How To Make A Pumpkin Spice Latte From Homegrown Pumpkins

A pumpkin spice latte next to cinnamon sticks, mini pumpkins, and star anise seedpods
(Image credit: kobeza)

Few items spell fall like pumpkin spice. The blend of spices is the key to good pumpkin pie, but also shows up in other foods and home scents, like candles. For decades it has been the rage at coffee shops, showing up just as the leaves begin to change color. Its presence signals cooler weather and cozy habits like curling up with a good book and enjoying a homemade pumpkin spice latte.

Fans of pumpkin spice lattes should also know the sugary treat can pack in the calories. Is it possible to make a healthy pumpkin spice latte? If you make your own, you can control the amount and type of sugar, as well as the fat content. It all begins with a recipe for fresh pumpkin and some purchased spices. Learn how to make pumpkin spice latte at home and enjoy a personalized version of this Autumn treat.

Preserving Pumpkin

One popular coffee shop lists a pumpkin spice latte as containing 390 calories. If you have a bit of a fetish about the drink and order them frequently, that can add up quickly. But you can make your own latte and lower the sugars and fat in the beverage. Around September, grocery stores and farmer's markets are teeming with pumpkins, squash, and gourds. Many gardeners will also be harvesting their own pumpkins.

But what to make with fresh pumpkin? You can use it roasted as a side dish, put it in soups and stews, puree it for use as a pie filling or in other desserts, or can it for later use. Pumpkin puree is a key ingredient in a homemade pumpkin spice latte, customized for your tastes. Cut a small sugar pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. These can be reserved for roasting as a crunchy topping or snack. Sprinkle water on a baking pan and place the halves skin side up on the pan. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit ( 218 C.) for around 50 minutes or until the flesh is soft. Let it cool a bit and then scoop out the flesh. For beverages it will need to be smooth and pureed in a food processor or blender. Freeze or can for long term storage, or keep in the refrigerator for a week.

Recipe for a Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin spices may be purchased already mixed and ready to use. They will be in the baking aisle. But a homemade version will be cheaper and fresher and keeps for months if stored properly. You will need:

  • 1/3 cup ( 32 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons ( 10 grams) ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons ( 10 grams) ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ( 5 grams) ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ( 4 grams) ground all spice
  • 2 teaspoons ( 4 grams) ground cardamom

If you only have whole spices like cinnamon and cloves, these can be pulsed to ground consistency in a coffee mill, food processor, mortar and pestle, or blender. Store in an air tight container in a cool, dark location until ready to use.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

You have a multitude of sugar replacements here. Agave syrup, maple syrup, stevia, honey, and many more are readily available as natural sugar alternatives. If the goal is to reduce the fat in the drink, select a lower fat option milk or use a lower fat nut milk. The basic recipe is:

  • 1 cup ( 284 grams) low fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons ( 10 grams) pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon ( 5 grams) sugar or sugar substitute
  • 1/4 teaspoon ( 0.5 grams) pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ( 0.5 grams) vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup ( 71 grams) hot, freshly brewed coffee

Combine the first 5 ingredients and warm them either on the stove top or in the microwave. Whisk vigorously until frothy. Top the coffee with the mixture. Add toasted pumpkin seeds, a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg, and whipped cream if you are feeling really naughty.

Bonnie L. Grant

Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.