Pumpkin spice lattes are a fall-favorite for many coffee drinkers, but you can only buy them in autumn and they are pricey! If you’re looking to save money or would like to enjoy this seasonal favorite outside its usual season, why don’t you make your own? The drink can be made on the stovetop or in the microwave. If your interest is piqued, continue reading to discover how to make this hot latte using both methods.
Makes 1 large serving or 2 small servings
1/2 cup (125 ml) strong brewed coffee
1 cup (250 ml) milk
2 Tbsp (30 ml) pumpkin puree
1 tsp (5 ml) white granulated sugar
2 tsp (10 ml) light brown sugar
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
Whipped cream (optional)
Ground cinnamon (optional)
Method 1 of 2: Stovetop and Blender
Brew your coffee. You can use any method and brand when brewing the coffee, but you need to produce at least 1/2 cup (125 ml) of strong coffee.
- Weak coffee will not pack enough punch to stand against the sweetness of this latte.
- You can use a traditional coffee machine to make a full batch of coffee and simply take 1/2 cup (125 ml) from that. You could also use a single-serve coffee maker to produce the needed amount without extra waste.
- Alternatively, use instant coffee. Look for a brand specifically labeled as “strong”. Add one single-serve packet or 1 1/2 tsp (7.5 ml) of instant coffee granules to 1/2 cup (125 ml) of boiling water. Stir well to combine.
- Set the coffee aside until the pumpkin latte liquid is ready.
Combine and heat the milk, pumpkin puree, and sugars. Whisk these three ingredients together in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until the mixture begins to steam.
- Stir the ingredients continuously to prevent the milk from scalding.
- The type of milk you use is up to you. Whole milk will produce the most rich taste and the most froth, but nonfat milk will also become frothy enough to work with and will produce a slightly healthier drink.
- Pumpkin puree is simply pumpkin that has been cooked and mashed. Canned pumpkin works, but be sure to not use canned pumpkin pie mix.
- You could also use your favorite sugar substitute instead of sugar if you want a lower-calorie drink.
Stir in the vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice. Remove the steaming pumpkin milk from the stove and whisk in your vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice.
- If you do not have pumpkin pie spice in your pantry, make your own by combining 1 tsp (5 ml) ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) ground nutmeg, 1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) ground ginger, and 1/8 tsp (0.625 ml) ground cloves in a small bowl. Take what you need and store the rest.
Blend the mixture. Transfer the warm, spiced pumpkin milk to a blender and blend on medium speed for 15 seconds.
- The mixture should become very foamy. Expect more foam if you used whole milk and less if you used low-fat or nonfat milk.
- If you do not have a blender, use a wire whisk to to rapidly and thoroughly whip up the milk mixture by hand.
- Similarly, you could also use an electric hand mixer to whip up the mixture until it just starts to become frothy.
Pour the pumpkin-milk mixture and coffee into a mug. Pour the foamy milk into a large mug before slowly pouring the brewed coffee on top.
- The coffee and milk should combine well enough on their own without additional mixing, but if not, you can gently mix them with a spoon. Do not mix too long or too quickly, however, since doing so could release air from the frothy milk.
- If you want smaller drinks, you could also break this down into two small mugs.
Top with whipped cream and cinnamon. If desired, you can decorate the pumpkin spice latte with whipped cream and sprinkle it with a dash of ground cinnamon.
- Alternatively, use ground nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon.
Method 2 of 2: Microwave
Brew your coffee. Use your favorite brand of coffee to brew 1/2 cup (125 ml) of strong coffee.
- Make sure that you start with strong coffee. This latte is fairly sweet, and in order to produce the right balance of flavors, your coffee should be fairly strong. Do not use weak coffee.
- Use a standard coffee maker or single-serve coffee maker to brew a batch of coffee. Take 1/2 cup (125 ml) of coffee from this batch for your latte.
- Use instant coffee if you don’t have a coffee maker or want to avoid the waste. Buy a variety specifically marketed as being strong, when possible. Add 1 1/2 tsp (7.5 ml) of instant coffee granules or one single-serve packet of granules to 1/2 cup (125 ml) boiling water. Mix well by stirring it with a spoon.
- Set aside until ready to use.
Mix together the milk, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract. Whisk these five ingredients together in a microwave-safe glass bowl.
- Whole milk will produce the creamiest flavor and frothiest texture, but low-fat or nonfat milk will also work if you are looking for a way to make the latte healthier.
- Use homemade pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin, as both of these are little more than cooked and mashed pumpkin. Do not, however, use canned pumpkin pie mix, since this already has other ingredients blended into the pumpkin.
- If desired, you could use a sugar substitute instead of the brown sugar.
- If you do not have pumpkin pie spice, make your own by mixing together 1 tsp (5 ml) ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) ground nutmeg, 1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) ground ginger, and 1/8 tsp (0.625 ml) ground cloves in a small bowl. Take what you need and save the rest.
Microwave the mixture for 1 to 2 minutes. Leave the bowl uncovered and microwave it on full power.
- Watch the milk mixture carefully as it heats, especially once it passes the 1-minute mark. Remove it as soon as it begins to steam and become frothy.
- If you are concerned about splatter, use a bowl with high sides to reduce the amount of milk that splashes out. You could also loosely cover the bowl with a paper towel.
Pour the pumpkin mixture and coffee into a mug. Transfer the steaming pumpkin-milk into a large mug. Pour the hot brewed coffee over it.
- If desired, you could also break this up into two smaller portions by pouring the milk and coffee into two smaller mugs.
Add the sugar. Mix in the white sugar, stirring gently to dissolve it.
- You can add more sugar if you prefer your latte to be even sweeter.
- The milk should already produce a creamy enough latte, but if you used nonfat milk and would like an even richer taste, you could also stir in a little half-and-half cream.
- Stir gently. Stirring the mixture too quickly or too much can break down the air bubbles that formed in the milk.
Garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon, if desired. Decorate your pumpkin spice latte with a generous portion of whipped cream and sprinkle with ground cinnamon to taste.
- You could use ground nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice instead of the cinnamon if you prefer either of these flavors.