Pumpkin Pie Spice

Pumpkin pie spice is easy to make at home. Just pour the spices you already have in your pantry in a bowl and stir. An easy and inexpensive substitute for store-bought blends.

Pumpkin pie spice in a glass jar on a wooden cutting board, surrounded by measuring spoons full of various spices.

Yes, you can make your own pumpkin pie spice. The beauty of making your own blend at home as a substitute for store-bought pumpkin pie spice is that not only is it cheaper because you can use spices you already have in your pantry but you can tweak the proportions of each spice as you wish. [Editor’s Note: Although we gotta say, we quite like the ratios in the recipe below.] Not only will you never ever have to run to the store just for a jar of spice but you also have a lovely little homemade hostess gift, too.–Renee Schettler

HOW DO I STORE PUMPKIN SPICE?

If you’re into reusing and recycling old spice jars, go ahead and stash this pumpkin pie spice in an empty spice jar that you kept thinking you’d use someday for something. The author notes that it’s best not to use a container that originally was used for garlic, curry, onion powder, or a similarly pungent and savory spice, for what we think are quite obvious reasons.

We’d also like to suggest that if you’re only using this as a seasonal embellishment, you might want to make a fresh batch each autumn from fresh spices. You’ll be thankful you did.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice

Pumpkin pie spice in a glass jar on a wooden cutting board, surrounded by measuring spoons full of various spices.
Pumpkin pie spice is easy to make at home. Just pour the spices you already have in your pantry in a bowl and stir. An easy and inexpensive substitute for store-bought blends.

Prep 5 mins
Total 5 mins
Dessert
American
16 teaspoons
7 kcal
5 / 7 votes
Print RecipeBuy the Cooking With Pumpkin cookbook

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Ingredients 

  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves

Directions
 

  • Dump all the spices in a small bowl and stir to combine.
  • Pour the pumpkin pie spice mix to a small glass canning jar, a repurposed spice jar with a lid, or any other small, resealable container. (If pouring the spice mix into a small container, first place it on a creased sheet of parchment paper and then carefully slide it in, or use a funnel.) The spice mixture will keep airtight at room temperature for many months.  
Print RecipeBuy the Cooking With Pumpkin cookbook

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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1teaspoonCalories: 7kcalCarbohydrates: 2g (1%)Protein: 1g (2%)Fat: 1g (2%)Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 15mgFiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 6IUVitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 19mg (2%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

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Recipe Testers’ Reviews

It doesn’t get any easier than this. Pumpkin pie spice in less than 5 minutes? Fantastic. It’s a touch spicy, but I enjoy it that way. Those who do not may wish to adjust the amount of cloves or ginger, decreasing the amount of either or both by half.

I used this for every recipe I made calling for pumpkin pie spice this past week, and it was delightful in each dish, bringing the fantastic fall spice flavor with depth to everything.

Great idea! Making a small, fresh batch of pumpkin pie spice as you need it is always going to be better than keeping a jar of store-bought spices of indeterminate age sitting in your pantry. I used a combination of three cinnamons or cassia—Korintje (Cinnamomum Burmannii), Vietnamese (Cinnamomum Loureiroi) and Ceylon (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum)—along with freshly ground allspice and freshly ground nutmeg. The ginger and cloves were already ground.

Since I was grinding and then remeasuring, it took me a little more time—maybe about 10 to 15 minutes—but I now have a nice batch of freshly ground pumpkin pie spice, and I can try it in several recipes and see where it works as-is. My gut instinct was to add more ginger right off the bat, but it really is well-balanced as written, so I’m holding off.

One type of cinnamon or cassia would be fine, but I like the complexity of the combination. The nutmeg is a light presence and fluffy since it was freshly ground. Because the freshly ground nutmeg is so fluffy, 2 teaspoons nutmeg weighs much less than 2 teaspoons ginger or allspice. I used a Microplane to grate it and a hand-held spice grinder for the allspice.

Here’s a quick and easy DIY to add to your repertoire. I now have a little batch of homemade pumpkin pie spice ready and waiting for my next autumn baking adventure—and it’s made with my favorite cinnamon, something I’d never get by buying premade pumpkin pie spice. The next time around, I’ll customize it even further, reducing the amount of nutmeg just a bit, which always tends to overpower other flavors for my palate.

