Apple pie is the perfect dessert at any given time or place. So, you may crave it out of the blue, when you don’t have easy access to apple pie spice.
If you’re wondering “What is a substitute for apple pie spice?” so that you don’t have to wait before you enjoy your dessert, keep reading.
Typically, pre-made apple pie spices consist of a mixture of cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Some brands go the extra mile and add cardamom as well.
The spices included aren’t too hard to find around your kitchen or order from the supermarket. That’s why you can easily make your homemade apple pie spice.
If you decide to make a homemade substitute for apple pie spice, you’ll need cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
You can mix and match these spices and create a special apple pie spice recipe, or you can completely replace it with pumpkin pie spice.
Let’s look at the results of some of these combinations so you can decide whether you want to opt for a homemade recipe or stick to the premade options.
If you’re looking for the apple pie’s sweet yet spicy flavor, you can opt for cinnamon exclusively.
However, you need to keep in mind that you’ll have to reduce the sugar you typically use in apple pie recipes. This is because cinnamon is much sweeter than the other spices—nutmeg and allspice, for example—usually found in apple pie spice recipes.
Allspice combines the taste of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. That’s why it’s an excellent substitute for apple pie spice if you don’t have it.
If you’re looking for the warm yet pungent flavor of apple pies, allspice is the perfect substitute for you.
You can mix equal parts nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove to get the taste you would if you use allspice only.
If you’re looking for a combination of spiciness, warmth, and sweetness, the nutmeg and cinnamon mix will serve you well. Use equal parts nutmeg and cinnamon for the perfect balance of flavor.
The best part about this mix is that it gives you a sweet and pungent taste, which resembles the one you get from the premade apple pie spice mix.
It’s worth mentioning that you might need to reduce the amount of nutmeg you use if you’ll grate it freshly. When it’s fresh, nutmeg tends to be stronger than the pre-ground and stored alternatives.
If smell is an essential element of your culinary experience, try a blend of ginger and cinnamon. This combination gives you a warm and fragrant result besides the sweetness and richness.
You don’t need to worry about apple pie spice if you have some pumpkin pie spice lying around.
Pumpkin spice includes ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon—all of which give apple pie spice its rich taste.
Chinese 5 spice is a popular blend used in both Chinese and Vietnamese kitchens. While it’s more likely that it won’t be lying around your kitchen, it would make a good alternative for apple pie spice if you have it.
Typically, it consists of ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, star anise, and Sichuan pepper.
Getting the best balance between the different flavors of spices included in apple pie spice isn’t so easy. Yet, there’s the perfect recipe to ensure everything balances out, and that’s as follows:
Ingredients if you’re using a teaspoon:
- 3/4 ground cinnamon
- ⅛ ground nutmeg
- A pinch of ground allspice
- A pinch of ground cardamom
Ingredients if you’re using a tablespoon:
- 2 ground cinnamon
- ½ ground nutmeg
- ¼ ground allspice
- ¼ ground cardamom
If you end up with plenty of apple pie spice while making the substitute, you can use the extra amounts to add a touch of flavor to some of your favorite meals, drinks, or desserts. Let’s look at the options.
You can add a whole new flavor to your morning cup of cappuccino or latte by sprinkling some apple pie spice on it.
Moreover, the best dulce de leche can be made even better with some apple pie spice added to the base.
Alternatively, you can add apple pie spice to whipped cream to enjoy a drinkable dessert after dinner.
Add a spoon of apple pie spice to your oats while simmering, whether they’re steel-cut, rolled, or quick-cooking oats. You can also add some raisins or apple slices.
Alternatively, you can add apple pie spice to your fruit yogurt mix before adding granola and fruits.
If you’re making the granola yourself, you can add some apple pie spice into the mix before you bake it.
Before dipping your French toast and frying it, add a sprinkle of apple pie spice to get a more flavorful taste.
If you’re making pancakes or waffles, add a spoon of apple pie spice to the batter before you cook it.
On the other hand, you can add apple pie spice to the maple syrup to give it a sweet-savory taste instead of the pancakes.
Yes, you can store apple pie spice for as long as four months as long as you keep it in an airtight container and stock it in a cool, dry place.
The best part about apple pie spice is that you don’t have to measure down to the letter. Several recipes encourage you to add more of whatever spice you like the best and whose flavor you enjoy the most.
So, what are you waiting for? Get that chef inside you working and try to mix up your special homemade apple pie spice recipe to get the flavor you and your loved ones like the most!
It’s about five ingredients: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, cardamom, and —most importantly— love.
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.