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Make Your Own: Pumpkin Spice Latte


Pumpkin Spice Latte

I’m not entirely sure what made me decide to make this recipe because I’ve never ordered a pumpkin spice latte, or PSL as they are commonly known, at Starbucks or any coffee shop.  Maybe it’s because the name made me think there’d be pumpkin flavoring in the coffee (yuck!) but when I saw the recipe I realized it’s pumpkin spice, not pumpkin and spice.  Did that make sense?

So I decided to give it a try.  I did a couple of things slightly differently then the recipe specifies.  First, I infused the milk the day before and stored it in the fridge.  I generally make my coffee as a little break in my work day so wanted to be able to pull this together fairly quickly.  I only frothed half the milk and didn’t even use it all.  I like my coffee drinks to emphasize the coffee more than the milk.  But that’s just personal preference. I know Starbucks adds whip cream to the drink.  This recipe doesn’t call for it and I normally skip the whip cream, but that might be something you’d like to add.

Since I’ve never ordered a “professional” version of this drink I have no idea how close it comes to what you’d get in a coffee shop, however, I thought it was really good! Now I get why people look forward to them.  Perfect for a slightly chilly morning.

DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte

Makes one latte.

  • 1 cup 2% milk (you can substitute whole or 1% milk)
  • 1 tablespoon demerara (raw cane) sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 allspice berries
  • 3 whole cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • 2 shots espresso

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, sugar, cinnamon stick, allspice berries, whole cloves and 1/8 teaspoon of the nutmeg. Bring to a simmer then turn off the heat, cover and let stand 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the whole spices and discard.

Heat the spice-infused milk over medium-low heat until hot, then use a milk frother to foam the milk (alternatively, you can transfer the milk to a blender and blend until foamy).

Pour the hot espresso into a mug and top with the hot milk, pouring the milk over the back of a spoon into the mug to hold back the foam. Then spoon the foam on top and garnish with the remaining nutmeg and the ground cinnamon.


You can find the original recipe here.


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