This Starbucks pumpkin spice latte tastes way better than the Starbucks version, uses pantry staples, is more economical, and can be made in less time than picking one up from the coffee shop. Let's make one now!
If you love Starbucks coffee drinks, you'll definitely want to try our copycat recipes for Starbucks apple crisp macchiato and Starbucks pumpkin cream cold brew. Don't miss our collection of 9 copycat Starbucks recipes, too!
Curious about how this latte come about? It was created by Peter Dukes, a former basketball player with degrees in economics and business, who started working at Starbucks in 2001.
Two years later, Peter and a team of Starbucks employees developed an espresso-based drink with pumpkin pie flavors. The drink has been an instant success since its introduction in 2003, and has even become a symbol of “basic” mainstream American culture.
Why This Recipe Works
- It's made with real food ingredients. That means it tastes better and is much healthier!
- It's customizable to your diet. You can easily reduce the sugar, make it dairy free, gluten free, or caffeine free.
- You can make it ahead. Mix up a batch of the pumpkin milk and keep it in your fridge for up to 5 days, then make a latte whenever you please!
This recipe takes eight simple ingredients, many of which you'll have in your cupboard or fridge. No artificial flavors or colors in sight! Let's talk about the key ingredients in this recipe.
- Pumpkin Puree: This puree adds an authentic flavor to the latte.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: This blend of warm autumn spices gives the latte its autumn aroma and flavor. Don't have it? Make some in 2 minutes with this recipe.
- Black Pepper: It might sound unconventional, but adding a little pepper really enhances the other spices.
- Vanilla Extract: This simulates the flavor of the vanilla syrup used in a Starbucks latte without the added sugar.
- Brown Sugar: This enhances the other flavors and adds hints of molasses to the latte.
See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Skinny Version: Reduce the sugar, or use stevia or monkfruit instead of sugar. You can also try a lower fat milk and omitting the garnish.
- Iced Version: Use cold brew instead of espresso and pour the drink over ice.
- Dairy Free Version: Swap the milk and cream for oatmilk or barista blend non-dairy milk (affiliate).
- No Coffee Version: Substitute decaf black tea for the coffee. This makes it similar to a London Fog, a latte made from Earl Grey tea and foamed milk.
- No Pumpkin Puree Version: Replace the puree with 1 ½ tablespoons of pumpkin spice syrup.
How to Make
Measure out the eight ingredients for the latte: pumpkin puree, pie spice, black pepper, vanilla, brown sugar, milk, cream, and coffee.
- Put the puree, pie spice, pepper, and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for about 2 minutes on medium heat until it begins to bubble and smells spicy. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Pour the milk and cream into saucepan and heat until simmering. Be sure to whisk until the mixture is incorporated into the milk.
- Blend the milk in a blender for at least 60 seconds on high speed until very well mixed and foamy.
- Pour ½ cup of coffee or ¼ cup of espresso into a glass.
- Pour ⅔ cup of the milk mixture on top and gently stir to combine.
- Top with homemade whipped cream. (It's super easy and tastes SO much better than store-bought.) Sprinkle on some pie spice and enjoy!
This coffee drink created by Starbucks in 2003 consists of espresso, foamed milk, and pumpkin spice sauce, which contains a small amount of puree. The drink is usually garnished with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pie spice.
The Starbucks one tastes quite sweet with lots of cinnamon and a very subtle pumpkin flavor. Our copycat recipe has subtle hints of coffee with a creamy, spicy flavor. The whipped cream and pie spice on top boosts the autumn flavors.
Overall, a Starbucks it isn’t healthy. A grande PSL made with 2% milk and topped with whipped cream contains an astonishing 50g of sugar! It’s much healthier to make your own PSL at home, without all the extra sugar, coloring, and preservatives that are in the Starbucks version.
Since the drink reminds so many people of pumpkin pie and Thanksgiving celebrations, its popularity has skyrocketed among Americans. The novelty of this spiced flavored coffee hasn't worn off, since the PSL craze continues to grow each year since its introduction in 2003.
If you're a fan of some now-discontinued drinks, try these recipes for Starbucks eggnog latte, Starbucks gingerbread latte, and Starbucks smoked butterscotch latte. Get our recipe for the most popular drink at this coffee chain: Starbucks flat white.
Make Ahead: The pumpkin milk mixture can be made in advance and refrigerated for up to 5 days.
- Use fresh pumpkin pie spice (no more than 3-6 months old). Otherwise, the drink won't have a good flavor.
- Blend the milk mixture thoroughly. This step adds foam to the milk and prevents settling or separation of the latte.
- Use freshly brewed coffee or espresso (less than 20 minutes old). The bitter taste of old coffee won't improve the latte.
- Make the milk mixture ahead of time. It will keep in the fridge for a few days--just re-blend it before using.
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Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte
For the Pumpkin Milk Concentrate (3 cups)
For the Latte & Decoration
- 2 cups freshly brewed strong coffee, or 1 cup espresso
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream, for decoration
- Pumpkin pie spice, for decoration
Making the Pumpkin Milk
- Place the puree, brown sugar, pie spice, and black pepper in a small saucepan. Stir continuously over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes, until the puree begins to bubble and sizzle and smells spicy. Mix in the vanilla extract, then spoon the mixture into a small bowl.
- Pour the milk and heavy whipping cream into the same saucepan and set over medium heat, whisking occasionally. When it begins to steam, add the puree concentrate and whisk continuously until well blended and smooth.
- Pour the milk into a blender and blend for at least 60 seconds on high speed.
- Use immediately, or pour into a glass jar, seal tightly, and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Re-blend the milk or shake well before using.
Assembling and Decorating the Latte
- Pour ½ cup of coffee and ⅔ cup of the milk mixture into a glass or mug to make one latte. Gently stir to combine. Serve warm or poured over ice.
- Pour 1 cup of heavy whipping cream into a small mixing bowl and beat until stiff peaks form.
- Pipe or spoon the whipped cream on top of the latte, then sprinkle a little pie spice over it. Serve immediately.
- Use fresh spices (less than 6 months old) for the best flavor and aroma.
- Cook the pumpkin mixture until it sizzles. This removes any "squash" flavor and enhances the spicy taste.
- Blend the milk mixture thoroughly. This foams the milk and prevents settling.
- Use freshly brewed coffee or espresso (less than 20 minutes old).
- In a hurry? Make the milk mixture ahead of time and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Reheat before making the latte.
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.