DIY Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe: Make Your Own PSL Hot or Iced

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Pumpkin spice products are incredibly popular. The flavor brings hundreds of millions of dollars to coffee shops and food producers. Though pumpkin spice is usually associated with autumn, the profits flow year-round. In the 12 months ending in July 2023, pumpkin spice-flavored items brought in $803 million in sales.  

Pumpkin spice lattes, the Starbucks drink that began this flavor trend in 2003, are not cheap. These drinks come with an environmental impact, as well. A 2020 Guardian article claims that the UK went through 2.5 billion single-use cups per year. Only one of every 400 got recycled, and the overall carbon footprint for the year is equivalent to the emissions from 33,300 cars.

Homemade versions of the pumpkin spice latte are cheaper than cafe-bought ones. Reusable cups negate the environmental impact, too. Also, insulated vacuum bottles keep the drink hot or cold much longer than single-use paper or plastic.

Homemade pumpkin spice lattes save you money and reduce your footprint, but you need the right recipe and process to ensure your version is as good as or better than what you buy from a coffee shop.

How Do You Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte at Home?

Pumpkin Spice Latte In Black Stanley Mug

If you’re still wondering whether it’s worth it to make your own, homemade pumpkin spice lattes save money in the long run. A 2023 CNet article put the cost of homemade lattes at $1.35. This cost factors in the price of equipment, such as a coffee grinder and home espresso machine. Comparatively, a pumpkin spice latte costs $5.75 to $6.75 at Starbucks. That price doesn’t include the cost of gas to drive to the cafe and the extra time you need to spend on the road and waiting in line.

You might also get a sense of accomplishment from mastering the art of home coffee-making and using the right products, like an insulated mug, to make the experience of enjoying a hot beverage on a crisp day last longer.

Here is a recipe to get you started on the road to pumpkin spice latte perfection.


A pumpkin spice latte’s ingredients can vary depending on your tastes and need for convenience.

Lattes are coffee drinks, so the recipe starts with your beans.

    • A double shot of espresso is typical for a regular-size (12 to 16 ounces) latte. You can add more or less, according to your taste.

    • Brewed coffee is an alternative. You may want to make it stronger than usual. With regular-strength brewed coffee, the flavor will disappear behind the milk and spices.

    • Espresso roast or other very darkly roasted beans are the best option for getting the right balance of coffee flavor.

Lattes require one part espresso to 3.5 parts steamed milk.

    • Whole milk brings the creamiest texture after steaming due to its fat content, which helps preserve the surface tension of the tiny bubbles. However, low-fat or skim milk also works, depending on your dietary needs.

    • Almond, soy, and oat milk can serve as alternatives. You can steam these beverages, but they may not produce froth like cow’s milk due to the low fat content and weaker surface tension created during foaming.

    • The best milk substitute for iced lattes may be different than for hot ones because you don’t have to worry about flavor changes brought on by steaming.

Flavors are what set pumpkin spice apart from other lattes. Your flavoring agents can vary depending on your tastes and the amount of time you have to spend on the brewing process.

    • Pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice mix are the best options if you prefer natural flavors.

    • If you do not have a ready-made spice mix, you can concoct your own with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.

    • Pumpkin spice flavor mixtures, in liquid or powder form, can serve as an alternative if you are pressed for time. However, they may compromise the flavor.

    • Lattes traditionally use sugar as a sweetener, but honey and sugar substitutes also work. You might consider maple syrup if you want an extra authentic taste.

Once you have the ingredients in hand, it’s time to focus on putting it all together.


Woman Drinking Pumpkin Spice Latte From Stanley Mug

Here are the steps to create your ideal hot pumpkin spice latte.

    • Brew your espresso. You will want to use a fine grind to ensure the right strength. The coffee goes into the cup first to ensure the other ingredients don’t stick to the bottom.

    • Mix the spices. The easiest option is to mix the puree and spices into the coffee before adding milk. This allows you to stir well without spilling milk over the edge.

    • Add 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree and 1 teaspoon of pie spices. That’s ¼ tsp each of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg.

    • Follow the manufacturer’s directions if you use store-bought powdered or liquid pumpkin spice flavoring.

    • Froth the milk. You can increase the temperature to meet your preferences. Opinions differ, but most suggest a temperature between 140 and 160 degrees. If you go hotter than 170 degrees, the milk could scald, leaving you with a burnt flavor.

    • Add a layer of froth on top. You can create this by holding the steamer wand right at the surface when steaming milk.

    • You can add whipped cream instead of froth. If you want, you can sprinkle a bit of the pumpkin pie spices on the top as a garnish.

If you don’t have a vacuum thermos, an insulated pint cup is a good option. It will allow you to spray the whipped cream above the rim.

The iced version uses similar ingredients but in different proportions.

    • Brew the espresso and mix the spices just like a hot latte. The puree and spices need to be hot to mix properly, so do not add ice or milk during this step.

    • Add cold milk or milk alternatives to the mixture. You will mix again at this point to cool down the coffee and spice. Most recipes call for two parts milk. Depending on your preferred temp, you can add more.

    • Add ice. Ice will eventually melt, watering down the drink. Add one part to two parts of ice last.

Insulated cups can also keep drinks cold, slowing down the ice-melting process.

Ways To Enjoy Your PSL

Two Women Laughing And Enjoying Pumpkin Spice Lattes In Stanley Mugs

The drinking experience is important for specialty drinks like a pumpkin spice latte. You might find a perfect setting, under a blanket in your living room or out on a porch or patio taking in the autumn atmosphere.

You will also likely have a favorite coffee cup or mug for drinking your latte. If you venture outside or enjoy your coffee on the go, a thermos or covered mug is most practical. However, if you’re at home and want a generous dollop of whipped cream, a mug or cup will serve you better.

Hot Pumpkin Spice Latte

You will probably want to savor your pumpkin spice latte. If you’re drinking it hot, you need the right cup to keep it at the ideal 140- to-160-degree level for as long as possible. An admiral's mug with a tight lid is ideal for this purpose. A quality cup will keep the drink hot for four hours, giving you plenty of time to sip through the morning.

Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte

Ice will keep your latte cold while you drink it. However, it presents a different problem. Once it melts, the ice will dilute the flavors, giving your drink a more watery taste. A standard 1-inch ice cube melts in 15 to 20 minutes in cold liquid in a normal cup.

An insulated travel mug or other similar covered beverage holder can bring two benefits. First, it keeps the drink colder for longer, slowing the melting process. Second, you may be able to add more cold milk and use less ice to reach and maintain the desired temperature for your iced latte.

You can save money and time with a homemade pumpkin spice latte. However, you need to invest in the right equipment and ingredients and get the best cup or mug to keep your drink at the ideal temperature while you savor it.