Easy Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice (Substitutions and Uses)

5 from 6 votes
Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

How to make pumpkin pie spice with four simple pantry spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves) in just two minutes, plus substitutes and recommended uses! Making homemade pumpkin spice is frugal, fun, and easily tweakable – perfect for adding in lattes, cakes, bakes, and more!

Pumpkin spice mix in a grinder

If you’re anything like me, then when Fall (or Autumn here in the UK) arrives, the season may as well be synonymous with pumpkin spice (aka the ultimate fall spice blend), pumpkins (for carving and big bowls of warming soup), and Halloween. Along with the famous pumpkin spice lattes, I start wanting to add this warming spice blend into everything: French toast, pancakes, waffles, syrup, and more (tons of pumpkin spice recipes coming soon!).

But before I can do any of the above baking, I need the pumpkin pie spice! And, if you’re in the UK, then you’ll know that it isn’t a “thing” here (other than buying online), which makes it the perfect option to make at home. Not only is homemade pumpkin spice incredibly frugal to make, but it takes just a minute to prepare, and you can also easily tweak it to personal preference! Plus, it makes for a great edible Christmas gift – pop it in a cute jar with a label and include a favorite pumpkin spice recipe (or list of uses) for a gift all foodies will appreciate!

Within this post, I’ll take you through how to make pumpkin pie spice, substitute options for pumpkin pie spice (and the individual spices), usage suggestions, and more! First of all, though…

Pumpkin spice mix in a little bowl

What Is Pumpkin Pie Spice?

Pumpkin pie spice (also called “pumpkin spice”) is a popular Fall spice blend made with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and sometimes allspice. Once mixed, the collection of warming spices is perfect for adding to pumpkin pie and to create “pumpkin spice” recipes like a pumpkin spice latte and various baked goods.

Pumpkin spice vs. Gingerbread Spice?

In terms of composition, while the two spice blends primarily include the same ingredients (the same goes for apple pie spice), it’s the ratio of them that changes; with more of a focus on the ginger in the gingerbread spice and often extra spices added like cardamom and sometimes even black pepper.

For now, though, let’s focus on this warming homemade pumpkin spice. Though, once pumpkin spice season is over, it’s on to gingerbread season – so I’m already looking forward to whipping up large batches of gingerbread cookies and/or creating an impressive Festive gingerbread house).

What is in Pumpkin Spice?

  • Cinnamon – I recommend cassia rather than Ceylon when using for baked goods.
  • Ginger.
  • Cloves – alternatively, you could use Allspice (or even Chinese 5 spice) in place of the cloves (but only use half the amount).
  • Nutmeg.
Ingredients for pumpkin spice mix

And no, there’s no pumpkin in pumpkin spice and many pumpkin spice recipes! (Yes, it took me a while to figure that out too.)

For this homemade pumpkin pie spice, I use a ratio of 4:2:1:0.5. I.e., four teaspoons of ground cinnamon to 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1 teaspoon cloves, and ½ a teaspoon of ground nutmeg.

Optional Recipe Variations

You can optionally add Allspice (which is a berry, not a collection of spices). I usually add the same amount of Allspice as Nutmeg. If you want a bit more “spice,” you can add some black pepper. If you want to add cardamom, I recommend adding 1/8 teaspoon.

How to Make Pumpkin Pie Spice

To say that the process of making homemade pumpkin pie spice is simple would be an understatement. This recipe consists of just 3 steps:

  • Measure out the amounts of each spice and add to a small bowl. If you’re using whole spices, you’ll need to grind them first – use a grater or a grain/coffee grinder (read FAQ for conversion amounts).
  • Use a spoon/whisk to combine all the spices.
  • Decant the prepared pumpkin pie spice into a spice jar.

I recommend sifting the spices into the bowl. This can help with the spices that tend to clump (like ginger).

