The evil genius also known as the Pumpkin Spice Latte has returned to Starbucks for the fall.

Why evil genius? Because this seasonal favorite is delicious (well, duh!) but also costly in terms of budget and calories.

Why not save on both by making it at home?

I recently tried to re-create this in my kitchen, using some creative experimentation, and discovered I could make my own version for about a dime a cup (That’s right! A mere 10 cents!). Evil genius? Yes, indeed!


How to make your own pumpkin spice latte

Gather these items:

  • An empty spice container, clean and dried
  • An instant coffee packet
  • White granulated sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Whipping cream (optional)
  • 6 oz. hot water
  • 2 oz. milk

Mix together:

  1. Mix four parts white granulated sugar to one part each of the following: cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Place into an empty spice container.
  2. In a coffee mug, heat 6 oz. of water until hot. Add 1 package instant coffee. Add 2 oz. milk. Blend well.
  3. Sprinkle about 1/8 – ¼ tsp. of the sugar/spice mixture atop the liquid in the mug. Mix. Add additional granulated sugar to taste.
  4. Garnish with whipping cream, and sprinkle with additional nutmeg, if desired.

What I like is that I keep all these ingredients on hand in my pantry and fridge, so I can satisfy my craving for Starbucks-like pumpkin spice coffee anytime! Also, this recipe makes good use of instant coffee single serving packages, which can often be scored for pennies apiece with coupons. For example, the 25 cents off any Folgers product coupon from the Red Plum insert can be used on a 7-pack single-serving box, which retails for around 99 cents. If your store doubles coupons, each packet will only cost 7 cents! Click here for other Folgers, Tasters Choice, Nescafe, and Starbucks VIA printable coupons.

While it’s not exactly the Starbucks experience, the dollars I save by making a pumpkin spice drink at home several times a week can be accumulated for other Starbucks splurges later. Cheers!

This is a guest post by Audrey in Texas. 
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13 thoughts on “DIY: Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte for Pennies!”

  1. Vicki Block says:

    The powder spices don’t blend that well. I ended up with some floating at the top and some at the bottom. I found better recipes for pumpkin creamers that make your coffee awesome.

  2. Mella Baker says:

    Looks good but something about using instant coffee makes me hesitate

  3. Anonymous says:

    I used to work at starbucks 9 years ago and in their caramel apple cider its not made with Cider but the cheaper apple juice.

  4. Vanessa Valdez Jenkins says:

    Here’s for all u Starbucks lovers of the Pumkins Spice ❤

  5. Jan says:

    How is this pumpkin spice without pumpkin

    • bwise says:

      I realized that myself this season. Most stuff that is “pumpkin spice” doesnt contain pumpkin. It is the spices traditionally used with pumpkin in a recipe :)

  6. sarah says:

    You could use Starbucks Via instant coffee packets for a more Starbucks authentic taste. They are about $6.88/ box of 6. Mix with water, add flavor and go!

  7. kimberleem says:

    I have accomplished this with the black tea lemonade at starbucks and the passion iced tea there also. The latter is a tad bit more expensive than the black tea one because I purchase the tazo tea at starbucks, but often have a coupon for it! I also remade the carmel iced coffee too! I barely go to starbucks anymore and save so much. Now when I do go there it is like a treat! They are sooooooo expensive! Thanks for the pumpkin spice latte info, I have a latte machine, gonna try it later with your idea! :) My hubby will be so excited! :)

    • cpigman says:

      Be an angel and share those “recipes”!!

    • Pamela says:

      I make my own soy chai latte at home and it tastes as good as Starbucks. You can find the Tazo brand at Target, Publix or Greenwise and buy it when it’s on sale. Compared to the price of one latte, huge savings and amazing taste. I skip the whipped cream, but you can top off your drink with it if you prefer. Just blend 1/2 cup soy milk (or regular milk) with 1/2 cup of the Tazo chai concentrate and let it simmer on the stove until steaming hot. Want a large mug, 1 cup to 1 cup. Enjoy!

  8. Pro Con says:

    Love that (per the photo) you grind your own nutmeg!! How about a post on saving money on spices for the Christmas baking season? Buying online (mySpiceSage, etc) is waaaaaaay cheaper than buying from a grocery store.