How To Make Pumpkin Pie Spice

In the autumn, three humble spices reign supreme. Whether you love it, or love to hate it, pumpkin pie spice is a spice cabinet staple—and it couldn't be easier to make at home.

Pumpkin pie spice
Photo: Photography: Caitlin Bensel, Food Styling: Torie Cox / Southern Living
Active Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
5 mins

As the leaves turn and the air begins to chill, pumpkin, in all its iterations, takes center stage. There are pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin pie ice cream, pumpkin spice donuts, and a bevy of other fall-inspired options, including the iconic pumpkin pie. The base of these sought-after creations is a simple three-ingredient recipe you can make at home to add fall flavor to your favorite dishes.

What Is in Pumpkin Pie Spice?

Pumpkin pie spice blends the holy trinity of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. You could also throw in some ground ginger, allspice, cardamom, or mace if you wanted to add a little more spice to the blend.

Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in bowls
Photography: Caitlin Bensel, Food Styling: Torie Cox / Southern Living

How Do I Use Pumpkin Pie Spice?

Of course, there's classic pumpkin pie, but don't ignore adding a dash to your morning coffee, that batch of cookies or cheescake, or even some amped-up granola. It also makes a nice dusting for roasted butternut squash, flavoring for candied pecans, and a base for moist breads. The warm spice blend is versatile for many baked goods, as well as savory applications.

How to Make Pumpkin Pie Spice

You could buy pumpkin pie spice, but then you have a big jar that may go stale before use— especially if you only break out the pumpkin spice in the autumn. Making it from scratch gives you the opportunity to grate your own nutmeg, add in other flavors you might want to experiment with, and craft smaller batches so you use it up before it loses flavor. It's also more economical to create a blend from spices you already have in your cabinet than to purchase a new bottle.

Step 1: Gather your ingredients

Pumpkin pie spice, in its most basic form, is the combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Measure each ingredient and add them to a mixing bowl.

Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves mix together to make pumpkin pie spice.
Photography: Caitlin Bensel, Food Styling: Torie Cox / Southern Living

Step 2: Mix it up

At this point, your pumpkin pie spice is ready to use in pumpkin bars, as a topping for a yogurt parfait, or in any number of creative ways you can think to add a touch of autumn to your menu.

If you want to experiment with even more flavor, mix in your favorite warm spices like ginger or cardamom, or even cumin for a savory touch. Mix it in with cocoa powder to bring chocolate desserts to life with all the smells of the season. Start with just ¼ teaspoon of any additional spices so you don't overpower the base ingredients.

Pumpkin pie spice
Photography: Caitlin Bensel, Food Styling: Torie Cox / Southern Living

How to Store Pumpkin Pie Spice

Look for a container that's airtight and a cool, dark space like your spice cabinet. Properly stored, your DIY pumpkin pie spice can last for three years, as long as the base spices were fresh. If you're in doubt, check out our guide on the shelf life of spices.


  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg

  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves


  1. Add all ingredients to a small mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Transfer to an airtight storage container until ready to use. Store in cool, dark place.

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