pumpkin flavor or the warm spices that remind us of cozy fires and falling leaves. Whatever the reason, pumpkin spice lattes have become a fall staple for coffee lovers across the country. Read on for a quick recipe to make homemade pumpkin spice latte (as well as some fun variations!)
This post contains helpful tips and tricks! If you're in a rush, please use the "Jump to Recipe" below!
💭 Why you'll love this recipe
- Inexpensive and delicious! Homemade pumpkin spice lattes are much cheaper than their store-bought counterparts. And when made with quality ingredients, they can be just as delicious. Plus, you can make it hot or cold depending on your taste too!
- Control over sweetness and strength. Store-bought pumpkin spice lattes can be too sweet, too weak or too strong for some people's tastes. When you make your own pumpkin spice latte at home, you can adjust the recipe to your tastes.
- Great use of leftover pumpkin puree. If you have leftover pumpkin puree from making pumpkin pies or other recipes (like this delicious vegan pumpkin bread), put it to good use by making a homemade pumpkin spice latte!
This recipe is inspired by the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (which always takes the world by storm sometime around the third week of August every year). It aims to recreate those flavors but is (of course) not the exact recipe from Starbucks! However, it's still absolutely delicious and such a comforting drink for Fall.
📋 Ingredients and notes
To make homemade pumpkin spice latte, you'll need coffee, whole milk, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, heavy cream, powdered sugar, and cinnamon sticks (for garnish).
- Type of coffee: We chose an espresso roast or a dark roast for this recipe. However, you may use your favorite coffee or espresso blend!
- Type of milk: Whole milk tends to be the best for frothing, but you can substitute 2%, skim, oat, or soy instead of whole milk. You may not have the same results when using other types of milk during the frothing process, but they work just fine!
- Type of sweetener: I've used maple syrup here, but you can use simple syrup or brown sugar (either light brown sugar or dark) or a sweetener of your choice (like this Starbucks brown sugar syrup recipe). Want something sweeter? Check out this caramel ribbon crunch!
- To make it vegan, use soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, or any other dairy free milk of your choice. Make sure to use vegan whipped cream to finish the drink off!
📖 Make hot pumpkin spice latte!
Your pumpkin spice latte will be ready in two to three steps. First, make the homemade whipped cream (if you're making this fresh), then make the pumpkin mixture, and then finally assemble the latte. I've included tips here on how you can make a large batch of the pumpkin syrup too!
Make homemade whipped cream
Start by placing heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract into a cold mixing bowl. Using a whisk, hand mixer or stand mixer, whip them together (starting on low speed and gradually increasing).
You'll start to see stiff peaks forming and the swirl marks get close together. Then, cover tightly and place in the fridge until you are ready to top off your delicious pumpkin spice latte!
Make sure that the heavy cream is very, very cold when you begin to whip it. If possible, place mixing bowl in the refrigerator to ensure it is cold when whipping the cream.
Make pumpkin spice mixture
Add milk, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice to a medium saucepan.
Whisk the ingredients together over medium heat until they're well combined and bubbly. Continue whisking until the mixture is hot. You want this mixture to be steaming hot, but not boiling.
Once removed from the heat, use a milk frother or an immersion blender and froth the creamy pumpkin spice mixture.
Assemble the pumpkin spice latte!
Make some strong coffee or espresso! Pour this hot coffee into a warm coffee mug and gently top off with the hot frothy pumpkin spice mixture. Briefly stir with a spoon.
Leave enough room in the coffee mug to top the pumpkin spice latte.
Sprinkle a pinch of pumpkin pie spice over the whipped cream topping. Grab your warm mug, serve immediately, and enjoy this PSL recipe in the comfort of your own home! I love having mine with a slice of this red velvet cookie cake!
📖 Variations to pumpkin spice latte
There are two common variations that I love making at home - iced pumpkin spice latte and a coffee-free pumpkin chai latte.
- Make iced pumpkin spice latte: Take all the ingredients listed and add them to a blender. Pulse until they're combined and frothy. Then, serve them in a chilled glass, over some ice cubes, and top with whipped cream as described above!
