Just in case you aren’t feeling the spirit of autumn yet here’s one more reason to get you in the mood. Every year there’s lots of talk about Starbuck’s famed “Pumpkin Spice Latte,” but why leave the kids out of all the fun? I don’t know about you, but my children have not graduated to lattes quite yet, which is why I came up with this “Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate” drink for them instead. And since it has cocoa in it you can easily add a shot of espresso to turn it into an adult “Pumpkin Spice Mocha” (or Latte) as well…which means there is something for everyone. Enjoy!
“Pumpkin Spice” Hot Chocolate (or Mocha or Latte)
If you're a huge fan of the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte during the fall, then you'll love this much healthier homemade version. I love that now the kids can also enjoy this yummy drink since I've included a hot cocoa version for them, too!
Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but 100 Days of Real Food will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us spread our message!
107 thoughts on ““Pumpkin Spice” Hot Chocolate (or Mocha or Latte)”
I just made this using the latte recipe with maple syrup. It is an amazing recipe!! So yummy on a blustery Fall morning. Thank you for sharing this Lisa. :)
I put a little pureed pumpkin in mine too to boost the goodness.
Can you imagine, t’latte style? I can ;-P
O M freaking G!
I made this in my “pod” machine by mixing ground coffee w/ the cocoa and the spices (didn’t have PP spice per se so made my own w/ cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom), then loaded it into my DIY pod and pressed “GO!” I nuked the milk while the coffee brewed, and skipped the sweetener (learned from a barista that heating milk to 180’F caramelizes the milk sugars so it tastes sweeter & I can skip a LOT of the sugar).
LOVING this! It’s never really fall this far South but I can pretend!
I subscribe to Consumer Labs and they tested cocoa powders and dark chocolates and found high levels of lead and cadmium in many of them, including Hersheys Dark Cocoa. I stopped using it as a result and have switched to Bakers unsweetened chocolate bars which had the highest level of flavonoids and no lead or cadmium. I thought you might be interested in this information. I don’t think anyone wants to be exposing themselves or their families to lead and cadmium. It is very disappointing that so many of the chocolates and cocoa powders have lead and cadmium and are allowed to remain on the market. Consumer Labs is an independent lab that tests supplements and products that aren’t FDA regulated.
This is great! It would be great to get a healthier spin on some of their holiday drinks like peppermint mocha and gingerbread latte and would love to know your take.
I’ve made similar recipes and the spices are always gritty and and clump at the bottom of my cup. Any recommendations?
Blend it with a whisk!
I just made the hot chocolate for myself. Then made it for my husband. I was sooo jealous that he had a full cup to enjoy and I only had 1/2 cup left. I’m definitely making this again tomorrow. So good!
The kids don’t have to miss out on Starbucks! Starbucks actually sells Pumpkin Spice Hot Cocoa, too, and in the smaller (& cheaper!) kids sizes.
Oh my gosh this was amazing. I will never buy a pumpkin spice latte again
Hi there, Jen. Yes, cocoa powder, milk and sweeten to taste with honey. ~Amy
To make real hot chocolate do you just use unsweetened cocoa powder and a little honey? Thanks!
Hi Lori. We’ve not tried that but I imagine you could. You might have to do some remixing before reheating. ~Amy
Can I make the hot cocoa “in bulk,” like a quart or two and keep it in the fridge to warm up in the morning?
I LOVE this thanks for posting. I just made a Pumpkin Spice Hot Cocoa. Awesome. I also realized if I travel with some cocoa and some pumpkin spice I could even have these on the road with just a cup of steamed milk. I too love the PSL however with all the chemicals i have gone with out this year. Thank you for this recipe list!
Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice: http://www.parade.com/157763/lorilange/how-to-make-pumpkin-pie-spice/
Love this! I don’t have an espresso maker so I’ve been using very strong coffee and the smallest cup setting on my Keurig for the “shot.” Also, I made my own pumpkin spice mix using equal parts cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger and allspice. Delicious!
this recipe sounds yummy…however wondering if lisa has recommendation/suggestion for making a hot chocolate mix to put in some cute canisters for gifts? i love making things like that for neighbors, teachers, etc. as gifts. i’d love to have any ideas or suggestions! thanks!
I’d love to know this too! Following…..
Hello Erica and Betsy. It might be difficult to find a dry mixture that follows the rules. But, you could certainly improve upon what you typically would find in store bought mixes (many contain hydrogenated oils) with just good cocoa, organic sugar and maybe a bit of salt. You could do a real food hot cocoa kit which could include a good cocoa and some local honey. This blogger has some ideas: http://dontwastethecrumbs.com/2012/12/homemade-instant-hot-cocoa-made-with-real-ingredients-single-serve-and-frugal-gift-idea/. And, here are some other ideas Lisa has had in the homemade gift category: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2011/12/02/real-food-tips-12-homemade-holiday-gifts-that-aren%E2%80%99t-cookies/. Hope this helps. ~Amy
What’s a good espresso machine? Can this be done with a milk alternative?
Hi Jen. You can find Lisa’s machine here: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/my-kitchen-essentials/. And sure, you could use almond or coconut milk. ~Amy
I’m wondering if anyone has tips on how to get the pumpkin pie spice to dissolve?
I’m using freshly steamed milk and coffee but I still end up with a collection of spice at the bottom of my cup.
I’m using this pretty much every day now. :)
Hi Vanessa. I always have a bit at the bottom, too. I just stir often. :) ~Amy
I’ve started making my own pumpkin lattes at home a while now…alot cheaper and healthier as i can use all natural ingredients….I add a tablespoon or two of canned pumpkin ( not canned pumpkin pie filling) and to make pumpkin chai latte I heat a little water with my chai tea bag, with pumpkin then add steamed/hot milk and then add a dash of nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon
….voila perfect for fall
I’ve made this recipe before. I sub maple syrup for the sugar (and reduce the amount) and heat it on the stove rather than a crockpot. I LOVE it. I can’t wait for it to get cooler here, so I can make it on a Saturday afternoon.
Ok really silly. I bought the same espresso machine as you but its used. I know how to make it but I dont know how much 1 shot or 2 shots is. Can u help???
When the shots come out and fill two small “shot glasses” – each shot glass is a shot
What if u do not have expresso??? Can u use reg perk
Hi Christine. You can ad lib with a really strong small cup of coffee. ;) ~Amy
I double brewed mine to make an ‘espresso’. What you do is brew a strong cup of coffee, and then pour what you just brewed back into where the water normally goes, and then brew another strong cup. It’s the closest thing I’ve been able to do at home to espresso. Hope that helps!
Great idea Lauren!!
Isn’t this missing the pumpkin portion?? Isn’t that what makes it a PUMPKIN spice latte? Otherwise, it’s just like buying/brewing flavored coffee?
Pumpkin pie spice is in the recipe
There’s no pumpkin in the popular Pumpkin Spice Lattes at the famous coffee shot either–it’s a “pumpkin spice” flavor coming from the spices traditionally used in pumpkin pie, plus sweetener.
That’s taking it too literally, I think. “Pumpkin pie spice” is a tasty thing (mix) on it’s own. Personally, I don’t want pumpkin in my coffee.
But if you insist?
This is delicious. I made have to drink this everyday now.
Made mine with native forest coconut milk and a cup of coffee, so delicious!
I used apple pie spice in place of the pumpkin and it was delicious! Subtle flavor but very nice.
Just read the answer in a previous comment! Thanks!
would LOVE to know where to find the super cute mug you put that latte in!
This tasted like warm spiced milk. No cocoa taste at all. I love Starbucks Pumpkin Lattes and this was not even close. What in the world did I do wrong? Is that really correct to only put 1/4 tsp. of cocoa in 3/4 cups of milk?
Hi Amy. You need to adjust it to your taste…add more cocoa if you like it a little more “cocoa-y”. Jill
Made myself a “latte” using this today. Made some substituions (maple syrup instead of honey, unsweetened, plain almond milk instead of milk), added more than a shot of coffee and left off the whipped topping. It was very tasty; might try the “mocha” from a different post tomorrow! :)