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Learn the EASY DIY way to make homemade pumpkin pie spice. This recipe is a favorite and has so many uses for desserts like cookies, cake mixes, and even coffee! This makes the perfect substitute if you jar of spice is empty!
See all the handy recommendations on what to do with the spice combo and pick the one you like the best!
Every fall we all hear about "Pumpkin spice". All the glory goes to the pumpkin in the mix, but nothing is really said about the spice that makes it the combo that it is! Pumpkin getting all the raves, and poor spice mixture over in the corner.
But did you know you don't have to mix pumpkin pie spice with pumpkin? We are all about breaking the fall rules today my friends! I tested it out with my no pumpkin pumpkin pie spice loaf just to verify it and it was a hit!
History of pumpkin pie spice
First off, let's talk about the history of pumpkin pie spice. Did you know that it was a Pillsbury bake off contestant that made the spice mixture a staple? In 1964, 17 year old Janis Boykin won $25,000 for her recipe called "Peacheasy Pie". It was a recipe she created and perfected in her home economics class. I'm gonna guess that was one proud home economics teacher!
Peacheasy pie-- notice it's not pumpkin. It was a pie recipe using canned peaches, a cheesecake swirl and some pie dough. Not only did she create this awesome amazing pie, but she did it without using pumpkin, but still using pumpkin pie spice.
The recipe called for 2 teaspoons of "pumpkin pie spice". Newspapers that published the winning recipe had to clarify what exactly pumpkin pie spice was. They reached out to the American Spice Trade Association, which is a real thing and still in existence today!
They explained that it was a blend that was manufactured by several major brands at the time. They even included a recommended serving ratio of 1 ½ teaspoons to every 2 cups of flour.
What ingredients do you need to make your own?
The recipe is simple with just a few common spices that are probably already hanging out in your cabinet including:
- Ground Cloves
The best part is that you are in control of this. Experiment to your hearts content. Love ginger and hate cloves, experiment by increasing one and getting rid of the other. Love cardamon and want to add it? Start slow and build up. The spices are generally inexpensive, so just work in small batches until you have the perfect combo that makes your heart sing. Testing it on toast is a great way to know!
Why make your own when you can buy it? There are a couple reasons I like to make my own. One reason have control of the spices I want included and to be able to mix them in the ratio I like. The second reason is because if I bought even a small jar at the store, I probably wouldn't use it up by the time the pumpkin spice season had passed.
Spices lose their potency as time goes on. So it makes sense that I would just make small batches during the season. I typically am buying the main ingredients on a regular basis and so I know they are fresh. Since pumpkin pie spice can go bad in the form of losing it's flavor, this is a great way to avoid that happening.
I also buy my spices in the ground form, but if you want to go all out and grate nutmeg or ground cloves, you are free to do so when making your own spice mixture!
You might have also noticed I didn't add allspice. Did you know is an unripe berry from a tropical evergreen that has been cured? You learn something new everyday! Allspice when ground resembles the flavors of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. Since I include those above, I exclude it. BUT if you have it on hand and love it, feel free to add a bit in.
So you might have just asked yourself "Is pumpkin pie spice the same as allspice"? The answer is no. In a bind you can substitute allspice for pumpkin pie spice, but it won't give the exact same flavor profile.
Ways to use pumpkin pie spice blend
You can use pumpkin pie spice in lots of things! Experiment at your hearts content. You can spy my pumpkin pie spice loaf above. It features only the spice, but I did top it with homemade pumpkin frosting. You can serve it with just powdered sugar on top if you don't want to go the pumpkin route!
Some ideas to use it in are:
- cake recipes
- bread recipes
- on toast with a bit of sugar
- pie recipes (not just pumpkin - think pear, apple or even cherry!)
- as a swirl in a cheesecake
- streusel toppings
- fall loaf recipes
- gingerbread recipes
- sweet potato casseroles
- coffee (either mixed in with the grounds before brewing, or add to your freshly made cup)
- butter recipes (mixed with straight butter or in homemade recipes for apple or pear butter)
Did you know pumpkin spice is gluten free? Skip buying more expensive fall themed gluten free mixes and stick with standard mixes and simply add this in!
What ideas do you have for pumpkin pie spice? I'd love to hear more ideas!
PIN THIS RECIPE FOR LATER! You might need it in a bind!
Recipes that use pumpkin pie spice but not pumpkin puree
I had to list them, I know there are some pumpkin haters out there! Now if you do like pumpkin and want something a little bit different this year, you might give my molasses pumpkin pie a try or my easy chocolate pumpkin bundt cake!
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Ingredients for Spice Mixture
- 4.5 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1.5 teaspoon ginger
- .75 teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon cloves
How to make the spice mixture
- Gather all your spices and mix together in a bowl with a whisk.
- Make sure everything is evenly distributed.
- Keep in an air tight jar or container until using it.
- Experiment with the flavors. You can always cut the recipe down if you want to "sample" it first. You can also triple the recipe if you'd like a larger amount. Since spices can lose their flavors, try to use fresh spices and only make the amount you will use that season.