How to make a healthy pumpkin spice latte with no coffee.
You’ll get hooked on this super easy-to-make pumpkin steamer!
The cozy, autumn colors of pumpkin are just around the corner… which means, it’s time for cozy drinks, like pumpkin spice lattes!
If you don’t like coffee or you are looking for a kids-friendly version: you can easily make a coffee free version of PSL with just 4 ingredients.
This pumpkin spice “latte” (steamer would be a more accurate word) tastes AMAZING and you can easily adapt it so it’s vegan, refined sugar-free, keto…
And of course, since it doesn’t contain any coffee or tea, it’s caffeine-free, so everyone can enjoy the delicious flavor of this nice, orange colored pumpkin latte at any time.
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How does a coffee-free pumpkin latte taste?
Pumpkin spice latte without coffee tastes like sweet milk with pumpkin spice (usually, the predominant tastes are cinnamon and nutmeg).
Originally, Pumpkin Spice Latte, also known as PSL was simply a coffee recipe flavored with pumpkin pie spice, without having any pumpkin in it.
However, nowadays Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte uses a syrup that contains pumpkin flavor and has a orange color.
So, if you order a Pumpkin Spice Latte without coffee (which is actually called “Pumpkin Spice Crème”), you get a milk drink (also known as “steamer”) with orange color.
Most of the time you can order it warm, iced or even as a Frapuccino (iced frappé).
However, I can’t help feeling like Starbucks Spice Creme tastes too sweet for my taste…
And what bothers me more, in my opinion it tastes somehow “artificial”.
My theory is that the coffee in the regular PSL balances out the sugary flavors of the syrup and makes things just right, so when you take the coffee away it doesn’t taste so good (but I can’t say for sure, since I haven’t tried the coffee version, unless you count this one).
Anyway, the good news is, you can make your own no-coffee pumpkin spice latte from scratch.
It will save you money and there is even some amount of real vegetable in it!
And of course, this homemade drink tastes WAY BETTER than anything at any coffee shop too.
Ingredients for homemade pumpkin spice latte without coffee
Making a homemade pumpkin spice milk drink is actually as simple as mixing the ingredients for a regular homemade pumpkin spice latte, just leaving the espresso (coffee) out.
This is what you need to make a coffee-free pumpkin spice ”latte” (since there is no coffee in it, it’s technically a milk-based drink instead of an actual latte):
Pumpkin puree (or backed/steamed pumpkin)
You may use homemade pumpkin purée or canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix, since they are already sweetened and pre-spiced, which makes it difficult to adapt it to your taste).
If you don’t have pumpkin purée, you can use some real pumpkin, backed or steamed, and then blend it directly with the milk. You’ll be amazed at how good this simple trick works!
Milk of choice
This pumpkin drink goes well with any kind of milk.
My kids love the creaminess of whole milk, but you can perfectly make a vegan pumpkin spice latte using a non-dairy milk.
I’ve tried this recipe with almond milk, soy milk, oat milk and coconut milk and in my opinion, it goes well with all of them (if you like the taste of these milk alternatives).
Thanks to the natural sweetness from milk, pumpkin and vanilla, this pumpkin spice latte recipe barely need any additional sugar.
Nevertheless, adding in some sweetener makes it even more comforting, so I highly recommend using some sugar, maple syrup or vanilla infused honey.
FOR A SUGAR-FREE VERSION:
You may use erythritol, xylitol, stevia, swerve or similar (my personal favorites are the first two).
People seem either to love pumpkin spices or to hate them.
Since you are here, I imagine you like the combination of pumpkin with pumpkin spices as much as I do.
But the beauty of making your PSL from scratch is you can easily adapt this recipe to your taste.
For example, my kids aren’t so wild about the spiciness of ginger, so when making this recipe for them, I just use ground cinnamon, vanilla and a very small pinch of ground nutmeg for some fall flavor.
If you are looking for a more classic pumpkin spice taste, I recommend trying this easy homemade pumpkin spice recipe.
And don’t forget to add some vanilla extract or vanilla infused honey: vanilla’s warm notes round out flavors wonderfully in this comforting drink!
When using as much pumpkin spice as in the recipe card, your latte will get a brownish color, not an orange color as Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Crème (PSL without coffee).
If you are looking for an orange color like in the pictures of this post, you may want to limit the spices to a pinch (or even leave them out altogether).
Difference between American Pumpkin Spice Latte and Korean Pumpkin latte
While pumpkin spice (and therefore Pumpkin Spice Latte) is an iconic flavor from the US, a Korean friend has told me that there are also popular pumpkin-based drinks in Korea.
Among them is Hobak Latte (pumpkin latte) or Danhobak latte (sweet pumpkin latte).
The main differences between American Pumpkin Spice Latte and Korean Pumpkin Latte are:
- Starbucks inspired Pumpkin Spice Latte has coffee; Korean pumpkin latte doesn’t
- Pumpkin spice latte has a strong spiced taste; Korean pumpkin latte has little or no spices
- Korean pumpkin latte has a strong pumpkin flavor; American Pumpkin Spice Latte (specially if store-bought) doesn’t really taste of pumpkin. In fact, at first, Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte only had the spices and no pumpkin in it.
- Usually, Korean pumpkin latte (Hobak Latte) has a thicker and creamier texture.
How to DIY pumpkin spice latte without coffee
Time needed: 10 minutes
How to make pumpkin spice latte without coffee
- (Optional: only if you don’t use pumpkin puree) Prepare the pumpkin
If you are using fresh pumpkin, prepare it by baking or steaming it. You may also microwave it until tender.
Then blend it with milk.
You may blend the pumpkin with the skin or remove it if you want a smoother texture.
Put all the ingredients (except from the vanilla extract or vanilla honey) in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.
Simmer for around 3-5 minutes, until the sweetener is dissolved.
Since there is milk in the mixture, you may move regularly to avoid it burning on the bottom.
If using vanilla extract or vanilla honey, add it right before serving.
If you want, decorate with some whipped cream or milk froth.
Sprinkling some pumpkin spices or ground cinnamon on top also looks and tastes nice.
The video bellow shows how to make “regular” pumpkin spice latte from scratch.
The steps are almost the same as for a coffee-free pumpkin milk drink, with the only difference that to make a pumpkin spice creme you skip the coffee:
You can serve this pumpkin spice milk drink warm or as an iced pumpkin spice latte.
Top it off with whipped cream, coconut whipped cream or froth milk and enjoy!
Frequently asked questions about this recipe
Yes, butternut is a good alternative to pumpkin and I often make my PSL with butternut squash instead of pumpkin.
There are 15 gr. of pumpkin puree in a tablespoon.
This means, for this recipe you need aproximately 3 Tablespoon pumpkin puree, which equates around 50 gr. (around 1,8 oz.) of cooked pumpkin.
If you don’t have pumpkin spice at hand, you may switch 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice for:
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (slightly more)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
a pinch of ground nutmeg (on the generous side)
a small pinch of ground clove
Nutmeg and clove can give a too strong taste very quickly, so be sure to begin with smaller amounts: you can always add more afterwards.
Anyway, since you only need 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin spice for this recipe, I find it easier to make some pumpkin spice mix in advance (it’s really easy!).
Other delicious pumpkin drinks to try
- Pumpkin spice latte for non-coffee drinkers with a “secret” trick that makes it taste like it had coffee, while it actually doesn’t contain any.
- Pumpkin Spice Tea Latte
- Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate
Pumpkin Spice Milk Drink
- Blender (only in using real pumpkin)
- Small saucepan
- 3 Tbsp. Pumpkin purée Alternative: 50 gr. (1,8 oz) backed or steamed pumpkin without skin
- 2 Cups Milk of choice
- 1-2 Tbsp. Eritriol (or other sweetener to taste)
- 1/4 tsp. Pumpkin Spice (you may switch it for ground cinnamon and a pinch of ground ginger, nutmeg and cloves to taste)
- 1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract (I use vanilla infused honey)
- Whipped cream or frothed milk (Optional)
- (Only if using real pumpkin or butternut squash) Blend the backed or steamed pumpkin with some milk until very smooth.
- Gather all the ingredients (except from vanilla extract or vanilla honey) and heat in medium until the mixture begins to simmer.
- Once you take it from the heat, add the vanilla extract.If desired, serve with some whipped cream or froth milk.
- For an iced version, just mix all the ingredients without heating them.
- If using pumpkin purée, skip step 1 (blending).
- The featured video contains “coffee”; just skip it for the coffee-free version
- Feel free to substitute sweetener and vanilla extract for some homemade vanilla honey
I hope you enjoyed this recipe to make pumpkin milk drink in minutes.
However, if you are a serious lover of drinks with pumpkin spice, you may find it more practical to make your own Pumpkin Spice Syrup (my recipe is even sugar-free!).