Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte

This is my healthier version of the popular Starbucks drink, which, while delicious, is absolutely loaded with sugar.  You can make the recipe hot or iced, but since we are still dealing with weather in the 90’s here I went with iced.  Lots of ice.  I am not really much of a coffee drinker, but there is something really compelling about turning coffee into dessert in a glass–and let’s be honest, that’s what this is.

Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte

I have heard a fair amount of confusion regarding the various coconut products and their labels.  That makes sense, because the terminology varies so much from product to product.  When I call for coconut milk, I mean the unsweetened coconut milk that you find in a can, not the refrigerated coconut milk beverages you often find in the milk section at the grocery. In most cases I shake the can or stir it to mix the solids into the liquid, but in this case I wanted the liquid to be a little thinner to blend well with the coffee.

When I refer to coconut cream, I mean the solid layer that you will find at the top when you open one of those cans.  If you are avoiding dairy and/or trying to get more coconut into your diet, that solid layer is an excellent substitute for whipped cream.  Just whip it until is almost doubled in volume, with or without some kind of added sweetener.  Note that it will whip better if it is chilled.  That dollop you see on top of the iced latte in the picture is some whipped coconut cream.

Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte
Recipe type: Beverage
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • I cup strong, brewed coffee, cooled
  • 1/3 cup organic pumpkin puree
  • 6-8 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • cinnamon, to taste
  • nutmeg, to taste
  • Optional: whipped coconut cream, for garnish
  1. For the unsweetened coconut milk, scoop the solids off of the top of the can before measuring out a cup of the remaining liquid. Use the solids to whip with a little extra coconut sugar for the topping, if desired.
  2. In a blender, combine the cup of coconut milk with the coffee, pumpkin puree, coconut sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings, as needed.
  3. Fill two tall glasses about 2/3 of the way with ice cubes. Pour half of the mixture into each glass. Garnish with whipped coconut cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon, if desired. Serve immediately.
  4. Note: if you want to serve this hot, just place the blended liquid into microwave-safe mugs and microwave until hot.

Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte

It’s a little more work than driving through at Starbucks, but it tastes pretty great and you won’t be left feeling bad about sucking down a cup full of sugar.  Worth the trouble.

Thanks for reading,


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44 Responses to Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte

  1. Denise in Michigan September 8, 2013 at 6:09 am #

    Looks delicious! And thanks for the explanations of coconut milk and cream, but I’ve never heard of coconut sugar. Am I likely to find it at the coop or at World Foods downtown?

    • Angela September 9, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

      Denise, you could definitely find it at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, or any health food store. It is becoming more widely available.

  2. Jersey Girl Cooks September 9, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    I love this as i love coconut milk. The perfect fall drink!

  3. Lesli M September 12, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    How is this not loaded with sugar? 6-8 TABLEspoons? For two servings? That’s no different from Starbucks. A 12oz Pumpkin Spice Latte has 49g of carbs — that’s about 11 tsp (3 2/3 Tbsp) of sugar.

    1 tsp of coconut sugar has 4g of carbs. 8 Tbsp = 24 tsp = 96g of carbs. Divide by two and you have 48g.

    Also, coconut sugar is not better than table sugar — it’s 70-80% sucrose (table sugar = sucrose = 1/2 fructose, 1/2 glucose).

    This recipe sounds delicious, but it’s just as loaded with sugar as the Starbucks version.

    • Angela September 12, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

      Lesli, it definitely is not low sugar, but it is lower in sugar (and that is why I gave a range of 6-8 tablespoons). Coconut sugar is lower glycemic but it is still sugar, and this is still a treat. You can obviously adjust the sugar or omit it, that is your call.

      • Lesli M September 12, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

        So, how is this “healthier” If the sugar load is the same — even with the possible lower GI? Your first sentence makes this sound like it’s going to be better (lower sugar) for you than the Starbucks version.

        As for the lower glycemic index. That’s not proven. There are no studies in PubMed for “coconut sugar.” The American Diabetes Association says coconut sugar should be treated the same as table sugar:

        There’s a very thorough post here about the origins of coconut sugar:

        I’m not trying to pick on you or at you. I’m just scratching my head at your “healthier version” that is still “loaded with sugar.”

        • Angela September 12, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

          Most people who follow the Paleo diet avoid dairy, and this is dairy free. Starbucks uses “pumpkin flavored syrup,” whereas this uses actual pumpkin. It is made with real food ingredients, and you control the amounts–ergo, if you are concerned about the levels of sugar, you get to make that choice. If you read the post you will see that I said that this is a dessert. Anything that you make at home is under your control. Again, if you don’t want the sugar, leave it out.

    • Dana September 16, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

      Also, Starbucks pumpkin spice latte actually has zero pumpkin in it. posted a whole breakdown of the ingredients.

