Java Jack

Ah, the ubiquitous Pumpkin Spice Latte. Surely our circadian rhythms would be wildly out of sync without Starbucks’ seasonal drinks. Not sure what month it is? – Check out what coffees are available and you’ll be back on track. Granted, their seasonal beverages tend to be on that weird, pre-mature schedule that only magazines and holiday decoration sales stick to. They generally appear four to six weeks prior to the actual season. The warm and toasty Pumpkin Spice Latte made its seasonal debut in early September this year.

But Starbucks doesn’t have the pumpkin coffee market cornered – a local shop in Park Slope advertised their version of the harvest treat with an adorable chalk board sketch. Cocoa Bar is a purveyor of three of my favorite things: chocolate, coffee, and wine. However, I’m open to adding pumpkin to that list.

The Starbucks brand latte, however, is definitely the diva of the pumpkin spice world. It even has its own Facebook page. A bit much, I must say. But why should the glory of pumpkin-and-spice flavored coffee be relegated to coffee shops, whether of the chain or cute variety? It’s time to take back the flavors and bring them home! Okay, definitely getting carried away. Here’s what I’m getting at: HOME MADE PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES!

Right? I’m thinking milk mixed with pumpkin puree and all the traditional spices simmered over low heat and blended with coffee (regular in my case because I lack a fancy espresso machine). The lack of espresso probably robs it of the name ‘latte’ so let’s go with Pumpkin Spice Coffee so as not to offend the java gods. I did a little research and crafted a recipe that I plan to try as soon as I get home. Of course, today is not one of the 95,000 cold, rainy, blustery days we’ve been having, but wrapping my hands around a warm mug of pumpkin spice coffee will be delightful nonetheless.


2 tbsp. canned pumpkin puree

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tsp. white sugar

1/2 cup skim milk

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

¼ tsp. cinnamon

1 cup brewed coffee

Whipped cream – for swirling!

Extra spices – for sprinkling!

Mix together pumpkin, vanilla, sugar, and milk. Simmer over low heat. Add spices and stir. Pour pumpkin-milk mixture into your cup of brewed coffee. Top with whipped cream and an extra sprinkling of cinnamon (or any other tasty fall spices). Sip. Enjoy. Revel in the fact that you’re not at Starbucks right now.


About gttebykate

I am an amateur cook and baker who likes to feed her friends and whip up a frenzy in the kitchen. While I adore butter, sugar, and every kind of baked good, I also like to experiment with healthier options and substitutions...sometimes.
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