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How to make pumpkin spice: 30 custom blends to try

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Don’t let the cost of your pumpkin spice latte addiction get you down! With a little know-how, you can make a coffee shop-worthy PSL right at home.

But, hey, why stop there? You can probably make the thing even better by creating your very own amazing custom spice mix. Then you can use that special blend in everything from coffee drinks to holiday cookies… and yes, even in pumpkin pie.

So what’s in that spice?

As many people now know — and despite what the name suggests — pumpkin spice doesn’t actually have any pumpkin in it at all.

Originally, “pumpkin spice” (or “pumpkin pie spice”) was just a generic name for the mix of spices added to recipes to give pumpkin pie its distinctive and aromatic flavor. Whoever first sold the stuff probably never imagined it would one day be nearly as well known a flavor as chocolate or vanilla.

Of course, PS doesn’t mean just one thing, but refers to various different spice blends — and recipes vary. Most blends contain a base of cinnamon and nutmeg, then add one or more other warm and fragrant spices, like allspice, ginger, mace, cloves and cardamom.

While most of us typically see these spices in their ground, pre-packaged form — each one looking like some brownish powder — they’re all pretty different in their natural states. Take a look. Just below, there are cinnamon sticks, some whole and half nutmegs, whole cloves, whole allspice, ginger root, and cardamom pods.

how to make pumpkin spices
Photo credit: Grateful & Co.

Spice, spice baby

Which spice is right? That all depends on you, and what suits your dish and what your palate prefers. Depending on what you’re cooking, you might find you want to add to the cinnamon/nutmeg base — you can go exotic (cardamom and star anise), go spicy (a little white pepper), go fresh (ginger and lemon zest), or go traditional (cloves and allspice).

MORE: See how to make a healthier pumpkin spice latte at home

Start by taking a peek at some of the most popular pumpkin spice mixes to see what some on-trend PS goodies contain.

To simplify that, we rounded up this collection of 30 different recipes and ingredient lists. With these blends revealed, there’s nothing stopping you from making the most amazing lattes, pies, muffins, cookies, cheesecake, pumpkin butter, cakes… and the list goes on.

Ready-made spice blends

Spice Islands: Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, mace and cloves

Spice Hunter: Cinnamon, ginger, lemon peel, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, star anise, fennel, black pepper

Monterey Bay Spice Company: Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, mace and clove

Simply Organic: Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves

High Plains Spice Co. Pumpkin Pie Spice: Cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg

WholeSpice of Napa Valley: Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, mace, cloves

Carefree Spice Company: Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cloves

Spicely’s Organic Pumpkin Pie Spice Seasoning: Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and allspice

McCormick: Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice

Frontier Pumpkin Pie Spice Salt-Free Blend: Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves

Trader Joe’s: Cinnamon, ginger, lemon peel, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom

Primal Palate Organic Spices: Saigon cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg

Amoretti Pumpkin Spice Compound: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and allspice

PS combos used in products

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte topping: Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves

Celestial Seasonings Sweet Harvest Pumpkin tea: Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg

Talenti Pumpkin Pie Gelato: Cinnamon and nutmeg

Siggi’s pumpkin & spice yogurt: Cinnamon and nutmeg

Special K Pumpkin Spice Crunch cereal: Nutmeg, allspice, ginger and cinnamon

Cheerios: Cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves

Caramel almond pumpkin spice KIND bars: Cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom

Kraft Jell-O Instant Pudding Dessert & Pie Filling, Pumpkin Spice: Cinnamon, ginger

Torani Pumpkin Pie Sauce: Cinnamon and nutmeg

Pumpkin spice recipes

Martha Stewart pumpkin pie spice: 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ground allspice, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Betty Crocker pumpkin spice: 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg, 1-1/2 teaspoons ground allspice and 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cloves.

Taste of Home pumpkin pie spice: 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Better Homes & Gardens: 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice, and 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Budget Bytes pumpkin pie spice: 1/4 cup ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon ground ginger, 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg, 1 tablespoon ground allspice, 1 tsp ground cloves

Chowhound pumpkin pie spice: 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon ground ginger, 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ground cloves, and 1/4 teaspoon salt

Rodale’s Organic Life pumpkin pie spice: 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg (fresh-grated is especially good), 1-1/2 teaspoons ground allspice, 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)

Alton Brown Un-Pumpkin Pie Spice recipe: 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 3 dry allspice berries, 1 whole star anise pod, 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

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