Here you will learn how to substitute pumpkin pie spice for individual spices, how to make your own pumpkin spice with just four spices, variations, and how to use it in different recipes in the fall season.
Just imagine you are about to make waffles or latte or pancakes, and there is no spice blend available. This happened today and I realized how important it is to have a list of BEST substitutes for pumpkin spice to use immediately.
Also, this is your DIY homemade pumpkin pie spice that you can use anytime in fall recipes especially in fall desserts like pumpkin mousse, overnight pumpkin spice oatmeal & pumpkin spice chia pudding.
The post contains helpful tips and tricks to make a successful recipe on your first attempt. Please use the link above to jump to the recipe card at the end if you want to skip.
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What is Pumpkin Pie spice
Have you wondered what is pumpkin spice? Is pumpkin a part of it? Is it dried and mixed with other spices to make pumpkin spice seasoning. Definitely, the pumpkin is not a part of it.
Pumpkin pie spice (AKA pumpkin spice) is an American spice blend of warm spices mostly used in the fall/winter season with pumpkin puree to create recipes like pumpkin pie, waffles, latte, mousse, pancake, cheesecake, and much more. It is a blend of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. Fall baking is incomplete without it.
What is in Pumpkin spice
It is a complex blend of spices, therefore there are many variations available to this. Let see first from different brands (by looking at the labels) what do they include in their pumpkin pie spice:
- Simply organic- Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves
- Spice hunter- Cinnamon, ginger, lemon peel, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, star anise, fennel, black pepper
- McCormick- Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Allspice and Sulfiting Agents
- Frontier Co-op- Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves for pies, custards and eggnog
Looking at this we can easily notice that cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, & clove are common ingredients in every brand and are ordered with the quantity that means from largest to smallest.
Ingredients & Notes
Please check the recipe card for the full ingredient list and measurements.
Here is my four-ingredient pumpkin pie spice without allspice. It is made with all ingredients that are sitting on your kitchen shelf already. This DIY will result in a little more than 2 tablespoons of pumpkin spice:
Other variations contain a few other spices combinations like mace, cardamom, black pepper, white pepper, fennel, and allspice.
If you like a little spicy pumpkin spice blend then do add ¾ teaspoon black pepper + ¼ teaspoon cayenne in this recipe.
Substitute for individual spices
If you require an immediate substitute for pumpkin spice use cinnamon. Just replace the quantity of pumpkin spice called for with an equal amount of ground cinnamon.
There are a few combinations of quick pumpkin spice mix you can create with cinnamon by adding a little quantity of any of the other spices (ginger, nutmeg, clove). The below-mentioned combination goes well when a recipe calls for pumpkin pie spice and you have cinnamon with any one of the other spices.
If a recipe requires 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, you can substitute with:
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon + ¼ teaspoon each any of two spice (ginger, nutmeg, or cloves in preference order)
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon + ¼ teaspoon any of ginger, cloves, or nutmeg in preference order (as per availability)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon + ¼ teaspoon any of ginger, cloves, or nutmeg in preference + ¼ teaspoon allspice
If a recipe calls for individual spices and you have access to pumpkin pie spice then simply adds up the volume (tsp or tbsp) of individual spices and use the pumpkin pie spice for that quantity. It works well.
Cinnamon is the main ingredient in any of the pumpkin pie spice blends and unfortunately can not be replaced with any other spices. It is a sweet, warming spice with woody and strong flavors. It comes in sticks as well as in powdered form. Grind the sticks to make fresh ground cinnamon to use in the spice blend. Ground cinnamon retains the qualities coming from cinnamon sticks.
In case you do not have cinnamon and are forced to substitute it anyway, then Allspice, clove, and ginger are the best spices to replace cinnamon in baking.
1 teaspoon cinnamon can be substituted with ½ teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon can be replaced with ¼ teaspoon clove+¼ teaspoon ginger
Ginger is the second most important component in pumpkin spice. It adds lots of flavors and warmth along with cinnamon. Ginger tastes a bit spicy like black pepper and citrusy with a floral and earthy aroma.
Allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg are good substitutes in baking. You can also use an equal amount of white pepper and cardamom for the amount of ginger a recipe calls for.
