For many of us, we know it's finally fall when the smell of pumpkin spice fills our homes and the taste of it infuses much of our food and drink. These days, the pumpkin spice latte (whether you like it or not) is the most ubiquitous example, but pumpkin spice can be used in everything from desserts to breakfasts, drinks, and even savory main dishes. And I, for one, am a fan.
So maybe you're wondering what's in pumpkin spice and how it can be used in unexpected ways. Good news! This is the article for you; let's get to it.
Pumpkin spice AKA pumpkin pie spice is so called because it's the commonly used blend of spices for the classic American pumpkin pie. Pumpkin spice can do much more than it's name implies, however, and it's often used in dishes without any pumpkin at all, and is perfectly at home in dishes other than pies. In fact, in much of the world, it's simply called "mixed spice," which is perhaps a more accurate if completely undescriptive name.
The main ingredient in pumpkin spice is cinnamon, with smaller amounts of nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and sometimes allspice. It's easy to customize your pumpkin spice blend to your liking, of course. For example, I enjoy it with extra nutmeg and a hint of black pepper, while Callie Washer, author of A Sweet Potato Pie likes hers with additional numeg and cinnamon.
So let's get to the recipes, shall we? Here's 9 different recipes to help inspire you to use pumpkin spice in everything. You'll notice we didn't put a single pumpkin pie on the list (too obvious!) but if you're after those too, you can find plenty of inspiration on our Pumpkin Pie category page.
Let's start with the thing itself: pumpkin spice blend. As we mentioned above, it's easy (and encouraged) to tweak your blend to your liking with customized proportions and even additional spices, but this recipe provides a good baseline to start from.
Depending on what you're cooking up, it may be even nicer to have your pumpkin spice in syrup form. This delicious spiced syrup is perfect for creating pumpkin spiced drinks and desserts. This recipe even uses pumpkin puree, so your food or drink will truly taste just like a pumpkin pie.
These pumpkin spice cream puffs are a labor of love, but so worth the effort. They are sweet, comforting, an decadent, and the pastry itself uses pumpkin puree, resulting in a dessert very reminiscent of pumpkin pie, but with a creamier taste and consistency.
These cookies from Debby at A Feast For The Eyes uses a cookies press to achieve a turkey shape, making them perfect for Thanksgiving, though they can also be made by simply dropping spoonfuls of batter onto your cookie sheet. Either way, they are an irresistable treat that make a great holiday snack.
These pumpkin scones are equally delicious for breakfast or dessert and they're absolutely packed with pumpkin spice flavor as well as real pumpkin. When topped with the pumpkin spice glaze, they make a particularly beautiful treat that's far too hard to resist.
Speaking of breakfast, this quinoa with pecans and pumpkin spice and real pumpkin puree is a great way to start the day. It's perfect when enjoyed with your morning coffee while watching the leaves fall.
This sweet potato dish is part sweet part savory. With a blend of pumpkin spice, curry powder, nutty almonds, and fruity golden raisins, this dish is a completely unexpected mix of flavors that you'll be surprised to find you love! It makes a great Thanksgiving side dish, but it can be enjoyed anytime.
Maybe you're not so into pumpkin spice, or even pumpkin itself for that matter. These cute deviled eggs from Callie at A Sweet Potato Pie are a great alternative snack for you, perfect for Halloween or Thanksgiving!
Callie Washer runs her blog A Sweet Potato Pie while caring for her three young children, clipping coupons, and DIYing everything. Originally from Louisiana, she now lives in Denver, CO, but she still loves cajun recipes and has always had a focus on living frugally.
Debby, author of A Feast for the Eyes, is a recipe blogger from California. Her cooking influences include her mother's Bavarian cooking and her father's Latino heritage. She loves recipes that are simple, unpretentious comfort home cooking.
Looking for even more pumpkin spice recipes? Check out last year's Ultimate Guide To Pumpkin Spice!