It is only in recent years that popular coffee chains have begun to incorporate dairy-free options into their repertoire. While this is amazing progress, some of the most popular holiday flavors have been left out of this revolution. For whatever reason, it is currently impossible to make the Starbucks pumpkin spice latte dairy free – even if you get it made with a nondairy milk. What is this savagery? Anyhow, regardless of which demon has allowed this to go on for so long, we now have an alternative and it is THIS recipe for a Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte. Let’s learn how to make it!
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Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte Ingredients
- Non-Dairy Milk: Non-dairy milks resemble traditional dairy milks except they are derived from alternative sources such as nuts, coconuts, rice, oats, etc. For this recipe I like to use unsweetened oat milk purchased from the refrigerator section at the grocery store. I find that this has the ideal amount of creaminess for a hot drink but use whatever you’ve got.
- Pumpkin Puree: Pumpkin Puree is simply canned pumpkin. That said, do NOT by pumpkin pie mix in the can. These two are not the same thing. The canned pumpkin pie mix is loaded with sugar and spices. Using it in this recipe would prove catastrophic. Be sure you are purchasing 100% pure pumpkin.
- Sugar: Granulated sugar is great for brewing as it dissolves rather easily when exposed to moisture and heat. This will ensure there is no grittiness in our PSL. Where we rely on sugar to give delicious sweetness to our latte, it will also bring out the flavor in the pumpkin and give our spices the level of prominence we desire.
- Instant Espresso Powder: Instant espresso powder is brewed espresso that has been dehydrated into granules. It is easily rehydrated with any liquid and enhances the appearance of lattes and desserts as well as the taste. Instant espresso powder will expedite your recipe making as it removes the need to brew coffee.
- Spices: Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves make up the perfect fall spice quartet. Omit any of these and you run the risk of disturbing the delicate fall flavor balance.
- Sea Salt: Salt is a known flavor enhancer and sweet lattes are no exception. A pinch of sea salt will cut through the sweetness of your latte and ensure your spices won’t become undertones.
Steps for Making a Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte
Making a homemade Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte is incredibly simple! So simple in fact that it can be done in only 2 steps!
- Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan on the stove. Heat everything over medium whisking frequently until the pumpkin breaks down and all of the ingredients come together nicely. You want to remove your PSL from the heat before it start to bubble.
- Divide between two mugs, dress and serve. Allow the latte to cool down in the mug for a couple minutes before topping with nondairy whipped cream. I like to use the kind from the can. Serve!
Tips for Making a Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Use high-quality plant-based milk: Choose a plant-based milk that you enjoy the taste of, as it will greatly influence the overall flavor of your latte. Some popular options include almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, and coconut milk.
- Use real pumpkin puree: When possible, use real pumpkin puree made from scratch or canned pumpkin puree without any added sugars or additives. It enhances the authentic pumpkin flavor. Do NOT use pumpkin pie mix!
- Experiment with spices: Feel free to adjust the spice levels to your liking. While the classic pumpkin pie spice blend includes cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger, you can add or reduce any of these spices based on your taste preferences.
- Froth the milk: For a more luxurious and cafe-like experience, froth the plant-based milk using a milk frother or an immersion blender. This will give your latte a creamy texture.
- Garnish creatively: Top your latte with vegan whipped cream or foam and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon or nutmeg. You can even add some vegan chocolate shavings or a drizzle of caramel sauce for an extra indulgent touch.
- Experiment with toppings: Consider adding a dusting of cocoa powder or a few crushed graham crackers on top for added texture and flavor.
- Control the sweetness: Taste your latte as you go and adjust the sweetness as needed. Some people prefer a sweeter drink, while others prefer a more subtle sweetness.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks?
Sadly, no. While many of the Starbucks holiday latte flavors can be made without dairy, the PSL cannot. There are ingredients in the pumpkin spice mix they use that are very tightly linked with dairy and cannot be omitted. All the more reason to make your own! It’s also way cheaper but you didn’t hear it from me.
What alternative milk is best for a pumpkin spice latte?
The best alternative milk for a pumpkin spice latte largely depends on personal preference and dietary restrictions. What’s more, different plant-based milks have unique flavors and textures that can complement the pumpkin spice flavor profile in various ways. Here are some popular alternative milk options and their characteristics:
- Oat Milk: Oat milk has a creamy texture and a slightly sweet, oaty flavor that can work wonderfully with pumpkin spice. It’s a great option if you want a rich and velvety latte.
- Almond Milk: Almond milk is one of the most commonly used plant-based milks in lattes. It has a mild, slightly nutty taste that pairs well with pumpkin spice. Opt for an unsweetened version to control the sweetness.
- Soy Milk: Soy milk is another classic choice for lattes. It has a creamy consistency and a neutral taste, allowing the pumpkin spice flavors to shine.
- Coconut Milk: If you enjoy a hint of coconut flavor, coconut milk can add a tropical twist to your pumpkin spice latte. It’s rich and can make for a decadent treat.
- Cashew Milk: Cashew milk is creamy and has a naturally sweet taste, which can complement the spices in a pumpkin spice latte nicely.
- Macadamia Milk: Macadamia milk is another creamy option with a buttery taste that can add a unique touch to your latte.
- Hemp Milk: Hemp milk has a nutty flavor that can provide a lovely earthy note to your latte. It may not be as thick as some other options, but it’s a good choice if you’re looking for something different.
Can I use fresh pumpkin instead of pumpkin puree?
Yes, you can use fresh pumpkin instead of pumpkin puree. To make your own pumpkin puree, roast or steam pumpkin chunks until they are tender, then blend until smooth. Using fresh pumpkin can add a slightly different flavor to your latte, making it a more unique experience.
Can I make a decaf version of the vegan pumpkin spice latte?
Absolutely! You can use decaffeinated coffee or espresso to make a decaf version of the vegan pumpkin spice latte. Alternatively, you can use herbal coffee substitutes or simply skip the coffee element altogether and make it a pumpkin spice steamer.
How can I sweeten my vegan pumpkin spice latte without using refined sugar?
There are several natural sweeteners you can use in a vegan pumpkin spice latte, such as maple syrup, agave nectar, coconut sugar, or date syrup. These alternatives add sweetness without relying on refined sugars and are better for your overall health.
Can I make a cold version of the vegan pumpkin spice latte?
Yes, you can make an iced or cold version of the vegan pumpkin spice latte. Prepare the spiced plant-based milk as usual and allow it to cool. Pour it over ice and add cold brewed coffee or espresso. You can also blend it with ice to create a pumpkin spice frappuccino-like drink.
How to Serve a Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte
Serving a homemade vegan pumpkin spice latte is a delightful experience, and presentation can make it even more enjoyable.
- Choose the right mug: Use a large, cozy mug to serve your pumpkin spice latte. A festive or autumn-themed mug can add a nice touch to the overall experience.
- Garnish with whipped cream: Top your latte with a dollop of vegan whipped cream for an indulgent treat. You can shape it nicely using a spoon or a piping bag.
- Sprinkle with spices: Dust the whipped cream or the top of your latte with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin pie spice. This not only adds flavor but also makes the latte look more appealing.
- Add a drizzle: For an extra touch of elegance, drizzle a little maple syrup or vegan caramel sauce on top of the whipped cream.
- Use a cinnamon stick: Place a cinnamon stick in the latte as a stirrer. It not only enhances the flavor but also makes for a lovely presentation.
- Serve with a dessert: Pair your homemade vegan pumpkin spice latte with a delicious vegan pumpkin spice cookie, muffin, or any other autumn-inspired treat.
- Offer different toppings: Set up a small station with various toppings like chocolate shavings, crushed graham crackers, or coconut flakes, allowing guests to customize their lattes to their liking.
- Serve it iced: If you prefer an iced version, serve the vegan pumpkin spice latte in a tall glass with ice and a straw. You can also add whipped cream and spices on top for a cold and refreshing treat.
Remember, the presentation of a homemade latte can make it feel like you’re enjoying a café-quality beverage right at home.
Please remember if you make this recipe to snap a pic and share with @censoredbaker on instagram!Print
Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte
All of the festiveness of a traditional PSL from Starbucks with NONE of the dairy. Your friends will never be able to tell the difference.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 2 Lattes 1x
- Category: Beverages
- Method: Brew
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
1 1/2 c nondairy milk
1/2 c water
3/4 c pumpkin puree
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
pinch sea salt
- Heat Ingredients: Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan on the stove and cook over medium heat until simmering. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Whisk occasionally.
- Garnish and Serve: Once mixture is well combined and heated to your liking, split latte between two mugs. Top with nondairy whipped cream if desired.
Keywords: psl, pumpkin spice latte, vegan pumpkin recipe, pumpkin coffee, vegan latte recipe, vegan starbucks