Fall is here, and that can only mean one thing, pumpkin pie spice is back! Whether you like it or not, when the weather and the leaves turn, pumpkin flavors are everywhere. Pumpkin spice is just what you need to make everything a bit sweeter.
However, not everyone loves pumpkin pie spice, and sometimes, it can be hard to find. Using other flavors can create a similar feel and taste, yet add uniqueness to your drink or dish.
What Is Pumpkin Pie Spice?
This mix of spices of American origin is traditionally used to make pumpkin pie, but it is now being used in all sorts of recipes. This blend of spices includes ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and in some cases, allspice as well.
You can find pumpkin pie spice in any grocery store, usually by the baking or spices section.
Pumpkin pie spice is common in pumpkin pie, pumpkin latte, bread, muffins, cake, pancakes, waffles, and more. Unlike general belief, pumpkin pie spice is not very sweet, but rather spicy and pungent. In some cases, some brands add a bit of vanilla and sugar to the mix.
Why Replace Pumpkin Pie Spice, Anyway?
Here are some of the reasons why someone may want to substitute pumpkin pie spice:
- Allergy: Since this mix contains various ingredients, a person with known allergies to things like cinnamon, allspice, or cloves, should avoid pumpkin pie spice at all costs.
- Availability: Pumpkin pie spice is common in the United States, but it may not be anywhere else. This makes things hard for those trying to cook certain dishes, so a replacement may be needed.
- Flavor: This spice is not for everyone, and it may be too strong of a flavor for some people.
What Can I Replace Pumpkin Pie Spice With?
If you need another flavor or can’t find this product, these pumpkin pie spice substitutes are great for you:
Best For Pumpkin Pie, Desserts, and Pancakes
This spice is perfect for anything around the holidays, so it makes sense that you would add it to anything that has pumpkin pie spice. Cinnamon is warm and a bit pungent, but it compliments sweet flavors very well.
We suggest you use ground cinnamon, as the sticks need to be infused for a long time for the flavors to be released.
You can use cinnamon when preparing any dessert, like pies, muffins, donuts, and when making pancakes, waffles, and hot drinks. Use ½ teaspoon of cinnamon for every one teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice you need.
See More: Best Replacements for Cinnamon
Many think that allspice is a mix of spices, but this is the dried and ground fruit of the Pimenta dioica plant. The flavor, however, is a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and pepper, which makes it great for substituting pumpkin pie spice.
You can find allspice in many dishes, including Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines.
Use allspice when you prepare pies, sauces, hot drinks, and other baked goods. This spice is a bit more bitter and earthy, so you may want to add only about ⅓ of what you originally planned to use for pumpkin pie spice.
See More: Allspice Substitutes
Cloves are the aromatic buds of the tree Myrtaceae, and they are pungent, sweet, bitter, and warm. You can find cloves whole or ground, but the latter will probably be easier to use when it comes to replacing pumpkin pie spice.
Some people find the flavor of cloves to be extremely overpowering, so you may want to start by adding only a tiny bit and increasing as you taste.
You can use cloves when preparing both sweet and savory dishes, like soups, sauces, desserts, pancakes, and hot drinks. Cloves are usually added to pumpkin pie on their own, so adding a bit extra won’t be a bad idea.
See More: Cloves Alternatives
Best For Pumpkin Spice Latte, Pudding, and Banana Bread
Using ginger in holiday and seasonal recipes is also very traditional, but this spice can be a great replacement for pumpkin pie spice. We recommend that you go with ground ginger since it is easier to use, though fresh or minced ginger works too.
Use about ½ teaspoon of ginger for every one teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.
Ginger is a delicious addition to things like pudding, banana bread, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin spice latte, or other hot drinks.
Keep in mind that ginger is more citrus and aromatic than any of these other choices, so you could another spice to balance out the earthy flavors you are missing.
See More: Best Substitutes for Ginger
Nutmeg is an intense spice that is also popular around the fall season and the holidays. This spice tastes nutty, warm, and a bit sweet, but it is highly recognizable because of its unique aroma.
Nutmeg adds fantastic flavor to pumpkin spice lattes, chai tea, eggnog, pudding, banana bread, muffins, and more.
Since this spice is very strong, you should only use about ¼ teaspoon for every one teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. You can use both ground or whole nutmeg, but the powder form may be the easiest to use as it requires less time to release flavor.
See More: Best Alternatives to Nutmeg
Last but not least, you can make a homemade pumpkin pie spice if you have the right ingredients.
All you need is one teaspoon of cinnamon, ½ teaspoon of ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves, and ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg. Some people also like to add mace, peppercorns, or cardamom.
Make sure to mix everything well and store it in an airtight container for proper keeping. You can use it for up to a year, but check that it is still fresh.
All of the options above are a good substitute for pumpkin spice, but you can try to make your mix at home with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Otherwise, use each of these spices separately.
Pumpkin pie spice extract is a new invention that can be used when baking. Use it in the same way you would vanilla or almond extract. You can add this ingredient when mixing the dough or filling for things like pumpkin pie, pudding, or muffins.
When preparing pumpkin pie, nutmeg may seem like an essential ingredient, but you can switch it for other spices. Some good options to use in place of nutmeg include mace, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, or cloves.
Once the leaves begin to change color, pumpkin pie spice is virtually everywhere. Sometimes, though, it can be hard to find or too much for some, so using any of these six options will result in tasty flavors. Try each spice before you use it, but feel free to mix and match as you like.
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