Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back at Starbucks which, for the PSL’s many devotes, is basically the unofficial start of autumn. But for vegans, it can seem like there’s less to get excited about. Starbucks’s signature “pumpkin spice sauce”contains dairy, so even if you order your drink made with plant milk, it can never be totally dairy-free. The same applies to pumpkin spice offerings at Dunkin’ and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.
It’s kind of a strange choice on the company’s part. Milk alternative sales rose by 13.5 percent from June 2020 to July 2021, according to Label Insight, a NielsenIQ company, and a vegan PSL mix has already hit the market in Europe and the U.K. So how come Starbucks still doesn’t have a vegan pumpkin spice latte option in the United States? We don’t have an answer – and the company has not offered comment on the matter.
But that doesn’t mean vegans should fret about missing out on a seasonal favorite. We’ve found a bunch of vegan alternatives to coffee chain PSLs for your autumn pleasure.
Elmhurst 1925 Pumpkin Spice Oat Creamer
You can make your own vegan pumpkin spice latte at home with Elmhurst 1925’s pumpkin spice oat creamer. Made with oat milk, hemp cream and just a touch of cane sugar, this is a delightful, clean way to satisfy those pumpkin spice cravings, without any gums or oils. Try a splash of it in iced coffee or cold brew too on days that still feel more like summer. The limited edition flavor is new this year and available while supplies last online and at Sprouts.
Café Gratitude ‘I Am Spicy’ Latte
If you’re in California, the ‘I am Spicy’ pumpkin spice latte at Café Gratitude tastes like a bear hug from an old friend, chock full of fresh pumpkin purée and sweetened with maple syrup, available at all locations throughout October and November. The café is fully vegan, this latte included.
Aldi Benton’s Pumpkin Spice Sandwich Creme Cookies
At Aldi, try the private label Benton’s pumpkin spice sandwich cremes cookies. It’s an autumn twist on the classic Oreo, made with real pumpkin purée and pumpkin powder. Sugar is the first ingredient, so it’s certainly not a virtuous treat, but rather a nostalgic seasonal throwback.
aMYLK Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk
For a pumpkin spice latte sans coffee, try aMYLK’s new pumpkin spice almond mylk, unpasteurized and made in small batches in Portland, Oregon with activated, organically-grown raw nuts. Founder Amy Colville was inspired to create her version of the Starbucks cult favorite without refined sugar. aMYLK is much creamier than typical nut milks you’ll find in grocery stores with a higher concentration of nuts by volume. Drink it cold right from the glass jar or heat it up for a comforting sipper. Feel free to add a shot of espresso for a morning pick-me-up too, or use it when making pancakes. Available for national shipping and locally in Portland through November.
Rishi Botanicals Pumpkin-Saffron Chai
For tea drinkers, Rishi Tea has debuted a pumpkin spice blend this year, incorporating real pumpkin bits with a bounty of seasonal botanicals and saffron for a cheerful chai-like infusion. Risi admits they were aiming for the PSL market, adding notes of sarsaparilla and vanilla, but also credits a Korean tradition of pumpkin-infused tea as inspiration.
Honey Mama’s Pumpkin Spice Cacao Nectar Truffles
Many vegans avoid honey, but for those comfortable with the stuff, Honey Mama’s aromatic pumpkin spice cacao nectar truffle bars are made with organic raw honey, organic sprouted pumpkin seeds, cinnnmon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice for a delightfully indulgent dessert. These bars are like the creamy inside of a chocolate truffle, instantly melting in your mouth. The low melting point means you’ll want to store these in the fridge, but take them out about 15 minutes prior to eating for optimal texture and flavor.
Partake Soft-Baked Pumpkin Spice Cookies
If you prefer your cookies soft rather than crunchy, Partake’s soft baked pumpkin spice cookies are just the thing. These gluten-free, vegan, and allergen-sensitive cookies are made with non-GMO ingredients including a buckwheat, cassava, tapioca, and oat flour blend for a light and cakey texture, spiced up with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Try dunking these in pumpkin spice aMYLK for double the fun.