T’is the season for pumpkin spice everything – pastries, coffees, and plenty of pumpkin spice beers. It’s hard to order a beverage at all without being bombarded by the pumpkin spice phenomenon. The craze has led many people to ask – what is pumpkin spice in the first place? Pumpkin spice is a mixture of spices used in pumpkin pie recipes, including cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. There is no exact scaling for these ingredients, so not all pumpkin spices are equal – some have a greater amount of ginger, giving it more of a bite, whereas others have more cinnamon for a more warm and sweet taste. Find the perfect balance of spices for you, and then use it to make some of these great recipes with all of the goodness and flavor of fall!
Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice
As was said before, the ratio of the spices in pumpkin spice is subject to taste, so if you prefer certain spices, feel free to throw more into the mix! Here is a basic recipe to get you started, then try adding it to your favorite recipes!
- 4 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ginger
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
Directions: Stir all of the ingredients together in a bowl and store in an airtight container. Adjust the spices to suit your taste.
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte
You don’t have to go to Starbucks for a soul-warming pumpkin spice latte – try making your own using real canned pumpkin!
- 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, and extra for garnish
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 to 2 shots espresso, about 1/4 cup
- 1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped until firm peaks form
Directions: Take the pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice and cook it together in a saucepan over medium heat. Add a generous amount of black pepper and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the sugar, and keep stirring until the mixture looks like thick, bubbly syrup. Add milk and vanilla extract and whisk it into the mix. Warm it gently over the heat, but do not allow it to boil over. Then, carefully mix the milk mixture with a hand blender or traditional blender until the liquid is frothy and blended. Lastly, make espresso or coffee, divide it between two mugs, and add the frothed milk. Top the drink off with whipped cream and extra pumpkin pie spice if desired.
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
These are perfect to bring to school or work, and can even be made to celebrate a fall birthday!
- 3 1/4 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 2 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil, plus more as needed
- 4 large eggs
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and line 2 muffin pans (12 muffins each) with paper liners or spray the pans thoroughly with vegetable oil and set aside. Put flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to break up any lumps, then set it aside. Put sugar and oil in the bowl of a stand mixer, fit a paddle attachment to the mixer, and beat on medium speed until the sugar is ell mixed – about one minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and paddle with a rubber spatula. Put the mixer back on medium speed and add eggs one at a time, beating each well. Lower the speed to medium low and add the pumpkin puree, beating until just combined – about 30 seconds. Turn off mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Put the mixture back on low and slowly add the flour mixture, beating until almost completely incorporated – about one minute. Turn the mixer off and fold in any unmixed flour with a rubber spatula, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl as well. Take the cupcake mixture and fill each cupcake liner about 3/4 of the way with cupcake mix, then put the pans in the oven side-by-side and bake for 12 minutes. Rotate the pans and bake for 10 minutes more, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Place pans on wire racks and allow them to cool for 5 minutes. Add frosting and enjoy!
Pumpkin Spiced Pancakes
Buttermilk pancake mix can give you a head start on this easy pumpkin pancake recipe!
Pecan Syrup Ingredients:
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 5 tablespoons pecans, toasted and chopped
- 1 cup buttermilk pancake mix
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- Nonstick vegetable cooking spray
- Butter, room temperature
Directions: Combine maple syrup and prepared pecans in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on high for about 25 seconds, or until hot. Set pecan syrup aside and keep warm. In a medium bowl, whisk together the pancake mix, water, pumpkin, cinnamon, and ginger until just blended, keeping the mixture lumpy. Spray griddle with vegetable cooking spray and turn the burner up to medium heat. Drop two tablespoons of batter onto the griddle for each pancake, then cook for two minutes, or until bubbles appear, then flip pancakes over and cook for two minutes longer. Move pancakes to plates and serve warm with the pecan syrup on top.