Learn how to make your own homemade pumpkin pie spice and gingerbread spice mix in minutes, with some unusual additions that up the flavor and that you won’t find in store bought spices. Perfect for all your fall baking but also year-round lattes, smoothies, oats, chocolate treats and more.
Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipe & Holiday Spices Guide
Making your own homemade pumpkin pie spice, gingerbread spice mix, Chai spice mix and any other spice collection just takes knowledge of the final flavor you are after as well as a cupboard full of ground spices.
Is It Easy To Make Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix?
Yes, and more cost effective! I throw together the mix I need as I am making each recipe. Another option, mix up mixes before hand and store in nifty glass jars like Weck jars or mason jars. And of course you can make chai spice mix and gingerbread spice mix and more at home.
I provide my three favorite spice mix recipes below, but there is lots of room in each for your own personal customization.
But first, let me tell you a bit of detail about spices, their history and characteristics of the most popular and useful spices to have on hand.
History of Spices
Spices are used in the culinary world all year round, of course, and the holidays just ramp up their importance. And though we all know spices are attractive for scent and flavoring, they are also known for supporting good health and disease-prevention. For instance cayenne pepper is considered a metabolism booster, and cloves are useful as antiseptics. Read more about the benefits of spices in an NIH study here.
So I personally began this year using spices more often, more of them, and in unlikely places, such as five-spice in a latte, and black pepper on cookies!
There are also other spice-like ingredients that deserve a place in your pantry that aren’t spices exactly, but certainly make an important flavorful and healthy contribution.
So I have created a list of essential holiday spices and the like that I think you should have in stock at all times. I have also tried to supply vetted buying sources for high-quality versions that are pure and free of additives. Let me know what you think in comments!
Best Spices to Have On Hand
- Anise Star
- Chinese Five-Spice
All About The Essential Spices
- Anise Star
- A spice close in taste to licorice and actually bears a close resemblance to the spice fennel. Anise can be used as a whole star seed, or ground into powder. It is a strong antioxidant. Anise has anti fungal and anti-candida properties as well. Here is a fair trade brand.
- This spice is often confused as a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, but it is actually a spice on its own from a berry of a pimento tree of Jamaica. This fragrant spice is high in vitamin C.
- Used as a ground powder or whole seeds, this spice delivers a haunting dusty sweet flavor that enhances recipes with chocolate and cinnamon, and is also a strong antiseptic and powerful immune booster
- This familiar spice has a sweet scent, great for both sweet and savory recipes, and excellent at balancing blood sugars. I actually add 2 tsp daily to my morning coffee.
- With a flavor both sweet and bitter, like cinnamon, this spice is great in both sweet and savory recipes. Healthy wise, this spice is high in antioxidants and great for digestion and anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal power.
- Chinese Five-Spice
- This spice is actually a collection of anise, cloves, Chinese cinnamon, sichuan pepper and fennel. Normally found in savory Asian recipes, recently this spice is being used to add spicy heat to holiday dessert recipes. I use this brand.
- Ginger is both an herb and a spice, and has so many well-known healthy benefits – including detox and digestion support. Use it fresh or powdered.
- Earthy, nutty and with a hint of sweetness, this spice is so high in minerals, including magnesium, potassium and zinc. It makes a great home remedy for relaxation and sleep.
Essential Ingredients That Support Spices
And these next are not spices of course, but they are essential additions to many holiday recipes:
- Black strap molasses is a healthy sweetener, with vital vitamins and minerals, such as iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium. The flavor is a wonderful pairing with cinnamon and gingerbread recipes. I use this brand.
- This cool familiar flavoring can be used as an extract or oil. It adds a minty and sweet flavor and provides excellent support for colds and throat ailments. The essential oil is best with recipes that have healthy fats, but be careful to keep it out of reach of children. I use this brand.
- Recently I am finding a fine quality powder is most convenient and flavorful, with the exception of course of freshly scrapped vanilla pods. The powder I use is made from ground vanilla beans from Madagascar, free of additives and major food allergens. You can find the brand here.)
Recommended Recipes that Can Use Spices
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Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipe & More
Gingerbread Spice Mix
- 2 tbsp allspice
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp ginger
- 1 tbsp cloves
- 1 tbsp nutmeg
- pinch black pepper
Chai Spice Mix
- 2 tsp cardamom green cardamom is best
- 5 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp fennel
Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix
- 6 tbsp cinnamon
- 4 tsp ginger
- 4 tsp nutmeg
- 2 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp cloves
- To make 1/2 cup of any of these homemade spice recipes, stir together ground versions of the spices. If you want to use fresh seeds, grind the amount you need in a coffee grinder dedicated to spice grinding.
- Store each mix in a dry weck jar or mason jar, and spoon it into all kinds of recipes, including smoothies, overnight oats, even my coffee!
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients . On this blog you’ll find incredibly easy recipes with hidden veggies for anyone wanting to eat healthier, regardless of diet. Dee has graduate degrees in immunological nutritional studies and journalism. More about Dee Dine here.