Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep/Total Time: 15 min.
Yearning for a pumpkin spice latte but can’t wait for fall? It’s always PSL season with this pumpkin spice latte recipe, which uses real canned pumpkin for authentic autumnal flavor. 

Updated: Jul. 08, 2024

Before 2003, the biggest event in the pumpkin calendar was Halloween, and hot chocolate would have been our No. 1 choice for a warming winter beverage. Then Starbucks launched its pumpkin spice latte, and everything changed. The sweet, rich, aromatic and creamy fall favorite is now everywhere for a relatively brief period and has even become popular around the world.

You can enjoy it all year round and whip it up faster than your local coffee shop by following this easy recipe for pumpkin spice latte. Whereas the original didn’t contain actual pumpkin (it does now), this recipe uses real canned pumpkin and contains a lot less sugar than the pumpkin sauce you’ll be served over the counter. It’s naturally sweet, instantly soothing and quick to release its spicy autumnal aromas.

Ingredients for Pumpkin Spice Latte

  • Milk: Use whole milk, 2% or nut milk, as long as it’s thick enough to froth easily.
  • Pumpkin: Canned pumpkin is the base of this recipe. It’s 100% pumpkin and already cooked, so it won’t be overly sweet. Alternatively, you can make your own pumpkin puree if you have a gourd or two to use up.
  • Sugar: White sugar will do, but for a hint of fall caramel flavor, we prefer brown sugar or even maple syrup.
  • Vanilla extract: This gives the spice latte its warm background aroma and balances the coffee flavor nicely.
  • Pumpkin pie spice: You should find this easily in the baking section of your local store, especially around fall. It’s a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger, and you can even make pumpkin pie spice at home.
  • Espresso: Strong, assertive coffee is called for in this latte, so brew a hot espresso from a pod or stovetop pot.
  • Optional: You’ll want some whipped cream, pumpkin pie spice, ground nutmeg and cinnamon powder to dust on top.

Directions

Step 1: Heat the pumpkin milk

In a small saucepan, combine the milk, pumpkin puree and sugar. Stir the mixture over medium heat until it’s steaming, taking care not to let it burn or spill over. Remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice. Transfer it to a blender, cover and pulse for 15 seconds or until it’s foamy.

Step 2: Add the espresso and toppings

Pour the hot pumpkin milk into two mugs and add the freshly brewed espresso. Before serving, top each mug with whipped cream and a dusting of spice, as desired.

Editor’s Tip: Don’t want a blender to clean afterward? You can mix the pumpkin spice ingredients and give it enough air with a handheld milk frother instead.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Variations

  • Make an iced latte: Since you’re free to make this in any season, you can add it to your summer iced latte collection by blending the same ingredients as above and pouring it over ice cubes before topping with whipped cream.
  • Add a chai latte twist: Borrow some inspiration from another fall coffee shop favorite by adding a hint of turmeric, cardamom, ground allspice and star anise to your pumpkin pie spice mix.

How to Store Pumpkin Spice Latte

If you have leftover latte—and it can be too creamy for a second cup straight away—you can keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for later, but froth it again after reheating to get the same airy volume.

Can you freeze pumpkin spice latte?

Allow your latte to cool, hold the whipped cream, and you can store up pumpkin spice latte for the months ahead by pouring it into an ice cube tray. The next time you need a “hug in a mug,” just melt the cubes and bring to a simmer over a low heat in a saucepan.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Tips

How can I get a stronger pumpkin flavor?

Like most gourds, pumpkin is quite pulpy and not so strong on flavor. However, if you really want to bring out some surprising sweetness and depth, simmer the canned puree first until you have a thicker concentrate. You’ll unlock new pumpkin notes you never knew about!

Is pumpkin spice latte vegan?

As long as you start with nut, soy or oat milk, you have all the ingredients for a seasonal celebration of plant power that’s fully vegan. Choose a nondairy whipped cream if you’re adding it as an optional topping.

What goes best with a pumpkin spice latte?

To keep the attention on the wonderful autumn spices in the latte, enjoy this pumpkin spice latte recipe with coffee alongside a simple pastry, Danish or butter cookie. These won’t overpower or compete with the subtle cinnamon and nutmeg aromas.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Prep Time 15 min
Yield 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup hot brewed espresso
  • Optional: Whipped cream, pumpkin pie spice and ground nutmeg

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the milk, pumpkin and sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until steaming. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla and pie spice. Transfer to a blender; cover and process for 15 seconds or until foamy.
  2. Pour into 2 mugs; add espresso. If desired, garnish with whipped cream and spices.

Nutrition Facts

1-1/4 cups: 234 calories, 8g fat (5g saturated fat), 33mg cholesterol, 122mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate (24g sugars, 1g fiber), 8g protein.

I can't wait for fall to arrive so my favorite coffee shops will bring back pumpkin lattes. The rest of the year, I have to make my own version. With the right amount of spice, it tastes just like the popular version found at gourmet coffee shops.—Ellen Riley, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Recipe Creator