As most of us PSL fans already know, Starbucks has brought our favorite drink back in time for the start of fall. With this delicious concoction comes even more frequent visits to Starbucks (if that’s even possible), and more money leaving our bank accounts. Lord, have mercy.
I remember trying the Pumpkin Spice Latte for the first time when I was 15. It was love at first sip. The PSL just confirms everything that’s good and right about the fall season. All those warm spices – pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon – incorporated into a creamy latte that can pick you up on the worst of days. When I lived in New York City, I probably drank a PSL every single day. There were two Starbucks shops within a 1 block radius of the building I worked at, and treating myself to a PSL every afternoon was the highlight of my day. Estimating that a PSL is almost $4 a serving, I probably spent about $100 a month just on my PSL addiction, and that doesn’t even include my morning cup of joe that I got when I’d get off the subway. It’s kind of mind-boggling to know how much our caffeine addiction can cost us, but I find it more disconcerting that I didn’t beat Howard Schultz to the creation of the monopolizing coffee giant that is Starbucks.
If Mr. Schultz hadn’t beat me to the idea, I’m pretty sure I could have convinced those Shark Tank millionaires to invest in me with this recipe for a Pumpkin Spice Latte. The pumpkin-flavored milk itself is enough to win over anyone. I obtained the original recipe for this latte from Farmgirl Gourmet and used my Krups Cappuccino Maker to make the coffee and froth my milk. The result? A fabulous homemade version of the Starbucks PSL. I like that it’s not as sweet as the syrup-y version that you get at Starbucks. Sometimes the PSL can be way too sugar-y and I just can’t seem to finish it because of that. It’s also all natural, so no artificial flavors or scary chemicals. Anddd, just when you think it can’t get any better, know that it’s about 90 calories (including a couple tablespoons of whipped cream) for a full mug, which is equivalent to the 8 oz size of a Starbucks “Short” that contains 210 calories. So yay for saving money and saving calories! You will definitely have leftover “pumpkin milk” if you’re just making this recipe for yourself, as I estimate it makes about 4 servings of milk. I just refrigerated mine to use for the rest of the week.
- 2 c of reduced fat milk (2%)
- 4 tbsp of pure pumpkin (make sure you get pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling)
- 3 1/2 tbsp of sugar (or more to taste if you like it sweeter)
- 1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tbsp of vanilla extract
- 1/2 c of strong, freshly brewed coffee (if it’s just for yourself, or else multiply this by however many people you’re making it for)
- whipped cream for topping
- In a small saucepan over low heat, warm your milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, and spices. Whisk until everything is dissolved and combined (but not boiling). Use a spoon to test sweetness. If you want it sweeter, add more sugar to taste.
- Once the pumpkin milk is hot, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. At this point, you can also use your cappuccino maker's froth nozzle to create a frothy mixture from your pumpkin milk, otherwise, just skip ahead to the next step.
- Pour half a cup of your brewed coffee into your mug and pour about half a cup of the pumpkin milk mixture. Top with whipped cream and a slight sprinkle of cinnamon. Refrigerate the rest of your pumpkin milk for later.