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Expert Shopper Kitchen

How to make a delicious pumpkin spice latte at home

Skip the lines at Starbucks with this tasty, easy-to-follow recipe

For many people, fall starts as soon as Starbucks and other coffee chains bring pumpkin spice lattes back to their menu. The pumpkin spice latte has become such a beloved beverage that most fans count down the days to its return each year.

But if you love these lattes, you don’t have to venture out to Starbucks when the craving hits. Our coffee expert, Branson Stowell, shared his favorite pumpkin spice latte recipe with us and how you can make it easily at home.

In this article: Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker, Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine and Rae Dunn Milk Handheld Milk Frother

How to make pumpkin spice milk/syrup

The star of any pumpkin spice latte recipe is the pumpkin spice milk or syrup that gives the latte its warm, fall-centric flavor and rich, creamy texture. To make your own pumpkin spice milk, you’ll need:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 to 3 ½ tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 2 ½ to 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 

While you can use any type of dairy or nondairy milk, Stowell prefers oat milk because it has some sweetness that enhances the other flavors in the mix. You can make your own pumpkin puree by roasting a pumpkin and running it through a food processor. According to Stowell, canned pumpkin puree from your local grocery store works just as well — and can save you valuable time when whipping up these lattes. 

The same is true for the pumpkin pie spice itself. You can find pre-mixed bottles at the grocery store, though you’ll usually get a fresher taste if you mix it yourself. Stowell suggests combining freshly grated ginger, nutmeg, ground cloves and cinnamon to make your own pumpkin pie spice. He even recommends adding a pinch of black pepper for some added heat. 

Once you have your ingredients prepared, whisk them all together in a saucepan. Bring it to a simmer over medium-high heat, removing it from the stove just before it reaches a boil. Each batch is enough for several drinks, so you can store any unused pumpkin spice milk in a mason jar or other sealed container in your fridge. It should last for about a week. 

Keep in mind that you can play around with the amount of each ingredient in the pumpkin spice milk to get the flavor you prefer. For example, Stowell recommends using the full 3 ½ tablespoons of pumpkin puree if you want a stronger pumpkin flavor for your latte — or less if you want a subtle hint of pumpkin. You can also adjust the sugar, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice amounts to get the milk to meet your taste preferences.

How to make a pumpkin spice latte

While waiting for the pumpkin spice milk to simmer on the stove, start brewing a strong cup of black coffee. Stowell likes using pour-over coffee, but you can also make your latte with coffee made in a French press or a drip coffee machine. Cold brew is ideal if you enjoy iced pumpkin spice lattes. Coffee houses usually use espresso in their pumpkin spice lattes, so that works well, too. 

The recipe calls for three parts coffee to one part pumpkin spice milk. If using espresso, use at least two shots of Americano-style espresso. Before combining the milk with your coffee, though, Stowell likes to take the extra step of using a milk frothing wand or frother to froth the milk. That creates a creamier consistency for your finished latte. 

And if you want an authentic coffee house experience, top your latte with whipped cream and a sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice. 

Essentials for making a pumpkin spice latte at home

Hamilton Beach Stack and Snap Food Processor and Vegetable Chopper

If you want to make your own pumpkin puree, this 12-cup food processor makes the task much easier. Its powerful 450-watt motor and two speeds can tackle even the hardest fruits and veggies. It’s also easy to assemble with a stack and snap design that doesn’t require twisting or locking. 

Sold by Amazon, Kohl’s and Wayfair

Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Triple Play Stainless Steel 3-quart Saucepan with Cover

This premium saucepan is ideal for mixing a batch of pumpkin spice milk. It has a pure aluminum core with heat surround technology that ensures even heat distribution. It’s also dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.

Sold by Amazon

OXO Good Grips 9-inch Whisk

This whisk has a narrow shape that makes it easy to mix all your pumpkin spice ingredients together in a saucepan. Its handle has a contoured shape that fits well in your hand, while the nonslip grip ensures you have control while you whisk. 

Sold by Amazon

Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker

This quick and easy pour-over coffee maker comes in multiple sizes, depending on how many cups you need each day. It has a permanent stainless steel mesh filter that provides the best-tasting coffee. Its compact design makes it easy to store, too. 

Sold by Amazon

Frieling Double-Walled Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker

This elegantly-designed French press features double-walled construction that provides excellent durability and reliability. All the parts are dishwasher-safe, and the two-stage filter system ensures there’s no sediment in your coffee. It also works well for loose tea. 

Sold by Amazon and Wayfair

Cuisinart Brew Central 12-cup Programmable Coffeemaker

This drip coffee maker offers 24-hour programmability, so you can have hot coffee waiting for you in the morning. It also has a variable heater plate that provides adjustable temperature control. The 12-cup glass carafe allows you to make coffee for a group when entertaining, too. 

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine

This professional-grade espresso machine features an integrated grinder and steam wand, so you have everything you need to make a delicious shot of espresso. It has digital temperature control and a grind size dial. 

Sold by Amazon and Macy’s

Bodum Bean Cold Brew Coffee Maker

If you prefer iced pumpkin spice lattes, this easy-to-use cold brew coffee maker is an excellent option. It can hold up to 51 ounces and contains BPA-free plastic parts that are all dishwasher-safe. The locking lid also prevents spills. 

Sold by Amazon

Rae Dunn Milk Handheld Milk Frother

This portable, battery-operated frother makes it easy to froth your milk in any container. It offers 1200 revolutions per minute for quick foaming, but it doesn’t make much noise when in use. It also cleans easily with hot water and has a slim design to fit in any cabinet or drawer. 

Sold by Amazon

Capresso Froth Max Milk Frother

This pitcher-style frother makes it easy to froth larger quantities of milk quickly and easily. It also allows you to heat your milk and has a cool-touch handle to prevent burns. It has dishwasher-safe components for easy cleaning. 

Sold by Amazon

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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money. 

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