The pumpkin spice latte has become as much an American tradition as jack-o-lanterns for Halloween and pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.
Starbucks is credited with creating the seasonal favorite, although it’s likely that someone somewhere whipped them up at home before they were first sold nationally in 2003.
The first lattes were flavored with the warm spices of fall. It wasn’t until 2015 that Starbucks added actual pumpkin to its drinks.
You can make your own at home, which allows you to control all aspects of the process including how much sugar, what kind of milk, how much spice and whether to add pumpkin puree.
Below is a recipe to make your own pumpkin puree, which can be used in any recipe that calls for canned puree. This basic recipe is from inspiredtaste.net.
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte
2 cups milk (dairy or non-dairy)
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree, or more to taste (use canned or follow recipe below)
1 to 3 tablespoons sugar, depending on how sweet you like it
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more for serving
½ cup strong hot coffee
whipped cream, for serving
You can use pumpkin puree from the supermarket or take advantage of the pumpkins now in season at local farmers markets. Don’t try to cook your jack-o-lantern pumpkin; it has been crossbred for looks, not taste and is tough, tasteless and stringy. Look for cheese or sugar pumpkins or ask your farmer if you aren’t sure what kind is best. After you make it, you will have plenty of puree left for a pie, cookies or other treats.
Easy Pumpkin Puree from Scratch
1 small baking pumpkin, 4 to 6 pounds
fine sea salt, optional