Take Out Fake Out

Take Out Fake Out: Pumpkin Spice Latte

I have a teeny, tiny, miniscule, problem.

I’m like, totally, obsessed with Starbucks. Their drinks are delicious, the atmosphere is warm and inviting, the drive through is just way too freakin’ convenient and I have a thing for buying $15 coffee mugs.

So, basically, I’m hooked.

I have the gold card, a million travel mugs and coffee cups and of course, the Starbucks app that makes it way too easy for them to deduct funds directly from my bank account. It’s becoming an issue.

Now, this is enough of a problem during the spring and summer months, when I live on Double Shots on Ice and Passion Tea Lemonade. However, when fall rolls around? I’m a write off. Pumpkin Spice Lattes? C’mon!

I still can’t decide if their recent addition of the abbreviation “PSL” makes it more or less cool.


Probably less, but I don’t even care. I swig that sweet nectar like nobodies business.

Unfortunately, my butt and my bank account were begging me to quit. Instead I came up with a make at home recipe that is a little lighter on the ol’ calories and a lot lighter on the ol’ debit card.


In an attempt to make it extra easy to make at home, I actually just used very strong brewed coffee, as opposed to espresso, in this recipe. Mainly because not everyone would have an espresso machine at home, while pretty much everybody has a coffee machine. If you are a person that does not have a coffee machine, I have one question for you: how do you live?

Of course you can use a shot of espresso if you have access and/or are all fancy like that.


Okay, here’s how you make it:

Pumpkin Spice Latte:

Serves one

Total time: 10 minutes

Total time where you actually have to do things: 5 minutes

What you need:

  • 1 cup 1% milk, or you can use skim if you’d like.
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin spice syrup (recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup very strong brewed coffee (hot)
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon for topping

In a small pot over medium high heat, warm the milk until steaming, about 5-6 minutes. Do not allow the milk to boil. Once the milk is heated, grab a whisk and begin whisking the milk to make it frothy. You can also use one of those nifty little milk frothers, which I would suggest picking up if you want to make frothy lattes at home on the daily. Once the milk is frothed to your liking, grab a big coffee mug and add the pumpkin syrup, followed by the coffee. Pour in the steamed milk, making sure to top it off with some of that luscious foam. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and enjoy!


Homemade Pumpkin Spice Syrup:

Makes just over a cup of syrup (enough to make 16 lattes!)

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp mace

In a small saucepan over medium high heat, add the pumpkin puree, water and sugar. Cook until the sugar dissolves, and the mixture comes to a boil. About 5-6 minutes. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and mace, and stir to combine. Allow the spices to steep in the syrup for about 2-3 minutes and then remove the pot from the heat. Pour the syrup into a heatproof bowl or measuring cup and allow to cool completely. Once it is cooled you are ready to use it in your favorite fall beverage and you can store the leftover syrup in a sealed mason jar. It will keep in the fridge for a week or two!

I hope you all enjoy this recipe! Please comment below if you have an idea of a recipe you would like me to re-create!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=543090848 Paula Moreno

    Thank you so much for this post! <3 You have no idea how much I love you right now.


    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510267928 Jillianne Niver

      Oh! You are so welcome! *fallstothegroundinhugtackle*

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=548409115 Mélissa Plante

    Can’t wait to try it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=609494461 Jennifer Roy Barrows

    Thanks! My husband had a PSL from Starbucks Tuesday night and loved it. I HATE coffee, myself. I am a tea gal, but I can make this for him, and I am also going to try to add it to my strong British Blend tea for a pumpkin tea!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510267928 Jillianne Niver

      I think that the syrup would be delicious in strong tea! That’s a great idea, actually. I will have to try it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=120800296 Katie Moore

    I am so excited to try this! I tried a different recipe that was a little lackluster, and this one already looks better :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510267928 Jillianne Niver

      Thank you, Katie! I hope you love it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1262532988 Chelsea Miller

    I work at Starbucks, and I really like your idea on how to make the Pumpkin Spice Latte at home. Really genius. My suggestions as a barista though would be getting the espresso beans (which is extremely strong) from Starbucks or really any local place to you. For the milk, you can boil it, but there are tons of milk frothers out on the market that you can buy as well. The foam is what makes it a bit sweeter. Costco sells a pretty cheap one, and Starbucks does sell one as well. I got a $15 dollar one at World Market. (It doesn’t heat the milk up, but it does create a perfect foam!) Also, instead of cinnamon on top, we actually use Pumpkin Spice sprinkles so I would pick some up at the grocery store. Otherwise, this was really awesome! Hope my suggestions were ok :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510267928 Jillianne Niver

      I love your suggestions! I’m definitely not a barista, actually, I usually end up with grounds in my coffee. Ha.

      I always try to make recipes like this as simple as possible and using mostly ingredients that people would already have in their pantry and fridge. However, I love your idea of using espresso beans. I also have one of those little milk frothers and I love it. I suggested using one when you froth the milk, that way if you don’t have a steamer, you can at least get some foam going :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1262532988 Chelsea Miller

    oops to correct myself (just in case you are interested in the World Market frother) it was really $10 lol annnd don’t forget the most important part of the Pumpkin Spice Latte the whip cream! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=42113507 Kara Jay

    Love! I’ve been looking everywhere for a PS Syrup recipe that I actually wanted to make.
    I’m so excited right now.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510267928 Jillianne Niver

      Yay! I really hope you like it.

  • http://www.thestyleverdict.wordpress.com The Style Verdict

    As a fellow lover of all things pumpkin spice, I decided to give this recipe a try over the weekend and it was ah-mazing! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510267928 Jillianne Niver

      That’s awesome, I’m so glad you tried it and loved it too!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1448986763 Gretchen Brocwell

    I made this and love it! It’s not sickeningly sweet like so many of the ones that you buy. Thank you.

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