If you’ve ever followed a traditional recipe for English baked goods, you may have come across an ingredient called mixed spice.
This classic blend of warm, fragrant spices is a staple in British kitchens, but it may be less familiar to cooks in other parts of the world.
So what does mixed spice do in baking, and how can you use it in your own kitchen?
In this article, we’ll explore the origins and ingredients of mixed spice, as well as its role in baking. We’ll also share some tips for using mixed spice in your favorite recipes, and answer some common questions about this versatile spice blend.
What Is Mixed Spice?
Mixed spice is a blend of sweet, aromatic spices commonly used in British baking. The exact ingredients in mixed spice can vary depending on the recipe, but it typically includes cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger. Some recipes may also include mace, cloves, or cardamom.
Mixed spice is sometimes called pudding spice, as it is often used in traditional British desserts such as Christmas pudding, mince pies, and fruitcake. It can also be used in other baked goods, such as spiced bread, muffins, and cookies.
What Does Mixed Spice Do in Baking?
Mixed spice adds a warm, comforting flavor to baked goods, and can enhance the natural sweetness of fruits and other ingredients. The blend of spices in mixed spice is often used to create a “spice rack” flavor that is greater than the sum of its parts.
In addition to its flavor, mixed spice can also add a lovely aroma to baked goods, making your kitchen smell like the holidays. This makes it a popular ingredient in festive recipes, such as Christmas pudding and mince pies.
Tips for Using Mixed Spice in Baking
Here are some tips for using mixed spice in your own baking:
- Start with a small amount: Mixed spice can be quite strong, so it’s best to start with a small amount and add more to taste.
- Use it in fruit-based recipes: Mixed spice pairs well with fruits like apples, pears, and berries, so it’s a great addition to recipes like fruitcake, muffins, and crumbles.
- Combine it with other spices: Mixed spice can be used on its own or combined with other spices like cinnamon, ginger, or cardamom to create a unique flavor profile.
- Make your own blend: If you can’t find mixed spice in your local grocery store, you can make your own by combining equal parts of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger.
No, mixed spice and pumpkin pie spice are not the same. Pumpkin pie spice typically includes cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, while mixed spice may include other spices like allspice or mace.
It depends on the recipe. Mixed spice has a unique flavor that can’t be replicated with a single spice, so it may not be a good substitute in all cases. However, it can often be used in place of cinnamon or other warm spices.
Mixed spice can lose its flavor over time, so it’s best to use it within 6 months of opening the container.
Mixed spice is a classic blend of sweet, aromatic spices commonly used in British baking