The Un-Pumpkin Pie Spice

The Un-Pumpkin Pie Spice

I love the flavor of pumpkin. I love spices … but I’d rather be maced in the face than eat the pumpkin pie spice blends sold down at the megamart. This homemade version is so unlike those blends that I call it the Un-Pumpkin Pie spice. And I have to tell you, I actually use it for a lot more than pumpkin pie. (I even brew my coffee with it during the cold months.)

Nothing revolutionary here, but I assure you if you follow these steps you will be rewarded.

The Un-Pumpkin Pie Spice

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3 dry allspice berries
  • 1 whole star anise pod
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  1. Purchase quality ground cinnamon and dry ginger. (I get mine from
  2. Grind the allspice berries along with the star anise pod in a pepper mill or spice grinder.
  3. Grate a nutmeg on a micro grater until you have the desired amount.
  4. Combine in a small jar with a tight fitting lid.
  5. Use within 1 month.


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    • 6

      There will not be a volume difference – the “fresh” here means that you grated/ground it yourself from an actual nutmeg rather than scooping from a pre-grated container. Both forms are dried, so you do not have the same situation as with herbs where different amounts must be used if switching from fresh to dried.

      My opinion – there will be a flavour difference. If you only have the pre-grated type and I cannot persuade you to purchase whole nutmegs to grate yourself, then go with at least a rounded measure. As the recipe notes, a month out and all of this will just go “blah” – so if you even if you bought your pre-grated container today it has already aged at least a week or two (if not more).

      • 7
        Lindsey K.

        Hey Meghan – while we are on the topic of fresh nutmeg… When measuring the volume of the freshly grated nutmeg, should I pack it or leave it loose? Somewhere in between? I want to make sure I’m using the correct amount. Thanks in advance for your advice!

        • 8

          I like nutmeg a lot, so I do tend to heap the spoon a bit. I am normally using a micro plane type grater, so I end up with some curly little bits (smaller than an eyelash) and thus it would not “pack” the same way that brown sugar will.

          Don’t pack it for your first batch. You’re only ending up with about two tablespoons of spice blend and hopefully you will use it in less than a month. Taste it in what ever end use you have in mind – do you like it? Do it the same again. Do you want more or less of something? Then write it down and do that the next batch.

          And of course it is always easier to add more than to remove excess in this type of formula.

  1. 9

    Nice blend of spices for the upcoming ‘pumpkin’ season. I’ve never used star anise but will give it a go. My wife and I get our spices from another nice site

  2. 11

    Hey Alton and all: I have a close friend who is allergic to ginger. Should I change anything after omitting the ginger? Is there anything else that would give it that bite? (We sometimes use galangal as a substitute in savory dishes, but I don’t know how it would fare here.)

  3. 12

    Mmmmm. I can smell it now. I have 4 cinnamons from Penzey’ s — May have to make 4 jars! Also this might just work in an apple pie. Or pumpkin pancakes, or sprinkled on French toast, or the start of a Caribbean jerk rub, or as a ham glaze base…. Weekend meals planned, thanks!

  4. 13

    This sounds great! I’m curious as to if you’ve tried the Spice House pumpkin pie spice? I think it’s pretty good as pumpkin pie spice goes.

    • 24

      I do a similar thing with cinnamon, and sometimes other spices. add the spice to the grounds. whether you add it during the grind or on top makes little difference, imo.

      Also, a pinch of salt on top of your coffee grounds will cut most of the bitterness out of your cp… and is not enough to afeect the flavor otherwise.

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