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Everyone knows about the Pumpkin Spice Latte now (if you haven’t, you must be living under a rock)—but have you heard about its espresso-free and black-tea-based counterpart, the Pumpkin Chai Latte?
Loaded with pumpkin puree, warming spices like cinnamon and cloves, and lower-sugar chai mix, this iced pumpkin chai tea latte is the perfect fall drink—especially at the time of year when the midday temperatures are still warm enough to make you ditch the jacket.
While this recipe is for an iced pumpkin chai, you can also easily make it hot with a few simple tweaks—let’s show you how it’s done.
How to Make a Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte
Instead of popping into your neighborhood Starbucks for their Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte, we’re going to make a healthier homemade version.
If you ordered a Grande (16oz) Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte, here’s how much it would set you back:
- 460 calories
- 17g of fat
- 68g of carbs
- 66g of sugar
- 10g of protein
Our homemade pumpkin chai is a healthier option, with just 135 calories and 16.5 grams of sugar per serving—a much better choice if you don’t want to be on a blood sugar roller coaster all day.
We also went the dairy-free and vegan route, using Extra Creamy Planet Oat Milk instead of cow’s milk. While we prefer oat for this recipe, feel free to use any milk option you like—just know it won’t be as creamy.
All you’ll need to do to make this homemade pumpkin chai is blend up the pumpkin puree, vanilla, chai mix, and sugar-free hazelnut syrup, then pour it over a glass that contains ice, oat milk, and pumpkin pie spice.
If you don’t have a blender, a handheld milk frother (like this one) is a worthwhile tool to have in your kitchen. It won’t work quite as well as a blender, but it will get the job done in this scenario.
If you want to make this into a hot pumpkin spice chai latte, simply add the blended mix (pumpkin puree, vanilla, chai mix, and hazelnut syrup), oat milk, and pumpkin pie spices to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Whisk it all together well and pour into a mug, topping with an additional sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.
If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can add a dollop of whipped cream on top—a coconut milk-based whipped cream will keep this recipe vegan.
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte Ingredients:
- Pumpkin Puree: Canned pumpkin puree is available at just about any grocery store in the fall—but it can sell out quickly, so stock up if you see it! Be sure that you are not buying pumpkin pie filling, which is loaded with sugar and other ingredients. It should say simply “pumpkin puree” or “100% real pumpkin.” We love Farmer’s Market Foods Organic Pumpkin Puree. While you can certainly make homemade pumpkin puree, we don’t think that’s worth the time or effort—let’s take the easy road here, shall we?
- Pumpkin Spices: Pumpkin pie spices are essential for the flavors of this pumpkin latte to turn out right. You can purchase them as a blend, like this one from Simply Organic, or you can get the spices separately. Typically, pumpkin pie spice includes cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg, and ginger.
- Sugar-Free Hazelnut Syrup: If you don’t have sugar-free hazelnut syrup, your latte will still taste good—but this syrup adds a fall-like flavor that is hard to beat. Most sugar-free syrups use sucralose, which we don’t recommend. Instead, try a monk fruit-based hazelnut syrup, like this Lakanto Sugar-Free Hazelnut Syrup.
- Vanilla Extract. A smidge of vanilla extract brings out the pumpkin spice flavors without overpowering anything—and it makes your house smell amazing!
- Tazo Skinny Chai Latte Mix: This is the most important ingredient in a pumpkin spice chai latte—the chai! The word “chai” actually means “tea,” and it is traditionally a blend of black tea and spices like cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and black peppercorns mixed with whole milk. We like this Tazo chai concentrate because it has 45% fewer calories and less sugar than a regular chai tea concentrate. It also uses whole food ingredients, including black tea, ginger, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, cane sugar, honey, ginger juice, and vanilla extract. Each ¾-cup serving of this Tazo Skinny Chai Latte concentrate contains 60 calories and 13 grams of sugar.
- Oat Milk: You can use any non-dairy milk you prefer, but we love oat-based milk for its extra creaminess. Oat milk can vary widely in sugar and fat content, so take a look at the nutrition facts panel. We used Extra Creamy Planet Oat Milk here, as it’s, well, extra creamy. Plus, it doesn’t contain canola oil, which many oat milk brands do.
Pumpkin Chai Latte Recipe
- 2 tbsp Pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp Pumpkin Spice
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tbsp sugarfree hazelnut syrup
- ¾ cup Tazo Skinny Chai Latte Mix
- ½ cup Extra Creamy Planet Oat Milk
Blend Pumpkin Puree, Chai Mix, vanilla, and hazelnut syrup.
Add in spices, ice, and milk to a glass.
Stir and enjoy!
Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte FAQs
What Is in a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte?
The Starbucks Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte contains the following ingredients:
• Pumpkin Cream Cold Foam [Vanilla Sweet Cream (Cream (Cream, Mono And Diglycerides, Carageenan), Milk, Vanilla Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid)), Pumpkin Spice Sauce (Sugar, Condensed Skim Milk, Pumpkin Puree, Contains 2% Or Less Of Fruit And Vegetable Juice For Color, Natural Flavors, Annatto, Salt, Potassium Sorbate)]
• Chai Tea Concentrate [An Infusion Of (Water, Black Tea, Cardamom, Black Pepper, Ginger, Cinnamon, Cloves, Natural Flavors, Star Anise), Sugar, Honey, Ginger Juice, Natural Flavors, Vanilla, Citric Acid]
• Pumpkin Spice Topping [Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, And Cloves]
Rather than using 100% pumpkin puree, Starbucks uses a pumpkin spice sauce that contains sugar and condensed milk before you even see the pumpkin—plus, it adds natural flavors and coloring.
The pumpkin cold foam is also not just pumpkin and cream—it’s made of cream, carrageenan, milk, vanilla syrup, and the pumpkin sauce containing sweetened condensed milk.
Is the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Chai Healthy?
The short answer is no: the Starbucks Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte is not healthy. A Grande size of this drink contains:
• 460 calories
• 17g of fat
• 68g of carbs
• 66g of sugar
• 10g of protein
A 16oz hot version of this drink (the Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea Latte) contains:
• 310 calories
• 4.5g of fat
• 60g of carbs
• 58g of sugar
• 9g of protein
Do Pumpkin Spice Chai Lattes Have Caffeine?
Yes, pumpkin chai lattes have some caffeine because they are made with black tea. However, black tea contains slightly less caffeine than coffee or espresso.
At Starbucks, a Grande-size hot Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea Latte contains 70 milligrams of caffeine, while the Grande Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte has 95 milligrams of caffeine.
For reference, a Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte contains 150 milligrams of caffeine.
What Are the Benefits Of Pumpkin Chai Tea?
A pumpkin spice chai latte has many health benefits—as long as it’s not loaded with sugar. In our homemade version, you can find many nutritious ingredients, like real pumpkin puree, black tea, and pumpkin pie spices like cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg, and ginger. Pumpkin is rich in beta-carotene (the precursor to vitamin A), which is beneficial for immune function, vision, and skin health. Black tea contains antioxidants, including flavonoids, catechins, and theaflavins, which are thought to lower unhealthy cholesterol, support healthy body weight, and improve heart health. Cinnamon is known to lower blood sugar and improve insulin responses, while ginger is a root with potent anti-inflammatory properties.