Pumpkin Spice Latte with Vanilla Almond Milk - The Rising Spoon

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Latte with Vanilla Almond Milk

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte (Vegan)

I can't begin to describe how excited I am to share this recipe with you guys! 

Last week I made my own pumpkin pie spice blend. It took all of five minutes and was much less expensive than buying the tiny, pre-mixed bottles from the grocery store. 

I've used it four times since then. Once while cooking butternut squash (mmm) and three times making pumpkin spice lattes. 

The Quest For a Yummy Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe

Since it was my first time concocting this drink at home, I perused the internet and bookmarked two or three recipes. I eventually settled on one particular recipe that labeled itself as "healthy" and included a beautifully shot and styled photograph. 

Looks can be deceiving folks. 

It was cringe-worthy. 

After my first three gulps (I thought it would get better) I spit it into the sink and dumped my cup. The ratios were all wrong. Not enough milk, sugar, or vanilla and WAY too much pumpkin pie spice. 

Lesson learned: just because a recipe looks delicious on Tastespotting or Foodgawker, does not mean it will actually taste good.

Thankfully, during my second attempt, I chose another recipe that included a lot of positive comments. This time, though, I tweaked the recipe to make it vegan. 

Why a vegan pumpkin spice latte recipe?  

Yes, I know I'm not vegan and neither is my blog (my food philosophy is similar to the 80/20 rule); however, I do have friends that practice this food lifestyle and I've partaken of many fantabulous vegan recipes. 

But, the main reason I chose a vegan variation is...

Three words: vanilla almond milk!

Yep. I could have used cow's milk or coconut milk, but almond milk mixed with vanilla extract takes it to a whole new level. 

And, it really compliments the warm pumpkin spice flavors.

Almond Milk + Vanilla + Pumpkin Spice = Heaven  

I usually make homemade unsweetened almond milk and add my own homemade vanilla extract. It has less sugar & calories than the store-bought cartons and none of those weird emulsifiers that often upset people's stomachs. Plus the vanilla carries through more without the extra sugar.

That said, get yourself to a kitchen and make this delightful drink! 

It takes less than five minutes (not including coffee or espresso brewing time) and makes enough for two drinks. 

That means you can either share with a friend, treat yourself to a refill (can't do that at Starbucks without paying double the price) or save the rest for the next day. 

Heck, you don't even need coffee in it. The pumpkin spice milk mixture is super tasty all by itself.

P.S. If you're looking for new reading material to dive into while snuggling in a cozy chair with a steaming mug of pumpkin spice latte, here are the books (from my collection) that I included in the pictures:

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte (Vegan)
A homemade pumpkin spice latte recipe that's better than Starbucks and vegan-friendly! This version uses a blend of real pumpkin puree, raw sugar or maple syrup, unsweetened almond milk, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, and dark roast coffee or espresso. Making it at home allows you to save money and create a healthier version with less sugar.
Adapted from theKichn's Autumn DIY Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Latte
Serves: 1-2

2 cups of unsweetened vanilla almond milk (get my homemade recipe here)
2 tablespoons of canned pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons of organic raw sugar OR real maple syrup
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract (double this if using plain nut milk)
1/2 teaspoon of homemade pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup dark roast brewed coffee or 2 shots of espresso
Homemade whipped cream*, (regular or dairy-free - optional)
Ground cinnamon, for garnish (optional)

*The first time I made this I did not use whipped cream. The second time, I happened to have whipped cream on hand that I made with heavy whipping cream, so that's what I used. However, you can easily make your own dairy-free whipped Cream using full-fat coconut milk. Here's a simple coconut milk whipped cream recipe.

Recommended Equipment
stove-top espresso maker (this is my favorite way to make coffee)
cute coffee or latte cups (I got these clear mugs at Home Goods)

Brew 1-2 cups of strong, dark roast coffee as you normally would or if you have an espresso machine, pour 2 fresh espresso shots.

In a small pan set on medium, stir the almond milk, pumpkin puree, and sugar until the pumpkin dissolves and the mixture is steaming. (Do not let it boil.) Remove from the burner and mix in the vanilla extract and slowly add the pumpkin pie spice while stirring so it doesn't clump.  

Pour 1/2 cup of coffee into a medium to large mug then pour the pumpkin spice milk mixture into the mug until it reaches the top. Stir. 

If using espresso, add the milk mixture first, then pour the espresso over the top. Do not stir. Garnish with whipped cream (regular or dairy-free) and sprinkle with ground cinnamon.   

Notes & Tips
  • If using sweetened vanilla almond milk, reduce the sugar to only 1 tablespoon instead of two.
  • If using plain milk, increase the vanilla extract to 2 tablespoons.
  • If you let the drink sit for awhile, or you have leftovers, the pumpkin puree will naturally settle to the bottom of the mug/container. If this bothers you, just give it a good stir to recombine. :)

I'd like to hear from YOU!

What's the most creative way you've used pumpkin pie spice in a recipe?  

Pumpkin Spice Latte with Vanilla Almond Milk

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Elaina Newton is the creator, writer, and foodie behind the blog, The Rising Spoon. She's a self-taught cook and passionate about spreading basic cooking skills and information about real foods. She loves reading fiction, crafting, video games, dark roast coffee, cats, and rainy days. Connect with her on Pinterest, Facebook, Google +, and Twitter

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