Five-Ingredient Fridays: Frugal Girl’s Pumpkin Spice Latte

There’s no need to waste a lot of money buying pumpkin spice lattes. Just make them at home! No fancy equipment required.

Pumpkin Spice Latte |

Tis the season to be drinking . . . pumpkin spice la-la-la-la-ttes! Ever since Starbucks announced the return of pumpkin spice lattes to their menu, those drinks have returned with a vengeance. Every coffee shop that I go to and every major kitchen website I visit have come up with their own version of a pumpkin spice latte! These drinkable delights are getting all up on my grill, and you know what, I don’t mind it all that much.

Pumpkin Spice Latte |

Of course, I want to make one of these lattes for myself. But the fact of the matter is that I don’t own an espresso machine. They’re way over my budget and I don’t have the space in my apartment for one. Instead of using espresso, I tried recreating a pumpkin spice latte with coffee.

Pumpkin Spice Latte |

Oh boy, I definitely had several cups of nasty drinks before I got to something I was happy with. When you’re making this, keep in mind that you’re going to want a very strong tasting cup of coffee. Because the taste of espresso is very concentrated, the coffee needs to be bold in flavor as well. For me, this meant adding more beans to the grinder for a cup of coffee.

Pumpkin Spice Latte |

What about the milk foam you ask? I found this fantastic tutorial from The Kitchn on how to froth milk with your microwave. I couldn’t believe that it worked! No fancy machine required!

Microwave Milk Foam | healthynibblesandbits You’ll have to excuse the quality of the photo on the right. I got so excited it worked that I forgot to shoot it with my camera nicer! Photo quality aside, look, the microwave method actually works!


Frugal Girl’s Pumpkin Spice Latte

  • Author: Lisa Lin
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1
  • Category: drinks, coffee


  • 1/2 cup (120ml) strongly brewed coffee
  • 2 tsp to 1 TBS pumpkin puree (depending on your taste)
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 TBS maple syrup
  • 1 cup (240ml) 2% milk, divided


  1. Heat the pumpkin puree in a saucepan with the pumpkin spice over medium-high heat. In a minute, add the maple syrup and stir. Reduce the heat to medium low. Once the maple syrup starts to bubble, mix in 1/2 cup of milk and stir until the milk is warmed up. There’s no need for the milk to bubble. Turn off the heat.
  2. Pour the coffee into a mug and then add the pumpkin milk.
  3. Pour the rest of the milk into a jar. Make sure that there’s plenty of space left in the jar to help aerate the milk as you shake it. Put the lid on the jar, and shake it for about a minute. You should be able to see a lot of frothy bubbles forming. Microwave the jar of milk uncovered for 30 seconds. You should now see some nice frothy milk on the top. Spoon the milk froth on top of the latte. Repeat this step by shaking and microwaving the same milk if you want more froth in the drink. I repeated this step once.
  4. Drink immediately!


i][1. Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe adapted from The Kitchn. For the full tutorial on how to create frothed milk with your microwave, refer to this guide from the Kitchn.[br][br]2. The amount of milk you add into the latte is up to you. I thought 1/2 cup was enough, but feel free to add more if you want the latte to be more milky.


40 thoughts on “Five-Ingredient Fridays: Frugal Girl’s Pumpkin Spice Latte

    1. Lisa Post author

      Yes! Let me know how it goes! My roommate used to have a Nespresso machine, but I never tried the espresso. Do you like it?

  1. Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    I saw that tip on the milk foam this week. So cool. I haven’t tried it yet, but I see you had great success with it. And can you believe I’ve never had a PSL….especially as I live in Seattle! I guess I should get on the bandwagon!

    1. Lisa Post author

      The only place I noticed PSLs in Seattle was at Starbucks. Personally, I have an aversion to that place, so I totally understand if you haven’t grabbed one yet!

  2. Eileen

    A definite yes to making homemade versions of expensive coffee drinks! I usually use Cafe Bustelo in the french press to make an espresso equivalent without a machine. But I have to say I am bypassing pumpkin spice and waiting for eggnog latte season myself! 🙂

    1. Lisa Post author

      YUM! I almost forgot about eggnog lattes! Maybe I should make one around December…I enjoy drinking coffee from a French press, but I have to admit that I don’t love the cleanup.

  3. Laura @FitMamaLove

    I really need to try this! I do have an espresso machine, so I’ll give it a go with that. The microwave trick is cool. You can by a really inexpensive handheld frothed too. My kids love frothing their milk!

    1. Lisa Post author

      My old roommate used to have one of those frothers! I just never got around to buying one myself. Let me know how this works for you!

    1. Lisa Post author

      Thanks, Arman! I know, the American appetite is pretty bonkers. Sometimes, we come up with genius things like pumpkins with coffee, and then we decide to deep fry our twinkies.

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  5. Mike York @espresso perfecto

    I have used a lot of espresso machines in the past but I haven’t been adventurous with recipes on espressos and coffee. This is a good start to try, especially the froth milk trick is really awesome and helpful. Thanks for this!

  6. Scott

    Awsome recipe, i tried this yesterday. Seriouly one of the best drinks i ever had. Gonna make this in our next friends gathering. Thanks Lisa for the recipe. 🙂

  7. Alisa

    Lisa last night i was searching for something spacial to drink/ eat. Then some of my friend send this recipe to me on FB. i just made it few min ago. its not looks good as your one but honestly speaking i just love the test . Its really amazing … going to make a try again to make it looks alike your one. hope then test would be more increased .


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