Published on 25 October 2022

All you need to know about pumpkin spice

pumpkin spice

What is pumpkin spice?

Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves are the three staple spices in any pumpkin spice mix. Some varieties include ginger, allspice, or aniseed. It is very easy to make at home and can easily be adapted to your taste.

Originally, this spice mix was known as pumpkin pie spice and was developed in the United States to season pumpkin pies (which are an autumnal and Thanksgiving staple in many American households). The first company to coin the term was McCormick, a spice, seasoning mix, and condiment manufacturer. They first put it on supermarket shelves as such in the 1950s. Prior to that, it was commonly known as "fall spices."

A bit of history

Many people believe that pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice find their origin in the 1621 feast harvest between English colonists and the Native American Wampanoag tribe that started America’s Thanksgiving tradition. However, it is unlikely that the dish made its debut on the very first Thanksgiving.

Even though we assume that American colonists consumed pumpkins due to the fact that they would have been a plentiful source of food, their ovens would not have been capable of producing current crusts in the same way that we are accustomed to seeing them. Instead, it is likely that they consumed pumpkins in the same manner as American Indians did, namely by cooking them in soups and stews, roasting them, turning them into savoury sauces, and using the fruit in the baking of bread and cakes.

Like a lot of beloved traditional foods, it is more likely that pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice recipes slowly evolved through family recipes, happy mistakes, and recipe sharing.

An American obsession that made its way to the UK

Pumpkin spice started to be added to other dishes when it became more widely available in bottle format in stores. But the real beginning of the pumpkin spice craze can be pinpointed to the beginning in the 1990s when baristas first started experimenting with pumpkin spice-flavoured coffees.

It is Starbucks that cemented the status of pumpkin spice as THE autumnal drink when they released the first iteration of their famous pumpkin spice latte in 2003. This latte flavour quickly became a cult favourite in the United States. Following its success there, it was rolled out in other countries in the following years.

PSL lovers did not refrain from sharing their love for the drink online, which helped the craze turn into a worldwide phenomenon. Pumpkin spice is now deeply ingrained in the spirit of autumn for many people, regardless of their original nationality. This also holds true in the UK, where most coffee shops now add PSLs to their menu every year when autumn comes.

Pumpkin spice everything

If you are not a coffee fan, fear not! The cult classic spice blend can now be enjoyed in a plethora of fun and delicious ways. Cookies, protein bars, chocolate, syrup, makeup, lipstick, caramels, face masks and more. But we believe that the best way to enjoy pumpkin spice is in a cake! This is why we created our delicious Spiced Pumpkin Patch Cake. This limited edition treat is only available for a few weeks, so order now to get a taste of autumnal goodness. Visit our website to check our Halloween collection and all of our other permanent offers.