Pumpkin spice equals quintessential fall, producing warm and cozy feelings when the temperatures drop. It’s all the rage. If you don’t believe us, head over to your local store, where you’ll see everything from pumpkin spice cookies and savory chips to pumpkin spice candles and lotions.
The truth is, we’re on board with pumpkin spice-ifying things. But, what does it entail? The spice mixture is generally five household ingredients — cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves (some brands leave out cloves, but we enjoy the aroma it gives off).
Pumpkin spice doesn’t, in fact, have any pumpkin in it. Instead, it’s the flavor we’ve come to associate with desserts such as pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread. Long before it became one of the nation’s most popular food fads, the spice mixture was coined “pumpkin pie spice” in cookbooks in the 1890s. Then, in the 1950s, companies commercialized it to save bakers time when using spices in pies and cakes. The “pie” was later dropped in favor of a broader “pumpkin spice” label.
The warm, fragrant notes of cinnamon and nutmeg mixed with the spicy bite of ginger and aromatics from allspice and cloves remind us of our childhood days at a pumpkin patch on a crisp, cool autumn morning. Yes, nostalgia at its finest.
Sure, you can purchase a small jar of pumpkin spice mix from your favorite store, but it’s easy to make your own batch. This is especially handy if you’re like us and use it for anything we can get our hands on in the fall.
Once you whip up a quick batch of the spice mix, one of our favorite fall desserts is a spin on the classic cheesecake — and, yes, there is actually pumpkin (canned) in the recipe. This deconstructed version removes the crust and adds both pumpkin and pumpkin spice to provide toasty warmth that contrasts with the cool, creamy cheesecake base. Best of all, we scoop it into crispy enJOY-a-Bowls™ to replace the graham cracker crust typically found in cheesecake.
What You’ll Need:
Pumpkin Spice Mix:
- 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup + 1 tablespoon milk, divided
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 8 ounces whipped topping
- 15 ounces canned pumpkin
- 2 packages instant vanilla pudding
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice, plus a few pinches for decorating
- 1 box enJOY-a-Bowls™
What To Do:
- Add the spices to a small bowl and mix with a whisk or fork. Store in a small jar or airtight container.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling:
- In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, 1 tablespoon of milk, and sugar.
- Fold in ½ the whipped topping.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup of milk, pumpkin, dry pudding mixes, and spices until creamy.
- Cover both bowls and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- Once the mixtures are completely chilled, remove the bowls from the fridge and, working quickly to ensure the waffle bowls keep their shape, dollop about 2 tablespoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture into 12 enJOY-a-Bowls™ and spread evenly into the bottom of each bowl. It’s OK to eyeball this, but try to divvy up the mixture equally among the small waffle bowls.
- Dollop about 2 tablespoonfuls of the pumpkin mixture over the cream cheese layer and smooth out with the back of a spoon.
- Top with the remaining whipped topping. Take a few pinches of pumpkin spice and dust over the top of each bowl and enjoy promptly to ensure a crisp enJOY-a-Bowl.
Need more inspiration for the fall or your next party? Here are some of our favorite recipes: