Come fall, aka baking season, it’s pumpkin pie spice’s time to shine. Buying premade pumpkin pie spice is definitely convenient, but mixing an impromptu batch on your own is a lot easier (and cheaper) than you may think. And odds are, most of the spices you need are already in your pantry—it’s just a matter of combining them.
The essential autumn seasoning is a mix of warm, ground spices that brings life to desserts like hand pies, quick bread, pecan rolls and, of course, pumpkin pie. Given that cinnamon is the star ingredient, pumpkin pie spice is almost identical to apple pie spice, only it includes ginger. We like using a whole teaspoon of ginger to give it a kick, but feel free to use a third or half as much if you want your dessert on the sweeter side. You can also throw in a few more spices (cardamom! star anise! mace! black pepper!) to give the seasoning some nuance if you’d like—your Thanksgiving guests will be impressed. If so, start with ¼ teaspoon for every additional spice and adjust to taste as you see fit.
If you only need enough pumpkin pie spice for a single recipe, stick to the following measurements. You’ll end up with about 2 tablespoons total and will probably have a bit leftover. If you want to make a big batch, multiply each ingredient by nine and you’ll end up with just under a cup of pumpkin pie spice. It’ll keep in a cool, dry pantry for up to a year or two if stored in an airtight jar or container (fun fact: spices don’t really expire), but feel free to whip up a new batch if you realize it’s lost some color or flavor after a few months. Happy sweater season, folks.