Copycat Cooking: Most Budget-Friendly Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe Ever!

/ Thursday, October 3, 2013

So I've never actually ordered a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks—eeks! I know, I'm just not a Starbucks drinker—but I do understand the frenzy that surrounds the #PSL each fall. Pumpkins are delicious! And why not add their wonderful goodness to a warm, milky latte to make the day a little better?
Last year I created a Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake recipe as a nod to the annual outburst. This year I decided to approach the #PSL through a penny-wise lens for Good Housekeeping and developed this copycat recipe that saves you the most money possible: You can make 10 of my homemade lattes for the cost of 1 tall Starbucks drink! The key is a homemade pumpkin spice syrup, which I made using sugar, cinnamon sticks, pumpkin pie spice and canned pumpkins—ingredients you may already have at home. 
Of course making you #PSL at home requires a little more work than simply enduring the line at Starbucks, so factor in how much your time/effort is worth to you. This recipe makes enough syrup for 32 to 64 lattes, depending on how much syrup you'd like. It's a ton! If you get sick of lattes, try drizzling it over ice cream, using it as syrup on pancakes or blending it into a morning smoothie. Here's how you make it...

MAKES: 4 cups syrup (32 to 64 lattes) 

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup canned pure pumpkin

8 ounces whole milk
4 ounces strong brewed coffee or espresso 
Whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice, for garnish (optional)

1. Prepare the syrup: Bring the sugar and 2 cups water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisking, until the sugar dissolves. Add the cinnamon sticks, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin. Simmer, whisking occasionally, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Set aside 5 minutes, then strain twice through a fine-mesh strainer into an airtight container. Refrigerate until cool. Store in the refrigerator for about 1 month. You'll end up with about 4 cups total.  

2. For each latte: Microwave the milk on High about 1 minute or until very hot. (Transfer to a blender and blend 20 seconds for extra frothy milk, if desired.) Put 1 to 2 tablespoons pumpkin spice syrup in the bottom of a mug. Top with the coffee and warm milk. Garnish with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice, if desired.


  1. Hooray for PSL! I'm super excited to try this.

  2. I'm so glad @Brianna Soloski—thanks a bunch! xo Erin


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