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Spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte

Make a pumpkin spice latte at home for a fraction of the price at Starbucks. And then make it even better with bourbon!

Every year, you know fall has arrived when Starbucks announces the return of the pumpkin spice latte to the menu. For us, its the only good thing about summer ending… Well Debbie mostly. She loves herself a grande pumpkin spice skinny latte, half the syrup and no whip.

If you love a pumpkin spice latte as much as Debbie does then you are going to love the fact that you can make them at home for way less $$ and just as good, if not better.

I drink my coffee black or with a little cream but I can get behind a pumpkin spice latte if its got bourbon in it! Who’s with me?

a pumpkin spiced latte with whipped cream on top and cinnamon sprinkled.  A white pumpkin behind it.

Why We LOVE this Homemade Latte

  • it tastes just like fall and gets you in the mood of the season!
  • its way cheaper to make these at home!
  • the ingredients are real and you know exactly whats going in your drink.
  • you can control the amount of sweetness in your latte.
  • a great way to use up any extra pumpkin puree you might have from making a pumpkin pie!

Tools You Need to Make a Latte

So in order to make a homemade latte, you need a couple things which we will break down here.

To Make the Espresso

For proper espresso, you need an espresso machine. Fortunately there are a number of options in different price ranges.

Of course, you can always make really strong coffee with your normal drip coffee maker, but it won’t really be the same.

To Froth the Milk

To Whip the Creme

For that nice bit of whipped cream on the top this refillable whipped cream dispenser is awesome! Both Debbie and I have one and its basically instant whipped cream, but real whipped cream. Not like that other stuff that comes in a canister that you can’t refill.

pictures showing the process of how to make a pumpkin spiced latte

Ingredients You Need

The ingredients you will need to make a homemade pumpkin spice latte are:

  • espresso – try one of our favorites: kicking horse, starbucks, or ethical bean sweet espresso (my personal fav)
  • pumpkin spice syrup – see below for more on this…
  • bourbon! – we used knob creek smoked maple bourbon, but you can use your favorite
  • milk – skim, whole, or non dairy works too. Whatever you prefer.
  • whipped cream
  • cinnamon for sprinkling on top – or grate it on top for an even better cinnamon experience!

How to Make Pumpkin Spice Syrup

First of all, the ingredients you need to make a pumpkin spice syrup for your latte are:

  • pumpkin puree – use the canned stuff, its so much easier, but you can roast and puree a pumpkin too if you feel like it!
  • sugar – white or brown, you decide
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg – use fresh grated if you can, its amazing!
  • cloves
  • ginger
  • vanilla

Making the syrup is super easy, it will be detailed in the recipe card below, but basically, you add everything to a pot, bring it to a simmer for a couple mins and then strain it and let it cool.

two pumpkin spiced lattes with a white pumpkin and cinnamon sticks for garnish all resting on a wood round with a couple red leaves.

How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte

Its so simple! Here are the steps:

  • make the pumpkin spice syrup.
  • make your espresso shot or two – we like two shots in our latte.
  • add the espresso, pumpkin spice syrup, and bourbon to a mug.
  • heat some milk in a pan on the stove, or in any other way that works for you.
  • froth the milk with your frother.
  • pour the milk into your mug and spoon some foam onto your latte or top whip cream if you like.

Thats it.


  • don’t heat your milk up past 150 or it will scald (burn) – it will ruin the taste
  • if you like your coffee to taste more like coffee than milk and pumpkin spice, like me, make sure your espresso is quite strong. Otherwise the milk and syrup can over power the espresso.

Tips for Frothing Milk for a Latte

  • skim milk froths the best but whole milk tastes creamier!
  • when using a hand held frother, be careful how full your pot, mug, or whatever you have your milk in is. I’ve had a couple good messes and hot milk messes suck!

Other Alcohol you Can Use for Spiked Coffee

If you want to make spiked coffee (who doesn’t?!) we really love the bourbon for this. But if you don’t want bourbon coffee, you can use what floats your boat:

  • spiced rum
  • regular rum – the dark stuff would be best
  • vodka
  • espresso vodka (YES!)
  • baileys or carolyns – only if you like really sweet coffee

Frequently Asked Questions

What is pumpkin spice made out of?

It’s make from cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.

Why is it called pumpkin spice?

It’s because these are the spices that are used when making pumpkin pie. I believe there are also well known spice companies that have a pumpkin pie spice blend and so all those spices blended together just became known as pumpkin spice.

Is there any pumpkin in pumkin spice?

Nope, not at all, but its almost always added to pumpkin when used.

Spice substitutions for pumpkin spice?

There really aren’t any, maybe all spice, but if you don’t have one of the spices for the blend, you can just leave it out and use more of the others.

I wouldn’t do this with the cinnamon though. You need the cinnamon.

two pumpkin spiced lattes with whipped cream and some cinnamon sticks and nutmeg

Other Pumpkin Recipes you Might Like

Other Hot Cocktail Recipes

If you’ve tried this pumpkin spice latte recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let us know how it turned out in the comments below.  We love hearing from you! 

We love to see your creations!  Tag @Cookswithcocktails if you post a picture of this recipe on INSTAGRAM

Spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte

4.60 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: hot cocktail, pumpkin spice latte, spiced latte
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 latte
Author: Julie & Debbie



  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg fresh grated if you can


  • 2 oz espresso coffee
  • 1-2 oz pumpkin spice syrup (depending how sweet you like your coffee)
  • 1 1/2 oz bourbon
  • 1 cup steamed milk or coconut milk
  • sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon



  • First make the syrup. Place all the ingredients in a small pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer away for 5 minutes then take it off the heat and let it cool down a little. Strain the mixture through a cheese cloth, pour into a small storage container with a lid. Store in the fridge.


  • Make espresso or very strong coffee. Pour into a coffee mug. Add the pumpkin syrup and vodka and stir.
  • Heat up and froth the milk. Pour into the coffee mug and stir.
  • Finish with a little sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon.

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    1. That’s what I say 🙂 especially when its raining and cold outside and you’re all warm and cozy inside with one of these!

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