The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Can you feel it? Fall is almost here. I'm wearing a sweater today for the first time in months and couldn't be happier about it. This crisp, cool weather is indeed a welcome change.
One of the most anticipated events of autumn for those of us who love the combination of coffee and warm spices is the return of the the Pumpkin Spice Latte. While not Nordic in nature, it certainly the most hygge drink I know. It is the essence of cozy. Served by both national chains and local coffeehouses, the Pumpkin Spice Latte heralds the beginning of the fall season just as much as turning leaves, hay rides or a visit to the local apple orchard.
As much as I love a good Pumpkin Spice Latte, I do not love the way they make me feel. Too much sugar, especially in combination with coffee, has a tendency to leave me feeling great at first but then depleted of energy and shaky after a couple of hours. So while I love them as a delicious fall treat, I am careful to indulge only once or twice a season. It simply isn't worth the sugar crash I experience afterwards.
But those days are over, friends! Introducing the all-natural, super easy Pumpkin Spice Latte you can make at home in your very own kitchen! In fewer than 10 minutes (less time than it would take to get to the coffee shop and back) you'll be sipping on your own naturally sweetened, irresistible Pumpkin Spice Latte. No sugar crash necessary.
The ingredient list for this pumpkin spice latte is short and sweet with easy-to-find, natural ingredients:
- Milk. It can be whole milk, 2% or skim (I use whole milk). Or almond milk. Or oat milk. Or soy. Any kind will do. Because we are adding sweeteners and flavoring to our latte mix, it's best to choose a milk that is unsweetened and unflavored.
- 100% Pure Pumpkin Puree. Yes! The pumpkin flavoring in my Pumpkin Spice Latte comes from honest-to-goodness pumpkin puree. Nothing artificial here, but also easily accessible. Most grocery stores sell canned pumpkin puree in the baking isle.
- Pure Maple Syrup. This makes an excellent sweetener here with its toasty caramel notes. A perfect pair with pumpkin!
- Pumpkin Pie Spice. This is a convenient little mixture of all of the usual suspects you might find in a pumpkin pie: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves or allspice.
- Cardamom. You knew that was coming, didn't you? I can't resist adding a little cardamom to bring in those Scandinavian vibes, and it is quite at home here with the warm spices mentioned above.
- A pinch of salt. I've said it before and I'll say it again....a little salt brings out the sweet without allowing it to become cloying and over the top. It provides a much-needed balance that hits all the right notes.
- Espresso or Strong-Brewed Coffee. Espresso is very nice here but if you don't have an espresso maker at home, a small batch of strong brewed coffee will work just fine. I have a Jura coffee maker that makes a perfect 2 ounce shots of espresso for this.
- Whipped Cream (optional). At the coffee shop, your latte is likely to come topped with whipped cream. When I'm at home I'm inclined to skip this step but you do you! If whipped cream is what you need, so be it.
How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte at Home
The process for making a Pumpkin Spice Latte at home is quite simple:
- Combine your ingredients (other than espresso or coffee) in a saucepan and heat gently on the stove until steaming, whisking frequently.
- Make the coffee or espresso.
- Divide the coffee/espresso between two mugs and top each with half of the milk mixture.
- Top with whipped cream if desired.
What to Enjoy with Your Pumpkin Spice Latte
The Pumpkin Spice Latte really stands on it's own but if you're looking for a little something to enjoy alongside your latte, homemade Swedish Gingersnaps or Pepparkakor make an excellent accompaniment. Other fall treats that pair nicely:
I hope that you will welcome this wonderful season by making your own Pumpkin Spice Latte at home! If you do, please let me know in the comments below. I love hearing from you!
Cozy Pumpkin Spice Latte
- 2 cups milk any regular milk or nut/oat milk will work just fine
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice plus more for sprinkling on top
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
- Pinch of fine salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup hot espresso or strong coffee
- Sweetened whipped cream for serving optional
- Combine the milk, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, cardamom, salt and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture is hot and steaming, whisking frequently, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat ahd whisk vigorously until the mixture is frothy, about 30 seconds.
- Divide the hot espresso or coffee and the milk mixture between two mugs. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice if desired. Serve.