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Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice

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Our Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice, an ideal spice blend for enhancing all your beloved fall recipes. Customize the flavor to suit your preferences and even add your own unique twist!

If you haven’t tried making your own spice mixes before, you’re in for a treat—it’s incredibly simple! Crafting pumpkin pie spice in your own kitchen is not only easy but also a smart way to steer clear of the unwanted additives often found in store-bought varieties. Many commercial options contain anti-caking agents, stabilizers, gluten, sugar, and MSG, which might not be very appealing to you.

Ingredients for homemade pumpkin pie spice in a jar.

This recipe in its entirety comes from my mother, who was a Master Baker and gave me a serious love of desserts! It’s been used for years, both professionally and around the family table. It contains a secret ingredient of sorts, probably not so secret, but it really makes these spices shine.

Cardamom! Rightly so-called since it’s my mom’s blend! OK, couldn’t resist, but this spice WOW it’s complex and if you’ve never smelled or tasted cardamom then you’re in for a treat.

Also called, cardamon or cardamum is a spice made from the seeds of several plants in the genera Elettaria and Amomum in the family Zingiberaceae. Both genera are native to the Indian subcontinent and Indonesia.

Cardamom pods
Cardamom pods
Amomum pods

They’re recognized by their small seed pods: triangular in cross-section and spindle-shaped, with a thin, papery outer shell and small, black seeds; Elettaria pods are light green and smaller, while Amomum pods are larger and dark brown.

Cardamom pods
Elettaria Pods

Exploring the Aroma of Cardamom

Ground Cardamom seeds have a subtle perfume, that’s almost floral in nature. Savory, slightly woody, and sweet with a hit of fennel or anise.

Fun Fact! Did you know that cardamom ranks as the world’s third most expensive spice, trailing behind only vanilla and saffron in terms of price per weight?

Does Cardamom Taste like Licorice?

Cardamom is complex in flavor and has a hint of fennel. Giving it mild licorice and clove hints with a twist of citrus! It’s the ideal spice to compliment cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.

Are There Other Spices I Can Use in Pumpkin Pie Spice?

Be adventurous and create a new Pumpkin Pie Spice, here are some other sweet and spicy additions that can put a whole new spin on your recipes!

  • Allspice: Has a spicy taste and fragrance that closely resembles a mixture of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and a dash of black pepper. Warm and pleasantly pungent with peppery tones as well as hints of juniper and peppercorn. A varied seasoning can be used to flavor main dishes, sides, desserts, and even drinks.
  • Black Pepper: Sharp, piercing aroma and a characteristic woody, piney flavor that is hot and sharp to the taste. Black Pepper adds flavor to nearly every food of every country around the globe. 
  • Cinnamon: Characteristically woody with a sweet earthy in taste and aroma. Warming to the taste and the main ingredient in Pumpkin Pie Spice. Cinnamon is the dried inner bark of various evergreen trees belonging to the genus Cinnamomum. At harvest, the bark is stripped off and put in the sun, where it curls into the familiar form called “quills.”Cinnamon in the ground form is used in baked dishes, on fruits, and in confections. 
  • Cloves: Warming to the taste, strong and sweet with a strong astringent flavor. Cloves are used in meats, salad dressings, and desserts and is an essential flavor contributor to ketchup and Worcestershire sauce seasoning blends. 
  • Cardamom: As a spice, cardamom is extremely versatile, and is used all over the world in coffee, sausage, meat, and fish recipes. Usually purchased ground, but for a more intense flavor experience, the pods can be opened to release its tiny black seeds and then ground freshly. 

Pumpkin Spice is my favorite season!

  • Fennel: Has a mild licorice aroma and flavor and when used in moderation it balances many dishes beautifully. Fennel seeds are featured in Indian, Asian and Middle Eastern cooking, and they are a frequent ingredient used in making sausages. They’re also a key ingredient when making absinthe. 
  • Ground Ginger: Sweet, spicy and woody ground ginger is the primary spice in gingerbread. But it’s also an essential ingredient for pumpkin pie spice. In the 1800s, Ginger was commonly sprinkled on top of beer or ale, then mixed into the drink with a hot poker, thus the invention of ginger ale.
  • Lemon Peel: Bright and beautiful the addition of lemon peel adds needed citrus hit too many dishes. Also used to flavor salad dressings, cookies, desserts, vegetable dishes and so much more. Use sparingly, since the flavor is concentrated. 
  • Nutmeg: Warm, sweet and woody with a slightly earthy floral aroma. If you’re using whole nutmeg the contrast between the freshly ground spice and the pre-ground variety is like night and day. Freshly grated nutmeg is incredibly rich, earthy and complex- try it and you’ll never look back! 
  • Mace: Ground from the lacy outer covering of the nutmeg, commonly called “blades,” mace imparts a sweet and pungent flavor that is different from nutmeg but balances it. Many times French cuisine calls for them to be used in tandem to balance the flavors. The aroma is more peppery and not as sweet as nutmeg.
  • Star Anise: This pretty, star-shaped spice has an intensely sweet licorice taste and smell, offering a notable counter-point of flavor. It has many uses both alone and in combination. Star anise pairs beautifully with sweet potatoes and pumpkin and offers a unique addition to caramelized onions too. Just toss a small piece in the pan and it adds an amazing depth of flavor. 
Punch of Pumpkin Pie garnished with vanilla bean whipped cream on a white plate.
Punch of Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Spice Recipe Variations

Classic Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Full Monty Pumpkin Pie Spice  
  • 4 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground star anise
Piquant Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 4 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne
Pumpkin Cream Cheese bread ona rustic wooden background
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread

Versatile Uses for Pumpkin Spice:

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice can be used in more than just Pumpkin Pie! Its name undersells the value it actually holds for many dishes in the kitchen! Here are some great ideas for adding this lovely spice to your fall recipe roundup! If a recipe doesn’t directly call for pumpkin pie spice you can easily add some to taste.

