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Monday, June 17, 2024

Make your own pumpkin spice latte

Goodbye flip-flops and lemonade… hello hoodies and pumpkin spice!

Fall is in the air and we all know what that means – the savory aroma of pumpkin and espresso begins to waft from behind the Starbucks counter and into classrooms, onto the Reitz Lawn and through our dorm-room vents. There’s just something about the scent and flavor of fall that lifts our spirits in the midst of midterm madness.

Unfortunately, the price and nutrition quality of pumpkin lattes aren’t the best. Spoiler alert: a Starbucks grande Pumpkin Spice Latte topped with whipped cream has 380 calories, 13 grams of fat and 49 grams of sugar. That’s a 4-mile run. A 45-minute cycle class. An hour of an intense ultimate frisbee game. Not to mention the gradual hole that begins to form in the depths of our wallets after a few weeks of submitting to these sugary, caffeinated cravings. 

But I am here to help! Hopefully this copycat recipe saves you some money and calories as well as fulfilling that early morning or mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe

(Inspired by April Athena’s “Cook with April” YouTube channel)

Serving: 1 16 oz. Latte (equivalent to a Starbucks grande)


  • 1 cup of brewed coffee (use a pumpkin-flavored brew for an extra fall kick!)
  • 1 cup of almond milk (I used sweetened, but unsweetened would work as well)
  • 1.5 Tablespoons of brown sugar
  • ½ to 1 Tablespoon of pumpkin puree
  • ½ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 dollop of Cool Whip (lite) – optional
  • Cinnamon to garnish


  • Brew coffee
  • Whisk all other ingredients in a mug and microwave for one minute
  • Once coffee is brewed, pour into mug
  • Add dollop of cool whip and garnish with cinnamon

Calorie count: 170 (with sweetened almond milk cool whip)

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  85 (with unsweetened almond milk and no cool whip)

*If you want less coffee flavor, either use a lighter roast or decrease the amount of coffee while increasing amount of all other ingredients.

*Adjust pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice to your preference in flavor intensity

*Adjust brown sugar for desired sweetness

Pumpkin Fun fact: The pumpkin pie originated when colonists cut the top off of pumpkins, pulled out its “guts” and filled the center with milk, spice and honey. They then baked the entire thing in hot ash, according to “Pumpkins and More,” a website developed by horticulture and nutrition experts at the University of Illinois.

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