This would also make a great gift if packaged in a lovely airtight tin or spice jar. (Who wouldn’t appreciate a gift that provides an excuse to head back into the kitchen after the long summer and proceed with some delicious fall baking?!) It’s especially nice that, unlike some more arduous DIY projects, this takes about 5 minutes from start to finish, whether making up a batch for yourself or as a gift.

This is great. I love the convenience of pumpkin pie spice during the holidays—you don’t have to think about it, and you don’t have to get out a lot of bottles. In fact, sometimes when I make a new recipe that calls for a long list of spices that are related, I calculate the amount needed, and I just use that amount of pumpkin pie spice.

So I’m very happy with this recipe. It was easy and turned out well. I may give little jars of it away for Christmas (along with a plate of cookies, of course).

Why buy another jar of pumpkin pie spice when you can mix this one up from spices already in your cupboard? I’ve used this blend in at least 5 different recipes since mixing it up last weekend (fall is here!) and found it perfectly complemented each recipe.

The mix does make quite a bit—about the amount in a small spice jar from the grocery store—but I think you could easily cut it in half or to a third if you needed less.

Pumpkin pie spice is not something I use often, so this homemade version caught my eye. It uses spices I always have on hand, so I can mix this up as I need it. It mixes up very quickly and smells wonderful.

I’ve used it in a few recipes, and it tastes just like the store-bought stuff, but since I buy my spices in bulk, it costs much less than the store-bought spice.

This pumpkin pie spice mix is the easiest way to get the best out of your favorite fall dessert recipes—pumpkin and otherwise—that call for this spice. This magical blend lends a whisper of all those glorious flavors without overpowering everything upon which it lands.

Imagine your favorite pumpkin or apple dessert with a mystery ingredient that has everyone guess what makes it sweeter, a bit more flamboyant, a step up the excitement ladder, and just plain delicious. This would be that ingredient. And in chili? Go for it! With many commercial pumpkin pie spice mixtures, you’re either overwhelmed by the cinnamon or the cloves but not here. The ratio is perfect—assuming that you’re using your favorite and freshest spices.

Originally published October 9, 2015

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Comments

  1. Going to give this a go using freshly ground spices but I need to figure out how to make ground ginger. Has anyone done this? Thanks.

    1. lowandslow, I think you can do this by drying ginger slices and then grinding them in a spice grinder or food processor. If any of our readers have experience doing this, please let us know!

  2. I make my own apple pie blend as well. I like it so well I generally substitute it for cinnamon. It’s not so different it alters a recipe. I think it’s just a bit more complex and interesting. I use it constantly so it’s always getting used up and refreshed.

    ¼ cup cinnamon
    1 tablespoon allspice
    2 teaspoon nutmeg
    ½ teaspoon cardamom
    ¼ teaspoon vanilla powder

  3. 5 stars
    Jumping a few years ahead to 2018: Trader Joe’s now has available their “Vermont Ghosted Maple Syrup,” which adds a nice touch of heat to further warm up the cozy Fall touch of pancakes or waffles accented by the pumpkin pie spice above. Caveat emptor: this chile-infused syrup should come with an eye-dropper! A former heat-seeker, I recommend doing your usual maple syrup pour, and then gingerly adding a drizzle of the ghosted syrup. Now that October is here and our temperatures have plummeted into the low 70s (short-lived, for sure), it is lovely to be able look forward to the seasonal touch of this blend when baking or caffeinating. Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    Have never purchased pumpkin pie spice, have always made my own. And I like to add mace and ground cardamom to it. And may I add, I really enjoyed your book?

  5. 5 stars
    I just made this spice and used it to show my older daughter, to prove to her, that we can do a homemade java mocha pumpkin spice latte much cheaper, tastier, and healthier than certain places teens love to go. Well, she totally loved it. Here is what I did in case some other people want to try it:
    First I boiled water. I added 2 tablespoons ground mocha java coffee beans to a French press, then added 1/2 boiling water. I let it rest until all the grains went down. Meanwhile, in a blender, I put 1 1/2 cups milk (I used soy), 2 teaspoons this awesome pumpkin spice recipe, 1 tablespoon organic sugar, and then the brewed coffee. I blended it for 50 seconds and voila! If you want it cold, leave it in fridge or freezer for a bit.

    1. Sofia, terrific! What a perfect lesson to teach your daughter—and I suspect that she, in turn, will teach this less frivolous way to achieve a pumpkin spice latter to her friends. Thanks so much for sharing your approach.

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