1 teaspoon allspice is an alternative to 1 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon+ ½ teaspoon nutmeg is an alternative to 1 teaspoon ginger
Nutmeg comes in the ground and whole spice form. It is a warm, and aromatic spice with a nutty flavor. It is used in sweet and savory dishes. Ground nutmeg also retains the warmth and aroma of whole spice. Allspice, mace, and clove are good substitutes for nutmeg in baking.
1 teaspoon allspice replaces 1 teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon clove replaces ½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon mace replaces ½ teaspoon nutmeg
For savory dishes, you can use dry coriander in place of it.
Cloves have a strong and pungent flavor. Once you put it in your mouth you will taste a bit of sweetness, bitterness, and a noticeable amount of heat. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice are easy alternatives for clove.
½ teaspoon allspice can replace 1 teaspoon clove
¼ teaspoon cinnamon + ¼ teaspoon nutmeg can replace ½ teaspoon clove
Allspice is a standalone spice with a similar profile flavor of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. That is why allspice can be replaced with any of them.
swap 1 teaspoon allspice with ½ teaspoon cinnamon+ ½ teaspoon nutmeg or clove or mace
How to make Pumpkin Pie Spice at home
Homemade spice blends are preservatives free and can be made in the desired quantity, which ensures that it does not go to waste. They are just perfect in every sense and easily customizable.
By making pumpkin spice mix at home, you can always be certain what goes into it. This DIY will show you how to make your own pumpkin seasoning in a few minutes
Combine ground spices
Mix all the ground spices in a bowl and combine nicely. Store in an airtight container and store in a cool dark place.
Homemade, 4 ingredient pumpkin spice is ready to use.
FAQ's & Tips
- This spice blend recipe can easily be scaled up like double or triple as per requirement. I quadrupled the recipe to make ½ cup of spice blend.
- Once all spices are whisked together make sure to sift them through a seive. Clove has a tendency to clump up. Sifting will ensure to remove any clumps, evenly distribution of spices and remove any big particle if at all they are present.
Yes, nutmeg is a good alternative for pumpkin pie spice. Use an equal amount of nutmeg in a recipe that calls for a spice blend.
Substitute an equal amount of cinnamon a recipe calls for in place of pumpkin pie spice. It just works perfectly.
Allspice is a standalone ingredient in itself and a part of pumpkin spice blend in some variations.
As per spices, normally pumpkin pie spice is gluten-free. However, before buying do check the labels that it is made in a secure facility without any gluten contamination.
Typically pumpkin spice is made of four main ingredients cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove. However, some blends or DIYer's calls for mace, cardamom, fennel, and allspice to be added to the main ingredients.
You can easily swap both spice blends with each other. Keep in mind that pumpkin spice contains clove and ginger, which is not part of apple pie spice. So the end result will vary.
How To Store
Once you have prepared the pumpkin spice blend, transfer it to an airtight, clean, and dry jar and close the lid. Store it at room temperature for up to 6 months easily.
How To Use
Pumpkin spice is one of the versatile spice blends and you can use it on anything that contains pumpkin, and butternut squash.
Fitmealideas shares some healthy, macro-friendly pumpkin spice recipes to enjoy in fall and throughout the winter season for extra warmth. This holiday season enjoys below healthy recipes with your family and enjoys the festivity to the fullest.
- Pumpkin spice protein waffles
- Protein pumpkin spice latte
- Healthy protein pumpkin spice pancakes
- Healthy pumpkin butter
- Versatile pumpkin syrup
Homemade DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice, Substitution+Variations
- 4.5 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- ¾ teaspoon clove
- Mix all the ground spices in a bowl and combine nicely. Store in an airtight container and store in a cool dark place.4.5 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, ¾ teaspoon clove
- This spice blend recipe can easily be scaled up like double or triple as per requirement. I quadrupled the recipe to make ½ cup of the spice blend.
- Once all spices are whisked together make sure to sift them through a sieve. Clove has a tendency to clump up. Sifting will ensure to remove any clumps, evenly distribute spices and remove any big particle if at all they are present.