Pumpkin pie spice is a blend of warm spices commonly used in fall and winter baking. The aroma and flavor capture the essence of autumn, making it a popular ingredient in seasonal recipes.
This spice blend can be added to pumpkin-based desserts like pies, muffins, and bread. Although it can be bought ready-made, creating your own blend is easy and cost-effective.
This article will walk you through how to make your own recipe and adjust it to your liking. We’ll also teach you how to store it and offer some substitution ideas.
Let’s get started!
Pumpkin spice is typically made up of five main spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves.
Each spice brings its special twist to the mix. Together, they help create the perfect balance of sweetness and warmth, with a hint of spice.
Let’s take a closer look at what each ingredient does to the blend:
- Allspice: Allspice has a slightly sweet and fruity aroma. It provides a warm, sweet, and added layer of spice.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon is the most dominant spice in a pumpkin pie spice blend. The spice provides a sweet and warm flavor, balances the other flavors, and brings everything together.
- Cloves: Cloves have a complex and floral aroma that enhances the flavors with a touch of sweetness. It pairs well with cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Ginger: Ginger adds a spicy and slightly sweet kick to the blend, complementing the cinnamon.
- Nutmeg: Nutmeg lends a nutty, sweet flavor that goes well with the cinnamon and ginger. It adds a cozy feeling to the mix.
Making pumpkin pie spice is easier than it sounds! This section will teach you how to make your own with just a few ingredients.
We’ll also let you in on a few secret ingredients if you want to intensify the flavors of your spice:
Here’s a list of the ingredients and equipment needed:
- 3 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- Mixing bowl
- Whisk or fork
- Airtight container
With just a few easy steps, you’ll have your home-made pumpkin pie spice in no time:
- In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients.
- Using a whisk or fork, mix all the ingredients until well-combined.
- Use the funnel to transfer the mixture to an airtight container.
- Store the pumpkin pie spice in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
If you want to add a little mystery to your pumpkin pie spice, consider adding a secret ingredient that will have everyone guessing.
Here are some ideas for customizing your pumpkin pie spice blend:
- Ground Pepper: You can add a small amount of freshly ground black pepper for an extra kick. Start with around 1/8 tsp and adjust as needed.
- Cardamom: You can opt to add a small amount of ground cardamom for a floral and slightly sweet flavor. Add 1/4 tsp, and gradually add more until you achieve your desired flavor.
- Vanilla: Adding a small amount of vanilla extract or vanilla bean seeds can add warm and sweet notes to the spice blend. Start with a small amount, around 1/2 tsp, and adjust as needed.
This section will provide guidelines on how much pumpkin pie spice to use in your recipe. We’ll also include tips on how to adjust the amount according to your taste:
If you’re planning to bake a pumpkin pie, you might be wondering: How much pumpkin pie spice should I use?
When making a 9-inch pumpkin pie, the standard amount of pumpkin pie spice to use is one tsp.
However, keep in mind that this amount can be adjusted based on personal preference and the recipe being used.
First, as you make your pumpkin pie, it’s important to taste it as you go. Add a small amount of the spice and taste the filling until you achieve your desired flavor.
Then, feel free to adjust the amount of the spice listed in the recipe, whether you prefer stronger or milder flavors. Keep in mind who you’re baking the pie for and consider their taste preferences.
Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different spices to achieve the perfect blend. You can be creative and adjust the amount of each spice until you get the flavor you love.
Ready to take your fall baking to the next level? Here are some variations and substitutions you can make to your pumpkin pie spice:
- Cinnamon: You can experiment with different types of cinnamon to change the flavor profile of your pumpkin pie spice. Cassia cinnamon is one of the most common types used in recipes.
Or, you can substitute Ceylon cinnamon, which has a more delicate flavor.
- Ginger: If you don’t have ground ginger in your pantry, you can try using freshly grated ginger or dried ginger.
In place of ginger, you can also try using ground cardamom for a citrusy note, or ground black pepper for a spicy kick.
- Nutmeg: You can use freshly grated nutmeg if you don’t have ground nutmeg. On the other hand, you can substitute ground allspice or mace to your blend.
If you’re looking for a licorice-like flavor, you can opt for star anise.
- Cloves: Cloves add a floral note to the pumpkin spice. However, if you don’t have cloves handy, you can use ground allspice or nutmeg instead.
- Allspice: Allspice can be substituted with cloves for a stronger flavor. However, if you wish for a sweeter note, you can opt for cinnamon.
Pumpkin pie spice can last for up to two years when stored properly. There are a few steps you can take to make the spice last longer.
First, store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and moisture.
Second, avoid storing it near any heat source. This can cause the spices to lose their potency and flavor more quickly.
Finally, using freshly-ground spices is recommended over pre-ground spices. They’ll have a stronger and fresher flavor and aroma.
If you have whole spices, you can grind them using a spice grinder or your trusty mortar and pestle.
To check if your pumpkin pie spice is still good, you can do a smell test. If it smells stale or isn’t as strong as it used to be, it’s time to replace it.
Pumpkin spice is a versatile spice used in a variety of dishes beyond pumpkin pie. Making pumpkin pie spice is easy. More than this, you can customize it to your liking.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different spices and variations to find the blend that you like. Just keep in mind that adjusting the recipe will also change the flavor profiles of your blend.
In addition, remember to store your pumpkin pie spice properly to ensure its freshness and longevity.
With the tips and tricks in this article, you’ll be able to create endless fall-inspired dishes for you and your loved ones to enjoy!
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.