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Skip the Coffee Shop: Make Your Own Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte at Home

It will save you money and calories

By Jennifer GeerPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
Image by fortyforks/

The pumpkin spice latte. Whether you love it or you love to hate it, it’s the epitome of fall. Its arrival in the coffee shops means autumn is here. When the weather grows crisp, and the leaves turn colors, you can usually find me in a cozy sweater headed to Starbucks for my pumpkin spice latte fix.

But the benefits of making your own coffee beverage mean that you control the ingredients. You know exactly how many calories are in it. And you’ll spend a lot less money than you would at your local coffee shop.

I wanted a pumpkin spice latte without leaving my house. So, I did some searching, and I found the RecipeGirl Blog. My recipe is based on her Pumpkin Spice Latte. It’s pretty similar. I only changed it up a bit.

Time to get technical

Yes, I know this recipe is not a true latte. Lattes are made with espresso and steamed milk, usually with a ratio of one part espresso to three parts milk.

Technically, what we’re making here is a cafe au lait. The main difference is a cafe au lait is made with drip coffee, not espresso. And the ratio of coffee to milk is one-to-one.

Now that we’ve got the technical business out of the way, on to the recipe.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe

This recipe makes a 16-ounce beverage, which is the same size as a Starbucks Grande.


  • 8 ounces milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree (This is pure pumpkin puree. Do not use pumpkin pie filling.)
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 8 ounces drip coffee
  • whipped cream topping (optional)


  1. Whisk the milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, and spices into a microwave-proof bowl. Heat in the microwave until the milk gets steamy and frothy. Watch closely, as it will boil over quickly. You can also heat this on the stovetop.
  2. Whisk again, making sure the pumpkin, spices, and sugars are well combined.
  3. Pour your pumpkin milk mixture into a tall mug that can hold a 16-ounce beverage. I used my reusable Starbucks travel mug from last Christmas for authenticity.
  4. Pour 8 ounces of drip coffee into your mug. Or you can brew a cup from your Keurig directly into your drink. Select the 8-ounce option and be sure your mug is large enough that it will not overflow.
  5. Stir. Add more sugar if you like it sweeter.
  6. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. This step is optional. If you use Reddi-Whip, it’s only 15 calories per serving. Completely worth it, in my opinion.

Nutritional Content

According to their website, a Starbucks Grande (16 ounces) Pumpkin Spice Latte with 2% milk and topped with whipped cream has 380 calories and 14 grams of fat.

Our homemade 16-ounce pumpkin spice latte (with 2% milk and whipped topping) has only 184 calories and 6 grams of fat. If you use skim milk and skip the whipped topping, you can get it down to 129 calories.

Additional Notes

  1. If you want it vegan, use plant-based milk like almond, cashew, coconut, or soy. You don’t even have to give up the whipped topping. Whip up some canned coconut milk for a tasty whipped cream alternative.
  2. Want a vanilla latte? Leave out the pumpkin puree and spices.
  3. Make it an almond latte by leaving out the pumpkin and substituting the vanilla for almond extract.
  4. Save your pumpkin puree. Opening up an entire can of pumpkin puree just to use 2 tablespoons is wasteful. You can either use the rest for another recipe. Or store it in ice cube trays in the freezer. Each square makes one ounce. Pull it out and drop one frozen square into the milk before heating. Be sure to whisk well after it’s melted.

Note: This story was originally published on Medium.

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About the Creator

Jennifer Geer

Writing my life away. Runner/mama/wife/eternal optimist/coffee enthusiast. Masters degree in Psychology.

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