DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte

By Abby Humphreys

Last Wednesday, the Daily Athenaeum posted a homemade pumpkin spice latte recipe. This week, I put the recipe to the test to see if it stood up to its popular Starbucks counterpart.


The recipe called for:

2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
coffee of your choice

I used 2% milk instead of almond milk and a Donut Shop medium roast Keurig k-cup since they were what I had on hand.


First, I combined the pumpkin, nutmeg and vanilla extract in a saucepan in accordance with the recipe. The kitchen immediately began to smell like a fall festival as the pumpkin warmed in the pan.

Once the mixture was heated through, I mixed in the milk and made a cup of coffee, making sure to leave room at the top for the pumpkin mixture. After pouring in the mix, I added whipped cream and let the drink cool before tasting.


The flavor of the pumpkin came through strongly in the drink and sweetened the boldness of the coffee, which I enjoyed. However, I noticed the nutmeg yielded almost a bitter flavor and ended up settling mostly at the bottom of the cup as the drink cooled.

Substituting pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon would likely solve this problem and give the drink a much different flavor. Using whole milk or half and half instead of 2% or almond milk would also make this pumpkin spice latte even more creamy than it already was.

The cost is also extremely reasonable: Starbucks charges anywhere from $4-5 for its pumpkin spice lattes, but this drink only cost around $2.90 to make.

Overall, the recipe took less than ten minutes to make and is extremely customizable. I’ll be trying this recipe again with some alterations long after the Starbucks pumpkin spice latte is taken off the menu.

All photos by Abby Humphreys


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