Cheat Codes: Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice

Everybody loves Fall. It’s got everything good about life all rolled into one season. Nice weather, cool scenery, fun holidays, and awesome food. That last part obviously being relevant to anyone possessing a sense of taste/smell. There’s a lot of fun flavors and culinary themes going on from September to November you don’t encounter for the rest of the year. Out of nowhere, it’s the 20th, and suddenly everything smells like cinnamon, and tastes like a pumpkin. I don’t know, I’m not a scientist, I don’t question it, it just happens.

"After countless hours of work we've finally concluded that this cinnamon smells EXACTLY like cinnamon."

“After countless hours of work we’ve finally concluded that this cinnamon smells EXACTLY like cinnamon.”

McCormick, among other brands, has been selling what we’ve come to know as “Pumpkin Pie Spice” for years now. It’s an all purpose spice powder used in all sorts of Autumn dishes and drinks, but most notably pumpkin pie, hence its name. It’s also used by companies like Starbucks to charge extra for their already expensive lattés by labeling them as ‘pumpkin spice lattés’. Hell, you have to fork over four dollars for their smallest (and most ironically named) size of the beloved Fall drink. Surely this mystery spice is some sort of magical food amalgamation harvested from a small crop of pumpkin pie trees owned by a wealthy jack-o-lantern, which us common folks could never hope to create ourselves, right?

"Made of 100% Ground Pumpkin Pies"

“Made of 100% Ground Pumpkin Pies”

Well in reality, it’s actually made up of four common spices most people stock in their cupboards anyway. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger, specifically, these are the spices that make pumpkin pies taste like pumpkin pies, and unsurprisingly are some of the more common Fall spices you see in food around this time anyway. There’s no special process that goes into making the the stuff, it’s straight up a simple mixture of four spices. Much like you can do with cinnamon-sugar, you can easily put together a batch of this in just minutes, and enjoy it anytime you want.

  • 2 part ground cinnamon (2 tbsp)
  • 1 part nutmeg (1 tbsp)
  • 1 part ground all spice (1 tbsp)
  • 1 part powdered ginger (1 tbsp)

I say “one part” in the sense that this is awfully freeform in its scope. This isn’t getting cooked or baked, and as such it’s chemically stable. You can make as much or as little as desired, so you’re free to measure whatever the hell you want, I only listed 1 tablespoon each for anyone out there who absolutely NEEDS a recipe to follow. But if you’re feeling extra ravenous for some pumpkin pie flavored whatever, you could do as much as 1 cup each, and end up with 5 cups of the delicious mixture. Since everything is all one part, however, you should do so in equal measurements with the only rule being that everything should be moderately the same amount. That being said, if you like the taste of nutmeg, or want it to be more cinnamon-y, feel free to add extra. It’s all a matter of taste, since as mentioned, it’s not being cooked or baked.


As far as what you do, it’s self-explanatory. Combine them all into a bowl, mix with a spoon until it looks blended. Season to taste, adding or subtracting from the spices. When it’s mixed well, simply store it in a canister, jar, tupperware, or even plastic bag. Next time you make cookies or pancakes or coffee, throw it in and marvel in the deliciousness. Also, don’t be upcharged 150% by restaurants for pumpkin spice __________. You can make it on your own now, you’re ready.


This little jar was made using about three tablespoons per spice. It will totes last us a few weeks. The pumpkin had nothing to do with making it, I just like pumpkins.


Posted on September 23, 2013, in Cheat Codes and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.


Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: