Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte is Back, But Here's How to Make It at Home

Autumn is fast approaching, bringing with it the prospect of colder temperatures, falling leaves and, for coffee drinkers, the return of the seasonal favorite that is the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

First introduced by Starbucks in 2003 to mark the beginning of the fall season, the latte blends familiar ingredients like freshly steamed milk and coffee with warm seasonal spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove as well as a distinctive pumpkin flavoring.

In the near-two decades that have followed, the Pumpkin Spice Latte has become nothing short of a phenomenon, with a study conducted by AdAge in 2021 estimating Starbucks has sold over 500 million since their introduction.

However, with many consumers seeking to tighten their belts in these difficult economic times, store-bought Pumpkin Spice Lattes may increasingly represent something of a luxury.

Especially as, according to CNN Business, prices are on the rise. The news outlet reportied that a grande size of the popular beverage could set you back somewhere between $5.45 to $5.95 depending on your location.

Starbucks has reportedly been increasing prices in line with inflation, with CBS News reporting that a venti-sized brewed coffee that cost $2.45 in 2021 had risen to $2.95 in February 2022.

With many families looking to reduce costs, many might be weighing up whether to cut back on their pumpkin spice fix and other luxuries over the autumn season.

But the website has come up with a potential alternative - a recipe showing how to make the popular treat at home for less than half the price of a Starbucks version.

"Creating the Pumpkin Spice Latte at home is an easy activity that you can do as a family to ensure you are saving money on daily Starbucks trips, and instead have the opportunity to perfect for your own taste," Sophia Zimmer, expert at explained.

"It is also worth bearing in mind the positive environmental impact that making your own might have as you are lowering food waste by using things you probably already have in your cupboard."

Here's everything you need to know:

The Total Costs of a Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

ItemPrice per 0.4 Cups (cents)Price per serving (large pumpkin spice latte)
Pumpkin puree2.24$0.064
Vanilla extract37.77$0.536

The total cost of homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte is $1.53 compared with the Starbucks equivalent, which was priced at $4.25 at the time of writing.

How to make a Pumpkin Spice Latte at home for less than half the price

1. Create some pumpkin puree

"The first step is to make the pumpkin puree. Begin by slicing, deseeding and then deveining your pumpkin."

"Bake the pumpkin for 45 minutes at 374 degrees Fahrenheit (190 ◦C) in a preheated oven. Blend in a food processor until smooth."

"If you are short on time, perhaps try a pre-made pumpkin puree that will make the process speedier — especially if you are in the midst of a busy work week."

2. Create the perfect spice blend

"Whilst you wait for the puree to bake, you can begin to create the vital spice blend that gives the latte its distinctive flavor."

"To create the perfect blend of spices, you will need:

  • 4 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg."

"It is worth noting that this recipe can be adapted to suit most dietary requirements or if you only have cinnamon sticks, you can ground down to be used in this recipe."

3. Heat up your chosen milk

"In a pan, warm 2 mugs of your chosen milk (dairy or non-dairy alternative)."

"Alternatively you can heat and froth your milk using a milk frother machine or in a separate pan on your stove."

4. Mix together

"To complete, in a heatproof glass or mug, combine 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree and 1 shot of espresso, add half a teaspoon of your spice mix and whisk until smooth. For extra sweetness, include 1 tablespoon of sugar or 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract.

Add in the warm milk and any leftover froth and stir."

5. Enjoy and relax with your homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

"To achieve maximum autumnal coziness, serve in a large mug or, to achieve the coffee shop aesthetic, serve in a tall glass."

"Don't forget to serve with whipped cream, a dusting of cocoa powder and a cinnamon stick for stirring."

A pumpkin spice latte.
Stock image of a pumpkin spice latte - a new recipe is showing fans how to create one at home for less than $2. Mizina/Getty