Learn how to make apple pie spice from scratch! 5 minutes and 5 ingredients are all you need to make this easy homemade apple pie spice recipe. The DIY spice mix is very aromatic and perfect to season sweet and savoury apple recipes, from apple pie and cookies to bread and salads.
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Easy homemade apple pie spice recipe
Raise your hand if you’re obsessed with apple recipes like I am! I’ve never been one to turn down a delicious slice of warm apple pie or apple crumble. The secret to really delicious apple recipes? A well-balanced spice mix! Today’s apple pie spice recipe is inspired by the homemade spice blend my Grandma Joanna used to make to season her delicious apple pies.
Come September, I like to sprinkle apple pie spice on literally everything but buying good-quality spice mixes gets expensive real quick. My solution? Making my own homemade apple pie spice for a fraction of the cost!
Homemade apple pie spice is naturally vegan, gluten-free, salt-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free and suitable for paleo and keto diets. So when you’re craving an apple dessert, this DIY apple pie spice recipe is perfect to season your apple recipe.
What is apple pie spice made of?
What is in apple pie spice? What does apple pie spice contain? From the products and recipes I have seen, it seems that the ingredients in apple pie spice can vary quite a bit. The McCormick apple pie spice, for example, has just 3 ingredients, while this organic apple pie spice is made with 6.
Here are the apple pie spice ingredients for I used in this recipe:
What is allspice?
While the name may suggest it’s a blend, allspice, also called pimento, is a single spice made from the dried berries of the pimenta dioica plant. The flavour of allspice is peppery and pungent and lends aroma to many desserts and beverages.
I know that not everyone likes the strong aroma of allspice, and you might be wondering: What is a substitute for allspice? If you don’t have allspice or don’t like the taste, either make apple pie spice without allspice or use cloves instead.
Apple pie spice with cardamom
You can make apple pie spice with cardamom or without it. The apple pie spice mix recipe from my grandmother is made with cardamom, and so I included the spice, too. The refreshing-lemony aroma of cardamom pairs perfectly with the fruity flavour of apples and adds another layer of complexity to this homemade spice mix. However, you can omit cardamom if you prefer apple pie spice without cardamom.
Apple pie spice with cloves
Another variation of this homemade spice mix is apple pie spice with cloves. To make apple pie spice with cloves, simply add 1/2 tsp ground cloves to the blend and combine well.
Tips for blending apple pie spice
When whipping up your own spice mix just ask yourself: What spices go well with apples? There are so many ways you can make homemade spice blends, this recipe with cardamom is just my own personal favourite.
When mixing, start with half of the amounts stated in the apple pie spice recipe. Then taste and see how you like the flavour. Continue adding more spices until you love the aroma.
Whole or ground spices?
Apple pie spice can be made with both whole or ground spices. You probably already have most of the ingredients in your pantry, so work with what you have at hand. But ensure that the spices are fresh because spices lose their aroma over time.
The secret to the best apple pie spice recipe? Freshly ground whole spice will always provide the best aroma. Here are a few tips for grinding whole spices:
- Cinnamon sticks, ginger root, and nutmeg can be best grated with a microplate garter.
- An spice grinder or electric coffee grinder is your best option for cloves, allspice and cardamom. A mortar and pestle can also be used for cardamom.
Apple pie spice vs pumpkin pie spice – What is the difference between apple pie spice and pumpkin pie spice?
A few weeks ago, I shared a recipe for homemade pumpkin pie spice, and now you might be asking: what is the difference between apple pie spice and pumpkin pie spice? While the ingredients are nearly identical, the ratios are different.
Apple pie spice is very strong on the cinnamon and allspice is more prominent, too. Pumpkin pie spice is often made with cloves, which usually aren’t found in apple pie spice. I also found that the aroma of nutmeg and ginger are stronger in pumpkin pie spice.
Apple pie spice substitute – What can I substitute for apple pie spice?
On the same note, what can I substitute for apple pie spice? Pumpkin pie spice is a great apple pie spice substitute. Gingerbread spice is another alternative to apple pie spice. Sometimes I also use pure cinnamon as apple pie spice replacement in recipes.
And it goes the other way around, too. If you’re looking for a pumpkin pie substitute, use apple pie spice as a pumpkin pie spice alternative in your fall baking and pumpkin recipes.
How to make apple pie spice
This easy homemade apple pie spice recipe is ready in next to no time. Wanna try it? This homemade apple pie spice blend is super easy to make, too. Just a handful of spice, a small bowl and a few minutes mixing are all you need. So here’s how to make apple pie spice mixture at home:
- If using whole spice, ground them first.
- Then add all of the ingredients to a small bowl and stir together. Tip: Ginger can be clumpy sometimes. Sifting helps to remove lumps from the apple pie spice.
- Transfer the spice mix into a clean, airtight jar or container.
How long can I store apple pie spice?
Store apple pie spice in an airtight container and keep away from heat, sunlight and moisture.
The shelf life of homemade apple pie spice is six to nine months.
Apple pie spice uses
Wondering what do you use apple pie spice for? Here’s how to use apple pie spice. As the name suggests, apple pie spice is used for apple pie, but there are so many recipes you can prepare with apple pie spice. The spice blend is perfect for how to spice up apple pie filling, desserts, baked goods, cakes, muffins, cookies, soups, autumn salads, and roasted vegetables or to season sauce for meat dishes.
How much apple pie spice do I use?
Most recipes with apple pie spice will tell you exactly how much you should use. Apple pie spice can be used as a 1-to-1 replacement for pumpkin pie spice. If you want to substitute cinnamon with apple pie spice in a recipe, start with half of the amount first. Allspice, ginger and nutmeg make apple pie spice spicier and stronger than just cinnamon, so it’s best to increase the amount you use gradually.
Recipes using apple pie spice
Here are a few delicious apple pie spice recipes:
- apple pie
- apple sauce cake
- energy bites
- apple hand pies
- crunchy apple crumble
- autumn salad with honey roasted apples
- applesauce doughnuts
- harvest fruit tarts
- harvest chutney
- keto apple pie
- Instant Pot apple bread
- apple dumplings
- croissant apple pie
- apple pie egg rolls
- cheesecake bars
- apple pie overnight oats
- caramel apple spice cheesecake dip
Gifting apple pie spice
The holiday season is upon us, and spice blends are excellent homemade food gift ideas. I packaged the spice mix in pretty clip-top jars and attached my free printable label to make the jar gift-ready. You can download the printable after the recipe card at the end of this post.
4-oz quilted mason jars or 2-oz mason shot jars are pretty options for how to package spice blends, too. And to make your handmade gift even more special grab a free copy of our free printable fall gift tags.
Free printable labels
Tap or click the button below to download the free printable apple pie spice label!
Over to you!
Do you like pumpkin spice season and what is your favourite pumpkin spice recipe? Leave me a comment, I’d really love to know!
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How would I use this to make apple pie?
Hi Jessica! You can use this spice blend in place of cinnamon in your apple pie recipe. You add it to the apple pie filling. I usually add 1 to 1.5 teaspoons. Hope this helps and happy baking!
Can you add this to apple juice to make it taste like apple cider?
Hello, Germaine! Great idea! Yes, you can do that. I would add 1/2 to 1 tsp per cup of apple juice and cook on the stove for a few minutes so the juice and spices blend. I also have this mulled cider recipe on the blog. Let me know how it goes!
Tastes good and is easy. I don’t like cardamom and used dried lemon zest and my family love my apple pie.
Thank you, Erica! It’s a great idea to used dried lemon zest.