pumpkin pie spice coffee and muffinFrom pumpkin pie to gingerbread, this time of year is a delight for anyone with a sweet tooth or who loves to bake. Both of those descriptions fit me, but it wasn't until this year that I discovered something that made the holiday season so much sweeter and easier: Pumpkin pie spice. As in one bottle of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg all mixed together. 

I'd seen it on the grocery store shelves in the past and thought how silly it seemed if you already own all of those spices. But what I didn't realize at the time was that if you don't own them all, a bottle of pumpkin pie spice is so worth it. And if you do, you should definitely make a DIY bottle. Because either way, it is an AWESOME baking staple to have at your disposal. Here, a few ways to use it ...

  1. In pumpkin pie, of course. It's the perfect way to save time when baking up the Thanksgiving classic. (Speaking of, don't forget to check out these two fantastically easy recipes! Wink, wink.) 
  2. In a milkshake/protein shake. Just because it's not summer anymore doesn't mean we don't still loooove frozen desserts. A perfectly vanilla milkshake can get a bit spicier with a dash of PPS.
  3. On top of popcorn. After all, popcorn is the new cupcakes!
  4. In oatmeal. Who needs those pre-packaged, sugar-loaded packets when you can take regular ol' quick oats and sprinkle on some PPS, maybe a dash of whatever sweetener you like best, and a splash of milk? Perfect.
  5. In coffee. It spices up your coffee at home, so you can skip running out for coffee and save on cash and sugar.
  6. In cookies or muffins or cupcakes. Same concept as #1, of course, but you can really take just about any ol' recipe and punch up the spice factor with PPS.
  7. In (butternut/pumpkin/acorn) squash soup. My fiance adores these fall comfort foody soups, and they're made even better with PPS. All you do is roast your squash, then blend into a smooth puree. Add a couple teaspoons (or more) of PPS when you are sauteing the onions, garlic, and other base flavors of your soup. Stir the spices until they coat the onions evenly then add your broth and pumpkin. Puree everything together, heat, serve. Yummm.
  8. In pumpkin (or other squash) flavored pasta. It's not your everyday red sauce, but pumpkin sage pasta is OUT of this world! Here's an awesome recipe for Creamy Pumpkin Pasta With Parmesan & Sage.
  9. In pancake batter. Breakfast just got a whole lot more delicious! You'll want to use 1/2 tsp. per cup of batter.
  10. In whipped cream. That then goes on top of pumpkin pie or apple pie. Can I get a collective "Ooooh, aahhhh!"?

Do you use pumpkin pie spice? How?


Image via Selena N. B. H./Flickr