  • Pumpkin Pie: Enhance the traditional flavor of pumpkin pie with a generous sprinkle of pumpkin spice in the filling.
  • Baked Goods: Add pumpkin spice to muffins, cupcakes, cookies, scones, and quick bread for a warm, aromatic flavor.
  • Coffee and Tea: Stir pumpkin spice into your coffee or tea for a festive and flavorful beverage.
  • Pancakes and Waffles: Incorporate pumpkin spice into pancake or waffle batter for a cozy fall breakfast.
  • Oatmeal: Sprinkle pumpkin spice over oatmeal along with some brown sugar for a comforting and aromatic start to your day.
  • Smoothies: Blend pumpkin spice into smoothies with pumpkin purée, banana, and almond milk for a nutritious and seasonal treat.
  • Granola: Mix pumpkin spice into homemade granola for a delicious topping for yogurt or oatmeal.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Toss carrots, sweet potatoes, or acorn squash with olive oil and pumpkin spice before roasting for a flavorful side dish.
  • Whipped Cream: Stir pumpkin spice into whipped cream to top off pies, cakes, or hot cocoa for an extra burst of flavor.
  • Ice Cream: Mix pumpkin spice into homemade or store-bought ice cream for a festive autumn dessert.

Creating Pumpkin Spice Popcorn: A Festive Snack Adventure

  1. Pop the Popcorn: Start by popping your popcorn kernels using your preferred method. You can use an air popper, stovetop popping method, or microwave popcorn.

  2. Prepare Pumpkin Spice Mixture: In a small bowl, mix together pumpkin spice seasoning. You can use store-bought pumpkin spice mix or make your own by combining ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice.

  3. Melt Butter: In a saucepan or microwave-safe bowl, melt butter over low heat or in the microwave until completely melted.

  4. Coat Popcorn: Place the popped popcorn in a large bowl. Drizzle the melted butter over the popcorn, tossing gently to coat evenly.

  5. Sprinkle with Pumpkin Spice: Sprinkle the pumpkin spice mixture over the butter-coated popcorn, tossing again to ensure the spices are evenly distributed.

  6. Add Sweetener (Optional): If desired, drizzle honey or maple syrup over the popcorn for a touch of sweetness. Toss again to coat evenly.

  7. Bake (Optional): For an extra crispy texture and to help the seasoning stick, spread the seasoned popcorn on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in a preheated oven at 300°F (150°C) for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  8. Cool and Enjoy: Allow the popcorn to cool completely before serving. Transfer to a serving bowl or individual bags and enjoy your delicious homemade pumpkin spice popcorn!

This simple recipe is perfect for satisfying your autumn cravings with a festive twist.

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Ingredients for homemade pumpkin pie spice in a jar.

Storing Pumpkin Pie Spice for Freshness

To maintain the freshness and flavor of your pumpkin pie spice, follow these simple storage guidelines:

  1. Choose the Right Container: Opt for an airtight container, preferably glass, to keep moisture and air out.

  2. Cool, Dark Location: Store the spice in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and heat sources, such as the pantry or a kitchen cabinet.

  3. Avoid Moisture: Keep the spice away from moisture by ensuring the container is tightly sealed at all times. Moisture can cause clumping and degrade the quality of the spice.

  4. Label and Date: Properly label the container with the contents and date of purchase or creation. This helps you keep track of its freshness and usage.

  5. Shelf Life: Pumpkin pie spice typically maintains its potency and flavor for about 1 to 2 years when stored properly. However, for optimal flavor, it’s best to use it within the first year.

By following these storage tips, you can ensure that your pumpkin pie spice retains its delicious flavor and aroma for as long as possible.

How To Make Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice

Our Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice is the perfect spice blend for all of your favorite baked goods. Plus you can adjust the flavor to your liking and create your own amazing twist too!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Servings: 5 Tablespoons

Equipment

  • Measuring Spoon
  • Airtight Container

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons cinnamon, ground
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom, ground
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg, ground
  • 1 teaspoon allspice, ground
  • 1 teaspoon cloves, ground
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, ground

Instructions

  • Add the cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and ginger to an airtight container. Shake or stir until thoroughly combined and use in your favorite Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Notes

  • Prep time is apporximate, but this is a super fast spice recipe to add to your flavor arsenal!
  • Properly stored, pumpkin pie spice will generally stay at best quality for about 2 to 3 years. To maximize the shelf life of pumpkin pie spice purchased in bulk, and to better retain flavor and potency, store in an airtight container.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Creative Recipe Inspiration

Savor the rich and comforting flavors of fall with our Pumpkin Chicken Chili. This hearty and aromatic dish combines tender chunks of chicken with wholesome pumpkin puree, creating a velvety texture and a hint of sweetness.

Indulge in the quintessential flavors of autumn with our Harvest Hearth Pumpkin Pie. This delectable dessert encapsulates the essence of the season, featuring a velvety smooth pumpkin filling infused with a blend of warm spices

Step Into My Kitchen!

Hey there, fellow food enthusiast! Welcome to Mean Green Chef, where every dish tells a story and every recipe is a labor of love. I’m thrilled to share a bit about myself and the journey that led me here, stirring pots and sprinkling spices for over three decades!

Let’s Cook Together!

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