Copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte

Happy PSL Day! Or better yet, Happy You-Don’t-Have-To-Pay-Starbucks-For-A-PSL Day!

The Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, or PSL, needs no introduction. It has developed a cult following, and its late August release always heralds the beginning of early fall. I’ve tried many recipes over the years, promising to deliver the same flavor as the original PSL, only to be disappointed every time.

Except this time. This one, you guys, tastes exactly like Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, and it is markedly more affordable! All recipe development credit goes to Todd Wilbur, who has made a name for himself by accurately replicating many craveable recipes. His books and website, Top Secret Recipes, are worth checking out for making your favorites at home!

This recipe begins by making a Pumpkin Spice Syrup, just like they use at coffee shops. It will make more than you need for a single drink and can be used in whatever type of drink you enjoy most (ie latte, mocha, cappuccino, flat white, etc). How many drinks it will make depends on how strong you prefer it in your drinks. Start with the recipe-recommended 2 tablespoons and adjust as needed.

The remainder of the Pumpkin Spice Syrup can be stored, sealed, in the fridge for several weeks. I would recommend using a Mason jar.

Copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes
(Original recipe: Todd Wilbur’s Top Secret Recipes)

Pumpkin Spice Syrup
1 C water
1 C granulated sugar
2 TBSP canned pumpkin puree
3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
2 TBSP sweetened condensed milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Assembling the drink
8 oz milk of your choice
1/4 C fresh espresso (or ½ cup strong coffee)
Whipped cream
Pumpkin pie spice to garnish

Combine the water, sugar, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the condensed milk and vanilla. This is the Pumpkin Spice Syrup.

To assemble the latte, steam the milk using a milk steamer. (If you don’t have a steamer, you can heat the milk in your microwave until hot, then use a milk foamer, immersion blender, or whisk to make foam in the milk.) Pour 2 tablespoons of the pumpkin spice syrup into 16-oz cup, followed by espresso/coffee and hot, foamy milk.

Top off the drink with whipped cream and sprinkle it with a couple dashes of pumpkin pie spice.

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