Pumpkin Pie, an American classic, the crowned jewel of the Thanksgiving dessert table. The spices in a pumpkin pie spice make pumpkin pie or any other delicious pumpkin recipes what we know today as the guilty pleasures of pumpkin season. You either love or hate pumpkin pie, there is no in-between with this spiced up fall flavor. I'm a pumpkin pie lover for sure. I've always loved everything about pumpkin pie, but I think what really makes it great is the spice mixture. It's that earthy, nutty, spicy flavor that attracts us pumpkin lovers every fall season. It's so easy to make your own homemade pumpkin pie spice and you probably have all the ingredients already.
Pumpkin Pie Spice Ingredients
Just like the pie itself, pumpkin pie spice has many variations to it. I've seen 3 to 6 spice mixture variations with a varying amount of spices. My homemade spice blend is a 5 spice mix ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground allspice and ground cloves. Some homemade pumpkin spice recipes have a 6th spice added to the mix which is mace; the twin to nutmeg you could say. They come from the same seed so they have some similarities. I usually don't have mace in my spice drawer, so that's why I didn't include it in this spice mixture. This blend is great as is, and I wanted to be easy for you all to put together with your own spices on hand. That's why I decided to keep it this way for my own homemade pumpkin pie spice blend. Be sure to check expiration dates on your common spices though because the if they've long expires, your spices will just not have the same robust flavor.
What is the Difference Between Pumpkin Pie Spice & Apple Pie Spice?
These two spice mixtures each have their own perfect blend of spices that make the pies the delicious guilty pleasures we know and love about each one. The only difference between these spice blends is cloves. Apple pie spice blends do not have cloves, but pumpkin pie spice does. Also, some, but not all apple pie spice blends have cardamom. For both spice blends the main ingredient is ground cinnamon, so technically, you could make your own spice mixes for both types of pies and just exclude cloves from the apple pie version. Just saying... There's really no need in getting the pre-made version of with in the grocery store. You've probably got all those great warm spices right in your spice cabinet already.
Ways to Use Pumpkin Spice Mix
Pretty much any delicious pumpkin dessert recipe like pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cake, pumpkin bars and of course a classic pumpkin pie has this spice blend in it. If it has pumpkin in it, it will most likely use the above spices to give those desserts that warm, cozy flavor we all know and love. Do you want to make your own pumpkin spice lattes at home? You totally can with your own blend of these simple spices and it won't cost you 5 plus bucks for a cup. You can even use it to make a pumpkin pie smoothie for a change.
Keeping & Storing your Own Spice Blends
As with any homemade spice blend, be sure to store the spice mixes is a small jar that's air-tight, at room temperature, in a dry, dark place. One year is a good rule of thumb to follow for homemade mixes, but it also depends on the expiration dates of the individual spices used in the mix. Your spice mix will not be "bad" per se if it's longer than a year, but it will lose it's pungent smell and great flavor after a long time has passed.