Coffee Tricks And Treats—for Halloween

Coffee Tricks And Treats—for Halloween

In the world of coffee lovers, Halloween may be the holiday of choice. It falls during the most deliciously chilly part of the year—autumn—when everyone needs a hot cup of something; it uses coffee’s best friend, chocolate, as one of its foundational building blocks; and pumpkin (the official mascot of Halloween), pairs amazingly with coffee.

Baristas and home latte artists can have a lot of fun with classic Halloween characters using frothed milk as a canvas. Latté art, which makes use of the crema from espresso and the foam resulting from frothing milk, has been a traditional part of the coffee shop latté since its inception in the 1980s in Seattle. Classic shapes include hearts, ferns and leaves, but come Halloween, creative baristas pull out all the stops: jack o’lanterns with toothy grins, spiders, ghosts and even some especially evil (yet milky) skulls. Celebrating the season never tasted so good! 

While you never need an excuse to enjoy a cup of coffee, Halloween means you can enjoy chocolate without too much guilt, either. Whether it’s this Coffee Cake with Chocolate Streusel Topping, or the “Coffee For The Damned” Halloween Coffee Drink that incorporates scotch, tequila and brandy, one can have plenty of fun with scrumptious, spooky coffee treats this year. But for the ultimate in Halloween Coffee Recipes, you’ll need to get your hands on a flavor that only really comes up about once a year—a fruit that, you may be surprised to know, is officially classified as a winter squash—the mighty pumpkin.

The Squash of Choice
Perhaps it’s their versatility that makes them such a natural pair: both coffee and pumpkin have the depth and subtlety of flavor to go in a sweet or savory direction. Or perhaps it’s that their palates of complimentary spices overlap so closely: sugar, molasses (or brown sugar, which is both), cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, allspice and cardamom are just a handful of usual suspects when it comes to spicing up either food.

No need to spend a fortune or wait for fall for your favorite Pumpkin Spice Latté when you can make it at home.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latté


  • 1 tablespoon canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract (sounds like a lot, but you’ll need it)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 shot espresso
  • 2 tablespoons fresh whipped cream


  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the pumpkin with the pumpkin pie spice and a generous helping of black pepper, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until hot.
  2. Add the sugar and stir until the mixture looks like bubbly, thick syrup.
  3. Whisk in the milk and vanilla. Warm gently over medium heat, but do not boil over.
  4. Carefully process mixture with a hand blender until frothy and blended.
  5. Add the frothed milk to the espresso. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, or nutmeg if desired. 

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