The First Recipe For Pumpkin Spice Goes Back Further Than You Think

We all have different ideas that come to mind when we think of pumpkin spice. Some of us think of lattes and coffee while others may think more traditionally like desserts and pie. Then there are others who may think it's basic and go nowhere near the stuff. Whether you're a true believer in pumpkin spice or you don't touch a single Fall related thing, there's no escaping that iconic fall flavor that enters our lives come September every year.

The bottom line is, pumpkin spice goes back as far as we can remember. Perhaps you remember it first coming into our lives when Starbucks released its Pumpkin Spice Latte in 2003, or you fell in love with it with Trader Joe's pumpkin palooza in recent years (via The Good Trade). Though the spice doesn't actually contain pumpkin in the actual ingredients, the name has become a well-known reference to autumn and the nostalgia we feel when we think of fall. But the combined spices that make up pumpkin spice actually go back further than anyone would've anticipated, and the history may just blow your mind.

First recipe dates back to the 18th century

There is speculation on when the first pumpkin spice recipe first appeared in a cookbook. Some say the first grouping of the spices that make up pumpkin spice –- nutmeg, ginger, cloves, allspice, and cinnamon — dates back to the 18th century. The recipe first appeared in one of the oldest American cookbooks titled "American Cookery" by Amanda Simmons. The book published in 1796 and reprinted in 1798 describes a "pompkin" pie recipe with nutmeg, ginger, and allspice (via The Smithsonian). Though back then it was "pompkin" pie, it's safe to say this is when the idea of grouping all those warm autumn-inspired spices first came to light.

However, there is more to the story as there is also the first time these spices were used for something other than pie flavoring. According to the Chicagoist, the Washington Post published a pumpkin spice cake recipe in 1936 that included nutmeg, allspice, cloves, etc. with the addition of pumpkin. It was soon after that the well-known spice makers at McCormick decided to add all the spices together to create one easy spice to use –– pumpkin pie spice. They later dropped the "pie"  and just called it "pumpkin spice." Once people were able to use the spices together, they started to believe pumpkin wasn't even necessary and started using the spice on anything and everything. That is the pumpkin spice we all know and love today.