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Move over, pumpkin spice latte. Here's an autumn cold foam coffee you can make at home

Starbucks drinks may be all the rage, but a new pumpkin beverage can bring fall romance to your kitchen without the price tag.

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Pumpkin cream cold foam iced coffee will ease you gently into the season.

David Watsky/CNET

If you're not ready to let go of summer and all its refreshing iced-coffee concoctions, but you feel the gentle tug of fall on your cardigan sleeve, I've got the perfect early autumn beverage that won't cause you to break into a hot sweat. And no, it isn't a pumpkin spice latte.

Pumpkin cold foam iced coffee is the creamy and spiced ice beverage of which I speak. It can be found at Starbucks, but it's not terribly difficult to make at home. And once you make the foam -- the only mildly time-consuming part -- you can keep it in the fridge to make more pumpkin spice drinks all week. You can even dollop the foam on other desserts.

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Everything you need to make a pumpkin cream cold foam iced coffee.

David Watsky/CNET

The two ingredients you might have trouble finding are pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree. But as we roll through September and into pie season, most stores should be stocking up on both.

What's in a pumpkin cream cold foam drink?

This foamy, fall coffee drink starts with cold brew or iced coffee, which is topped with a healthy heaping of a sweet pumpkin whipped cream made from pumpkin puree, condensed milk, pumpkin pie spice and heavy cream. Once it's atop the coffee you can let the creamy foam drip down into the coffee slowly (and beautifully), shake it all in a cocktail shaker or mix with a spoon to incorporate.

So now you're probably wondering how to make this fluffy iced coffee. Most of the recipes I found were on the sweet side, but you can easily cut down on the sugar by using less condensed milk or an unsweetened version. I fine-tuned a popular recipe for this slightly-less-sweet-but-still-plenty-sweet version of Starbucks' pumpkin cold foam iced coffee. It's as good as it looks and a perfect 3 p.m. pick-me-up with a little September smack to it.

One more thing to love about the pumpkin cold foam: While there is some sugar, there are no artificial ingredients, and the base of the flavor comes from real pumpkin and fall-friendly spices. You could also replace the whipped cream for nut-based dairy creamer but know that you won't get a proper, fluffy whipped cream topping if you do.

Ingredients for pumpkin cream cold foam iced coffee

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 cups cold brew or other iced coffee

Directions:

1. For the pumpkin foam, whisk together the whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Add in the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice and whisk until smooth. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

2. Build a cold brew or iced coffee in a glass with ice but leave half of an inch at the top for foam.

3. Whip about a half a cup of the foam mixture in a personal blender or in a bowl with a milk frother until light and airy.

4. Scoop pumpkin foam atop your iced coffee or cold brew and sprinkle some remaining pumpkin spice on top.

5. Wave hello to fall and enjoy.

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The beginnings of my pumpkin cold foam after a few twirls with a whisk.

David Watsky/CNET

So what's the verdict on pumpkin cream cold foam iced coffee?

I'm not usually too hyped on baking spices finding their way into nonbaked goods, but I really liked this. I cut down on the sweetened milk and went easy on the pumpkin pie spice, which allowed the actual pumpkin puree to shine through in the foam. I found myself sneaking tiny spoonfuls of the foam out of the bowl in the fridge even after my coffee was gone. I imagine it would go great over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. In fact, I may have to pick some up later today and find out. 

Read more: This $25 device makes iced coffee in a minute