Steps for making pumpkin spice mix

Top Tip: For even more aromatic pumpkin pie spice, I recommend you “bloom” the spices first. To do so, add the whole cinnamon and cloves to a large skillet. Then, heat over medium heat, stirring often until they smell fragrant. This will enhance the flavors in the spices and lift your homemade pumpkin pie spice to new impressive levels!

Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipes?

To say that there are tons of ways to use this warming pumpkin spice would be an understatement. Here are just a few of my favorite options:

A glass of hot pumpkin spice latte

I love to use this pumpkin pie spice in most of my Fall bakes (and basically any recipe that calls for individual fall spices like cinnamon – just sub it out for extra flavor). Of course, you can also use it as a meat rub and for other savory uses – optionally with a pinch of cayenne/chili powder.

How to Store

The shelf life of your pumpkin pie spice blend will depend on how fresh the spices are, to begin with. When using fresh spices, the shelf life will extend for several years. However, when making the spice blend from already opened/not new spices, I aim to use them within 12 months. While they’re OK to use after that, the spice will lose potency over time.

To make the most of the pumpkin spice shelf life, place it in a cool, dark location in an airtight jar (avoid liquid).

Filling a spice jar with homemade pumpkin pie spice

FAQs

What is a substitute for pumpkin pie spice?

There are several pumpkin pie spice substitute options, though understandably, nothing will make an exact match. For example, many will recommend that you simply substitute it with cinnamon. However, then you miss out on a lot of the depth of flavor.
If you have gingerbread spice or apple pie spice in your cupboard, I’d recommend using this first. You can then tweak those spice blends with extra spices that you have to hand (I usually add extra cinnamon).
Next, I turn to cinnamon – but try to combine it with other spices that you have available out of ginger, allspice, nutmeg, or cloves. I recommend using a 2:1:1 ratio of cinnamon with any of the other two spices.

What is the ratio of individual spices to pumpkin spice in a recipe?

If you come across a recipe that lists individual spices and you want to use your ready-made pumpkin spice instead, simply add up the volume (usually teaspoons/tablespoons) of the individual spices and use that amount of pumpkin spice.

Can I make pumpkin spice with whole spices?

You sure can – you’ll just need to add the extra step of grinding the spices in a coffee/spice grinder. Here are some handy whole to ground spice conversions:
* 2-inch of cinnamon stick ≈ 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1.5 teaspoons of whole cloves (around 40 cloves) ≈ 1 teaspoon ground cloves
* ½ a whole nutmeg (approximately) ≈ 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg.
However, it’s best to use slightly less fresh nutmeg than pre-ground (I recommend using ¾ teaspoon fresh for every teaspoon pre-ground).

Besides the teaspoon measurements, I have also provided the weight for each spice, so you can also measure them out that way!

How many teaspoons of pumpkin spice are in 1oz?

There are approximately 6 teaspoons in 1 ounce of pumpkin pie spice.

Recipe Notes and Top Tips

  • Use fresh spices: this is probably the most important tip for this pumpkin pie spice. If you make this spice blend and one of the spices is old and has lost its potency, it will throw the entire balance off. Check the best-by dates on your spices and give them a sniff to make sure they’re good to go.
  • Tweak the ratios: one of the best things about making any homemade spice blend is the ease of tweaking the ratios. For this homemade pumpkin pie spice, you could increase the cinnamon for a “warmer”/cozy feel. Or you could up the cloves (just slightly) for a stronger more robust spice. However, just be careful with increasing the amount of nutmeg, as it’s fairly strong.
  • If you toast the spices: make sure to allow them to fully cool before storing. Otherwise, they can cause steam in the jar and can cause spoilage.
  • Label the jar: to make the most of the spice at its’ strongest, it’s best to label the jar with a 1-year period of “best by”.
  • When using pumpkin spice in drinks: due to the fibrous nature of cinnamon it’s best to use less than ½ teaspoon per cup as it can thicken your drink.