      • Angela September 16, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

        Yep–it’s made with “pumpkin flavored syrup,” whatever that means.

  4. Tara September 15, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    You made me day! I have been craving Pumpkin Iced Coffee. Every day I talk myself out of going to Dunkin Donuts to get one. I made your recipe and am enjoying pure heaven in a glass! Thank you so much!

    • Angela September 15, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

      Thank you, Tara! So happy you liked it.

  5. Chelsea September 20, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    Ah! Can’t wait to try this! I’m dairy free and super bummed about not having my PSLs this year at Starbucks. Looking forward to trying this recipe out, thanks!

    • Angela September 20, 2013 at 9:51 am #

      Chelsea, hope you enjoy!

  6. Mel September 23, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    Awesome! All ingredients I can pronounce. Thanks!

    • Angela September 23, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

      So glad you liked it! I am a fan of food that is lab-free 🙂

  7. Joy D September 23, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    thank you thank you!!! I will try making this on my day off!

    • Angela September 23, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

      Hope you like it, Joy!

  8. Heather September 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    Perfect! I didn’t add all the sugar that was noted in the recipe because I don’t like my coffee that sweet. I skimmed the measurement down two 2 Tbls and a teaspoon or so of agave nectar. So delicious!Thanks for sharing!

    • Angela September 29, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

      Glad you liked it!

  9. cely October 4, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

    Tried this tonight. It was wonderful! Thank you 🙂

    • Angela October 5, 2013 at 9:11 am #

      I am so glad you liked it!

  10. Kali October 16, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    I never post on blogs, however after reading Lesli’s comment, I felt obliged to respond. I only wish that I had as much time as her to not only search for posts that I find interesting, but then also have the time to reply negatively, research the information and then continue to respond. It’s sad that I was so excited about knowing I can have a dairy free and much healthier preservative free version that I could make myself and alternate to my needs, only to then stumble on her review of negativity. God bless your free time. I’m more interested in being outdoors, and enjoying daily life than taking my precious time to try to criticize others.
    With that being said, I used stevia in mine and it was Devine!

    • Kali October 16, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

      Oh, and since my four month old is still sleeping, I figured I would post how glad I am to be avoiding this insane amount of artificial ingredients now with your recipe!
      This disgusted me:

    • Angela October 16, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

      I love to cut unrefined sugar with a few drops of stevia–good call!! I’m so glad you liked it, and yeah, in general any time you are dealing with real food you are doing something healthier. I really appreciate the positive comments 🙂

  11. Kayla July 31, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

    I can’t wait to try this!! I’m on whole30 and have been drinking black coffee the past could weeks and I really missed have some kind of special drink, thanks so much for posting this!!!!!

    • Angela August 1, 2014 at 8:32 am #

      Kayla, good luck with the Whole30!

  12. Karen Harris September 29, 2014 at 6:55 am #

    Yep, what Kali said. I’m trying this asap and I don’t even like pumpkin spice anything.

  13. Shelby October 6, 2014 at 9:45 am #

    New to Paleo and all things coconut. Just want to clarify something. If I mix the can of coconut milk up and, will it just be higher caloric value and richer texture? Or would it not be a good thing to do?

    • Angela October 6, 2014 at 10:25 am #

      Shelby, you could definitely stir up the coconut milk if you like–I wanted a slightly thinner texture and I also wanted to use the solid coconut “cream” for the top of the glass, but that is not necessary.

  14. Amy October 19, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

    Seriously. SO. GOOD. Way better than any non-paleo psl recipes I’ve tried…and I’ve tried a lot. Thank you!

    • Angela October 19, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

      Amy, thanks so much! You made my day.

  15. Paige July 8, 2015 at 12:22 pm #


    How long does this coffee last? Could I make a batch and would it last for a week?


    • Angela July 8, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

      Paige, I’m not sure if it would last for a week, but I have stored extra overnight and had it the next day and it was fine. It might start to settle into layers if you store it much longer, but that is just a guess–it never lasts that long here.

  16. Organic coconut sugar July 16, 2015 at 7:24 am #

    Thank you for sharing. i love coconut sugar. I can’t wait to try this. i will definitely try this recipe on the coming weekend.

  17. Emily October 11, 2015 at 7:37 pm #

    I am definitely going to try this it sounds too delicious not to! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Angela October 11, 2015 at 7:50 pm #

      I hope you like it!

  18. Trinity November 29, 2015 at 3:16 pm #

    So so much yum!!! Can’t wait to try it and I don’t give a fig about the sugar… as long as I’m making it at home I KNOW I’m getting a way healthier version and that is good enough for me! Thanks for posting this!!

    • Angela November 29, 2015 at 4:16 pm #

      Thanks, Trinity! I feel the same way, clearly.


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