Oh, how I’d love to curl up under a blanket with one of these clutched in my hands right this instant!…
I am an accidental genius.
Yes. Today is National Coffee Day (which, by the way, is a food holiday I can TOTALLY get behind). And I’m sharing latte cookies. And guess what? It’s a total coincidence! I had no idea that today was National Coffee Day until like…two days ago. And these were planned for today way in advance. See? Accidental genius….
I know…you may be thinking to yourself “another pumpkin spice latte recipe?!”
Bear with me. If you’re on social media in any capacity, this may be the 34981289371283 recipe you’ve seen for a homemade pumpkin spice latte that “tastes just like Starbucks,” but really…hear me out.
You see, this is a recipe for a homemade pumpkin spice latte and white chocolate mocha HYBRID that tastes just like Starbucks. Except not. Because they don’t have a drink like this on the menu. So hah! I win.
I’ve already explained my pumpkin excitement to you guys. I’m sure most of you are on the same page (some most definitely aren’t and are so over the pumpkin craze and may even be in the process of clicking that little “x” in the top corner of their screen right now), but I feel like I have to justify a drink so typical and expected. Is that silly? It probably is. It’s more likely that none of you cares that much, and I’m just a crazy person. But anyway. I adore pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks. I think they taste like a warm hug. So delish. And I look forward to them every fall. My husband, however, does not like them or most things even remotely close in flavor to a pumpkin spiced anything (except those amazeballs donuts I shared recently). His favorite Starbucks brew is the white chocolate mocha.
While I like white chocolate IN things, I can’t say it’s my favorite. You’ll never find me munching on a piece of white chocolate. No way. The darker the chocolate, the better.
So, in the spirit of compromise, I thought it might be fun to try creating a drink that COMBINED our two favs. And guess what? It worked beautifully (PS – if you are really adamantly against pumpkin-flavored things, the recipe below will still work for a plain ol’ white chocolate mocha – just omit the pumpkin puree and spices. Everything else stays the same. You’re welcome).
This lovely concoction starts with homemade pumpkin pie spice. Yes, you can make it at home and save yourself the $6 for the 1-oz container at the store. You likely have all the spices already on hand. Why pay for them again? I usually make this in the fall, keep it in an airtight container in my pantry, and use it wherever I think things need a little spice infusion. It’s not only a money-saver, but it actually tastes better than the pre-made mix too! I add a little cardamom to mine (which is not typically found in pumpkin pie spice) because I love it and think it adds an even cozier punch to things.
Once you’ve got that mixed together, the rest of the drink comes together in no time. It’s just a matter of brewing some espresso (or strong coffee), and whisking together warm milk, canned pumpkin puree, the spices, and white chocolate. And voila! You’ve got a Starbucks-esque and drool-worthy coffee creation that makes a normal Sunday morning seem just a little more special.
So, if you’re still there and with me on the pumpkin thing, I beg you to try this at home. You don’t have to run out to the fancy coffee joint to get a good latte at home. I promise. This is worth the extra effort (and that is coming from a very tired brand-new momma!)!
Pumpkin Spice & White Chocolate Lattes (makes 2 servings)
For the Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix:
4 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3 teaspoons ground nutmeg
3 teaspoons ground ginger
3 teaspoons ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
For the Lattes:
3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 cups milk
3 tablespoons white chocolate chips
1-2 teaspoons sugar (or to taste)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2-4 shots espresso (or very strong coffee)
For the Spice Mix: Combine all ingredients until well mixed and store in an airtight container. Use as needed in lattes, baked goods, or even savory dishes.
For the Lattes: In a small saucepan, heat the pumpkin, spices, and milk together over medium-low, whisking until the pumpkin is incorporated. Bring to a gentle simmer, reduce the heat to low, and add in the white chocolate, sugar, and vanilla. Whisk until the chocolate is melted.
Meanwhile, make the espresso and pour it into two cups.
Top the espresso off with the pumpkin-milk mixture and then top each glass off with whipped cream. Garnish with additional pumpkin pie spice and/or cinnamon sticks and serve!