Come fall, the world seems to go crazy with pumpkin spice everything, from lattes to Spam. We share a quick and easy homemade pumpkin pie spice mix, with a couple of variations, and some suggestions for using your spice blend.
What is in pumpkin pie spice?
Pumpkin pie spice typically includes ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, ground cloves, and sometimes ground allspice. These spices pair well with recipes calling for pumpkin.
Proportions vary, depending on the tastes of the baker. Some recipes only include cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Cloves have a strong flavor, so most recipes that include them use them in smaller proportion.
Mixing and Storage Tips
I buy my spices in bulk from the organic section at our local supermarket. For me, I really taste the difference between conventional and organic – plus you can't beat the price for organic spice. If you do bulk buy, make sure the store turns over product regularly so your spices are fresh.
It's best to mix up a fresh batch of spice each year, because the flavors do fade with age. I measure into a small bowl to mix, and then store in an airtight container, away from direct heat. (Don't keep your spices on the back of the stove, as the heat causes the flavors to fade more quickly.)
The small container I used for the photos is a mini vintage milk bottle that I received as a party favor at a baby shower. It was so cute I wanted to reuse it.
You can also store your spice blend in a small mason jar, or get small glass jars that are made just for spices, like the ones below.Print
Pumpkin Spice Recipe
Perfect for pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread or your pumpkin spice latte, this pumpkin spice blend is sure to please.
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Mix together all ingredients in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container, away from direct heat and light. Best used with one year.
If only a small amount of the spice blend is desired (for instance, for a single pie), use 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/8 teaspoon cloves and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg. It's fine to mix as little or as much as you need.
Add 1 teaspoon allspice or 1/2 teaspoon cardamom to the mix.
What can I substitute for Pumpkin Spice?
If you don't have a premade spice blend or the all the spices listed in the mix above, you can substitute cinnamon, or nutmeg, or allspice alone, or in different proportions than listed above. For instance, half cinnamon and half nutmeg.
Be aware that the flavor will not be the same as a mix of several spices, but it can do in a pinch if you're in the middle of a recipe and realize you're short on spices.
To get a printable list of other common kitchen substitutions, visit the article “Handy Kitchen Substitutions“.
Recipes to Use Your Spice Blend
When you're ready to use your spice blend, check out:
- Pumpkin Scones
- Pumpkin Waffles with Maple Cinnamon Whipped Cream
- Easy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
- Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer – so you can make homemade pumpkin spice lattes
- Homemade Pumpkin Pie
The right spices really bring out the flavor in store bought pumpkin, or your own homemade pumpkin puree. This time of year is perfect weather for these warming spices and baking.