Alisa’s recent pumpkin spice columns (Trader Joe’s Dairy-Free Pumpkin Goods, 33 Other Dairy-Free Pumpkin Spice Products, and Pumpkin Spice Waffles) inspired me to make a dairy-free version of one of the most popular pumpkin spice items: the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. This dairy-free pumpkin spice latte took me longer to perfect than I expected, but I’m very pleased with the final result.
Since I am able to eat dairy, I went to my local Starbucks and purchased a small Pumpkin Spice Latte for comparison. My first surprise was the price! Making these at home enables dairy-free coffee drinkers to enjoy them, but it also saves everyone some money. The Pumpkin Spice Latte was very thick and very sweet with strong spice flavors. It also had a pretty orange pumpkin hue and a fun whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice topping.
I looked at the ingredients on their website and used that as a starting point. Then I looked at the many copycat recipes online. None of them were exactly what I was looking for, so I made my own recipe. I also cut down the measurements to make them suitable for one small latte. But the recipe is easy to double for a larger latte.
Recipe Tips: Dairy-Free Pumpkin Spice Latte
To achieve the flavor and texture of a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte, follow the directions below. For a lighter beverage, you can omit the coconut milk and increase the dairy-free milk beverage to 1/2 cup, but it won’t have the thick consistency of a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte.
If you would like a dairy-free pumpkin spice latte with less sugar, you can reduce the amounts of vanilla simple syrup and Pumpkin Spice Sauce to 1 tablespoon each and omit the whipped cream topping. For an even lower-sugar option, you can try another one of my favorite fall coffee drinks, the Vegan Pumpkin Frappuccino.
Special Diet Notes: Dairy-Free Pumpkin Spice Latte
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, optionally nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup full-fat coconut milk
- ¼ cup dairy-free milk beverage (I used plain almond milk)
- ½ cup fresh-brewed strong black coffee or 1 shot espresso
- 2 tablespoons vanilla simple syrup
- 2 tablespoons Dairy-Free Pumpkin Spice Sauce
- Dairy-free whipped topping (I used Reddi-Wip Non-Dairy Almond Milk)
- Pumpkin pie spice, for garnish
- In medium saucepan, whisk together the water and sugar and bring them to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until the mixture thickens slightly, about 3 minutes.
- Remove the syrup from the heat, and stir in the vanilla. Let cool to room temperature.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
- In a glass canning jar, whisk together the coconut milk and milk beverage. Heat, uncovered, in the microwave until warm.
- Use a milk frother to froth the milk, or screw a lid onto the jar and shake until the milk is frothy.
- Pour the coffee into a mug, and add the warmed dairy-free milk, vanilla syrup, and Pumpkin Spice Sauce. Stir until combined.
- Top with dairy-free whipped topping and dust with pumpkin pie spice.