Pumpkin Spice? BASIC.  Jack-o-lantern spice? EDGY. I love a PSL, but a Jack-o-lantern spice latte is the dark warming, spicy latte (okay, mocha really) for the hardcore Halloween lover. No pumpkin. No charcoal. A tricky treat and a pure Halloween FREAK. Sweet, spicy, and a little bit smokey. And almost black. 

So many spooky, dark drinks are made with charcoal, which is v cool. And black. (HEART EYES!) But charcoal is messy and is not for everyone, all the time. It is cool if you are trying to detox, as charcoal binds to compounds, and keeps you from absorbing them. Also v cool! I like to pop a couple of capsules after a night of drinking to help carry out the stuff my body is trying to get rid of. But, that’s NOT cool if it keeps you from absorbing good stuff (like nutrients) or things you need (nutrients or medication).

So…What’s in it…?

BLACK COCOA POWDER! The cornerstone of the Jack-o-Lantern Spice Latte! Black cocoa powder is not new (ever eaten an Oreo?), but it isn’t usually stocked by the home cook. So let’s chat about it!

Per King Arthur Baking Co., black cocoa is “dutched” or processed with an alkalizing agent to make it less acidic, and results in a darker color. My favorite brand of black cocoa is Wierdo Good Black Velvet Cacao Powder, as it is ethically produced! It is not as black as it could technically be due to the restrictions on processing organic food. 

I love using the products above for making my JOLSL (and lots of other things…DAILY!). The Bocha Sweet is the best tasting sugar-free sweetener I’ve tried, and I’m utterly OBSESSED with the Further Foods Vanilla Collagen. It is SO. GOOD. It has an excellent vanilla flavor and is also sweetened a bit with monk fruit.

AND FYI! The spices in this recipe may seem strange, but they all serve the same purpose: to keep it spicy! But spices also help to balance the body through their nutritive properties. Cinnamon and chipotle help to balance blood sugar, ginger supports digestion and black pepper can help with all of the above!


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Jack-O-Lantern Spice Latte (Hot or Iced)

  • Prep Time:
    10 minutes

  • Total Time:
    15 minutes

  • Yield:
    1, 12-oz serving 1x


The dark, spicy mocha for true Halloween lovers! 



  • 1/4 c boiling water (optional- for iced version)
  • 1 scoop vanilla collagen (optional), OR 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c milk of choice
  • 1/2 c cold brew (I used cinnamon Chameleon)
  • 1 tbl black cocoa powder
  • 1 tbl sweetener of choice 
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp chipotle
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Sprinkles (MANDATORY…jk they are optional too)



  1. Warm coffee and milk in a small saucepan over low/medium heat until hot.
  2. Remove from heat and whisk in collagen until dissolved (if using), then whisk in cocoa powder, sweetener, spices.
  3. Stir until sweetener has dissolved, and cocoa powder is incorporated.
  4. Pour into Halloween mug, and top with whipped cream and sprinkles!


  1. If using collagen, stir collagen into boiling hot water until dissolved, I like to use a handheld frother for this.
  2. Add cocoa powder, sweetener and spices, and stir until sweetener has dissolved and cocoa powder is incorporated.
  3. Pour over ice, then add cold brew and milk.
  4. Top with whipped cream and sprinkles!


*Alternatively, blend all ingredients in a blender: for hot version blend spices with warm coffee and milk, for iced version blend hot water and collagen first, then add all other ingredients

  • Category: Beverages