Here are my favorite recipes for pumpkin spice latte, gingerbread latte, mocha, salted caramel mocha, and peppermint mocha. (You can also make a peppermint latte, just omit the cocoa.)
When my boyfriend moved in, he had an espresso machine. But since he didn’t have instructions for it, I was afraid to use it. (I am terrified of getting burned by hot water. Probably because when I was a kid, I suffered a terrible burn from hot water.)
Finally, months later, he showed me how to use it – which by the way, was easy peasy – and every since, I have been addicted to making my own coffee shop-style lattes at home.
And you can too!
For a basic 16 oz latte (grande at that famous chain coffee shop), you use a double-shot of espresso and 1 cup of milk. Make the espresso according to the instructions for your machine. Steam and froth the milk. Pour the espresso into your mug, pour the steamed milk into the espresso, and top with the foam. You can even make it all fancy-like with a sprinkle of cocoa powder or something.
But who wants a plain latte? No, you’re here for the good stuff!
To make a gingerbread or pumpkin spice latte, follow the directions above, only add 2 – 4 tablespoons of syrup to the espresso before the milk. Syrup recipes are below.
To make a mocha, put 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder (use good quality!) and 2 tablespoons of sugar in your mug before adding the espresso. Then mix it. Then add the steamed milk, followed by the foam.
To make a salted caramel mocha, add 2 tablespoons of caramel sauce (any kind) and a dash of sea salt to the cocoa powder and sugar. (You might want to decrease the sugar a little.) Then add espresso and mix. Add milk and foam. Top with whipped cream (if desired) and drizzle with caramel sauce and sprinkle with sea salt (or a sea salt/sugar blend).
To make a peppermint mocha, add 2 – 4 tablespoons of peppermint syrup to the espresso, cocoa powder and sugar, before adding the milk. I reduce the sugar slightly, since the peppermint syrup has sugar in it.
Any of these espresso drinks can be topped with whipped cream and garnished with caramel or chocolate drizzle, crushed candy canes, cinnamon, cocoa powder, or anything else you would like.
Experiment with how much espresso, milk, and flavoring you like to make your lattes your way! Share your recipes in the comments.
Use 2 – 4 teaspoons (4 teaspoons = 1/4 cup) of any syrup in your latte by adding to the espresso before adding the steamed milk. Refrigerate leftovers in a tightly covered container.
Pumpkin Spice Syrup
1 1/4 cups water, 1/3 cup pumpkin puree, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 – 15 minutes, until syrupy. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.
Combine 2 cups water, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.
Combine 1/2 c water and 1/2 c sugar in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 minutes, or until it starts to get a little thicker. (It will thicken upon cooling.) Remove from heat and add 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, and stir.