Is There Pumpkin in Pumpkin Pie Spice?

It's hard to get away from pumpkin spice everything during the fall, but there's a reason it's so popular. Sure, pumpkin spice lattes (and yogurt and granola and Spam) make you think of cozy sweaters, hayrides through apple orchards and pumpkin pies, but what most people really love is the pumpkin pie spice flavor.

We've told you about the spices you should always have on hand, and I would argue that you should add pumpkin pie spice to that list. That way, you can have the fall spice flavor you crave any time of year. There are some good spice mixes you can buy, but it's even easier to DIY this spice blend.

Here's our homemade pumpkin pie spice mix and a few of our favorite things to use it in.

What is in Pumpkin Pie Spice?

pumpkin pie spice
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Generally, this spice blend is made of five spices: cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and allspice. Cinnamon has a sweet, spicy flavor. Ginger is a warm bite of spice. Nutmeg brings a woodsy, nutty taste to the blend. Cloves have a strong, slightly bittersweetness. And, last but not least, allspice adds an almost warm peppery taste. (Pro tip: Allspice is actually a dried evergreen berry, not a mix of spices.)

These five spices work together to add a pungent aroma and taste to food and drink. Because they all have a warm flavor, they pair well with creamy flavors like pumpkin and milk.

How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipe

There's a good chance you have all five spices already on hand. Our pumpkin pie spice recipe simply combines them, and it takes almost no prep time.

Here's what you need to start:

  • 3 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

Mix the spices together in a small bowl, then store in an airtight container.

The important thing to remember is that this easy recipe is really about proportions, not exact measurements. If you're not a big fan of cloves, add just a teaspoon. If you like more heat, add a bit more ginger.

You can also double the recipe (or triple) and divide the mix between several pretty glass jars and give them as gifts.

One of the best things about this blend is that you can make it as you need it, so that you're using the freshest spices. The spice mix will stay good for up to two years, but keep in mind how old your ground spices were when you made the blend and count back from there.

How To Use Pumpkin Pie Spice

You can use pumpkin pie spice in so many different things. Pumpkin spice lattes, of course, but also pumpkin bread or muffins. Really, any recipe that uses pumpkin calls for this blend of spices. You can also use it in savory recipes like butternut squash ravioli or pumpkin soup.

Try it in your homemade granola or use it liven up a basic vanilla cake recipe. Given all the pumpkin spice products out there, the DIY possibilities are endless!

Watch: Pumpkin Spice Moonshine

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