Slow Cooker Spiced Pumpkin Mocha Latte

I’m becoming increasingly thankful that I didn’t start a food blog like I had originally dreamed of doing. Between the testing, tasting, tweaking, and trying my recipe ideas over and over again (not to mention the time spent taking photos of the finished product), I’m pretty much amazed that anyone has a food blog!

That being said, I am nonetheless happy to have an outlet where I can share original recipes, but without the pressure of having to.

This recipe was inspired by the chocolate chip pumpkin bread that my mom used to make every fall when I was a child. It was such a cozy season for our family growing up, and I suppose this was my way of reminiscing over it.

As I was working on this recipe, I was reminded of something a former coworker posted on social media a year ago about Abuelita hot chocolate being better that pumpkin spice latte. The conversation that ensued on his page was so funny! People are passionate about their beverage preferences!

I had to smile as I created this recipe since it combines the warmth of pumpkin spice with the richness of chocolate. It’s a win-win in my book, and I hope others will think so too!

Although I used normal cocoa powder in this recipe to make it accessible to more people, I would wholeheartedly recommend substituting the cocoa powder (and cinnamon) for a wedge or two of Abuelita hot chocolate if you can find it at your local grocery store. Just make sure that you adjust the amount of sweetened condensed milk you use (or substitute it with a low-calorie sweetener altogether, if desired). Also, feel free to use your milk of choice. However, if you use a non-dairy option, choose one that is creamy in texture, as it will help to keep the latte from tasting grainy.

Lastly, if you make this beverage, please let me know what you think!  I hope it makes this season a little sweeter for you!

Ingredients:

  • 4 c strong brewed coffee
  • 4 c milk of choice
  • ½ c pumpkin puree
  • 1 ½ T pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ c – 1 c sweetened condensed milk, as desired
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • 4-6 whole cloves (optional)

Directions:

Place the coffee, milk, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, cocoa powder, and sweetened condensed milk in a slow cooker. Stir well. Add the cinnamon sticks and cloves and cook on high for 1 ½ to 2 hours, or until flavors have blended together and the beverage is heated through. Stir again, then strain into mugs and serve. Makes 6-8 servings.

Stovetop Method (1-2 Servings):

  • 1 c strong brewed coffee
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 2 T pumpkin puree
  • 1 t pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ T cocoa powder
  • 2-4 T sweetened condensed milk, as desired
  • 1 small cinnamon stick*
  • 1-2 whole cloves (optional)

Add the first 6 ingredients to a pot and mix well. Add the cinnamon stick and cloves, then simmer over medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes, or until heated through. Stir and strain into a mug. Enjoy!

*If you don’t have cinnamon sticks, I would suggest not using cinnamon at all. I found ground cinnamon to make the latte too grainy.

Banana Butternut Butterscotch Muffins

It felt like fall several weeks ago. The air was cool and crisp, and it reminded me of a day nearly a year ago that inspired me to begin this blog in the first place—a day in which I felt God calling me on an adventure with Him (you can read more about that blogpost here: https://anticipatingadventure.com/2019/11/10/example-post/)

The weather has heated up since then and will probably stay warm until late October. It’s pretty typical here. Nonetheless, I’m thankful for this season, and I’m reminded that, no matter how crazy this year has been or how devastating the losses, God is still faithful. He still causes the sun and moon to rise, and He still causes the seasons to come and go.

He made the moon to mark the seasons, the sun knows its time for setting.”

Psalm 104:19

He also brings beauty with each season, and I always see a lot of beauty and meaning in this one. I’m glad to get to experience it once again. It has been refreshing to my soul.

The few days of crisp air that we were able to enjoy last month got me in the mood to do some baking and a little experimenting of my own, so after some basic research on muffin recipes, several muffin-making attempts, many tweaks, and a kind friend who was graciously willing to try each batch, banana butternut butterscotch muffins were born.

These muffins are moist and fluffy, with a hint of banana and a blend of spices that mix together to make this cozy, autumn treat. The butterscotch chips add a kick of extra flavor and just the right amount of sweetness. Added bonus: butternut squash is one of the main ingredients in these muffins, so you can rest assured that you are eating your veggies while you enjoy this baked good.

While I was making these muffins a few days ago, I couldn’t help but notice how much our home smelled like autumn. The spices are so fragrant and really warm up the whole house. These muffins would be perfect to bake on a chilly morning to enjoy with a cup of coffee for breakfast or as an afternoon snack. Or really whenever your heart desires. They are quite delicious, and I hope you’ll think so too.

If you make this recipe, please leave a comment on this post and let me know what you think! I’d love to hear how they turn out for you. Also, feel free to substitute the butterscotch chips for chocolate or white chocolate chips if that is more your style. The white chocolate chips go well with this muffin, and if you are anything like my mom, I’m sure you’ll think the chocolate chips do too!

Here’s the recipe, without further ado:

Banana Butternut Butterscotch Muffins

Ingredients:

  • ½ c apple sauce, unsweetened
  • ½ c cubed butternut squash, roasted
  • ½ c banana (about 1 banana)
  • ½ c light brown sugar
  • 1/3 c granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 ½ c flour
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • ½ t cloves
  • ½ t pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ c butterscotch chips

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend the apple sauce, butternut squash, banana, brown sugar, sugar, egg, and vanilla in a blender until smooth.

In a bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. After mixing, add the butterscotch chips and mix again. Add the wet ingredients to the dry mix and stir until blended. Do not over stir. Place in muffin liners and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins.