What is Mixed Spice?
The ultimate British baking spice blend, mixed spice, combines the warming flavours of ginger and allspice with the earthy sweetness of cinnamon and the slight cooling of nutmeg to create a complex and well rounded tasting experience.
As its name suggests, Mixed Spice is a mix of different sweet spices. Variations of this blend can be found across the world from the Dutch koekkruiden to American Pumpkin pie spice. The consistent factor is the presence of sweet cinnamon and a number of different warming spices like cloves, allspice and ginger.
What does Mixed Spice taste like?
Obviously it depends on the ingredients, but mixed spice should provide a woody sweetness punctuated by warming aromatics and a pleasant heat from the ginger. A slight cooling effect from the nutmeg or mace can sometimes penetrate through.
What is Mixed Spice used for?
Mixed spice is the primary flavouring used in a large number of sweet baked goods and desserts. It’s long been used to flavour otherwise bland doughs like hot cross buns and elevate them to a warming and rounded flavour experience. Mixed spice is the primary flavouring for two American classics, Pumpkin pie and apple pie, although American blends tend to have a higher proportion of nutmeg. Pumpkin pie spice has become an autumnal classic in recent years due to the popularity of the pumpkin spice latte. In Germany, Lebkuchengewürz is used to season many wintertime seasonal treats such as Lebkuchen and Pfeffernusse.
Mixed Spice RecipesWe've pulled together some familiar and not so familiar recipes using mixed spices, perfect for a festive treat.
Names and Origins
Mixed spice has been found in recipe books in the UK since at least the 1820’s. The oldest recipe using pumpkin pie spice in the US comes from even earlier at 1796. The Dutch word koekkruiden literally translates as “biscuit spices” which is very appropriate considering what it’s used for, delicious spiced festive biscuits! The German word Lebkuchengewürz literally translates as gingerbread spice, owing to its primary use in gingerbread treats during yuletide.