- Go coffee-free: I love making pumpkin chai latte at home! Instead of making coffee, steep 2 chai bags in half cup of very hot water. Then use this chai instead of coffee in the recipe. If you're looking for the best chai to use in this recipe, this brand is my favorite (and actually Indian!)
I typically like using espresso or dark roast coffee since I find that they complement the flavors of the other ingredients well.
You can either add another tablespoon of pumpkin puree to the mixture. Or, you can reduce the puree down in a saucepan over medium heat so it's more concentrated in flavor. Then, use that in the latte instead of canned or fresh homemade pumpkin puree.
Add 1 teaspoon of cold heavy cream and continue to blend until the whipped cream reaches the correct consistency!
🍴 Serving and storage suggestions
I don't recommend storing the pumpkin spice latte once it's made. However, you can make the pumpkin syrup in a large batch and store that in the fridge for up to one week at a time. This way, you can just grab a spoonful (or two!) along with milk and coffee and have a pumpkin spice latte in no time. Try it along with these delicious black walnut, chocolate malt cookies or this Rumchata pound cake and you won't regret it.
Make pumpkin syrup in large batches!
One of the best tricks for the Fall is to make the pumpkin mixture in a larger batch and then sneak in a couple of tablespoons into your coffee. To do this, combine equal parts pumpkin purée and maple syrup with vanilla extract, and pumpkin pie spice and whisk until combined. Store this in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week!
Then, follow the rest of the instructions the same way - use a couple of tablespoons of this mixture along with milk to froth first, and then pour over coffee to make your pumpkin spice latte.
To indulge in Fall flavors, check out my other pumpkin recipes:
Pumpkin Spice Latte (Hot & Iced!)
- ½ cup brewed dark roast coffee or espresso
- ½ cup whole milk
- 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 cinnamon sticks, for garnish, optional
- ½ cup cold heavy cream
- 3 teaspoons powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- To make homemade whipped cream, place ½ cup cold heavy cream, 3 tablespoons powdered sugar, and ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract into a chilled mixing bowl.
- Then using a hand mixer or stand mixer, begin on low speed to mix the ingredients. Gradually increase the speed of the mixer and whip the ingredients for about 1 minute. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl and resume whipping the cream for another 2 - 3 minutes or until you see stiff peaks forming on the whipped cream and the swirl marks are close together.
- Cover tightly and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to top off your delicious pumpkin spice latte!
- Using a saucepan over medium heat, whisk ½ cup whole milk, 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree, 2 tablespoons real maple syrup, ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract, and ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice until blended and bubbly. Continue to whisk while cooking the mixture until hot. Once the creamy pumpkin mixture is steaming hot but not boiling, remove from heat. Do not bring to a boil.
- Once removed from heat and still very hot, carefully use a milk frother or immersion blender to froth the creamy pumpkin spice mixture. Next, make ½ cup of strong coffee or espresso
- Pour the hot coffee into a warm coffee mug and gently top off with the hot frothy pumpkin spice mixture. Briefly stir with a spoon. Leave enough room in the coffee mug to top the pumpkin spice latte with fresh whipped cream you are holding in the refrigerator.
- Sprinkle a pinch of pumpkin pie spice over the whipped cream topping. Grab your warm mug and enjoy!
- If your whipped cream begins to look curdled from overwhipping, add 1 teaspoon of cold heavy cream to your whipped cream and continue to blend until the whipped cream reaches the correct consistency.
- If possible, place the mixing bowl you intend to use to make whipped cream into the refrigerator to ensure it is cold when whipping the cream!
- Be careful when frothing the hot mixture! Frothing too fast or vigorously may result in hot splatter everywhere!
- Use espresso or dark roast coffee when possible - the strength of the coffee can help complement the flavors of the pumpkin spice latte.
- To make the pumpkin syrup in a large batch, combine equal parts pumpkin purée and maple syrup (⅓ cup) with 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, and 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice and whisk until combined. Store this in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week! Then, follow the rest of the instructions the same way.