Pumpkin Spice Latte

Autumn = cooler weather (even in SoCal), falling leaves, pumpkins and…pumpkin spice lattes?! One time, long ago I ordered a pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks, took one sip, and threw it away (true story). It was disgusting…overly sweet with a funky aftertaste. Needless to say, I never went down that road again.

But…right around Labor Day, some of my Tweeps started posting up their longing for pumpkin spice lattes, and @Davethulu got the persistence award with pondering how to make a paleo version of this ahem, highly-awaited drink. After tossing suggestions back and forth, I decided to come up with a couple combos.

Our Twitter convo…


I’m trying to come up w/a pumpkin spice latte alternative. Ideas? What do you think of coconut milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, and pumpkin blended together then added to coffee?

@stephmccormack (me):

Have eaten the aforementioned but would never put it in my coffee :/

[Tip: never say never.]

@tcita (to @Davethulu and myself):

I would use nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, maybe a dash of honey, and milk/coconut milk.

Okay, okay…twist my arm already (haha…I love tinkering in the kitchen so it’s all good)!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



2 oz. freshly brewed espresso*

1/4 c. full fat coconut milk**

1-2 tbsp canned pumpkin

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground ginger

Splash of pure maple syrup***

Splash of pure vanilla extract


1. Brew your espresso. *If you don’t have any espresso machine, don’t freak out. Make some very dark espresso or french roast drip coffee.

2. Froth the coconut milk using the steamer on your espresso machine. **Again…no machine? Heat the milk in the microwave. It just won’t be foamy and give the same consistency. Sad face. Heavy cream also works well here.

3. In a small container, combine the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Shake to combine. You will only be using about 1/8 tsp per cup, so save the rest.

4. Combine espresso, steamed coconut milk, 1-2 tbsp of pumpkin, vanilla extract and 1/8 tsp of spice mix. Add splash of maple syrup if you prefer. ***If I know you used the fake junk, I will hunt you down! Would also be good with no sweetener at all (my preference). Stir to combine.

5. Top with foam and sprinkle with a pinch of spice.

6. Delight in your fall inspired drink and the fact that you saved yourself $4.50.

I made three variations then volunteeredtold Dan to try all three and give his thoughts without telling him the ingredients.

Cup #1:

espresso, coconut milk, pumpkin, spices and maple syrup

Cup #2:

espresso, coconut milk, pumpkin and spices

Cup #3:

espresso, coconut milk and spices

Not surprisingly, he chose #1 as his favorite. When asked what he liked about it, he mentioned it was a tiny bit sweet (really now, who wouldn’t like that) and had another “layer” of flavor that he couldn’t pinpoint at first. Success! The result perfectly married the flavors of pumpkin pie without being sludgy or heavy or overpowering in the pumpkin department.


9 thoughts on “Pumpkin Spice Latte

  1. Pingback: Pumpkin coffee and other signs of fall, or where to find hidden dairy in your soy latte | From Shelly's Kitchen

  2. i love pumpkin, but I don’t drink coffe…anyway to make a pumpkin flavored drink that doesn’t involve coffee but still tastes delicous?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s