This simple pumpkin spiced latte recipe is a great low-sugar alternative to what’s available in coffee shops. It is dairy-free and packed full of nutrition. Make your own creamy cashew milk by blending cashews in a blender, no straining required.
It’s hard to not get caught up in all the pumpkin spiced hype. Coffee shops have been on the train even before the leaves started to turn. Unfortunately, often they are so loaded with sugar and so not worth the post-latte crash. This healthier alternative to the sugar-loaded versions is a favourite, and I love using freshly brewed coffee , or leftover coffee, straight from my French Press.
Low In Sugar
This recipe for pumpkin spiced latte uses only 1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup per serving. Both these sweeteners have a lower glycemic index than regular table sugar, so will have a lesser effect on blood sugar levels.
Cinnamon and Blood Sugar Levels
Several clinical trials have found cinnamon to have positive results for blood sugar-lowering in type 2 diabetics. Overall it appears that taking cassia cinnamon (note studies were not referring to Saigon cinnamon or Ceylon cinnamon) at doses of 120 milligrams to 6 grams daily for 4 to 18 weeks can significantly reduce fasting blood sugar levels (1,2,3,4). For reference, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon is about 5 1/2 grams.
Cinnamon and Cholesterol
Some studies were also able to demonstrate a beneficial effect on blood cholesterol levels. Total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (‘bad’ cholesterol) and triglycerides were all lower with consumption of cinnamon, with non-significant changes in HDL cholesterol (‘good’ cholesterol) (1).
Using a DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend
A Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend can be pre-purchased, and generally consist of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and occasionally cardamom and ginger. At the beginning of fall, you can make a big batch and use it throughout the season. If you would like to make your own there are many recipes online, I usually use this one from Wellness Mama.
- For this recipe use 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice blend in place of the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
A Creamy Pumpkin Spiced Latte
Milk alternatives with a very low-fat content, such as store-bought almond milk, cashew milk and coconut milk (not canned) will not produce a creamy coffee. For the creamiest consistency use a milk or milk alternative with a fat content. Organic soy milk works for this recipe, but I prefer it with homemade cashew milk (as per the recipe below), homemade almond milk or hemp milk. See recipe for Homemade Hemp Milk here.
Heating This Latte
Depending on which milk or milk alternative you use you may find that it ‘curdles’ if boiled. I have found this with canned coconut milk, and with homemade hemp milk. To prevent this, make sure you only gently heat your milk or milk alternative and as soon as you see bubbles forming, turn down the heat. Use a whisk to ensure that all the pumpkin puree is well incorporated.
A Foamy Latte
My trick to getting a foam topping for this pumpkin spiced latte is blitzing it for a few seconds in my blender (I use my Vitamix which has a steam vent). The churning processes will get a nice layer of bubbles to form which is my at-home-version of a latte.
Making an Iced Pumpkin Spiced Latte
Warm the milk alternative up on the stovetop with the spices. Instead of adding the coffee to heat it up, take the spiced milk alternative off the heat and then add the leftover coffee. Add this, along with 1/2 cup of ice cubes to your blender for a refreshing iced pumpkin spiced latte.
Note On Canned Goods
Many canned products are lined with BPA. I have found a brand of organic canned pumpkin puree, and the liner is BPA-free. I have tried using freshly cooked and pureed pumpkin, which is much more difficult to blend but still tastes great.
Pumpkin Spiced Latte Without The Puree
When you purchase pumpkin-spiced drinks at cafes, generally ‘pumpkin spice’ has nothing to do with pumpkin, but instead refers to the blend of spices used (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom and sometimes ginger). By omitting the pumpkin you will still technically have a ‘pumpkin spiced latte’.
More Warming Drink Recipes
- Simple Turmeric Latte Recipe with Ginger,
- Dandelion Root Latte with Turmeric and Ginger,
- Chaga Turmeric Golden Milk Latte.
- Masala Chai Recipe – Dairy Free
More Pumpkin Recipes
So Simple Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe
- If you haven't already made the cashew milk, start by soaking the cashews (ideally for 4 hours but with a high-speed blender the soaking is not necessary). Drain the cashews, discarding the water, and add to a high-speed blender and add 2 cups of new water. Blend on high until a creamy milk forms. No need to strain.
- Brew to the coffee in a French Press or whichever method you choose, and adjust the strength of your liking. Next combine the coffee, cashew milk (or other milk alternative), pumpkin puree and spices in a saucepan and gently heat, being sure not to let it get to a rapid boil. Use a whisk to ensure the pumpkin pie filling mixes through.
- Once heated, remove from heat and stir in honey until well combined, I usually start with 1 tbsp of honey. Taste and adjust for sweetness. Enjoy!
1) Khan A, Safdar M, Ali Khan M, et al. Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2003;26:3215-8
2) Crawford P. Effectiveness of cinnamon for lowering hemoglobin A1C in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized, controlled trial. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine 2009;22:507-12.
3) Akilen, R., Tsiami, A., Devendra, D., and Robinson, N. Glycated haemoglobin and blood pressure-lowering effect of cinnamon in multi-ethnic Type 2 diabetic patients in the UK: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial. Diabetic Medicine. 2010;27(10):1159-1167
4) Akilen R, Tsiami A, Devendra D, Robinson N. Cinnamon in glycaemic control: Systematic review and meta analysis. Clinical Nutrition 2012;31(5):609-15.