Pumpkin Spice: All About This Autumn Blend
Image Credit: Love and Lemons

Pumpkin spice or pumpkin pie spice, is a blend made with a handful of warm spices like cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves. Symbolic of the fall season, it is widely enjoyed for its warm and cosy taste. Usually used as a popular flavouring during the onset of the autumn season, the key components of the spice mixture contribute an earthy warmth to the sweet dishes it is typically used in. Deriving its name from the wide array of pumpkin-based sweets it is used in, pumpkin spice has a notable absence of pumpkin or pumpkin adjacent products. To illustrate this further, ground cinnamon is one of the key components of pumpkin spice that contributes a sweet, woody and warming flavour whereas nutmeg adds a slightly nutty and earthy flavour with a hint of sweetness.

Additionally, ground ginger provides a subtle spiciness and warmth to the blend, along with the allspice powder, derived from the dried berries of the Pimenta dioica plant; which contributes a flavour reminiscent of a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Typically mixed together in varying ratios to create the characteristic pumpkin spice flavour, which is often associated with pumpkin pie and other autumn-themed dishes and beverages, pumpkin spice is commonly used to flavour pumpkin-based desserts, coffee drinks and various baked goods like muffins, cookies and pancakes. This versatile flavouring blend can be used in a variety of sweet foods and beverages, such as the ones below.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

A popular coffee drink that combines espresso or coffee with steamed milk, sugar and a mixture of pumpkin spice flavours, the latte often topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin spice. Made popular by a global coffee chain, the beverage is particularly in demand during chilly weather and around the onset of the winters.

Pumpkin Pie

A classic dessert for Thanksgiving and the fall season, pumpkin pie features a flaky pie crust filled with a creamy pumpkin custard filling that's sweetened and flavoured with pumpkin spice. One of the desserts from which pumpkin spice derives its name, the pie is a creamy and flaky interplay of textures, perfect when eaten warm.

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Image Credits: Betty Crocker

A classic autumn-themed breakfast option, these pancakes are made by adding pumpkin puree as well as pumpkin spice to the pancake batter, giving it a signature orange hue. The pancakes are often served with maple syrup, butter and a dollop of whipped cream.

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Pumpkin Spice Muffins

These moist and flavourful muffins are made with pumpkin puree and a blend of pumpkin spice. Often times, ingredients like chocolate chips or chopped walnuts are for added texture and flavour, along with a generous filling of cream cheese – to offset the warm, sweet flavours. These muffins are best enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea.

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

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A comforting and nutritious breakfast, pumpkin spice oatmeal is made by adding pumpkin puree and a dash of pumpkin spice to cooked oatmeal. Use sweeteners like brown sugar or maple syrup and garnish with nuts, raisins or vanilla Greek yoghurt. Skip the pumpkin puree and simply use the pumpkin spice blend in your regular oatmeal, if preferred.

Pumpkin Spice Martini

An incredible dessert cocktail made with a blend of pumpkin spice, Baileys and vanilla, the pumpkin spice martini is a fantastic night cap to enjoy after dinner. Make cosy weekend evenings even better with a glass or two of this martini and dollop a generous scoop of whipped cream on top before serving.