Tuesday, December 14, 2010

World's Best Copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte from Cleo Coyle

Here in New York City, we have a "world's best" for just about everything. For example, we have...

A world’s best cheesecake: Junior's of Brooklyn...  

A world’s best toy store: FAO Schwarz...

A world’s best deli: The Carnegie Deli with The world's largest sandwich...

New York also has the world's best pizza: Ray’s (*)

Cleo Coyle, "world's best"
skeptic and author of The
Coffeehouse Mysteries
*Full disclosure: There are actually dozens of Ray’s Pizzas scattered throughout the city (Famous Ray's, Ray's Original, World-Famous Original Ray's), all suing and counter-suing each other for boasting rights to the "Ray's" moniker so take this one with a grain of salt (or garlic salt).

Here in NYC, you'll also find someone trying to sell you the "world’s best hamburger" and "world's best cup of coffee" on just about every other block, too. You get the idea. And if you don’t, here’s a bit of "world's best" holiday cheer courtesy of a really big Elf...

Here it is!
The World's Best Cup of Coffee!

Okay, so it’s just a marketing ploy. Sue me. (Not really. This is a figure of speech. Also, the Ray's people have tied up most of the lawyers.)

I suppose the following really isn't the World's Best Copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe, but it is pretty good. Even better, you can make this one at home, with your own ingredients, and save a little money. You can also control the amount of sweetness and whipped cream in case you’re counting calories and not putting that off until after the New Year (like the rest of us).

Cleo Coyle's
World's Best
Copycat Starbucks
Pumpkin Spice Latte!

No, I don't actually think it's the World's Best. But it's not bad! ~ Cleo

To download a free PDF of this recipe that you can print, save, or share, click here!

Yields: 1 serving


2 teaspoons pumpkin purée (canned is fine)
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (*see my spice note)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons granulated sugar
1 shot (3 tablespoons) hot espresso
   or double-strength coffee (**see my coffee note)
2/3 cup cold milk
Cinnamon stick
Whipped cream

Step 1: In an 8-ounce mug combine pumpkin purée, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, and sugar.

Step 2: Pour the hot espresso (or double-strength coffee) into the mug. Stir well to blend the flavors.

Step 3: Froth up the milk using an espresso machine steam wand. OR simply warm the milk in a saucepan over very low heat (do not allow milk to boil or you’ll get a scorched taste) then froth with a whisk, hand blender, or electric mixer.

Step 4: Using a spoon, hold back the foam in your pitcher or saucepan as you pour the steamed milk fluid into the hot espresso. Add a cinnamon stick and stir to mix the flavors. Top with foamed milk and drink with joy.

*SPICE NOTE: Pumpkin pie spice is available in most grocery store spice sections. To make your own, simply mix the following ground spices for 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice: ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ginger, 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice or ground cloves, and 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg. 

**COFFEE NOTE: To make double-strength coffee in an automatic drip coffee maker, French press, or pour-over cone, double the amount of ground coffee that you would normally use. For example, instead of 2 tablespoons of ground coffee per 6 ounces of water, use 4 tablespoons and...

Eat (and read) with joy! 
~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.

To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.

Last year's
hardcover bestseller
is now a bestseller in

A Brew to a Kill

To learn more,
click here. 

"A foodie's delight...
And a satisfyingly
rich mystery."

~ Kirkus Reviews

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
12 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here.


  1. I am trying this tomorrow! I LOVE those pumpkin spice lattes and just happen to have a can of pumpkin leftover from Thanksgiving. It will be 2 degrees when I get up in the morning, so a spiced latte will be just the thing. Thanks!

  2. Oh I can't wait to try this. I love this drink, but would rather not shell out the big bucks for it, as often as I'd like to drink it! Thanks so much, Cleo!!

  3. And then there's the world's best hot dog -- Papaya King on 86th and 3rd (the original, all the rest of those Papaya places are copycats, or, in this case, copy hotdogs)!

    Thanks for the recipe!

  4. World's best mystery writer slash Photographer of difficult to make look good food items.

    And it does sound best!

  5. Mmm....what a perfect treat on such a cold day here in Chicago --- which, incidentally, is where the real best pizza in the world comes from. Best hot dogs too :::grin::: But I'll give you the cheesecake and the deli. Wow. Both are fabulous! Thanks for this copycat. Love it!

  6. Replies to...

    @Pattie - 2 degrees! Yikes, I hope my latte keeps you warm. And, for sure, this a great drink for fall with all the pumpkin pies and cakes and cookies being baked. Just reserve a few teaspoons extra and you'll have some wonderful pumpkin spice latte drinks, too. :))

    More replies to come...
    ~ Cleo
    Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  7. Replies to...

    @Elizabeth -- LOL on the $$$ for those holiday lattes. They truly are delicious and many of them are more like a dessert than a mere drink, but they do indeed take a *bite* (pun intended!) out of one's pocket money. Have a great day. :)

    @Dave from A year on the Grill -- I'll take that "world's best" and see YOU as the "world's best Kansas cookin', island-lovin' grill man who blogs - fo' sure!"

    ~ Cleo
    Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  8. Replies to...

    @Laura - PAPAYA KING! W00t! They really do rule, but you're going to be in a fight to the finish with the NATHAN'S FAMOUS hot dog lovers here in NYC. I like both and refuse to choose. My husband votes for Papaya King though. :)

    As a New Yorker, I completely get your naming the street, too, btw. For me, the Ray's Pizza I think of as THE BEST and REAL Ray's is on 6th and 11th in my old neighborhood (and Clare Cosi's current one), Greenwich Village.

    Stay warm, girl! The Big Apple's going into the deep freeze this week...

    ~ Cleo
    Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  9. Reply to...

    @Julie - Chicago has the world's best *deep-dish* pizza, I'll give you that one! Best pizza, we'll have to agree to disagree. :) I think you might just have me on the hot dogs. Chicago Red Hots are my absolute favorite dog in the world, bar none! Stay warm, girl, someone tweeted yesterday that Chicago suddenly turned into the Ice Planet Hoth! Brrrrr.....baby, it's cold outside. Time for another latte...

    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  10. I have always looked at the seasonal drinks but never purchased one. It would be fun to experiment at home, though. Thanks!

  11. This sounds yummy! I never thought about using pumpkin puree IN my coffee. Might just be trying it this afternoon, it's the perfect type of day for it!

  12. What a wonderful afternoon treat this would make. Especially in 20 degree weather!

    ~ Krista

  13. Oh, yum! I do love the selection of winter's coffees. I'll have to try this one. Thanks, Cleo!

  14. I'll have to try this. However, since I don't have plain pumpkin pure I'll use the canned pumpkin pie stuff I have at home and omit the pumpkin pie spice (as its already in there.) :-) Now I can hardly wait to get off work and go home and try it! Thanks so much.

  15. Yummy! I moved to the country about 3 years ago and seriously miss my daily latte!

  16. I love that movie! and this coffee I do mine in the crockpot!

  17. I'm a fan of Ray's Original :) Thanks for sharing your worlds best coffee!

  18. I think I'll surprise my latte-loving daughters for Christmas. It'll blow their socks off. Thanks, Cleo!

  19. It might not be the world best... but it looks really delicious :)

  20. I love that scene in Elf when he finds "the worlds best coffee".. oh the holidays! :) I cant wait to give this a try.. I wait months for Starbucks to put out their holiday coffees and now I can make them at home!

  21. I can't wait to try this Pumpkin Spice Latte. It's only 20 here now in the "burbs" of Chicago, so I want one now. Thanks for sharing! Do you have anymore DIY coffee drink recipes?

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