Pumpkin Spice Latte

Make fall mornings better with a homemade pumpkin spice latte! Be your own barista and make an easy pumpkin spice syrup to add to your coffee drinks.

an homemade pumpkin spice latte in a brown metallic ceramic mug

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Grabbing coffee drinks when out and about is always a treat, it’s even more delicious to make them at home, whether it’s a cinnamon dolce latte or an iced caramel macchiato.

When sweater season arrives, you can grab a pumpkin spice latte when you’re out and about…

Or you can whip one up from the comfort of your own kitchen with real pumpkin and spices, and your favorite espresso and milk. Which one will you choose?

Why you’ll love this recipe

Making your own PSLs at home is going to be your new favorite treat in the cooler months.

  • Pumpkin spice lattes are the ultimate homemade treat.
  • You’ll know exactly what’s in each sip. No corn syrup here!
  • Easily customize the spice and sweetness level to your liking.
  • You’ll save money making your PSLs at home.

If you don’t have a Starbucks near you, then making your own PSL is even more satisfying. (Bonus points if you make some easy pumpkin bread to go with it.)

Enjoy them on crisp fall mornings, for an afternoon pick-me-up or anytime you get the craving for some pumpkin spice and caffeine. They’d also be delicious served for a fall brunch or get-together with friends.

closeup of a pumpkin spice latte

What is a pumpkin spice latte?

In case you’ve been living under a rock since 2003, the pumpkin spice latte is a Starbucks drink available in the fall season, sometimes even through the wintertime.

Commonly known as the PSL, it combines the flavors of pumpkin pie by layering espresso, pumpkin spice syrup, steamed milk and whipped cream for a truly delightful seasonal treat.

But it doesn’t stop there. Dunkin’ Donuts also has its own pumpkin spice latte that they bring out this time of year, and it’s not uncommon to see pumpkin-flavored coffee drinks on the menu of coffee shops everywhere.

a hand holding a gold spoon dripping pumpkin spice syrup into a jar

Pumpkin spice syrup

To make a PSL at home, you’ll need a pumpkin spice coffee syrup.

It’s so easy to whip up your own and you probably already have the spices on hand. You can use pre-mixed pumpkin pie spice, or make your own.

Then you’ll want to mix it on the stove with sugar and water, then strain out the spices. I’ve got a full tutorial for my pumpkin spice syrup for you.

If buying your syrup is what you prefer, then I found this Torani pumpkin sauce, this Torani pumpkin spice syrup and this Monin pumpkin spice syrup, which are probably pretty close to my recipe, although I’ve not tried them.

Another thing I love about pumpkin spice syrup is that you can use it in everything from coffee drinks to cocktails, like this pumpkin spice old-fashioned.

two homemade pumpkin spice lattes on a white background with mini pumpkins and a jar of pumpkin spice syrup

Ingredients

To make a pumpkin spice latte, you’ll need just a few ingredients. I aim to show you how to make yours like a copycat Starbucks pumpkin spice latte, but I do make a few modifications to make it my own. You can make yours your own too!

Pumpkin spice syrup

You can either make your own pumpkin spice syrup or you can purchase it.

If you don’t like pumpkin or don’t have any on hand, check out this pumpkin spice latte without pumpkin.

If you have leftover syrup, use it to make a pumpkin spice mule cocktail or a pumpkin spice white Russian, which use the same pumpkin syrup. There’s no coffee flavor in the mule, but pumpkin pairs so beautifully with ginger so it tastes like a pumpkin pie cocktail.

Espresso

Next you’ll need espresso. I recommend a darker or medium roast. Feel free to make decaffeinated espresso — it is practically the same in flavor.

  • If you’re using a Nespresso machine, the Ristretto capsules are my favorite because they are dark and pair well with the sweet pumpkin syrup and milk. If you’d like to keep decaf on hand, try these decaf capsules.
  • If you’re using another method (more on that below), you’ll need a high quality ground espresso. A really strong coffee will also work in a pinch.

Milk

Choose your favorite milk for your PSL. Whole milk is my go-to, but sometimes I will make my pumpkin spice latte dairy-free with lactose-free milk or nut milk.

A pumpkin spice latte with oat milk is actually really good because oat milk froths really well. Almond milk, soy milk or any other non-dairy would also be just fine!

My homemade pumpkin spice syrup contains no animal products, so if you choose plant-based milk then you can enjoy a vegan pumpkin spice latte.

