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This Bulletproof Pumpkin Spice Coffee Hack Will Change Your Life

A woman with painted black fingernails holding a pumpkin spice latte.
soeka/Shutterstock.com

Is it really fall if you’re not drinking a pumpkin spice latte? The answer (for many) is no, and this easy hack will give you a PSL that’s so delicious, you might never waste money on one at the coffee shop again.

The trick to a really tasty, homemade pumpkin spice latte is getting the pumpkin flavor just right. Enter, pumpkin butter! It’s rich, creamy, and full of spiced pumpkin flavor, so it makes the perfect base for creating a flavorful, customizable PSL right in your own kitchen.

What Is Pumpkin Butter?

A stack of pecan pie mix and pumpkin butter jars; close up of a jar of Trader Joe's pumpkin butter
Williams Sonoma/Trader Joe’s

Pumpkin butter is one of mankind’s greatest inventions and a versatile, delicious fall food. No, it’s not made with actual butter. It’s more like peanut butter or a fruit jam, meaning the ingredients are cooked and blended into a creamy, flavor-packed spread.

As the name suggests, pumpkin butter’s main ingredient is, obviously, pumpkin purée. Most pumpkin butter also contains sugar or another sweetener, and a variety of the spices you’d expect, like cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, and so on. The result is something that tastes a lot like your favorite pumpkin pie filling, but with a thicker, more spreadable consistency than canned, premade pie filling.

Many major retailers carry pumpkin butter during the fall. One of the more popular brands is Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter, which features pumpkin purée, along with sugar and honey for sweetness, a hint of lemon for freshness, and a delicious spice blend.

If you feel like splurging on a deluxe treat, Williams Sonoma Caramel Pumpkin Butter is for you! It features all the spiced fall flavors of classic pumpkin butter, boosted with sweet, slightly nutty caramel.

How to Make a Pumpkin Butter Pumpkin Spice Latte

A silver milk frother; a hand pouring frothed milk into a cup of coffee
Breville

There are a few ways you can incorporate pumpkin butter into your PSL. The simplest way, especially when you’re in a rush, is to just stir a small amount into your coffee! There’s a trick to getting it to smoothly incorporate, though.

Follow these steps:

  1. Scoop one leveled-off teaspoon of pumpkin butter and put it in the bottom of an empty mug.
  2. Add a drizzle of milk (about one teaspoon), and then stir to mix it with the pumpkin butter.
  3. Pour your hot coffee on top, and then stir again to dissolve the milk-pumpkin mixture.
  4. Add as much additional milk as you prefer.
  5. Top with a dash of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon, if you like.
Tip: You can use a milk frother to get that classic frothed latte top.

You can adjust this recipe as needed to make it sweeter, stronger, milkier, or however you like it best.

It’s the frothed, hot milk that gives you that smooth, velvety latte top. If you want to get fancy and make a PSL that looks more like what you’d get at the coffee shop, you can use warm, frothed milk. Because this involves heating up the milk and pumpkin mixture, you might get better results if you make a larger batch, so try this one when making PSLs to share with your friends and/or family.

For this version, you’ll need a milk frother to really get the texture right. Try something like the Breville BMF600XL Milk Frother, which can produce different textures of foam, while keeping the milk hot with easily adjustable temperatures.

Follow these steps:

  1. In a saucepan, combine a ratio of approximately 4:1 milk to pumpkin butter (meaning 1/4 a cup of pumpkin butter for every 1 cup of milk).
  2. Heat thoroughly until the mixture steams but doesn’t boil.
  3. Remove from heat and froth.
  4. Pour hot coffee into a mug, and then gently pour the frothed milk on top.
  5. Top with a dash of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon.

There are plenty of unique ways you can make a pumpkin spice latte. Experiment with the different ingredients and recipes until you find the perfect cup of autumn cheer for you!

Amanda Prahl Amanda Prahl
Amanda Prahl is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. She has an MFA in dramatic writing, a BA in literature, and is a former faculty associate focusing on writing craft and history. Her articles have appeared on HowlRound, Slate, Bustle, BroadwayWorld, and ThoughtCo, among others. Read Full Bio »

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