What Is Pumpkin Spice Made Of? Pumpkin Spice Recipes to Try This Fall

If we were to describe fall in two words, it would be “pumpkin spice.” From lattes to baked goods, the flavor of fall lies in the season’s desire for warmth and invigorating scents. Contrary to its name, pumpkin spice does not actually contain pumpkin. It instead exists to enhance pumpkin flavor. If it’s not made from pumpkin, what is pumpkin spice made of? We’ve got the answer, plus pumpkin spice recipes to try this fall, ahead.

Pumpkin spice

Believe it or not, pumpkin spice doesn’t contain pumpkin. | Panera

What is pumpkin spice made of

Pumpkin spice is so good, it must be made of magic, right? Not exactly. While it does probably promote some feelings of fall nostalgia, it’s a lot more simple than you think. Typically pumpkin spice is made of four seasonings: ground cinnamon, ginger, clove, and nutmeg. However, some homemade recipes also call for allspice. While ratios might vary (some even call for equal parts), the key component of pumpkin spice is cinnamon, followed by ginger and clove with a dash of ground nutmeg.

Pumpkin spice recipes to try this fall

Pumpkin spice lattes might get the popular vote, but there are many more ways to enjoy the spices of the season. From baked goods to healthy smoothies, you can pack in the flavors of fall with just a dash, pinch, and sprinkle of pumpkin spice. This season, spice up your fall festivities and celebrations with these pumpkin spice recipes.

Flavored coffee

Cinnamon, clove, ginger, and nutmeg make up pumpkin spice. | Julia_Sudnitskaya/iStock/Getty Images

Homemade pumpkin spice

First thing’s first: The spice. Making homemade pumpkin spice is easier than you think. You likely already have all — or most — of the ingredients in your kitchen cupboard. See below for a quick and easy pumpkin spice recipe from Taste of Home.


  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground clove
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. Combine the spices together
  2. Store in a clean, air-tight container for up to six months

Pumpkin spice latte

Craving a pumpkin spice latte? Treat yourself to a homemade PSL! Unlike Starbucks pumpkin spice latte — which uses a pumpkin pie syrup for flavoring — a DIY pumpkin spice latte contains more benefits of pumpkin spice and is a better source of nutrients. Here’s how to make a homemade pumpkin spice latte via The Food Network.


  • ¼ cup hot espresso or strong brewed coffee
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more for sprinkling
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Sweetened whipped cream for serving (optional)


  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, sugar, milk, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla
  2. Microwave the ingredients for one to two minutes or until the milk is hot
  3. Whisk vigorously for about 30 seconds or until the mixture looks frothy
  4. Add the espresso to a large mug, then top with the milk mixture
  5. Add whipped cream with a sprinkle of pumpkin spice on top (optional)

Healthy pumpkin spice smoothie

This fall, up the ante on your protein smoothie with a little pumpkin spice. Not only is a pumpkin spice smoothie a delicious way to enjoy the flavors of fall, but it’s also a healthier option for PSL lovers, too. We share a recipe from Popsugar, below.


  • ½ frozen banana
  • ½ cup pumpkin (canned or freshly cooked)
  • ¾ cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 pinch of ground ginger


  1. Add ingredients to a blender
  2. Blend until completely smooth
  3. Pour into a glass, top with additional pumpkin spice (optional), and enjoy!

Pumpkin spice oatmeal

Add some pumpkin spice to your breakfast with homemade pumpkin spice oatmeal. Oatmeal is a delicious way to start the day and combined with the health benefits of pumpkin spice can be just what you need to get going on a chilly fall morning. All Recipes makes a delicious pumpkin spice oatmeal, and we’ve got the recipe, below.


  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • ¼ cup canned pumpkin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  1. In a small pot, bring milk to a boil over medium-high heat
  2. Add the oats, white sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and salt to the milk and stir
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and place a lid over the pot
  4. Stir occasionally for three minutes
  5. Add pumpkin puree to the mixture and stir until smooth
  6. Remove from heat and let it sit for about two minutes before serving
  7. For added health benefits, top with a mixture of pumpkin, chia, and flaxseeds

Don’t want to commit to the full recipe? Make yourself a batch of plain instant oats, add some honey for sweetness and sprinkle some pumpkin spice on top.

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