How can you tell when fall is on its way? It used to be that we’d look for leaves turning yellow and that familiar chill in the air, but for the past few years there has been one true indicator that fall is here, and that’s when pumpkin spice mania hits again for another year.

Last week I wrote about Bacon – because we all love bacon! But have you noticed how many products are around that feature pumpkin spice?  I wonder if pumpkin spice might be the new hit flavour on the block, the new bacon that everyone can’t help but crave.

The pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks kicked off pumpkin spice phenomena across North America. Pumpkin Spice is right up there with bacon as far as food crazes go, and now besides the required latte every fall, you can find pumpkin spice candles, pumpkin spice cupcakes, pumpkin spice Keurig cups, and even pumpkin spice deodorant. In short, you can cover yourself and everything you eat with heavenly smelling pumpkin spice.

So if you’re in the mood to get your pumpkin spice fix, have I got some great recipes for you. Read on and get ready to start a Pumpkin Spice craze in your own home:

But first, let’s make some Pumpkin Pie Spice

Every pumpkin spice recipe needs to start with pumpkin spice, so if you don’t have any in your cupboard don’t worry – it’s really easy for you to make your own.

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
4 teaspoons ground ginger
3 teaspoons ground allspice

Directions

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Store in air tight container.

DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte

I love the Pumpkin Spice Latte’s you can find in various coffee shops in the fall, but I also like making them at home because they’re so easy and you can customize your ingredients. I like to use lactose free milk and real (not from the can) pumpkin puree.

Ingredients:

1 cup milk, divided
1 tablespoon white sugar, or more to taste
1 tablespoon pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup brewed espresso

Directions

Whisk 1/2 cup milk, sugar, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over low heat. Simmer for 5 minutes. Whisk in remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Pour milk mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove pulp. Return milk mixture to saucepan and simmer, whisking, 2 minutes. Add espresso and whisk until foamy, 1 minute.

 

Spiced Pumpkin Energy Bars

I written about brain bites’ or energy barsbefore. This pumpkin take on the brain bite classic is chock full of raw pumpkin seeds and delicous pumpkin flavour.

Ingredients:

1 cup oats
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup raw Wholesome Sweeteners honey
1/2 cup pumpkin puree

 Directions

Combine the oats, flaxseed meal, coconut, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, walnuts, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and ginger in a large mixing bowl.

Add the pumpkin puree and honey to the mixing bowl. Stir until the mixture becomes clumpy and then continue mixing the ingredients using your hands.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the fridge and shape the mixture into individual balls.

Place the spiced pumpkin energy balls in a container and refrigerate.

They will keep for about one week.

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Whether it’s fall when you make them or when flowers are blooming in the spring, you can’t go wrong with Pumpkin spice cupcakes.

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 24 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners. Sift together the flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, allspice, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.

Beat 1/2 cup of butter, the white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the room-temperature eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next. Stir in the milk and pumpkin puree after the last egg. Stir in the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups.

Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 25 minutes. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting by beating the cream cheese and 1/4 butter with an electric mixer in a bowl until smooth. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar a little at a time until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon; beat until fluffy. Once the cupcakes are cool, frost with the cream cheese icing.

If you’re someone who swears you’ll cook up your own pumpkin every year but never does, someone who loves pumpkin spice everything but sticks to the coffee shops without exploring how many different creations you can make with this fall favourite, why not make this the year you really branch out into pumpkin spice territory?

If you need to stock up on supplies to make your favourite pumpkin spice recipes, take a look at Best Buy’s selection of specialty bakeware. My recommendations for great pumpkin spice ‘accessories’ are below.


Make a quick, easy Pumpkin Spice Latte with the Bodum Brazil French Press

The smell of Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes will fill your home when you bake with a Wilton Cupcake pan

Serve up your favourite Pumpkin Spice hot drink in a cute mug