While long-sleeved shirts and knit scarves are both worthy reasons to get stoked about the fall season, we all know the real reason folks get hyped once the temperatures start dropping:
Pumpkin spice lattes!
As always, I woke up extra early and bolted to the nearest Starbucks to get my first fall-flavored latte on September 4th – the first day they appear back on the menu – but I must admit, it was a bit painful to shell out the $5 for my tasty treat. So I decided to make my own.
After testing out a few different recipes, I nixed a few ingredients, made a few tweaks, and came up with my own (slightly) healthier version of this pumpkin-flavored drink.
And when I say ‘healthier‘, what I really mean is that I used 2% milk instead of whole milk, and only refilled my whipped cream once instead of five times. Baby steps, right?
What could be better than a homemade pumpkin spice latte served in a mason jar?
Here’s how to make your own homemade pumpkin spice latte
(with unlimited whipped cream refills, of course):
What you need:
For the pumpkin-y mixture:
½ cup 2% milk
1 teaspoon brown sugar (I use light brown)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon canned pumpkin puree (I use unsweetened)
1 cup coffee (the stronger, the better, if you ask me!)
3 cubes of white sugar
half & half creamer (to taste)
ground cinnamon (optional)
How to make your pumpkin spice latte:
- In a microwavable bowl or cup (OR MASON JAR!), mix together the pumpkin mixture ingredients (milk, brown sugar, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, and pumpkin puree). It’s best to use a whisk, but for us dirtbags, a thorough mixing with a regular ‘ole spoon will do.
- Microwave the mixture for about 1:45 (minutes). The timing may vary, so keep an eye on your milk – you want it to get nice and frothy.
- Pour the frothy mixture into a tall glass (ahem, MASON JAR!), and add your coffee. Stir in half & half, and sugar. I use sugar cubes to control my outrageous sugar portioning, but a spoonful or two should be fine if you use it in non-cubed form. It’s all about personal taste!
- Load up on the whipped cream. And feel free to continue loading up on the whipped cream! Sprinkle some cinnamon on top, if you so please.
Note: Personally, I tend to take forever to finish my coffee. I like to let it sit around and get a little cold before I drink my coffee – disgusting, I know. If you’re like me, be aware that the pumpkin puree tends to settle on the bottom after sitting around for too long – so drink up quicker, or be sure to stir your latte so you don’t get a mouthful of pumpkin at the bottom.
This recipe will provide the yummy goodness of one fairly sizable latte. I usually end up making one for both Niko and myself, so I just double up on the ingredients for the mixture, then let Niko add cream/sugar as he pleases – he likes his coffee more bitter, so he adds way less sweetener than I do.
There you have it folks, a homemade alternative to your favorite Starbucks drink. This do-it-yourself pumpkin spice latte is way more budget friendly than the Starbucks version, and you don’t have to change out of your pajamas to enjoy one! I’ve been drinking them in the mornings out in my garden, and it’s become my favorite way to begin chilly fall days. Plus, everything is better in a mason jar.