Since Starbucks introduced the pumpkin spice latte in 2003, the coffee chain has sold more than 200 million of the drinks, Forbes reported last fall, estimating seasonal sales at more than $100 million -- one $4.25 to $4.75, 12-ounce dose at a time. Consumers don't have to pay that for a PSL, though, because there are plenty of recipes for DIY pumpkin spice lattes, from the basic drink to special twists.
Related: Beyond Pie: 11 Ways to Cook or Bake With Pumpkin
Betty Crocker has a 10-minute recipe for two pumpkin spice lattes. All it takes is a few kitchen staples -- milk, sugar, vanilla, coffee -- plus pumpkin pie spice and 2 tablespoons of canned pumpkin. The Food Network has a similar single-serve recipe, but it calls for espresso and features the foamed milk traditionally associated with lattes.
For a daily dose of pumpkin spice that's ultra-low-calorie, give regular brewed coffee a little PSL essence with directions posted on Allrecipes: Simply add cinnamon and allspice to ground coffee in a drip coffee maker, then prepare the coffee as usual. There's no actual pumpkin, but the coffee picks up the flavor of some of the spices used in pumpkin pie.
Chocolate lovers, rejoice. Author Lisa Leake has a recipe for pumpkin hot cocoa on her blog 100 Days of Real Food. It's just pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup or honey, unsweetened cocoa, and warm milk -- good for kids who aren't old enough for coffee. For a pumpkin spice mocha, just add espresso. (Leake also has a four-ingredient pumpkin spice latte recipe.)
Author George Bryant has a paleo version of the PSL on his Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations blog. Along with the typical spices and pumpkin purée, the recipe calls for coconut milk and raw organic honey. (Other paleo pumpkin recipes on the blog include pumpkin coconut squares and pumpkin pancakes.)
ICED OR SKINNY
The blog Add a Pinch has a recipe for the PSL three ways: normal, iced, and skinny. The iced version uses cold brew coffee or chilled espresso and, of course, ice cubes. The skinny version calls for coconut, almond, or soy milk in place of cow's milk, and stevia takes the place of sugar -- hold the whipped cream. For a cool low-cal alternative, make it both skinny and iced.
There are a couple of other easy ways to get the PSL flavor. PopSugar's recipe calls for shaking pumpkin spice and vanilla syrups in a jar with milk until frothy, then microwaving and pouring over espresso. The recipe calls for the standard garnish: whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice. A Spoon University contributer's version simply calls for pumpkin-spice-flavored coffee and steamed milk, plus the whipped cream and spices on top. There's also a little extra spice in the bottom of the mug.
The 21-and-older crowd can enjoy a pumpkin spice latte that's as simple as it gets: Just add Bailey's Pumpkin Spice cream liqueur to coffee and milk. Bailey's also has a recipe for pumpkin spice chai. That bottle of Bailey's isn't cheap -- normal retail is about $25 -- but it could last all season for the cost of five tall PSLs from Starbucks.