The Key Difference Between Apple Pie Spice vs. Pumpkin Pie Spice

The temperature is dropping, the holidays are coming up and it is time to bake all the things. Somewhere in your well-stocked spice cabinet, you probably have a few spice blends. Of course, this time of year calls for pumpkin pie spice, but don't forget about apple pie spice. We need both spice mixes to make our world of fall baking complete. You might wonder what the difference is between apple pie spice vs pumpkin spice, so we did some digging to find out.

One Ingredient Makes the Difference

If you run out of apple pie spice mix, you can substitute a pumpkin spice blend. Both mixes generally have the same set of ingredients: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice. You might even see cardamom. But the big difference in apple pie spice vs pumpkin spice is that a pumpkin pie spice recipe includes cloves.

You don't have to buy these spice mixes from the grocery store. You can make your own pumpkin spice and apple pie spice blends, which lets you customize the amount of spices you use. The recipes below are really more of a guide. For example, if you don't like the warm bite of ginger, you can use less or even leave it out in your blend of spices. You can double or triple the DIY recipe easily (tip: a little jar of homemade spice mix is a lovely hostess gift for the holidays).

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If you need some ideas for how to use your apple pie spice and pumpkin spice blends, try sprinkling them on oatmeal or French toast, in applesauce or pumpkin butter, and in muffins, cookies and, of course, pies. And don't forget the lattes - though you can switch it up and try an apple pie spice latte with your very own apple pie spice.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice

  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom (optional)

Homemade Apple Pie Spice

  • 4 tablespoons ground cinnamon 
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg 
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)

Mix the spices in a small bowl, then carefully pour the blended spices into a small jar or airtight container. Label your spice jar so that you know which is apple pie spice and which is pumpkin spice. The spices will keep for about a year.

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