As autumn approaches, social media lights up with pumpkin spice memes and gifs from lovers and haters alike. The lovers usher in the new season with pumpkin spice everything, from candles to coffee and cookies. Every year, the passion is quite a phenomenon to behold.
Although blended pumpkin pie spices have been around since the 1950s, the flavors didn’t hit the coffee world until 2003. That’s when Starbucks introduced the beloved pumpkin spice latte (affectionately referred to by fans as a PSL).
If you’re a pumpkin spice fanatic, you may be tired of standing in line and paying coffee shop prices for your favorite drink. Here, we’ll show you how to make a delicious pumpkin spice latte in your kitchen.
How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte:
What You’ll Need
1. Mix the first ingredients.
In a small saucepan, combine milk, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, sugars, and vanilla.
2. Heat the pumpkin mixture.
Place the pan over medium heat. Cook for about two minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is well blended and hot. You don’t want it to boil. Remove the pan from heat once the mixture is evenly heated.
3. Prepare your espresso or coffee.
If you’re using an espresso maker or machine, pull the shot directly into your glass. If you’re making coffee, pour two to four ounces into the glass.
4. Combine and serve.
Pour the pumpkin mixture on top of the espresso and mix thoroughly. Top with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice, if you’d like.
How you make this tasty drink is entirely up to you! You can make a pumpkin spice latte as indulgent or light as you desire. For a stronger drink, add an extra shot (or two!) of espresso. For a creamier drink, use whole milk or half-and-half.
If you’d prefer a healthier version, you can use a milk substitute, like vanilla almond, coconut, or soy. Leaving out the whipped cream or reducing the amount of sugar will also reduce the calories. Alternatively, you can substitute maple syrup, honey, or an artificial sweetener for the sugar.
Don’t want to fire up the stove? You can heat the pumpkin mixture in a jar in the microwave. Just be careful not to burn it!
How to Make Pumpkin Pie Spice
If you can’t find pumpkin pie spice at your local grocery store (check the baking aisle!), you can easily buy it online. You can also make it yourself! You’ll need five spices: cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, ground cloves, and ground nutmeg. Using equal parts of each spice (e.g., 1 teaspoon of each), you can mix up as much or as little as you need.
The Ballyhoo of Pumpkin Spice
Pumpkin pie is just as much a part of Americana during Thanksgiving season as hot dogs are during baseball season. Pre-mixed pumpkin pie spices have been available as a convenience since the 1950s. Curiously, somewhere along the way, the “pie” part was dropped, and it became simply referred to as pumpkin spice. Many people now wonder at the name, since there is no pumpkin in the mixture.
With the craze of pumpkin spice taking over America beginning every October, if not earlier, it comes as no surprise that pumpkin spice coffee beans and grounds are also available for purchase. It’s a flavor you either love to love or love to hate, but it’s a passion that’s here to stay. For the pumpkin spice lovers, keep on brewing your very own pumpkin spice lattes!
Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Small saucepan
- Whisk or spoon
- Tall coffee mug
- Espresso machine, portable espresso maker, or coffee maker (We used a Wacaco Minipresso)
- 1/2 cup milk any variety
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2-4 ounces strongly brewed coffee or 1-2 shots of espresso
- In a small saucepan, combine milk, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, sugars, and vanilla.
- Place the pan over medium heat. Cook for about two minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is well blended and hot. You don't want it to boil. Remove the pan from heat once the mixture is evenly heated.
- Prepare your espresso or coffee. If you're using an espresso maker or machine, pull the shot directly into your glass. If you're making coffee, pour two to four ounces into the glass.
- Pour the pumpkin mixture on top of the espresso and mix thoroughly. Top with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice, if you'd like.
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