More Spice and Seasoning Blends

If you try this recipe for homemade pumpkin pie spice, I’d love to hear your thoughts/questions below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below, and feel free to tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Aphafoodie.

Easy Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice (Substitutions and Uses)

5 from 6 votes
By: Samira
How to make pumpkin pie spice with four simple pantry spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves) in just two minutes, plus substitutes and recommended uses! Making homemade pumpkin spice is frugal, fun, and easily tweakable – perfect for adding in lattes, cakes, bakes, and more!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 7 teaspoons

Ingredients 
 

  • 0.3 oz ground cinnamon powder 4 tsp powder
  • 0.14 oz ginger 2 tsp powder
  • 0.07 oz cloves 1 tsp powder
  • 0.1 oz ground nutmeg powder 1/2 tsp powder

Read the Recipe Notes below for optional add-ins!

Instructions 

Using ground/powdered spices

  • Measure out the amounts of each spice and add to a bowl.
    I recommend sifting all the spices into the bowl – this can help with the spices that tend to clump (like ginger).
  • Use a spoon/whisk to combine all the spices.
  • Decant the prepared pumpkin pie spice into a spice jar or spice tin.

Using whole spices

  • Top tip (optional step)for even more aromatic pumpkin pie spice, I recommend you "bloom" the spices first. To do so, add the whole cinnamon and cloves to a large skillet and heat over medium heat, stirring often until they smell fragrant. This will enhance the flavors in the spices and lift your homemade pumpkin pie spice to new impressive levels!
  • Powder the spices. You can use a grater to grate the spices. Alternatively, you can use a grain/spice/coffee grinder and grind them all together.
    (Check the FAQ for conversion amounts).
  • Decant the prepared pumpkin pie spice into a spice jar or spice tin and store away.

How to Store

  • The shelf life of your pumpkin pie spice blend will largely depend on how fresh all your spices are, to begin with. When using fresh spices, the shelf life will extend for several years. However, when making the spice blend from already opened/not new spices, I aim to use them within 12 months. While they're OK to use after that, the spice will lose potency over time.
    To make the most of the pumpkin spice shelf life, place it in a cool, dark location in an airtight jar (avoid any liquid entering the pot).

Notes

  • Use fresh spices: this is probably the most important tip for this pumpkin pie spice. If you make this spice blend and one of the spices is old and has lost its potency, it will throw the entire balance off. Check the best-by dates on your spices and give them a sniff to make sure they’re good to go.
  • Tweak the ratios: one of the best things about making any homemade spice blend is the ease of tweaking the ratios. For this homemade pumpkin pie spice, you could increase the cinnamon for a “warmer”/cozy feel or up the cloves (just slightly) for a stronger more robust spice. However, just be careful with increasing the amount of nutmeg, as it’s fairly strong.
  • If you toast the spices: make sure to allow them to fully cool before storing. Otherwise, they can cause steam in the jar and can cause spoilage.
  • Label the jar: to make the most of the spice at its strongest, it’s best to label the jar with a 1-year period of “best by”.
  • When using pumpkin spice in drinks: due to the fibrous nature of cinnamon, it’s best to use less than ½ teaspoon per cup as it can thicken your drink.
 
Optional Recipe Variations:
You can optionally add Allspice (which is a berry, not a collection of spices) – I usually add the same amount of Allspice as Nutmeg. If you want a bit more “spice”, you can add some black pepper. If you want to add cardamom, I recommend adding 1/8 teaspoon.
 
Check the post for more helpful tips and answers to top FAQs!
Course: Condiment, Dessert, DIYs
Cuisine: American
Shelf life: 1 Year

Nutrition

Serving: 1tsp, Calories: 6kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 0.1g, Fat: 0.2g, Saturated Fat: 0.1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02g, Trans Fat: 0.001g, Sodium: 1mg, Potassium: 12mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 0.2g, Vitamin A: 4IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 15mg, Iron: 0.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

5 from 6 votes (6 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating