Readers offer up even more simple spice ideas in the cooking tips below, and you'll also find a handy seasonal spice guide.

Spiced Pear Bread
This wonderful Spiced Pear Bread is so moist and delicious that you'll want to have another slice…or two!
Rachel Barefoot, Linden, Michigan

Pumpkin Pancakes
I created these light Pumpkin Pancakes with two kinds of flour and a blend of spices for a delightful taste. Serve them for brunch as a hearty eye-opener or for a fun meatless dinner.
Vicki Floden, Story City, Iowa

Chunky Orange Marmalade Cookies
There's no sugar in this Chunky Orange Marmalade Cookies recipe's ingredients, just the subtle taste of marmalade to add sweetness. It's a soft cookie with a delicious combination of orange and chocolate.
Mary L. Small, Monmouth, Maine

Autumn Pot Roast
Good old-fashioned pot roast has a new mouth-watering flavor! The cranberries mixed with horseradish give this beef terrific taste. You can add any vegetables you like to this Autumn Pot Roast to make it more unique.
Deby Kominski, Honesdale, Pennsylvania

Apple-Spice Acorn Squash
For this delightful side dish, I fill warmed squash with chopped apple, golden raisins and spices.
Joann Fell, Fostoria, Ohio

Spicy Cooking Tips

  • I mix melted vanilla ice cream and a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon with the eggs for the very best French toast.
    Jill H., Wakeman, Ohio
  • When making a rhubarb pie, sprinkle nutmeg over the filling for a delightful dessert.
    Dorothy B., Knoxville, Iowa
  • I give my meat loaf comforting flavor by adding 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg per pound of ground beef.
    Linda H., San Diego, California
  • I think the crusts of apple and pumpkin pies are even better when I sprinkle nutmeg over the pastry dough.
    Lorrie A., Cardwell, Montana
  • If you rarely use pumpkin pie spice in your cooking, you may want to make your own instead of buying it. Combine 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1 teaspoon ground cloves and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Store in an airtight container. Substitute for store-bought pumpkin pie spice in any recipe. Yield: 7-1/2 teaspoons.
    Simple & Delicious Test Kitchen
  • I give my crispy cereal treats a pleasing flavor by adding 1 tablespoon of cinnamon for 10 ounces of marshmallows. My husband never liked them before, but now I can never make enough.
    Nancy H., Prospect Park, New Jersey
  • I improve canned baked beans with ketchup, diced onion and brown sugar. But my secret ingredient is a bit of cinnamon. There are never any leftovers.
    Lynn E., Greentown, Indiana
  • For yummy peanut butter cookies, I stir 1/4 cup baking cocoa and a dusting of cinnamon into the batter.
    Elizabeth J., Olney, Texas
  • I like to add a dash of cinnamon to scrambled eggs. It gives them a nut-like flavor.
    Alma H., El Sobrante, California
  • My sister and I like to add about 1/2 cup cooked pumpkin to Cream of Wheat, then top with a little cinnamon-sugar.
    Sarah R., Rochelle, Texas

Seasonal Spices



Available whole or ground, it combines the flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Complements sweet breads, carrots, pork or poultry.



The warm, sweet and spicy flavor enhances baked goods, white sauces, custards, spinach and squash. Sold whole or ground.

pumpkin pie spice

Pumpkin Pie Spice

A blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and mace that's great with pumpkin, squash or baked goods.



Found both whole and ground, this spice goes well with sweet breads, carrots, onions, potatoes, chocolate and fruit.



With its mildly-sweet-to-bittersweet flavor, this spice is a nice addition to baked goods, stews, curries, fruit, squash, pork and beef.

Need a sub?

Want those fall flavors, but don't have the spice on hand? Try these 1-teaspoon-sized substitutions:

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Apple Pie Spice:
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg + 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Pumpkin Pie Spice:
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger + 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg + 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice