This healthy, vegan pumpkin spice latte recipe is a delicious fall treat. Make it hot or iced with homemade almond milk and real maple syrup for just the right amount of sweetness.
Learn how to make a healthier version of your favorite pumpkin spice latte! Served iced or hot, this vegan latte is made with almond milk and naturally sweetened with maple syrup. Both versions of these seasonal, fall coffee recipes are easy to make at home. Made using only natural ingredients — nothing artificial here! — they also have fewer calories than the popular Starbucks version. You’ll not only save money by making these recipes at home, but you’ll also enjoy a fresher taste than what you can buy from most coffee shop!
Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte
Each fall, I look forward to the release of the PSL. Starbucks might have been the first to make this iconic fall drink popular. However, you can now you can find it at most coffee shops. I love the taste of a good pumpkin spice latte. Unfortunately the Starbucks’ version has a lot of calories and ingredients that I’d rather not eat.
Since I’ve been eater cleaner, I really notice a weird chemical taste with certain foods. (Starbucks white chocolate mocha sauce honestly tastes terrible to me. Not to mention it’s made with high fructose corn syrup.) So, rather than pay more to drink something less than the awesome it could be, I learned how to make my own homemade pumpkin spice latte at home. As we tend to have a false summer (or just run through every possible season in a single day) here in Southwestern Virginia, I use my base vegan latte recipe to make both iced and hot versions of this wildly popular fall drink.
So, whether it feels like fall in the morning or summer in the afternoon, you can enjoy this latte iced or hot, depending on the time of day, rather than the time of year.
What Is in Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte?
A pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks is made with the following ingredients:
- Pumpkin Spice Sauce (Sugar, Condensed Skim Milk, Pumpkin Puree, Contains 2 Or Less Of Fruit And Vegetable Juice For Color, Natural Flavors, Annatto, Salt, Potassium Sorbate)
- Brewed Espresso
- Whipped Cream (Cream, Mono And Diglycerides, Carrageenan)
- Vanilla Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid)
- Pumpkin Spice Topping (Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Clove, Sulfiting Agents)
So, that pumpkin spice topping? It contains a sulfiting agent. A sulfiting agent is a chemical that contains sulfur and is used to preserve foods. Unfortunately, just as with wine, my body is going to make me regret the decision to get a quick coffee shop fix. Why? Sulfur is one of my food allergies. Not only will I feel like crap the whole next day — hello inflammation and itchy skin! — but it’s also one of those things that triggers flare ups from my fibromyalgia.
By contrast, my healthy pumpkin spice latte is dairy free and made using simple, natural ingredients that you can feel good about using. Plus, there are zero preservatives. Here’s what I use to make my favorite fall latte:
- Coffee: You can use your favorite coffee for this recipe. Otherwise a strong brew or espresso works great!
- Homemade almond milk: I make almond milk at home for this recipe. However, you can also buy almond milk to create this dairy free drink. Or use another plant based milk in its place.
- Pumpkin puree: While the original PSL did not contain pumpkin puree, the new versions do for a real pumpkin taste. When choosing pumpkin puree, make sure you aren’t buying pumpkin pie filling.
- Maple syrup: Rather than load up on sugar or artificial sweeteners that can negatively impact the flavor, I use maple syrup as a simple alternative. If you prefer, you can also use raw sugar, which is vegan friendly.
- Vanilla extract: For the best taste when making vegan PSL’s with almond milk, you want to choose pure vanilla extract for this fall drink.
- Pumpkin pie spice: I use organic pumpkin pie spice from Mountain Rose Herbs to give my latte the perfect amount of spice. The bold flavor and aroma is what makes this drink taste so heavenly. You can also make your own pumpkin pie spice mix.
- Sea salt: A dash of sea salt helps to really bring out the flavors in this coffee drink and pull it all together.
Does Your Healthy Latte Taste Like Starbucks?
No, my healthy version of this latte doesn’t taste exactly like Starbucks. It actually tastes better! As it’s naturally flavored with both real pumpkin AND real pumpkin pie spice, it has a fresher and more true fall flavor.
Can You Make a Dairy Free Latte?
Yes, it’s very easy to make a dairy free latte at home. The pumpkin spice syrup at Starbucks isn’t vegan or dairy free. So, it isn’t possible to get a vegan PSL even if you swapped out the milk. However, my version of a homemade healthy pumpkin spice latte is both vegan and dairy free.
To make a dairy version of your favorite coffee drink that calls for milk, simply use a plant-based or nut milk in lieu of regular milk. (I chose homemade almond milk.) If you’d also like a vegan variation, make sure the other ingredients you choose are free of any insect derived or animal products.
Is Pumpkin Spice Latte Good With Almond Milk?
Yes, a pumpkin spice latte made with almond milk tastes amazing. You can also use oat milk, which I really like, or your favorite non-dairy milk. If you do drink milk, you can also use half and half or heavy whipping cream.
Can You Get a Skinny Pumpkin Spice Latte?
Yes, you can order a skinny pumpkin spice latte with almond milk at the coffee shop. When ordering, ask to swap the milk for almond milk and request no whipped cream. It is important to note, however, that most pumpkin syrup contains milk. Therefore, it won’t be a vegan pumpkin spice latte.
If you are dairy-free or on a vegan diet, I recommend making a healthy iced pumpkin spice latte or vegan pumpkin spice latte at home instead. This ensures there are no surprises that may impact your nutritional requirements.
Does the Pumpkin Spice Latte Have Coffee in It?
Yes, the pumpkin spice lattes both have coffee in them. However, you can easily make a latte without coffee. To do this, you can either replace the coffee with more almond milk or use tea in place of the coffee.
What Does a Pumpkin Spice Latte Taste Like?
When the PSL was first introduced, it didn’t have pumpkin included in the ingredient list. Instead, it was flavored only with pumpkin spice. Over the years however, the recipe was adapted to include pureed pumpkin. This inevitably changed the flavor of this favorite fall drink.
My healthy pumpkin spice latte recipe is made using both real pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. Therefore, it tastes like a pumpkin pie met a cup of coffee. This coffee drink is rich and creamy, and it tastes like delicious cup of fall. So, it’s the perfect complement to your favorite fall desserts like homemade pumpkin pie from scratch, apple bread, pumpkin cheesecake brownies, and braided apple cinnamon bread.
Tips for Making a Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte
If you’ve committed yourself to make the best PSL throughout autumn, then be sure to check out these tips. They make it easier than ever to create the perfect hot or iced pumpkin spice latte at home.
- I use maple syrup to sweeten my vegan pumpkin spice latte. If you don’t like maple syrup, or have another favorite sweetener, you can use that instead. Feel free to substitute the maple syrup with monk fruit, stevia, or real sugar. (Make sure you use raw sugar if you are vegan.) However, I encourage you to try it with maple syrup first. I love how the maple flavor compliments the taste of the pumpkin and spices.
- Adding real pumpkin puree to coffee can make the texture of your pumpkin spice latte with almond milk feel grainy. The longer it sits, the more grainy it will become. However, it’s still fine to drink. Just stir it well before consuming to improve the consistency and feel of the drink.
- You can easily turn my vegan pumpkin spice latte recipe into an iced pumpkin spice latte! To do this, just serve it over ice. (I have directions on how to make your latte both hot or iced below!)
- To make a healthy iced pumpkin spice latte at home, you can use your choice of either cooled brewed coffee or cold brew coffee. Cold brew is milder than regular coffee as it eliminates the bitterness that is typical from a regular brew. In my opinion, cold brew coffee also tastes better.
Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte Ingredients
You will need the following ingredients to make this amazing vegan latte for autumn:
- Brewed coffee: No latte is complete without the coffee! (Unless you’re a tea drinker, of course.) Whether you’re making a hot or iced latte, this ingredient is the base of your recipe. For an iced latte, allow the coffee to cool first. Alternately, you can also use cold brew coffee to make an iced pumpkin spice latte at home.
- Almond milk: You can’t make a latte without the milk! As this is a vegan recipe, I used creamy almond milk rather than cow milk. However, you can also substitute the milk with oat milk. If you aren’t vegan or don’t need a dairy free option, you can also use half and half (half milk and half cream.)
- Pumpkin puree: Use 100 percent pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling to make this dairy free latte. Pumpkin pie filling contains spices and other ingredients that we don’t need for this autumn treat. You can also make your own pumpkin puree from scratch.
- Maple syrup: Make sure you choose real maple syrup when shopping for ingredients. You want to avoid fake syrups that contain unnecessary and unhealthy ingredients such as corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup. If authentic maple syrup is outside of your budget, you can also use honey, stevia, or monk fruit.
- Vanilla extract: I recommend real vanilla extract for the best flavor and to avoid unnecessary artificial ingredients.
- Pumpkin pie spice: Buy pumpkin pie spice or make your own pumpkin pie spice recipe.
- Fine sea salt: This ingredients is optional. However, I do recommend it as it will help to bring out all the amazing autumn flavors in your coffee recipe.
- Ice: If you want to make a healthy iced pumpkin spice latte at home, then you need to add ice to the drink so it’s, well, iced. 😉
How to Make Hot Pumpkin Spice Latte with Almond Milk
Follow these directions to make a healthy pumpkin spice latte, served hot, with nutty and delicious almond milk:
- Heat the coffee, almond milk, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vanilla extract, sea salt and pumpkin pie spice in a medium sized pan over medium-high heat. Use a whisk to mix until it’s heated.
- As soon as it starts to simmer, stir well to mix everything. Carefully pour into a mug and enjoy. You can add more maple syrup if desired. Add more coffee for a stronger pumpkin spice latte almond milk recipe.
- Top with coconut whipped cream if you want. Sprinkle pumpkin pie spice and sea salt on top if desired.
How to Make An Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte at Home
Here’s how to make a vegan iced pumpkin spice latte recipe at home:
- Place the coffee, almond milk, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice and sea salt in a blender.
Blend until combined.
- Put ice in a glass. Pour the iced pumpkin spice latte recipe over the ice. Enjoy!
I like to use straws for my iced coffee drinks. While you can skip the straw, if you prefer to use them, I recommend using either stainless steel straws, silicone straws, or glass straws to keep our sea life safe.
- 1 Cup strong brewed coffee, cooled (or cold brew)
- 2 Cups almond milk (or other plant-based milk)
- 4 Tablespoons pumpkin purée
- 2 Tablespoons real maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon organic pumpkin pie spice
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- Handful of ice
- Combine all the ingredients, except for the ice, in a blender.
- Blend together until thoroughly combined.
- Place ice in two glasses. Then pour the vegan iced latte over the ice.
- Serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 128Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 84mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 2gSugar: 21gProtein: 2g
This recipe for a vegan latte makes two servings. Because the more the better, right? If you only need one coffee drink, you can halve this recipe for a single serving. Alternately, should you have leftovers — is this even possible? — you can store it without the ice in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Popular PSL Variations
If you love my fall coffee recipe, then also try these other easy variations for a fun twist.
- Try it with tea! To make a chai flavored PSL, simply substitute the coffee with chai tea. To do this, steep 2 Tablespoons of classic loose leaf chai tea in 8 fluid ounces of hot water. Then make as usual.
- For a mocha PSL, include up to 2 Tablespoons of an unsweetened cocoa powder. (You can also use raw or roasted cacao powder.) Or try it with a dash of cacao chili powder to add some heat for a fun twist.
More Latte Recipes
If lattes are your jam, then be sure to try these other delicious drink recipes: