The Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte will be available this year on September 8th.  In preparation, I decided to spend part of my labor day weekend attempting to make a homemade version.  Labor day weekend is as bitter sweet as it gets.  I’ll take a three day weekend anyway I can get it, but it marks the unofficial end of summer.  For many like myself, it also rings in the pumpkin-spice-everything fall season.  Right about now, I begin to search the grocery aisles for orange tinged product packaging and try to get my hands on every orange food colored variation of my favorite junk food.

My goal with this recipe was to see if I could make a convincing enough substitute using almost no special equipment.  I don’t have an espresso machine, or a milk frother.  This recipe needed to be simple enough that the average person would be well equipped to take on.  I googled around quite a bit, and compared several different techniques before deciding on trying this food network recipe due to the ingredients and technique.

As predictable as leaves changing colors, each season there are countless articles that crop up warning of the perils of the Starbucks PSL.  Bottom line is, the Pumpkin Spice Latte’s we’ve been enjoying for years have had some pretty gnarly stuff in them including some caramel coloring that is apparently the worst thing humans can consume.  Fortunately, this year Starbucks has changed their tune and have decided to get a little more natural.  Nothing can be more natural than making it yourself, so lets get to it.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte Receipe

Yield: 1 Latte


  • Coffee brewer of your choice
  • emersion blender (optional)


  • 1/4 Cup Strong ass coffee or Espresso
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 2 Tbs pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tbs Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • A dash of nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

The great thing about making a Pumpkin Spice Latte at home is that you can vary it to your liking the more you make it.  Since I don’t have an espresso machine, I decided to use my Aeropress to make some really strong brew.

You could also just brew some coffee using a regular drip machine and load her up with twice the amount of grinds you’d normally use to give it a heavy coffee taste.

Next you just want to begin adding all the ingredients that aren’t coffee to a bowl and stir together

Now you have two components, coffee, and flavored milk.  We need to make these be a latte.  Use a stove or a microwave and get the milk really hot.  At this point I tried three different methods with the milk to try to replicate a frothing wand on an espresso machine:  Whisk the hell out of the milk, put it in an airtight container and shake the hell out of it, and use an emersion blender to blend the hell out of it.  Warning:  Do not put hot milk into airtight container and shake… bad things will happen.  The best option was the emersion blender.  The whisk option works as well, but work in smaller batches or you will be whisking all day.

Add the milk to the coffee and top with some more cinnamon. With the emersion blender method, you get a frothy foamy milk throughout. So it kind of tastes like a hot pumpkin spice latte flavored milkshake.  You don’t get a true foam with a distinct layering, but it still tastes as good–if not better–than what I buy at Starbucks.

Pumpkin Spice LattePumpkin Spice Latte
The end result was super easy to make, way cheaper, and way more natural than the pumpkin spice latte you can get at Starbucks.