This famous British spice blend has been enjoyed in Christmas baking and beyond for several centuries. With both sweet and savory applications, you will love this deliciously versatile Mixed Spice blend!
What is Mixed Spice?
The term “mixed spice” for this popular British spice blend has been referenced in cookbooks since at least the early 1800’s. It’s especially popular in baked goods (thus also called “cake spice”) during the Christmas season where it’s used in a variety of holiday baked desserts including English Christmas pudding, thus also commonly called “pudding spice.”
This British spice blend is similar to gingerbread and pumpkin spice blends in other countries in its choice of spices. It has a warm and sweet-spicy flavor and aroma and most commonly includes cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and/or mace, cloves, ginger and coriander.
Some modern adaptations may include spices like cardamom and star anise but adding those crosses over into the territory of German gingerbread spice (Lebkuchengewuerz) which is fine, but I prefer to keep the two separate and distinct. In other words, when I’m making traditional British baked goods for Christmas, I want them to taste distinctly and authentically British. So I stick with the more traditional spices for this classic spice blend.
Mixed Spice is used in a variety of cakes, puddings, pies, breads and buns, cookies, pancakes, cupcakes, gingerbreads, and fruit salads. With the predominant flavor of cinnamon, it also makes a nice change to substitute this spice blend for anything calling for cinnamon for an added flavor boost. You can also get creative with savory dishes like adding it to stuffing mixes for your turkey or using it as a seasoning for roast chicken.
If you enjoy British holiday baking Mixed Spice is absolutely essential to have in your spice cabinet. It can be challenging to find it outside of the UK and commonwealth countries. Many people here in the U.S. for example will just substitute gingerbread spice or pumpkin spice but as I mentioned before, it is not the same. The difference is subtle but there is a difference and if you’re after that authentic British flavor, stick with Mixed Spice.
There is no standard rule for the ratios of spices in Mixed Spice. Generally the cinnamon is slightly more prominent than the other spices but feel free to customize the ratios to feature the spices you want to be dominant in whatever particular dish you’re making.
This famous British spice blend has been enjoyed in Christmas baking for several centuries. With both sweet and savory applications, you will love this deliciously versatile Mixed Spice blend!
How to Make Mixed Spice
To make British mixed spice simply combine all the ingredients together in an airtight container and keep it store in a dark, cool place.
Spices ideally should always be ground from whole spices that have been toasted – that will always yield a stronger flavor and aroma. But as long as you’re using fresh pre-ground spices, you’ll have a fabulous mixed spice blend to feature in your delicious British holiday baking.
The fragile oils of spices (the source of the aroma and flavor) evaporate and weaken over time, so I usually make just enough to last me for a couple of recipes and then make another fresh batch. It takes less than 5 minutes to make a batch, so there’s really no reason not to!
Enjoy the delicious versatility of this famous British spice blend, Mixed Spice!
British Mixed Spice
- Combine all spices in an airtight glass jar and keep store in a dark cool place for up to several months.Makes about 1/4 cup of Mixed Spice.