As most of us PSL fans already know, Starbucks has brought our favorite drink back in time for the start of fall. With this delicious concoction comes even more frequent visits to Starbucks (if that’s even possible), and more money leaving our bank accounts. Lord, have mercy.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
I remember trying the Pumpkin Spice Latte for the first time when I was 15. It was love at first sip. The PSL just confirms everything that’s good and right about the fall season.
All those warm spices – pumpkin, cloves, cinnamon – incorporated into a creamy latte that can pick you up on the worst of days.
When I lived in New York City, I probably drank a PSL every single day. There were two Starbucks shops within a 1 block radius of the building I worked at, and treating myself to a PSL every afternoon was the highlight of my day.
Estimating that a PSL is almost $4 a serving, I probably spent about $100 a month just on my PSL addiction, and that doesn’t even include my morning cup of joe that I got when I’d get off the subway. It’s kind of mind-boggling to know how much our caffeine addiction can cost us, but I find it more disconcerting that I didn’t beat Howard Schultz to the creation of the monopolizing coffee giant that is Starbucks.
If Mr. Schultz hadn’t beat me to the idea, I’m pretty sure I could have convinced those Shark Tank millionaires to invest in me with this recipe for a Pumpkin Spice Latte. The pumpkin-flavored milk itself is enough to win over anyone. I obtained the original recipe for this latte from Farmgirl Gourmet.
I like that it’s not as sweet as the syrup-y version that you get at Starbucks. Sometimes the PSL can be way too sugar-y and I just can’t seem to finish it because of that. It’s also all natural, so no artificial flavors or scary chemicals.
Anddd, just when you think it can’t get any better, know that it’s about 90 calories (including a couple tablespoons of whipped cream) for a full mug, which is equivalent to the 8 oz size of a Starbucks “Short” that contains 210 calories. So yay for saving money and saving calories!
You will definitely have leftover “pumpkin milk” if you’re just making this recipe for yourself, as I estimate it makes about 4 servings of milk. I just refrigerate mine to use for the rest of the week if I only brew enough coffee for myself.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
A warm, pumpkin-flavored latte. Copycat of the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte.
- 2 cups 2% milk
- 4 tbsp pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 3 1/2 tbsp sugar or more to taste if you like it sweeter
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups strong freshly brewed coffee (1/2 cup per person)
- whipped cream for topping
In a small saucepan over low heat, warm your milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, and spices. Whisk until everything is dissolved and combined (but not boiling). Use a spoon to test sweetness. If you want it sweeter, add more sugar to taste.
Once the pumpkin milk is hot, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. At this point, you can also use your cappuccino maker's froth nozzle to create a frothy mixture from your pumpkin milk, otherwise, you can use a whisk and to stir vigorously for about 30 seconds until you create some froth.
Pour half a cup of your brewed coffee into your mug and pour about half a cup of the pumpkin milk mixture. Top with whipped cream and a slight sprinkle of cinnamon. Refrigerate the rest of your pumpkin milk for later.