Yup, for real. I had my first Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte while on vacation this past August.
Now, drinking anything coffee related is a relatively new thing for me, I only really started experimenting with it about a year or so ago. I’ve just never been much of a coffee drinker, though I do love me some Tim’s Ice Capps, but for me those are more coffee flavoured milkshakes than coffee.
On the rare occasions that I have had something from Starbucks, it’s usually been hot chocolate and I’ve noticed this odd thing that applies to the Pumpkin Spice Latte as well. I can only drink about half before I start to feel sick to my stomach or at the very least my tummy isn’t very happy.
It is the sage advice of my teen that it’s the flavoured syrups they add. It goes something like this, “you have to ask for less pumps Mom.” Uhm. OK.
But I never have and I usually can’t finish my rather pricey drink. Oh I have in the past and I usually regret it when my tummy starts to protest. I don’t get it, but it’s a pretty consistent experience.
This little number came about while trying to think up ways to have the same kind of Pumpkin Spice beverage experience without the ding to my bank account or the ding to my tummy. And since I prefer hot chocolate to coffee, I decided that I need to experiment with a Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate recipe. And I did!
The beauty is, I use real ingredients to make mine, no artificial flavourings or wacky chemicals in this Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate recipe. It even has real pumpkin puree, no fake stuff here!
My first attempt at Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate wasn’t all that bad, I made enough for two servings and we managed to make our way though about half. Mind you, it was a Summer hot day in the Fall, so hot chocolate wasn’t high on the must have drink list, but I was itching to give it a try anyway!
The first attempt I used more pumpkin puree and white chocolate and used an equal mix of vanilla almond milk and whipping cream. It was good, but can you say riiiiiiiiiiiiichhhhhhhh. It was so rich and thick that drinking half was all I could manage. I then decided to cut back on the amount of pumpkin puree and white chocolate and use only vanilla almond milk. This version was perfect for me, not to rich, not to thick…just right.
This is my new second favourite Fall/Winter drink, great for snuggling up with on a cold day or night. My favourite is still Ginger Tea though 🙂
I started by cooking some pumpkin puree with some pumpkin spice until it changed from its bright orange raw state and turned to a darker brown orange. I used as much pumpkin spice until I liked the way it tasted, you don’t have to go overboard at this stage, you’ll be adding more later to adjust the taste if you need too.
Once the pumpkin puree and the pumpkin pie spice had cooked long enough, I added my vanilla almond milk and allowed it to come to barely a simmer before adding my white chocolate chips. I whisk until the white chocolate chips melt and incorporated into the liquid. At this point I taste to see if it has the right balance I am looking for. I added a little more pumpkin pie spice and a few more white chocolate chips till it tasted just right for me.
I added about 1 tablespoon of Vanilla infused simple syrup to my cup just before pouring my pumpkin spice hot chocolate mixture in and topping with whipped cream and a sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice to garnish.
Now just start sipping away! I really enjoyed my second version much more, removing the whipped cream from the base and reducing the amount of pumpkin puree made a noticeable difference in taste and texture…even more enjoyable than my first pumpkin spice hot chocolate experiment! If you want to make more than one serving at a time, just increase the ingredients accordingly.
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
- pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup vanilla almond milk
- ¼ cup white chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon vanilla infused simple syrup
- whipped cream for garnishing
- Take pumpkin puree, add pumpkin pie spice to taste and cook over a medium heat until it changes colour from a bright orange to a darker brown-orange.
- Once the pumpkin puree is cooked add 1 cup vanilla almond milk and bring to just below the boiling point.
- Add white chocolate chips.
- Whisk to blend all the ingredients together.
- Taste and add any additional pumpkin pie spice or additional ingredients so it tastes just right for you.
- Pour ½-1 tablespoon of Vanilla infused simple syrup into your serving mug just before adding your hot chocolate mixture.
- Add Hot chocolate to mug and garnish with whipped cream and more pumpkin pie spice if so desired.