Kate used to be a Garage intern and now she keeps entertaining us from her NYC flat. You can check out all of her posts in our Says the Intern feature.

I hate to be the one to break this to you but Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte has no real pumpkin in it whatsoever. It’s basically full of stuff you do not want to be eating. But don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to give up your beloved holiday treat. You can make pumpkin spice lattes at home that are healthier, taste better and at a fraction of the cost. And if that’s not enough motivation, the Starbucks version has over 50 grams of sugar. Ew.

What you need to make two drinks:

2 cups whole milk: You can go for skim if you want, but this recipe is way more awesome with whole milk.
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin (or fresh if you can find ’em): You can find this in the can section of most grocery stores.
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more to garnish
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract. Add the full two tablespoons to get a legit coffee shop taste.
1 to 2 shots espresso, about 1/4 cup
1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped until firm peaks form

How to make it:

Get a microwave safe bowl. Pour in the milk, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, sugar and vanilla. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Take a fork and poke a bunch of holes in the plastic so it doesn’t explode. Microwave for 1-2 minutes, until the milk is hot. Whip the mix together until it gets foamy, probably about 30 seconds to a minute. Use a whisk if you have one, if not a fork will do.

Pour the coffee into two mugs and add the pumpkin and milk mix on top. If you want it a little hotter you can put the mugs in the microwave for another 30 seconds. Top with whipped cream! Sprinkle some cinnamon and nutmeg on top and enjoy!