Sugar-Free Pumpkin Spice Latte
I’ve never tasted commercial pumpkin spice latte like that of Starbucks, but the idea of hot and sweet pumpkin-flavored spicy drink sounded so fascinating that I wanted to create my own version based on the image I have. Or in reality, how I would like the drink to be.
This pumpkin spice latte contains no sugar and less carbs than commercial versions. I give suggestions for even less carbs containing variations in the end of the post. Two delicious coffee-free versions you’ll find on my Facebook page in the end of this week.
Sugar-Free Pumpkin Spice Latte
1 single or double shot espresso
3/4 cup = 180 ml organic full-fat milk
15 drops (or to taste) liquid stevia
1/3 cup = 80 ml = 80 g roasted pumpkin OR canned organic pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.
- Heat over medium-low heat, constantly mixing until the mixture is steaming hot. Don’t let boil. Remove from the heat.
- Blend the mixture until smooth in a blender or with immersion blender.
- Pour into heatproof glass and serve immediately, preferably garnished with whipped cream and sprinkled with pumpkin pie spice or nutmeg.
|Per serving if one serving in total:
|Per serving if two servings in total:
(Nutrition information doesn’t contain possible garnishes.)
Tips for making the sugar-free pumpkin spice latte
I recommend roasted pumpkin for this drink. It simply gives the best taste. However, if you don’t have any chance to roast pumpkin, please feel free to use canned pumpkin, preferably organic.
It’s important to make the drink smooth, especially if you use home-roasted pumpkin. Even if you use canned pumpkin, it’s a good idea to blend the drink. An immersion blender is great, although you can use other types of blenders as well. Just be careful when blending hot liquids so that you don’t burn yourself!
If you are not comfortable with blending hot liquids, you can simply blend the mixture before heating. Even so, in my opinion the consistency is better if you blend the ready, hot drink. It will be nicely frothy.
So, here we go. Let’s take the ingredients.
Place them in a medium saucepan.
Then heat over medium-low heat, mixing constantly.
When the mixture is steaming but not boiling yet, take the saucepan from the heat and blend the mixture until smooth.
That’s it! Just pour the drink into heatproof glass. If you prefer smaller servings, pour the drink into two small heatproof glasses.
About developing the recipe
I made my first pumpkin spice latte experiments last year. In fact, I was about to publish the recipe in the end of October. However, I published so many other pumpkin recipes so one more would have been simply too much. This year, after roasting so much pumpkin, the recipe became topical.
The basic ingredients were quite clear from the very beginning. Mainly I was wondering whether to use milk — which tastes great but is quite high in carbs — or combination of heavy cream and water, which is lower in carbs but might sacrifice the flavor a touch.
I was playing with different sweeteners but finally stuck to liquid stevia. It simply gave the best sweetness without extra, weird aftertaste.
After making some initial experiments with different ingredients, I decided to go for the best flavor and chose milk, pumpkin, liquid stevia, pumpkin pie spice and espresso to be the ultimate elements in my pumpkin spice latte.
At first I used 1/4 cup (60 ml) pumpkin, but then got the idea to increase the amount to 1/3 cup (80 ml). I liked the thick consistency which the bigger amount of pumpkin brought.
With roasted pumpkin there unavoidably were some filaments left. Swallowing those was quite disgusting, and I was wondering how to make the texture smoother. Straining didn’t sound like a good idea, but blending did. Of course that was one additional step, but fortunately not too laborious, especially when using immersion blender. Blending made the texture so smooth — even if I used canned pumpkin which already has a smooth texture — that I’ll never again drink my pumpkin spice latte without blending it properly.
After all, even the last year’s experiments were mouth-watering, I’m so glad that I did some further development with this recipe. Now I’m really satisfied with this thick, warming and spicy drink!
Tips for variation
My favorite brand for pumpkin pie spice mix is Frontier Natural Products. The spice mix has very warm and intensive flavor. I simply use the spice almost everywhere, that’s why I always buy a huge 16 oz (453 g) bag. It’s also sold in smaller jars, a nice size if you want to try out the spice mix. But, if you already have a favorite pumpkin pie spice mix please feel free to use that. Sometimes in the future I would like to try to make my own mix, but for the time being I’m very happy with the ready pumpkin pie spice mix from Frontier Natural Products.
There is nothing preventing you from using other spices as well. Pure cinnamon is surely a blissful spice with this autumnal drink. Apple pie spice is also great and brings some warm feeling of holidays. Ginger, nutmeg, ground cardamom, cloves, vanilla… All warming autumnal and wintertime spices go well.
I found some nice alternatives to sweeten the drink. They are with a hint of vanilla. You can replace the liquid stevia with:
Since this drink is a bit on the high side of the carb count even it contains much less carbs than commercial sugar-laden versions, you can reduce the amount of carbs further for example by replacing the milk with:
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream and 1/2 cup (120 ml) water (carb count will be 6.6 grams per serving)
- or my favorite: 1/4 cup (60 ml) water, 1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream and 2 tablespoons milk (carb count will be 8 grams per serving).
Since I don’t have proper machinery to brew great espresso, I simply use instant espresso powder and water. For me it’s fine even some professional baristas might consider it despicable.
There is no reason to skip this drink if you are sensitive to caffeine. You can simply use caffeine-free espresso.
Like mentioned in the beginning, you can find two coffee-free variations of this drink on my Facebook page later this week.
This recipe came a couple of days late because I’ve been traveling. We visited in Germany where my mother-in-law had her 70th anniversary. It was a nice party with nice people.
Would be great to hear your opinion on this pumpkin spice latte if you try it out, especially if you have tried out some commercial versions before.
Next week, more pumpkin recipes!
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