Fresh Ideas for Baking Spices
When you hear "baking" you might immediately think of winter. You're not wrong but our Baking category of spices has such range that it's really not just for baking. Any time is the perfect time to whip up a sweet treat or use baking ingredients to add depth of flavor to savory recipes.
Try something as simple as adding a dash of Pumpkin Pie Spice to the batter the next time you make pancakes or a sprinkle of nutmeg on your mac & cheese (we know it sounds crazy but trust us, this is a game changer). You’ll be surprised at how much flavor a teaspoon of baking spices can add to a dish!
What Are Some Baking Spices?
Let's start with a quick reminder. When it comes to spices, smell = flavor. So you might want to start by pulling out your baking spices (which you might not be using as often throughout the year) and giving them a sniff. Like any ground spice, if it doesn’t smell fragrant you’re not getting the best flavor.
Once you’ve freshened up your staple baking spices, take a step back and consider various baking spices & blends and how they can add fresh new life to every season.
Cloves - You might be most familiar with these studded in oranges. Though they have a strong flavor and should be used in small amounts so as to not overpower other flavors, cloves are a great addition to both sweet and savory dishes.
Nutmeg - Ground from the kernel of the nutmeg seed, this spice is warm, aromatic, and woody and pairs well with cloves and ginger. It's slightly nutty, as you may have guessed, but also has a slightly peppery quality. When used in cookies and cakes, breads, pastries, fruit dishes and pies, nutmeg pairs well with ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Grate fresh nutmeg or sprinkle a bit of ground nutmeg on creamy dishes and sauces like mac & cheese or eggnog.
Ginger - This little spice packs a huge flavor punch. Spicy and a little sweet you probably know it best from ginger sodas, spice cookies and gingerbread. This spice is pungent, warm, and peppery with light, lemony notes and pairs well with cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper. Ginger can also be sliced or chunked and steeped in a sugar syrup to create sweet and spicy candied ginger. Enjoy as a snack or chop the slices and add to everything from chutney and homemade trail mix to baked goods. For more information, go Behind the Seasoning: Ginger.
What Is The Purpose Of Spices In Baking?
In one word: flavor! Think about a delicious pumpkin pie and then imagine it without vanilla extract and Pumpkin Pie Spice. Bland! Or a carrot cake without cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Boring!
But maybe you don't want to keep all of those single baking spices on hand. We don't blame you, we've actually made a few seasoning blends to make it a little easier to use baking spices a little more often.
Baker’s Brew Coffee Spice - And now for something completely different. Think of the sweet flavors of Baking Spice but with a kick of rich and earthy flavors. The addition of cocoa powder and fresh ground, dark roast Sumatra coffee to standard baking spices makes this a unique blend that can take your classic recipes in a totally different direction. It will turn a chocolate cake into a mocha cake.
BONUS: Pure Espresso Powder - Premium spray-dried Brazilian Robusta coffee has a bold flavor with bitter notes and a smooth finish and pairs well with vanilla and cocoa. It dissolves quickly, making it great for incorporating into both dry and liquid applications. This isn't a blend of spices but it's usability makes it a great addition to any kitchen.
Mt. Baker Chai Seasoning - Chai is popular beverage but consider expanding these sweet yet spicy flavors beyond the teacup. The pungent flavor of cardamom, spicy ginger, and the sweet perfumed notes of clove are also great for desserts. Infuse chai spiced flavor into apple butter or add a delightful flavor to Oatmeal Cookies.
Pumpkin Pie Spice - The addition of cloves gives Pumpkin Pie Spice the pungent warmth that complements the savory notes in pumpkin anything (pie, lattes, bread, even ice cream). You already know that Pumpkin Pie Spice is great for gourds, but have you considered using it to spice up other sweet treats? Try it paired with chocolate in Texas Sheet Cake or in spiced caramel corn.
Spice Infused Baking Recipes
We've taken some classic favorites and given them a spice infused spin. Try them or mix & match your favorite baking spices and seasonings.
Pumpkin Cream Soda Cupcakes
These cute cupcakes are a creative alternative to the traditional pumpkin pie - with many of the same flavors!
Chai Apple Turnovers
Classic apple-filled pastry treats get a flavorful spin with warm chai spice and the slight heat of crystallized ginger.
Gluten-Free Citrus Polenta Cake
This refreshing, gluten-free cake is like a burst of sunshine. It's not too sweet and is seasoned with an unexpected twist of lemon pepper and baking spices.
Can't choose between tiramisu and cannoli for dessert? Neither could we. So we combined them into one! (Take a peek at the finished dessert at the top of this article.)