Toppings

If you want to add whipped cream, go for it. I don’t usually do this for my PSLs — I am happy with the perfect latte foam on top.

However, Starbucks does use “whip” and you definitely may if you like! Homemade whipped cream is my fave if you go this route.

Lastly, a little sprinkle of spice makes it taste just like the coffee shop. You can go for pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon. You only need a pinch.

Espresso dripping out of an espresso machine into a glass espresso shot glass with a handle. .

How to make a latte at home

With an espresso machine

An espresso machine is definitely the easiest way to make a pumpkin spice latte like Starbucks’. Personally, I use this Nespresso machine

It’s great to whip up easy lattes, cappuccinos and americanos. You can even enjoy an affogato for dessert — it’s espresso poured over ice cream and it’s so delightful.

Espresso machines are expensive, but when I added up what we were spending on coffee shop trips, it made the expense worth it to me.

Without an espresso machine

Don’t fret! You can still make a pumpkin spice latte without an espresso machine. You have a few options:

  • Aeropress: Learn how to use this easy method for making coffee and espresso with this tutorial. I have tried this before and it’s really delicious!
  • Stovetop espresso maker: You can make your pumpkin spice latte on the stove by making your espresso in this cute little pot!
  • Instant espresso powder: This is probably my least favorite method because I think fresh is better, but the instant stuff can still be good in a pinch, especially if you are traveling or can’t access these other methods.

Check out these tips for making a latte without an espresso machine.

Steamed milk

After you make your espresso, or while you are making it, it’s time to steam your milk. There are a few ways you can steam your milk of choice:

  • Milk frother machine: I use the Aeroccino that came with my Nespresso machine. This milk frother is similar and a much cheaper option.
  • Hand-held milk frother tool: Before I had an espresso machine, I used a milk frothing tool like this one. You’ll want to warm your milk first, then you can use this neat electric whisk that will get your milk nice and foamy.
  • Microwave: You can also steam your milk in the microwave! Always a great option if you don’t have the other tools.
  • In a French press: This tutorial shows you how to froth milk with a French press. This is another fantastic option
an homemade pumpkin spice latte with mini pie pumpkins on a white background

How to make a Pumpkin Spice Latte

Once you have made your espresso and steamed milk, follow these instructions:

  1. In a latte mug, add the your espresso and as much pumpkin spice syrup as you like. (I do ½ ounce because I like things on the less-sweet side.) Stir them together.
  2. Then spoon in the foamy steamed milk. If you know how to do latte art (lucky you!) then have at it here.
  3. If you’re adding whipped cream, that comes next.
  4. Sprinkle on a pinch of cinnamon sugar or pumpkin pie spice, and enjoy!

Variations

Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte

If you want a chilly PSL, you can easily make that at home too!

  1. Add the pumpkin spice latte syrup to a glass.
  2. Stir in cooled espresso.
  3. Top the mixture with ice.
  4. Then top with steamed milk.
  5. Add whipped cream and/or a sprinkle of spices.
  6. Stick in a straw and enjoy!

Starbucks also has another pumpkin drink that’s so good this time of year. Try making the pumpkin cream cold brew at home too!

closeup of an homemade pumpkin spice latte with a jar of homemade pumpkin spice syrup on a white background

Boozy pumpkin spice latte

Feel free to make yours a spiked pumpkin spice latte! Try adding 1 to 1 ½ ounces of these spirits and liqueurs to your coffee:

top view of an homemade pumpkin spice latte with a jar of pumpkin spice syrup and mini pumpkins

More copycat Starbucks recipes

Love Starbucks drinks? Try making these recipes at home:

More pumpkin spice recipes

What goes better with a pumpkin spice latte than some pumpkin spice foods?! Try one of these great ideas:

closeup of a pumpkin spice latte

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Yield: 1 latte
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

A homemade pumpkin spice latte is just as good, if not better, than a store-bought one!

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup brewed espresso or very strong coffee
  • ½ ounce pumpkin spice syrup, to taste
  • ½ cup whole milk, or your favorite milk
  • ¼ cup whipped cream, optional
  • pinch of pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Make your espresso. Then add to a latte mug and add pumpkin spice syrup. Stir to combine.
  2. Make steamed milk. Use a milk frother machine or a milk frother tool to froth warm milk.
  3. Pour the milk over the espresso.
  4. Top with whipped cream, if desired, and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 208Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 176mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 12g

Did you make this recipe?

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