Tag Archives: coffee

DIY Pumpkin Spice Syrup


Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup
Isn’t autumn glorious!! The colours, the smells, the flavours that are inspired by this time of the year are simply incredible.  Who doesn’t love curling up with a warm cup of coffee to read a good book while nature is getting ready for a long winter sleep. The only thing that makes a cup of coffee better is a slice of this Apple Spice Cake and a drizzle of Pumpkin Spice Syrup to go along. Pumpkin Spice Syrup
When we first moved to England three years ago Pumpkin Spice Latte at a local Starbucks was  something of a myth, a tale from a faraway land called America. The baristas heard of it but had not idea why anyone would want to consume pumpkins in a drink form. I complained loudly mostly on Facebook and a friend suggested making my own syrup. Now, since I own little and stylish Italian Gaggia, enjoying homemade Pumpkin Spice Lattes has become an everyday treat. 🙂 My bank account and my waist line thanked me. Happiness is…Pumpkin Spice Syrup
Ingredients: (Makes about 750 ml)

  • Water-2 cups/500ml
  • Demerara/Turbinado Sugar- 2 1/2 cups
  • Cinnamon- 1 tsp.  and 1 stick of cinnamon
  • Nutmeg- 1/2 tsp.
  • Ground Ginger- 1/2 tsp.
  • Cloves- 1/4 tsp.
  • Canned pumpkin (or use your own like I did)- 4 tbsp.


1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium pot and stir to combine, bring to a boil and then cook 5 more minutes over medium low heat.

2.  Strain the syrup through a fine sieve and bottle it. Keep refrigerated!

3. If you have an espresso machine chances are you know already how to make a latte, so just add 1-2 tablespoons of Pumpkin Spice Syrup  and a swirl of whipped cream for a special occasion. As for me, I rarely indulge ( by which I mean “never”) in a cream topping but I do love me some Pumpkin Spice Syrup!

4. If you don’t own an espresso machine, not to worry! Just brew some strong coffee and add steamed milk to it at 1:1 ratio,  then stir in some pumpkin spice syrup to taste. Relax and enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Syrup
Note: If you do decide to prepare your own pumpkin puree here is what you need to do. Split your pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Place your pumpkin halves on a baking sheet cut side down and roast at 400F/200C for 45-60 minutes depending on the size of your pumpkin. Pierce it with a knife to check for doneness, it should go in and out easily.

Salted Caramel Affogato


Salted Caramel Affogato
Salted Caramel Affogato. Doesn’t it look heavenly! Do you know what else is so stellar about this dessert? It’s a dessert your children will not steal from you because it requires a sophisticated adult taste and a deep love for coffee…and caramel. Better yet, only two ingredients are needed. Ice-Cream and Espresso. Affogato is Italian for “drowned”, so literally what you get is delicious ice-cream drowned in a shot of espresso. I can’t imagine anything better for an afternoon pick me up. Just picture yourself with a good book or a magazine and a cup of that liquid delight. I am pretty sure it would also go nicely with my morning paper and a holiday in Sicily this summer. Alas, summer holiday in Sicily is not in my near future but it is in Angela’s who, once again offered her help and Italian expertise for creating this post. 

Salted Caramel Affogato
Ingredients: (for 2)

  • Salted Caramel Ice-Cream or your favourite flavour-2 scoops
  • Freshly prepared espresso- 2 shots
  • Amaretto or Bailey’s (optional)
  • Chocolate shavings or curls (optional)


Scoop ice-cream into two individual cups or short glasses. Prepare espresso and pour over ice-cream, add Amaretto or Bailey’s if desired and sprinkle with chocolate. Don’t wait any longer, enjoy immediately!!

Salted Caramel AffogatoSalted Caramel AffogatoSalted Caramel AffogatoSalted Caramel Affogato

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes


Pumpkin Spice Latte CupcakesThese cupcakes were born out of my never ending longing for Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes that were not available in England last autumn. I’ve moved so many times in my life that I’ve developed a certain strategy by now. My way of coping with the change is to bring as many familiar things into my life as possible to alleviate the stress of it for a time until I no longer need them.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes were a result of one of my experiments in the kitchen that worked well the first time. I love when that happens! In this case I combined two recipes- my favourite Pumpkin Muffin recipe that was given to me by a dear friend Barbara from my church in Canada and the icing came from Sweetapolita’s Vanilla Bean Latte Cake. Well, let’s jump to it.

Cupcake Recipe


4 1/2 c. flour
3 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 salt
3 tsp. cinnamon and 1tsp. mixed pumpkin spice(nutmeg, cloves, ginger)
2 1/4 c oil
3 c. white sugar
6 eggs
1 large can 28 oz of pumpkin pure or use your own as I did

Mix first 5 ingredients, add next 3, than the last one.
Bake at 325 F/160C for 25-30 min.

Easy peazy lemon squeezy. Please, don’t judge me for saying that but when you are a mom of two primary school children a lot of unnecessary stuff is rattling in your brain!

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Right, this particular Buttercream recipe takes longer than the traditional American Buttercream but has much superior taste, so for me it’s worth the effort. Don’t be intimidated to attempt it, especially if you have a stand mixer like KitchenAid or any other brand-the machine is practically doing it for you!


6 large egg whites
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups(340 g) unsalted butter, softened but cool, cut into cubes
1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder dissolved into 1 teaspoon boiling water
Pinch of salt


Cut your butter into cubes and set aside. Clean your mixing bowl very well making sure there are no traces of grease left on it from previous use. I wiped it and the beater with a bit of lemon juice. Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks (refrigerate the yolks for another day in the kitchen). Set a large pot about 1/3 full of water on the stove on medium heat. Combine egg whites and sugar in your mixing bowl with a whisk and set the bowl inside the pot of simmering water to create a double boiler. Heat the mixture while constantly whisking it. I am serious about the word “constantly”. Do not walk away from it under any circumstances or you will boil your egg whites. Continue whisking until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is hot.

Take the bowl out of the pot and start whisking the eggs whites with a whisk attachment until the mixture is no longer warm and looks thick and glossy. It will take about 10 minutes.  And will look like this. The next step is combining the meringue with butter but don’t start putting butter yet if your bowl is still warm to the touch.

Switch to a paddle attachment and start adding your cubes of butter one at a time and continue beating until each cube is fully incorporated. Add your vanilla and coffee flavour last. Now I have heard many times that at this point in the process your buttercream might curdle but because it never happened to me I thought that the people just didn’t follow the directions properly! Well, it curdled today but I knew that I just had to keep beating and it would come back together. I beat and beat and beat and then beat some more. Then I switched to a whisk attachment and continued beating because the icing would just not submit! In the end I conquered it and the awful cottage cheese like icing turned into fluffy, silky and delicious!

Pipe your beautiful Buttercream on the cupcakes using a star tip and decorate with a coffee bean or however your creativity inspires you.

A perfect treat for this November day. I do hope you will give these cupcakes a try.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

If you really would rather not spend the time making Swiss Meringue Buttercream I would recommend adding a bit of coffee flavour to the regular Buttercream and this way you too will end up with something like this…

Pumpkin Spice Latte CupcakesEnjoy!