Better Than Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte

One of the things I hear many people liking about fall is the return of Pumpkin Spice Latte to Starbucks! And I admit, I love it too but I'm much too frugal (some relatives would say tight! lol) to pay out that much money for one cup of coffee. But hubby and I did head out to our local Starbucks to purchase one just so I would have a comparison for this post. BTW, we got sidetracked and our trip for a latte turned into a king size mattress and bed purchase. Another story...

I found this wonderful recipe on Why do I think this latte is better than Starbucks? Well, for one thing it actually contains pumpkin! Look at the nutritional information on their web page and you will see that Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte contains "real pumpkin pie spice" but no real pumpkin! Its also better because you can make a big batch of the base in advance and enjoy your own wonderful cup, without going out, anytime. (What a wonderful thing to be able to offer unexpected guests!) I already mentioned price, but seriously....the price of one of these, if purchased on a regular basis, could really add up. Ridiculous I say! And last reason, it actually does taste yummy good, in my opinion it taste like the one from Starbucks.

So this is what I did...

Mix pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and a good dash of pepper in saucepan
Cook on med for about 2 minutes

Add sugar and cook till just bubbly, be careful it will burn easily.
Add milk and vanilla extract and heat.
Add all to blender or use hand blender and beat till frothy.

Divide espresso or strong coffee between 2 cups,
add milk mixture and top with whipped cream.

  • 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice plus a little for garnish
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 to 2 shots espresso, about 1/4 cup (or 1/3 to 1/2 cup very strong coffee)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (for topping) whipped until firm peaks form
  1. Mix pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and generous shake of black pepper in a small saucepan. Heat on medium until its hot and smells cooked, about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Add the sugar and stirring until the mixture looks like bubbly thick syrup.
  3. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract and mix well. Continue to heat over medium heat till hot.
  4. Beat with a hand blender (be careful!) or in a traditional blender until frothy and blended. Make sure the blender container you use can handle the hot mixture without cracking.
  5. To make your latte divide the espresso or coffee between 2 mugs and add the frothed milk. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice if desired.
Notes about substitutions:
  • I advise using whole milk for the rich creamy taste but you can substitute milk with reduced fat if you like.
  • You can use a sugar substitute for the sugar if you wish.
  • You can use a ready made whipped topping instead of making your own whipped cream.
Makes 2 large cups

Increase quantities if you want to make a big batch to store.
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup vanilla extract
Refrigerate for up to 1 week and use as desired.
When ready to serve blend 1/3 cup of the above mixture with 2 cups hot milk and blend till frothy. Add to 1 or 2 shots espresso in a cup and top with whipped cream.


  1. I am a big lover of Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte although I order it with 1/2 of the "pumpkin spice" that they use! We rarely go because it is so expensive so I can't wait to make your recipe! It does seem like a lot of work but will be worth it to get through this cold weather we are having in Houston! I found your blog through a comment you left on my sister's blog. Enjoy your warmer weather ;)

  2. It does sound like a lot of work but once you make it you will see its actually pretty easy. I'm making a batch of the base to have on hand to make it even easier. Thanks so much for your comment and I hope you enjoy!