Pumpkin is our ingredient of the season. Today’s recipe is great for using up those last bits of pumpkin (just like this face mask potion!) when other recipes call for less than a full can.
We’re officially halfway through the fall season here on the blog, so it’s about time that we started crafting our own pumpkin spice lattes! Of course, in order to write this post, I had to do a little bit of research last week, stopping at Starbucks to taste the original before experimenting at home. Such. hard. work.
The PSL syrup recipe I used is directly from A Beautiful Mess (hi there, we <3 you!). I just modified it slightly by halving all ingredients and upping the ratio of brown to granulated sugar. I made half a batch because I was worried about having more than I could finish, but fortunately, these are so good that I’ll have no trouble finishing the jar.
**Our dear friend Nicole provides a low-sugar version in the comments. Check it out!
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon + 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 2 heaping Tbsp pumpkin puree
- Combine all ingredients in a small/medium sauce put. Place the pot over medium heat and stir until the sugars dissolve. Continue to cook on a low simmer for about 5-6 minutes (until syrupy).
- Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer.
- Keep the syrup covered in the fridge and give it a good shake before using.
Our sister, Kristin, made us a pumpkin spice syrup a few years ago, so I ran the ABM one by her before proceeding. She gave it a big thumbs up and noted that this one had even more pumpkin in it than her recipe. I wanted a recipe that was a nice balance between pumpkin and spice, and I’m happy to report that the pumpkin flavor really comes through in the lattes! But it isn’t too pumpkin-y. The blend of spices is just right so that no one spice dominates and they balance the pumpkin.
We asked our resident barista, Calder, to give us a hand with the PSLs. Without him, we’d all be walking around bleary-eyed and a bit more grouchy.
His recipe for the perfect latte goes something like this :
- make a double shot of espresso
- add 1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp PSL syrup to a half cup of milk
- froth the milk until it’s foamy and warm
- pour the shot into the milk
- forgo fancy designs in your foam in favor of sprinkles (someday we’ll perfect those designs!)
After my aforementioned research, I’m so impressed with how closely our homemade version matches the real thing! I always order Starbucks’ lattes with about half the syrup that their recipes call for, and I went light on the syrup in this homemade version as well. Calder thought that it had too much coffee flavor coming through, but that’s how I like it, and that’s the beauty of being able to recreate these fancy drinks at home (that and saving the moolah).
In addition to the latte, I’ve been using this syrup in my afternoon cup of cold brew. For that I use equal parts cold brew coffee and whole milk, and then add the PSL syrup to taste. It’s so delicious and, like maple syrup (my usual cold brew sweetener), the syrup easily blends with the coffee & milk.
So, that’s how we’ve been drinking our pumpkin around here this week…. next week I’m hoping for some pumpkin milkshakes! We’ll keep you posted.