Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino with White Chocolate and the glories of early fall in San Francisco

by Irvin on October 1, 2012 · 36 comments

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Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

San Francisco is one of those wacky weather cities where it’s cold during the summertime and then (in theory) it starts to get warm right around August, September and October. This messes things up, as everyone I chat with on Twitter talks about how insanely hot it in July and I’m wearing sweaters and turning the heat on. Worse still, as the summer ends and people start going on and on about Fall and the leaves changing and the cooling weather, it warms up here in SF and I’m walking around, wishing I had a pile of leaves to jump into. Worse still, all my virtual friends start talking about how excited they are about a specific Pumpkin Lattes that is only seasonally available at a big chain coffee shop (*cough* Starbucks *cough*) and in truth, I’ve never been a huge fan. Sure I would go with my co-workers in the morning to said big chain coffee shop, back before I quit my day job, but it was more an excuse to get out of the office cube than a true love of the pumpkin latte. But with the weather shifting for the warmer in San Francisco and days getting shorter, I decided it was time for me to embrace the dichotomy. So I went into my kitchen, pulled out my shiny new KitchenAid blender, and made a Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino with White Chocolate, a blended iced drink that matches the warm fall weather I’m currently loving. (Jump directly to the recipe.)

Dolores Park in San Francisco. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. | www.eatthelove.com

A sunny warm day in Dolores Park.

Dolores Park in San Francisco. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. | www.eatthelove.com

Clearly these people don't drink Frappuccinos. Or much of anything...

Now I’m not one to do a copycat recipe lightly. There are plenty of blogs out there that do that sort of thing and do it probably better than I could ever do it. The fact of the matter is, I don’t frequent the big chain restaurants that often, which is ironic, as I used to work at a design shop whose main clients WERE big chain restaurants. Over the course of the two or three years that I worked there, I became exceedingly familiar with chain restaurant food (a little bit too much so) and could probably tell you everything you needed to know about burger, fries, fried chicken, burritos, and coffee. But I will freely admit that I succumb to the guilty pleasure of getting a flavored latte or Frappuccino when I’m out of town and can’t find a decent independent coffee shop.

Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

Of course, the thing that I noticed whenever I get those drinks it that I know there’s stuff in it that I’m probably shouldn’t be drinking. I’m not one to completely avoid artificial flavored stuff, but I do try to keep it to a minimum. More though, is the idea that I could probably make a drink like this at home, cheaper and better tasting than what they can offer. I’m always reminded at what my mom says whenever she walks by a coffee shop with a huge line. “Why are they waiting in line so long for an expensive drink? In the time that it takes for them to wait to order, pay and have someone else make that drink, they could have made it at home much faster.” My mom is a wise one.

The line for BiRite Creamery. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. | www.eatthelove.com

The line at BiRite Creamery.

Dolores Park in San Francisco. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. | www.eatthelove.com

Guys hanging out ad Dolores Park.

So, with the days getting shorter here in San Francisco, I decided it was time to see if I could make that coffee beverage at home, faster and cheaper and better. I’m not sure if I got the faster part down, but I certainly got the better and cheaper. And let me tell you, I was kinda of loving using my KitchenAid blender, in it’s fancy fun crystal blue color. I’m so ready for the Fall and warmer San Francisco weather with my iced blended drink now.

Dolores Park in San Francisco. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. | www.eatthelove.com

If I keep on drinking these frappuccinos I'll have to join one of these exercise groups.

Special thanks to KitchenAid for providing this blender for me to try out. I actually didn’t have a decent blender beforehand and I certainly didn’t have one in the festive Crystal Blue color that they are now creating their products in. Added bonus is that the blender actually has a “crush ice” button which came in handy when I made this! Though they provided the blender for me, everything stated above is my own opinion and I was not compensated for this post.

KitchenAid's Crystal Blue Blender. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. | www.eatthelove.com

KitchenAid's Crystal Blue Blender.

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar October 1, 2012 at 5:39 am

This looks absolutely lovely!

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Irvin October 3, 2012 at 11:42 pm

Thank you Katrina! I’ve made it several times before posting it. It’s totally lovely.

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Brian @ A Thought For Food October 1, 2012 at 9:16 am

Oh Irvin… Well, you hooked me with those shirtless men and then finished me off with this frappuccino (yes, I just said that). ;-)

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Irvin October 3, 2012 at 11:44 pm

Ha! I was going to make a comment about finishing things off with something sweet and creamy, but I think I’ll refrain…

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Lawyer Loves Lunch October 1, 2012 at 9:19 am

The picture of the line outside BiRite totally made me miss living in the city!

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Irvin October 3, 2012 at 11:45 pm

I miss having you live in the city too! You must come in and visit. We’ll go to BiRite together!

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Kelly October 1, 2012 at 10:44 am

SUPER! now you have me craving one of these!! Love the “fall” season of pumpkin – apples – spiced anything and everything!

Looks yum!

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Irvin October 3, 2012 at 11:45 pm

I’ve decided to embrace Fall and all it’s flavors and fruits. Saying bye to berries and hello to apples, pears and cinnamon spice everything!

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Linda @ My Foodgasm Journal October 1, 2012 at 10:50 am

Yum! So refreshing and easy to make. Love it.

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Irvin October 3, 2012 at 11:46 pm

SUPER easy to make. Glad you enjoyed!

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Kristen October 1, 2012 at 2:23 pm

I think I like San Francisco… very very much.
And this drink? Making one right this very minute. That’s how awesome it looks!

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Irvin October 3, 2012 at 11:46 pm

I LOVE that you made one right away Kristen! And yes, come back to visit SF. It’s a great city. ;)

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SMITH BITES October 1, 2012 at 3:11 pm

you are kinda shameless, you know that right?? the weather in SF looks mighty nice . . . and the drink? well let’s just say that we’re fans!

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Irvin October 3, 2012 at 11:47 pm

It’s true. I have no shame. You know me so well Deb!

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Keely October 1, 2012 at 3:23 pm

I love this. I do love all things pumpkin but the Starbucks obsession is hard for me, I haven’t had a Starbucks in MONTHS and I try not to, I drive out of my way to get to an independent shop or I go without. It’s hard to find other people who feel the same way. Thanks for this, I may have to give it a go :)

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Irvin October 3, 2012 at 11:48 pm

I actually have to go out of my way to go to a Starbucks, from where I live. But I feel your pain. You should definitely try making this. I like it so much more than the Starbucks version!

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Dina Avila October 1, 2012 at 3:33 pm

It’s like all the sexy uber-fit gay men in San Francisco were having a convention :)

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Irvin October 3, 2012 at 11:49 pm

I would say that is true, but really it’s just an average warm day in my local park here in SF! And, surprisingly, I don’t take advantage of going to that park enough. I need to do that.

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merri October 1, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Were you at the park yesterday? I was, it was sooo nice. I didn’t see you but you know it was so crowded there it was hard to find anyone. I was on the shelf part, by the top J stop. I was right by the park on sat too Antonio and I went to the 18 block food party thingie. I thought I might see you since I know you work with 18 reasons who I think made that party? I LOVE the color of that blender!!!! I love brightly colored kitchen things. And while I don’t know the particular guys in that photo I can assure you anyone with abs eats and drinks plenty!

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Irvin October 3, 2012 at 11:54 pm

I WAS at the park! And I rarely go there, even though I live a block away. But it was so nice out in the past couple of days that I had to go and hangout. I was on the shelf part, right under the J stop, but a little bit over, closer to the 19th Street side. I was there rather late.

And yeah, that blender is a gorgeous color right?

And yes, you are right, that guy with the abs probably eats and drinks plenty, but he also probably spends TONS of time at the gym. Something I do not do… AJ knew him, but I didn’t. AJ did the ride with his boyfriend (who’s not in the picture).

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Belinda @zomppa October 1, 2012 at 5:14 pm

I don’t get the weather…nor that dude’s outfit, but kudos to him for carrying it off! I do get the awesome blue blender, though – awesome!!

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Irvin October 3, 2012 at 11:55 pm

The weather is ridiculously warm here in SF. It finally cooled off, but in the past couple of days it’s been sunny and in the mid90′s!

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Stephanie October 1, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Love this! And I definitely appreciate that it’s “naturally” gluten free. You’d think so right? Thanks S*bucks for making something unnatural about a beautiful drink!

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Irvin October 3, 2012 at 11:58 pm

Right? There’s really so many foods that are “naturally” gluten free that are fantastic. When you make stuff at home, you don’t have to worry about additives that go into the food!

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Ruthy @ omeletta October 2, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Please tell me that was some sort of “hot men wearing very little” convention going on in the park, or I might start regretting my current location and life decisions :) Eye candy and a (better!) ‘bucks frappucino, and a cute blender- loved every sight of this post!

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Irvin October 3, 2012 at 11:59 pm

Nope. That’s just an average Fall day in San Francisco! It is definitely a great reason to live here in San Francisco. ;)

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Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen October 3, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Love, love that blender and even more.. love that frappuccino.. thanks for breaking it down in steps for us “do it yourselfers”.. although I do like to pop into SBucks now and then. The flavors are just better at home as you’ve said. You’ve got warm weather!!! We have snow!!!!

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Irvin October 3, 2012 at 11:59 pm

Snow?!? Crazy! We don’t EVER have snow here in SF. I’m a bit jealous. But yes, the flavors ARE always better when you make it at home. AND you have so much more control over it…

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Nancy @ gottagetbaked October 3, 2012 at 9:48 pm

OMG this looks and sounds amazing! I just bet it’s a vast improvement over what you’d get at Starbucks. And I can’t believe all the nearly-nekkid people sunbathing in San Fran right now! I always visit in August and it’s freezing. Now I know the secret – I need to go there in October for summer-like weather.

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Irvin October 4, 2012 at 12:01 am

Usually September and October are when it’s warm here in SF. But sometimes it’s warm in August.

Truth be told, it’s always a hit or miss situation though. A few days ago it was mid90s here in San Francisco. I was sweating up a storm. Today it dropped down to the 70s and it’ll be in the 60s tomorrow. You just never know.

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Averie @ Averie Cooks October 5, 2012 at 9:12 am

Pinned this! Looks delish! Love your blue blender and all these beautiful people, too :)

San Diego’s weather is in the 80s/90s this past week, too! No complaints!

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Alexa October 27, 2012 at 1:33 pm

I’ll have to try this! I’ve been craving a good homemade pumpkin spiced coffee drink!

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Hannah November 25, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Quick question, should we let the coffee mix cool before we add it to the ice to blend? Or can we add it hot, I just wasn’t sure if it would melt the ice to much? Do you happen to have any Chai tea recipes?

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Irvin November 26, 2012 at 1:10 am

Nope. I’m impatient when it comes to most things, which is why I make the coffee double strength and use it while it’s hot. The hot coffee will melt the white chocolate and dissolve the sugar faster. Then I use it in the blender with the ice cubes. You get some melting of the ice cubes, but the act of stirring the coffee to melt the white chocolate and dissolve the sugar actually cools it a bit. The double strength coffee doesn’t taste too watered down when the ice melts because you start with something strong to begin with.

And sorry I don’t have any chai tea recipes, but maybe I’ll post something sometime in the future. Thanks for stopping by!

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Marlene October 16, 2013 at 8:45 pm

I just carved my pumpkin and I am going to use the fresh pumpkin, purée it and use it on this recipe tomorrow. Hopefully I impress my sisters:)

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couteaux de cuisine July 9, 2014 at 6:41 am

it must have a great wonderful flavor,i would lov to try one definitely!

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