The term mixed spice is often used to refer to a traditional British spice mix that’s used in baking and sweet dishes, such as puddings and biscuits.
Mixed spice, which is sometimes called pudding spice, is easy to make, helps you guarantee freshness, and makes baking more convenient. However, there are other spice mixes that may also be called mixed spice, and you can make many of these at home as well.
Making mixed spice is quite simple, and you’ll only need a couple tools. Along with your spices, you’ll also need something to grind whole spices, a small bowl, a spoon, an air-tight jar for storing the mixed spice, and a marker to label the jar.
- You can start with either whole or ground spices to make mixed spice. Pre-ground spices are more convenient, but grinding your own whole spices will result in a fresher spice mix.
- To grind your own spices, you can use a spice grinder, pestle and mortar, or coffee grinder.
For spices that are already ground, simply measure out the correct quantity and transfer it to your jar. For whole spices, grind each spice individually, then transfer it to a small bowl. Measure the ground spice to ensure you have the right quantity, and add it to the jar. When all the spices have been added, stir the mix with a spoon.
- For a tablespoon of ground allspice, you’ll need 1 tablespoon of berries.
- For a tablespoon of cinnamon, you’ll need about 4.5 inches (11 cm) of cinnamon sticks.
- For a tablespoon of nutmeg, you’ll need about 1.5 nutmegs.
- For a teaspoon of cloves, you’ll need about 12 whole cloves.
- For a teaspoon of coriander, start with a little less than a teaspoon of seeds.
When you’ve ground and blended all the spices, seal the jar with an air-tight lid. Use a permanent marker to label the jar with the name of the spice mix and the date.
- Writing the date on the spice mix will help you keep track of how old the mix is, which will ensure freshness.
To keep your spice mix fresh for as long as possible, store it in a cool, dark place. Light and air will degrade the spices, so keep the mix in a pantry or cupboard. Always close the lid on the jar properly when you’ve finished with the mix.
- Ground spices that are stored properly will stay fresh for about a year.
In British cooking, mixed spice is traditionally used in sweet baking, dessert dishes, and a few savory baked goods. When you use mixed spice in baked goods, a recipe will generally call for about a tablespoon of the mix. Common goodies you can use mixed spice in include:
- Dessert pies, such as apple and pumpkin
- Savory pies like pork
The spices in mixed spice are ideal for pairings with sweet foods like fruit. Next time you make a fruit salad, sprinkle ½ to a full teaspoon of mixed spice on top.
- Mixed spice can also be whipped into yogurt or whipped cream toppings that are used on fruit dishes.
Similarly, mixed spice is also a wonderful addition to fruit smoothies and juices. Whether you’re having a breakfast smoothie to get your day going or a healthy dessert after dinner, add ½ teaspoon of mixed spice to all your favorite fruit and berry smoothies.