Pumpkin spice mix gets a vibrant upgrade with freshly grated nutmeg and golden turmeric added to the classic cinnamon, ginger, allspice blend.
I've made my share of pumpkin baked goods over the years, from gluten-free pumpkin cream pie to GF pumpkin bread to maple-kissed pumpkin pudding cake to creamy pumpkin pudding. But I never saw the point of using pumpkin pie spice, preferring to make my own blends for each different recipe. Why would I want every recipe to taste the same when variety is the *spice* of life?
That all changed last week when I could be found, mad-scientist-like, baking batch after batch of gluten-free pumpkin muffins. I was going for pretty, craggy tops, a floofy yet hearty texture, and easy vegan swaps. After the first 5 batches, I decided that measuring out 5 different spices each time was for the birds.
I made a large batch of pumpkin spice mix using the same ratios that I'd been using in my favorite gluten-free pumpkin bread. This made the recipe testing process much more efficient. Along the way, I found that this pumpkin spice blend works just as well in any other pumpkin dessert recipe (and in apple, carrot, and sweet potato desserts too). Now I'll keep a jar of this homemade pumpkin spice on the counter year-round.
DIY Homemade Pumpkin Spice
Pumpkin pie spice is generally a spicy-sweet blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and/or mace, and allspice and/or cloves. I like a more ginger-forward pumpkin pie spice which keeps desserts tasting bright and peppy. I add turmeric to accentuate the golden hue of the baked good and add a little extra depth.
Turmeric is used widely in Indian and Southeast Asian cuisines and has become popular in the west in the form of golden milk, a cozy beverage full of digestion-boosting spice and anti-inflammatory turmeric. I've been making golden milk pumpkin spice lattes with this mix and it works wonderfully! Black pepper makes the good stuff in turmeric more bio-available, so feel free to add some here if you like.
For a more classic pumpkin pie spice recipe, omit the turmeric and use more cinnamon in its place.
Pumpkin Spice Mix Ingredients
Just a handful of spices go into this pumpkin spice recipe. Be sure your spices are fresh for the best flavor.
- Ground ginger gives this pumpkin spice a kick with bright, zingy topnotes of flavor.
- Ground cinnamon adds its red hue and cozy, classic taste.
- Ground turmeric enhances the golden hue of pumpkin desserts while bringing earthy floral notes that accentuate the ginger. For a classic pumpkin spice mix, omit the turmeric and use more cinnamon in its place.
- Grated nutmeg adds warm, peppery tones. If you can find whole nutmeg pods and grate them yourself on a microplane, you'll be rewarded with especially flavorful pumpkin spice. But ground nutmeg will work well too.
- Ground allspice adds rich bass notes and depth. If you love cloves, you can use an equal amount of ground cloves in place of or in addition to allspice.
How to Make Pumpkin Pie Spice
Combine the spices in a jar or bowl.
Shake or stir to combine.
Store airtight at room temperature for up to 1 year.
How to Use Pumpkin Pie Spice
You can use this pumpkin pie spice in any recipe that calls for a warming blend of spices or pumpkin pie spice. I also love it stirred into oatmeal, homemade granola, and in hot apple cider. In addition to pumpkin, it pairs well with apple, carrot, banana, and sweet potato recipes.
Here are some favorites where it would shine:
- Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins (DF & vegan options)
- Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread (DF)
- Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cream Pie (DF & vegan options)
- GF Pumpkin Pouding Chomeur (baked pudding cake)
- GF Pumpkin Buttermilk Pie
- Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies
- Pumpkin Pudding (DF & vegan options)
- No-Bake Pumpkin Pie (GF, vegan & paleo)
- Pumpkin Ice Cream
- Gluten-Free Pumpkin Nut and Seed Bread (from Alternative Baker via Foolproof Living)
- Grain-Free Banana Bread
- Gluten-Free Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Gluten-Free Banana Buckwheat Pancakes
- Homemade Granola
- Super Seeded Oatmeal
- Sweet Potato Pie
- Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls
- Gluten-Free Carrot Cake (paleo option)
- Gluten-Free Ginger Molasses Cookies
How to Substitute Pumpkin Pie Spice
You can sub this golden pumpkin spice mix into any pumpkin recipe. Just add up the spices it calls for (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, etc.) and replace the total amount with the same quantity of golden pumpkin spice mix.
However you use it, I hope this homemade pumpkin spice becomes as indispensable in your kitchen as it now is in mine!
*Bojon appétit! For more Bojon Gourmet in your life, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, purchase my gluten-free cookbook Alternative Baker, or subscribe to receive new posts via email. And if you make this vegan gluten-free pumpkin muffin recipe, I’d love to know. Leave a comment and rating below, and tag your Instagram snaps @The_Bojon_Gourmet and #bojongourmet.*
Golden Pumpkin Spice BlendPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 2 tablespoons ground ginger
- 1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- Combine ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg, and allspice in a bowl or jar.
- Stir or shake to combine.
- Store airtight at room temperature for up to 1 month.
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper