A recipe (with “secret” trick) to make pumpkin spice latte that has no caffeine and NO COFFEE but that still tastes as if it had coffee in it
If you are in the mood for pumpkin spice latte but you don’t want to (or can’t) have coffee, you’re in luck, because today I’m sharing my trick to make a caffeine-free pumpkin spice latte that still tastes like it’s a coffee drink.
The secret is using cereal “coffee”!
The resulting pumpkin spice latte tastes GREAT (I won’t say it tastes like Starbucks’ original, because IMHO this version tastes better). And since there is no real coffee in it, it’s also kids-friendly (my sons love it!).
TIP FOR COFFEE DRINKERS:
While I always have this recipe with cereal “coffee” (I don’t drink coffee), I’ve also made this recipe with actual coffee for my husband… and he gave me his seal of approval!
So, this recipe might also be for you if you want to learn how to make pumpkin spice latte from scratch (you’ll just have to use coffee instead of my coffee alternative).
Ingredients you’ll need
Let’s begin with our “secret” ingredient.
Did you know that decaf coffee still has some caffeine?
Also, not everyone tolerates coffee: some people get some bloating and an upset stomach from drinking it, even if it’s decaf (as is my case).
Still, I enjoy some hints of coffee flavor on some desserts…
That’s why I was very happy to find a trick to make pumpkin spice latte with a coffee-like taste but that’s completely coffee and caffeine-free.
The trick lies in swapping coffee for a coffee substitute (like chicory, barley, or some other cereal “coffee”).
What are coffee substitutes?
Coffee substitutes are non-coffee products that imitate coffee’s taste by roasting grains or other vegetal products.
Some commonly used ingredients to make these alternatives are chicory root, barley, dandelion, carrots, fig and lupinus, to name a few.
Many brands, like Teeccino or Dandy Blend, use a combination of different types of herbal “coffee”.
It’s possible to roast your own coffee alternative at home (my grandma did) but nowadays, there are good ready-to-use options available in the market.
I personally find it very convenient to buy coffee alternatives in granulated form (like this one), because they dissolve in water just like instant coffee.
Can you make PSL with a coffee alternative?
Yes, they make for a great alternative!
Truth is, most people taste the difference between real brewed coffee and a coffee substitutes when drinking one of these substitutes as they are (so I’ve heard; as a non-coffee-drinker, I can’t speak for myself).
However, when combined with all those other flavors in PSL, you won’t notice the switch! (or so I was said by the coffee lovers that tried this recipe)
How to make “espresso” with a coffee alternative
For most coffee substitute blends, you’ll get a very satisfying espresso shot recreation by stirring 2 teaspoons cereal coffee granulate in 30 ml. (1 oz.) water.
Originally, pumpkin spice latte didn’t contain any pumpkin, but today, Starbucks’ PSL uses a syrup that has pumpkin purée in it.
To replicate this, canned pumpkin is very convenient.
Just be sure it’s the unsweetened type, not the already spiced pumpkin pie filling! (otherwise it will be difficult to determine how much sugar and spice you need to add).
How to make pumpkin spice latte without pumpkin puree
If you don’t have pumpkin puree at hand, don’t worry: you can also use real pumpkin instead.
You just have to blend a small amount of previously cooked pumpkin with the other ingredients.
You’ll need real pumpkin, but otherwise, easy-peasy! (since canned pumpkin isn’t so easily available in Europe, where I live, that’s how I use make PSL most of the time).
Feel free to use y the milk type you like best, wether it’s dairy milk or a vegan alternative.
My preferred choice for this recipe is whole milk because it makes the drink creamy.
To leave it simple, I’ve written down “sugar” on the recipe card, but I usually make this recipe using xylitol.
Other alternatives that also go great in this recipe are:
- brown sugar
- sweetened condensed milk
- vanilla infused honey
- dates syrup
For this recipe, you can swap any of these alternatives for 1:1 with sugar.
Anyway, I recommend beginning with a smaller amount, because you can always add more afterwards.
The original Pumpkin Spice Latte currently uses a blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves, so I use a homemade pumpkin spice mix with these 4 ingredients.
I find these spices match wonderful with the rest of the ingredients (no wonder it’s called pumpkin SPICE latte!), but of course, you can use more or less of each spice (or skip some altogether) according to your taste.
- Vegan pumpkin spice latte: use you preferred plant-based milk alternative
- To make it keto-friendly:
- Use a low-carb sweetener like xylitol, swerve or monk fruit
- Choose a keto-friendly milk alternative (like almond milk)
- Check if your “coffee” alternative is low-carb (luckily, many “coffee” alternatives are considered keto-friendly)
How to make pumpkin spice latte with coffee substitute
- Make “espresso”
Dissolve 2 teaspoon of “coffee” alternative (like chicory “coffee”) in 1 oz. of water.
- Froth milk
Froth the milk. If you want your latte hot, warm the milk before frothing.
- Gather all ingredients together
Pour the milk in a mug.
Then combine with the pumpkin puree, “coffee” alternative, pumpkin spice and vanilla extract.
Add sweetener last so you can adapt the amount to your taste.
You can enjoy it cold or hot.
- Optionally decorate
If desired, top whipped cream (sweetened and with vanilla) and sprinkle some ground cinnamon or nutmeg.
Caffeine free pumpkin spice latte recipe
- Blender Optional: only if using real pumpkin instead of puree
- 2 tsp. “coffee” alternative granulate
- 1 oz. water (30 ml)
- ¾ Cup Milk of choice
- 2 Tbsp. Pumpkin puree (39 gr.)
- 1-2 Tbsp. Sugar or alternative of choice (xylitol, dates syrup, sweetened condensed milk…)
- ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice plus some more as topping
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- Whipped cream (optional)
- Make an espresso shot with coffee alternative.
- Gather frothed milk with the rest of the ingredients.
- Put everything in a mug and if desired, top with whipped cream.
- The resulting beverage is around 12 oz. (similar to Starbucks’ tall size)
- If you want to top with whipped cream, I recommend adding some vanilla to it
- The calories were calculated without whipped cream topping
I hope you enjoy this completely caffeine-free homemade pumpkin spice latte.
If you love pumpkin spice drinks, you may also like this easy recipe to make pumpkin spice syrup (sugar-free); it allows to make pumpkin drinks as easy as it gets!