How to Make Pumpkin Spice (aka Mixed Spice)

Come autumn, in the US, you see pumpkin spice everywhere you look and in almost everything you eat and drink: lattes, cocktails, cupcakes, pies, pancakes, ice cream, it’s everywhere. It is such a versatile spice mix that you can add it to just about anything you like! The list is as endless as your culinary imagination and how adventurous your tastebuds are.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

How to make Pumpkin Spice
Homemade Pumpkin Spice

What is Pumpkin Spice?

It is a simple mixture of spices, with no pumpkin in sight! One sniff of pumpkin spice will have you floating with its heady aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and sometimes allspice. It’s sweet, warm and citrusy all at once, there’s almost nothing quite like it.

This very American spice mix is the equivalent of our mixed spice here in the UK (and quite a few other countries around the world). Mixed spice is used throughout the year in so many different types of recipes like, Hot Cross Buns at Easter, our iconic Christmas Pudding and Kek Kukus, a steamed fruit cake from Singapore and Malaysia, also synonymous with Christmas.

While pumpkin spice has been around in some form or another in the US, with the earliest records going back to the early 18th century, it wasn’t until late 2003, that pumpkin spice fever gripped the nation with the introduction of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte. That Pumpkin Spice latte, which had no pumpkin in it, created a bandwagon so sweet-smelling with the unmistakable scent of dollars, that everyone clamoured to get onboard! And that wagon is still rolling!

Every autumn, as soon as there is a chill in the air, as soon as there is the merest hint of leaves turning brown, the pumpkin spice brigade comes out in full force, ready to jazz up your world. There is just no hiding from this odoriferous assault. You might as well chant the Borg mantra and ride along with it!

Incidentally, a couple of years ago, Starbucks started adding pumpkin puree into their famous lattes.

Pumpkin Spice Latte
Pumpkin Spice Latte

Why Make your Own Pumpkin Spice?

Why make your own pumpkin spice when it is so easily available in the shops? For these 2 reasons:

  1. It will be more fragrant and potent than anything shop bought. This is especially if you are starting with whole spices, which we toast, then grind in a spice mill.
  2. You can make it to your own taste, and even adjust the ingredients to suit the recipe (see the ingredients below).

Ingredients in Pumpkin Spice

The beauty of making your own spice mix is that besides the fresher aroma, you can dictate its composition to meet your needs.


Is sweet, spicy and woody, but with almost cloying undertones. So if you would like your pumpkin spice, or your latte sweeter, this is the spice to increase slightly. I don’t like my coffee sweet, that is why I decline all offers of cinnamon sprinkle when having coffee in cafes.


Is citrusy, spicy and warming. Making lemon based cupcakes or pies? Increase the ground ginger slightly in your pumpkin spice mix to complement those citrusy flavours.


Is warm, sweet with hints of clove. Spiced cakes are always richer with a little extra nutmeg in them.


Cloves are immature flower buds, and have a pungent aroma, with strong hints of camphor and pepper but with fruity undertones. It is a very strong spice, so a little goes a long way. Too much of it, and you’ll end up with a sweet, bitter aftertaste.


Click here to read more. Allspice is so many spices in one! Crush an allspice berry and you’ll get the fragrance of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, which is why I always include allspice in my pumpkin spice mix. It brings it all together!

I’m giving you 2 methods here:

  1. The quick and easy one, where you just mix all the shop bought ground spices together, taking less than 5 minutes.
  2. The more potent one, where we start off with cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, whole cloves and a whole nutmeg. We toast the spices, cool them, then grind them in a mill. You will need a good spice or coffee mill for this though.

Ok, ok, you don’t really fancy making it yourself but would just love to get your hands on it! Fancy buying it online? Travel World Online has a fabulous article on where to buy American food online, or as they would say it in German, Amerikanische Lebensmittel online kaufen.

Don’t say I don’t spoil you!

If you like the recipe, don’t forget to leave me a comment and that all important, 5-star rating! Thank you!

And if you make the recipe, share it on any platform and tag me @azlinbloor, and hashtag it #linsfood

Lin xx

How to Make Pumpkin Spice (aka Mixed Spice)

How to make Pumpkin Spice at home. Also known as mixed spice here in the UK, it takes all of 5 minutes to put together and enjoyed for a long time after.
5 from 19 votes
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Course: Ingredients
Cuisine: American
Keyword: christmas, spice mix, thanksgiving
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4 (makes about 4 tablespoons)
Calories: 19kcal
Author: Azlin Bloor


A) Pumpkin Spice Mix Using Ground Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • ½ Tbsp allspice
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg

B) From Scratch Pumpkin Spice Mix

  • 4 cinnamon sticks measuring about 7.5cm/3″ each
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 10 allspice berries
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg


Method A

  • Mix everything together and store in a spice jar, in a cool, dark place.

Method B

  • Lightly toast all the whole spices in a small frying pan over medium-low heat for about 1 minute. Stop when you get an unmistakable aroma of the spices wafting up to you. Do not let them burn.
  • Tip the spices onto a plate and leave them to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Place all of the toasted whole spices (cinnamon, allspice berries and cloves) into a spice mill and grind to a fine powder.
  • Mix the freshly ground spices with the freshly grated nutmeg and the ground ginger. Mix thoroughly and store in an airtight container in a cool dark place, along with your other spices.


Time indicated does not take into account the recipe using whole spices.


Calories: 19kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 46mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 17IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1mg
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28 thoughts on “How to Make Pumpkin Spice (aka Mixed Spice)”

  1. Can I simply just say what a comfort it is to discover an individual who actually knows what they are talking
    about on the internet. Thank you!

  2. I guess this kind of spice would be a big hit for foodies out there. I would love to try this and mix it with our hot or cold beverages. I wonder if I can use it for baking.

  3. Kim | a little lunch

    Azlin, it’s so good to reconnect with you again over the aroma of Pumpkin Spice. Ahhhhh… Thanks for the tips and history you shared. Incredibly I’ve never had a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte (wildly popular as it is), but your homemade mixture will surely elevate this year’s Thanksgiving pie or anything else “Autumn” I bake. Thank you!

  4. Krystle Cook

    I never knew how to make my own so I always just buy! This would probably taste so amazing in so many recipes.

  5. Blair villanueva

    Thanks for your post, now i know what truly is pumpkin spice. I actually dont know it specifically, but I need to taste and smell it.

  6. Fatima Torres

    I’ve never been a fan of pumpkin spice lattes, but I do have several friends who are. I’ll be sure to share this with them. Thank you for the recipe.

  7. Kelly Hutchinson

    My Goddaughter could have pumpkin spice on just about everything! I had no idea it had ginger in it!

  8. Shannon Sawicki

    I have had a hard time finding this mix in the past, this will come in handy thank you.

  9. Claudia Krusch

    I would love to make my own spice mix. Homemade pumpkin spice would be perfect for all my baking this weekend.

  10. We don’t have anywhere that stocks pumpkin spice here in Australia so this is a big help! Can’t wait to try

  11. My daughters are big fans of pumpkin spice. I never knew just how easy it was to make your own. I will be sharing this recipe with them. Thanks!

  12. These are the same ingredients I use in my Chai tea mix! They all have so many health benefits to them and I go through a lot of it!

  13. I love pumpkin spice, but not pumpain spice everything. I usually buy thr already mixed spices in the jat, but it’s always good to know what goes in it so if I don’t have it, then it won’t be a problem.

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