What Is in Apple Pie Spice? And How Is It Different from Pumpkin Spice?

When the weather starts to cool and it starts getting dark an hour after you wake up, our thoughts start to turn to fall comforts. And nothing is more comfortable than a nice warm slice of apple pie. Sure pumpkin spice has overtaken apple pie spice in pop culture popularity, but when all the pumpkin spice memes have been shared and we go back to the basics, apple pie spice will still be there, welcoming us back into its warm, appley embrace. But what are apple pie spices—what is in apple pie spice? Sit down and get a slice of this apple pie spice knowledge.

What is apple pie spice?

Apple pie spice is that delectable blend of spices that transforms a bunch of warm Granny Smith apples wrapped in a crust into an actual apple pie. Apple pie spice is a warming spice blend that is not just a key ingredient in apple pie, but can be used for multiple fall treats. What is in apple pie spice, exactly? Well, apple pie spice ingredients can vary from recipe to recipe, but the basis of the spice is usually cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. That’s what’s listed as the ingredients in McCormick’s apple pie spice, and they are pretty much the spice blend standard. 

How to make apple pie spice?

If you want to make your own apple pie spice, there are plenty of recipes out there with their own unique twists. Like the McCormick’s blend, most recipes start with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. The basic recipe combines three tablespoons of ground cinnamon with two teaspoons each of ground nutmeg and allspice. You can also add some ginger and cardamom if you want to get all fancy with it. Adding cardamom and ginger makes an apple spice blend dangerously close to pumpkin spice. But there is one spice ingredient that separates pumpkin spice from apple pie spice: cloves. Just add some cloves to that cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and ginger blend and you’ll be cooking with pumpkin spice, baby!

Whether you have a premade apple pie spice blend, or you make your own from your personal pantry, you don’t have to use that spice exclusively in apple pies. Apple pie spice can liven up oatmeal, pancakes, French toast, hot drinks, or even popcorn. Anytime you want to feel the fall, throw some cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice into whatever you’re eating. All of these spices are considered warming spices. They give us a nice cozy feeling. 

This is why I love fall. Well, that and I look better when I dress in multiple layers. Those of us who had to shop in the “husky” section as kids are big fans of fall now. Nothing says fall like putting on a shirt, a sweater, and a jacket, then eating some apple pie.

About the Author

Will Morgan

Will Morgan, a freelance contributor to Sporked, is an L.A. based writer, actor, and sketch comedy guy. Originally from Houston, TX, he strongly believes in the superiority of breakfast tacos to breakfast burritos. Will traveled the world as one of those people that did yoyo shows at elementary school assemblies, always making a point to find local and regional foods to explore in whatever place he was, even in rinky-dink towns like Tilsonberg, ON. Will spends his birthdays at Benihana’s. Let him know if can make it.

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