Having a good pumpkin pie spice substitute will ensure all your fall recipes are successful and delicious.
What Is Pumpkin Pie Spice?
Pumpkin pie spice is a blend of spices used to spice pumpkin pie batter before cooking. But the spice can be used in a variety of other recipes to add some zest and warmth. The blend usually includes nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and ginger.
Common Uses for Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Baked goods such as pumpkin pie, muffins, cakes, and bread.
- Oatmeal, yogurt, and smoothies for added flavor and warmth.
- Used as a rub or seasoning for roast veggies and meat
- Flavoring coffee and tea such as pumpkin pie spice lattes or cappuccinos.
- Spiced or candied nuts or trail mix for a snack.
- Flavored toppings for dessert, such as spiced whipped cream or cream cheese frosting.
- Spiced cocktails such as hot toddies or cider.
Difference Between Pumpkin Pie Spice and Apple Pie Spice
The main difference between pumpkin pie spice and apple pie spice is cardamom and cloves. Pumpkin pie spice has ground cloves which apple pie spice does not include, and apple pie spice blends often include cardamom, which is not found in pumpkin pie spice blends.
The ingredients in pumpkin pie spice have a warm and slightly sweet flavor, making it well-suited for pumpkin-based desserts and savory dishes, while the spices in apple pie spice have a sweeter, slightly spicy flavor that complements the tartness of apples in apple pie and other sweet recipes.
8 Best Pumpkin Pie Spice Substitute Options
A staple in most pumpkin pie spice blends, cinnamon can be used as a 1:1 substitute in recipes calling for pumpkin pie spice to add some warmth. Lively Table makes healthy oatmeal cinnamon pancakes for a fall-inspired breakfast.
This warm, slightly sweet spice can be used to replace pumpkin spice in sweet and savory dishes. Even though this is a single spice, it has a complex flavor that resembles cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. Mooala uses allspice to create a allspice latte.
Cloves are also an essential spice in pumpkin pie spice blends, but when used on their own, they can have an overpowering taste, so use it sparingly. Piedmontese uses cloves along with star anise for a warm and tasty side dish of carrots.
Ginger has a spicy and warm flavor profile that most people love and can be used in savory and sweet dishes. It has a bright flavor but can quickly overpower a dish, so start with small amounts and add more as you go. Spice Chronicles uses fresh ginger to make a ginger-spiced pumpkin pie.
Nutmeg is a spice that reminds you of fall and is a key ingredient in pumpkin pie spice blends, but you can use it as is to achieve similar results. Food Network adds some nutmeg and cinnamon to their oatmeal for a warm breakfast.
6. Mixed Spice
Mixed spice is a spice blend originating in Britain and is very similar to pumpkin spice. The key difference, explained by Mashed, is that pumpkin pie spice has slightly more cinnamon in its mix.
7. Apple Pie Spice
Apple pie spice is very similar to pumpkin pie spice and can easily replace one another in most recipes. Pumpkin pie spice has cloves added, whereas apple pie spice contains cardamom on occasion. Webstaurant explains the difference between the two blends.
8. Chai Spice Blend
If you are able to get your hands on chai spice blends, then it might be a great alternative to pumpkin pie spice. Just make sure it isn’t chai tea blends. It has cardamom in the blend and works well in Lively Table’s snickerdoodle cookies.
Tips for Pumpkin Pie Spice Substitution
- Adjust the amount of spice used – Different spice blends can have varying strengths, so be prepared to adjust the amount you use to taste and if the recipe calls for additional spices.
- Experiment with different blends – Try a few different blends to find the one that you like best in certain recipes. Not every substitution will work for every recipe.
- Consider the other ingredients in the recipe – Some spice blends may not work well with the other ingredients in your recipe. Keep this in mind and choose a blend that complements the flavors of your dish.