9 Not-So-Basic Things to Know About Pumpkin Pie Spice

9 Not-So-Basic Things to Know About Pumpkin Pie Spice

No flavor captures the essence of fall better than McCormick® Pumpkin Pie Spice. Packed with warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, pumpkin spice is the tastiest way to warm up after a chilly fall hike, a trip to the pumpkin patch, or a day at the apple orchard. 

Read on for everything you need to know about this quintessential spice blend and why it's so much more than another “basic” celebration of all things fall. 

1. In 1934 McCormick introduced pumpkin pie spice.

While pumpkin spice “everything” may seem like a more recent trend, the spice itself has been around since 1934. McCormick first stocked grocery store shelves with pumpkin pie spice a few years after the 1929 launch of canned pumpkin, as a more convenient way for consumers to make a perfectly seasoned pie. It was also more economically friendly than buying individual jars of each spice needed to capture that perfect seasonal essence. Since its debut, pumpkin spice has achieved cultural icon status earlier and earlier each year.  

2. There are four signature spices in the McCormick blend of pumpkin pie spice.

This iconic spice blend includes cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove to create that recognizable spiced warmth in flavor and aroma. 

3. McCormick Pumpkin Pie Spice is still part of the zeitgeist almost 100 years after its creation. 

McCormick popularized the blend, but the PSL (pumpkin spice latte) fueled the conversation, paving the way for what feels like nothing that has been left untouched by pumpkin… candles, soaps, creamer, oat milk, dog treats, caviar, body wipes… the list of food, beverage, and household items that have been pumpkin spice-ized is never-ending. 

4. One of the first American cookbooks includes two recipes that feature spices akin to McCormick Pumpkin Pie Spice blend. 

Spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice, all of which make up the blend we know and love today, are found in Amelia Simmon’s American Cookery (1796) where she writes of two recipes like pumpkin pie. Introduced to North America by way of colonialism and trade, these warming spices have been around for, and incorporated into cooking and baking, for centuries. 

5. By 2019, pumpkin pie spice was the fourth best-selling retail spice from September through November.   

For 90 years, McCormick Pumpkin Pie Spice has been a holiday staple. And despite the pumpkin spice products that emerge every year, there’s no doubt that this quintessential ingredient cues all things autumn. McCormick flavors pumpkin pies, lattes, and other Thanksgiving-themed treats with our iconic blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. The fall accounts for about 80 percent of McCormick retail sales for pumpkin pie spice. 

6. Pumpkin pie spice is for savory recipes, too. 

Pumpkin pie spice is an obvious match for everything sweet - from breads to doughnuts, pies, cakes, cookies, and more. But vegetables and meat can benefit from the warming flavor boost pumpkin pie spice brings to the table. Recipes like Savory Rum Turkey Gravy, Fettucine Pumpkin Alfredo, and Twice Baked Pumpkin Pie Sweet Potatoes prove that this beloved flavor has legs beyond treats. 

7. Pumpkin spice makes breakfast twice as nice. 

Is there anything more comforting than waking up to the warm and cozy scent of pumpkin pie spice wafting through the house? Fall or not, it’s a treat to start the day with pumpkin pie spice infused delights like Pumpkin Pie Spice French Toast, Pumpkin Pie Spice Oatmeal with Coconut Milk, or a hot PSL

8. Pumpkin pie spice is a great substitute for cinnamon. 

Cinnamon is the main ingredient in pumpkin pie spice, making it a comparable ingredient swap in a pinch. Swap equal parts pumpkin pie spice for cinnamon in recipes like Cinnamon Bun Latte, Apple Cranberry Baked Oatmeal, or Cinnamon Apple Rounds for that familiar warm, nostalgic flavor. 

9. Pure Pumpkin Pie Spice Extract is a thing. (And it’s awesome.) 

Just like the spice blend, McCormick Pure Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend Extract has the power to elevate all your favorite beverages and recipes with the signature flavor of traditional pumpkin pie spice. From Oven Baked Pumpkin Risotto to Pumpkin Pie Spice Hot Chocolate, Pumpkin Pie Spice Fudge, Fluffy Pumpkin Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting, Pumpkin Pie Spice White Russian, and Pumpkin Cream Cheese Danish, this sweet yet hearty extract is the perfect addition to any pantry. 

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