One week into autumn, and I already feel like I’ve overdosed on pumpkin spice lattes. Granted, my tolerance for the intensely sweet, largely over-hyped drink is far lower than the average enthusiast, but it doesn’t help that it’s already been perking up coffee shop menus while summer was still in full swing. Is it just me, or has the #PSL craze died down a bit this time around? Fewer rants, fewer raves; love it or hate it, I fear we may have collectively reached peak pumpkin spice.
I tease about the fervor every year, but I do still enjoy a strong cuppa myself. The trouble comes when it transforms into other foods and products that should never bear the orange hue. Please, just keep it out of my lip balm, cough drops, and… pet shampoo, at least! Is that really so much to ask?
Still, the overall attraction is undeniable. It’s hard to beat the comfortingly familiar, creamy espresso eye-opener adored worldwide to begin with. Add in an extra dose of sweetness, a touch of nostalgic spice, and the health halo associated with pumpkin itself, to say nothing of the beautiful latte art possibilities, and you’ve got yourself a viral social media hit. When the hype starts to wear a bit thin, though, I have a small tweak that will revive your enthusiasm over the usual brew.
Chai spice, bearing a brighter, bolder palate emphasizing ginger, cardamom, and a pinch of black pepper, makes a strong argument for skipping the one-note cinnamon seasoning typically on standard order. While the most popular (and some would argue original) purveyor of pumpkin spice lattes doesn’t even offer a dairy free option, it’s effortless to whip up a big batch of this spicy pumpkin sauce to flavor not only coffee, but drizzle over ice cream, swirl into cheesecake, and dip into with crisp apples all season long.
Happily, you’ll have plenty to play with, as this recipe does make a big batch indeed. Halve quantities if you must, but once you take your first sweet, invigorating sip, you’ll end up just going back in the kitchen to make more later.
- 1 14-Ounce Can (1 1/2 Cups) Full Fat Coconut Milk
- 2 Cups Coconut Sugar or Dark Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
- 1 14-Ounce Can (1 1/2 Cups) Pumpkin Puree
- 1/2 Cup Chai Spice*
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- Bring coconut milk and sugar to a boil, cook until dissolved. Whisk in remaining ingredients, stirring until smooth.
- Bring back to a boil and immediately turn off the heat. Cool completely before transfer to a glass jar for storage. Keep in the fridge for up to a month.
- For a pumpkin chai latte, mix 3 tablespoons of sauce with 1 or 2 shots brewed espresso and 3/4 cup steamed non-dairy milk (use something specifically labeled as "barista style" for a fuller, creamier latte) in a mug.
*You can make your own chai spice blend with the following:
- 1/4 Cup Ground Ginger
- 3 Tablespoons Ground Cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Cardamom
- 2 Teaspoons Ground Allspice
- 2 Teaspoons Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Anise
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 110 Total Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 53mg Carbohydrates: 19g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 18g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 0g