Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte (the real deal)

Copycat homemade real food version of a Pumpkin Spice Latte

I promised to wait. But…

It’s all your fault. Okay, maybe not, 50/50?

The constant Facebook posts on fall, boot sales, apples, and pumpkin spice lattes can really mess with a gal’s head. So here I am, totally caving in to the fall season and it’s still ninety degrees outside. Peer pressure? Yep, totally caved to peer pressure at the ripe old age of twenty-nine. Embarrassing, but true.

Copycat homemade real food version of a Pumpkin Spice Latte

Once you give fall an opening into your life, you don’t just decorate the bookshelf with a couple of fake, happy pumpkins. Nope, once fall enters your brain and takes over your every thought pattern, you must completely surrender. Within just hours I went from popsicle-making to baking apples and sprinkling them with cinnamon (maybe it’s the cinnamon’s fault?). The apples and cinnamon led to fall playdough and fall gardening. And soon, homemade caramel apples were being dunked and pumpkin spice lattes were made. Oh my! I’ll stop at the boots since it’s still warm enough for bathing suits and AC.

I realize the only word you probably caught in all that fall talk was “pumpkin spice lattes”.  More like three words, one delicious thought. And if not, let’s stop and just meditate, “pumpkin spice lattes.”

Pumpkin spice lattes are the quintessential fall drink (thank you, Starbucks). At $6 a cup, this drink will have you broke before fall ever makes her debut and leave you with endless tummy aches from questionable ingredients. Real pumpkin? I don’t think so!

Copycat homemade real food version of a Pumpkin Spice Latte

Copycat homemade real food version of a Pumpkin Spice Latte

I’m all for enjoying special treats (without going broke). Real food is about more than salads (thank heavens!).  Real food is about finding better alternatives to the food so many of us love and enjoy. Pumpkin spice lattes can still be enjoyed, but instead of spending loads of money on a questionable drink, we can make a homemade version with a few simple (and cheap) ingredients that are actually decent for our bodies. Imagine that! 

Copycat homemade real food version of a Pumpkin Spice Latte

Copycat homemade real food version of a Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pull up a seat. I don’t bite. I’ll brew the coffee and whisk the milk and pumpkin, adding a few spices for flavor and homemade whipped cream for that extra special touch. It’s going to be good, homemade good! Trust me, you’ll want to stay. We’ll talk about fall and maybe even try on boots. Too far? Okay, we’ll just stick to the sipping.

Copycat homemade real food version of a Pumpkin Spice Latte

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte
Whipped Topping:
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (homemade)
  • 1 TB honey or maple syrup
  1. Brew the coffee. You may desire more coffee, so make a little extra if desired. Set the coffee aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, warm the milk, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and pumpkin. Whisk the ingredients until the milk begins to bubble on the sides. Turn off the heat and add the vanilla extract.
  3. Pour the warm milk in a large bowl or work in the saucepan. Use an immersion blender (like this) to create the milk froth. This is the secret to creating a homemade latte without an expensive machine. This little gadget is also perfect for pureeing homemade soups in the winter. If you don't have a immersion blender, vigorously whisk the milk in the saucepan as the bubbles begin to form (while heating the milk). This method won't create the same froth or texture of the immersion blender method, but it will still create a tasty coffee drink.
  4. Pour the frothy milk into a large coffee mug. Carefully pour the coffee into the frothy milk.
  5. For the homemade whipped topping: In a stand-mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or hand-mixer) whip the cream, vanilla, and honey/maple syrup for 2 minutes, until the mixture forms whipped cream.
  6. Spoon the whipped cream over the top of the pumpkin spice latte. Sprinkle with additional pumpkin pie spice.
  7. Serve warm.

This recipe makes one serving, but can be doubled to serve two.

To make this recipe dairy-free, use canned coconut milk (shake first before opening) instead of whole milk. Coconut cream (skimmed from the top of the coconut milk, don’t shake the can) can be used instead of heavy cream.

Copycat homemade real food version of a Pumpkin Spice Latte

 More Fall Recipes You May Like:


 Cinnamon Baked Apples


DIY Playdough for Fall 

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  • Sam says:

    looks good. I will make this when the weather gets cooler here in GA. Thanks Krisitn.

  • looks amazing! will definitely give it a try 🙂

  • Lauren says:

    Can’t wait to try this. Looks so good. Question- where did you get the mug? I’ve been wanting some just like that forever. Thanks!

  • Kris says:

    This looks sooo good!!

  • Sheila says:

    I love this blog. I love the recipes, the humor, the beautiful dishes, and more and more. It feels like a good visit with a treasured friend. Thank you for it all!! Can’t wait to make and enjoy this. Sheila

  • Cassidy says:

    This was amazing. If you can handle it, this is really awesome with a raw egg blended in for some awesome foamy goodness. And if anyone doesn’t have pumpkin spice on hand/doesn’t have time to mix it together really quick, I made this with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, and one shake of nutmeg, and it’s just divine. Thanks for the recipe! 🙂

  • Cassidy says:

    This was amazing. If you can handle it, this is great with a raw egg blended in for some awesome foamy goodness. And if anyone doesn’t have pumpkin spice on hand/doesn’t have time to mix it together really quick, I made this with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, and one shake of nutmeg, and it’s just divine. Thanks for the recipe! 🙂

  • Dena Norton says:

    Oh, Kristin….I just made this and it’s so much better than any Starbucks PSL. Rich and creamy with just enough pumpkin and maple. Perfection, my friend – perfection!

  • Lindsey says:

    This turned out so well, and in fact is much much better than the Starbucks version ! Great job ! It is actually the easiest recipe to follow as well compared to some others out there.

  • Jan says:

    Hi, Kristin. This Pumpkin Spice Latte sounds so amazing…and simple, especially for a non-cook like me. I am new to your blog but I really like what I see so far. I just added your information into my contacts; I see that you are in Florida so now I have to love your blog even more. 🙂 I am a native-born Florida girl but have not lived there in a long time. My husband and I visit when we can; we are really hoping to retire back to the beautiful Sunshine State!! Thanks again for your words of wisdom.

  • That spoon though… I heart it big time!!! Lol only another blogger would notice a pretty spoon amongst all of this pumpkin goodness!

  • Rosalea Peters says:

    Oh my goodness! I just made this today (after having it bookmarked for several days) and it is incredible!! It made a bit too much whipped cream for me, but my son happily obliged in licking the bowl clean 🙂

    Thank you for such an easy, amazingly yummy recipe.

  • I LOVE this! I was just working on a pumpkin recipe round up and this is definitely going on the list. Beautiful photos, Kristin! I am always so inspired by you, sweet friend! xo

  • Michelle says:

    I moved to Africa for a year and came back and couldn’t stomach Starbucks’ PSL because it tastes like chemicals to me. This is so much better and so easy. I love knowing what is in what I’m drinking. Thanks for sharing this perfect recipe!

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Michelle, That’s awesome! I’m so glad to help. I lived in Accra, Ghana, West Africa for two years (2002-2004) and loved it! Where did you live?

      • Michelle says:

        I love Africa! We lived in Kenya from 2011-2012. What did you do in Ghana? We worked at an orphanage – my husband helped build a new dormitory.

        • Kristin Marr says:

          Michelle, We lived at an orphanage. My parents moved to Ghana with an organization called, “Rafiki” and I followed them over there, taking a break from college. My dad was in charge of overseeing the finishing touches on the construction.

  • Caity says:

    I made this and both my husband and I loved it! However, when we got to the last few sips, all the pumpkin pie spice seemed to have accumulated on the bottom and we were drinking the powder. I don’t have an immersion blender and so I just whisked the milk with the other ingredients. Would the immersion blender prevent this from happening?

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Caity, The immersion blender takes care of the spices, blending them perfectly into the milk. Another option is to place the milk in a regular blender and blend for a few minutes. Just be careful not to put super hot liquid in the blender.

  • Lisa says:

    The first time I made this drink I didn’t use an immersion blender. I wasn’t that impressed with it. Second time, I used the immersion blender. Big difference! So tasty! I used almond milk, but will try coconut milk next time. So much better than syrup-based drinks.

  • Marcy says:

    OMG, this is sooooooo good!!!! Thank you thank you! I multiplied the recipe by a zillion to make a half gallon to share!

  • Cheri says:

    I bought myself an immersion blender for my birthday (along with a bread machine and dutch oven…girlfriend loves her food!) and I had this recipe in mind when I purchased it. I’m a Washington girl born and raised, so I grew up with a coffee stand or shop on every corner. When I moved to Kentucky a few years back I was so disappointed to find out that there are hardly any coffee shops in my area. Coffee is essential to me. I start every single day with it. While my standard black coffee brewed in a pot is great, I still crave a vanilla latte like the kind I would order at a store. I just made one by leaving out the pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice in your recipe. The immersion blender totally made it like a latte, foam and all! Super happy about it. It may be the latte that I just gulped down talking, but I am really jazzed right now =D Haha!

  • Lisa says:

    Looks great! I am wondering if you could do the same with black tea? It seems like you could, but I ne er know…

  • Lydia says:

    This looks and sounds absolutely delicious! I love pumpkin spice lattes any time of the year! So, even though it’s pretty much summer around here, I am totally making this tomorrow morning. I can’t wait! I’m half-tempted to make it right now. But, I might never sleep then. I can’t help it. I’m doing it! Who needs sleep anyway?

  • Kate says:

    This looks so yummy! I can’t wait to try it once the weather cools down a bit more in southern California! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    <3 and harp strings,

  • Mary Ellen says:

    Instead of an immersion blender, I have the milk mixture heated in a canning jar in the microwave. Once warm, screw the lid on. Shake vigorously and for less than $1 glass jar, you have frothy milk in less than 20 seconds.

  • Cat says:

    Oh my goodness, so delicious! Just made myself a little afternoon treat. Thanks for sharing the recipe Kristin : )

  • Celine says:

    I tried this recipe but it didn’t quite work out for me… I’m really grateful for your recipes though (especially your chai latte) but this isn’t my cup of tea I suppose. It may be because I used a different kind of pumpkin and boiled it in dices instead of putting the whole thing in the oven. I was lazy. Thanks for the recipe though, I had fun making it 😀

  • AlmaNely says:

    I just made this today and it was PERFECT! I don’t think I can drink the Starbucks PSL ever again! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  • Sydney says:

    Two notes for people in their quest to enjoy this amazing drink.

    1. Nutribullet (or Ninja, or any other brand) is great if you don’t have an immersion blender, and it makes it super easy to do quickly in the morning before heading to work. Generates lovely froth even.
    2. This works with English breakfast tea for those like me who are not coffee drinkers. (: just steep how you like, and add the mixture in after.

  • Kellie says:

    Made this earlier today and it was just what I was needing! Where did you get that yellow bowl?

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