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Made with a blend of fragrant spices, including cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and orange zest, mulling spices are an easy way to add seasonal flavor to apple cider, mulled wine, and more!
Yes, my friends, today I’m teaching you how to make homemade mulling spices.
I’m a tad embarrassed to admit that until a few months ago it had never occurred to me I could make my own mulling spices. For some reason, I just assumed you had to buy them as a mix from the store.
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That is not the case, of course, and I’m excited to show you how easy it is to blend your own. I’m especially giddy because now is an opportune time to make mulling spices.
As the temperatures decrease this fall and the holiday season starts, you’ll find so many uses for them.
What are mulling spices used for?
Mulling spices have a variety of uses. They are probably best known as a seasonal flavor addition for hot apple cider. They can also be used to make mulled wine. (You can find my Mulled Apple Cider recipe here and Mulled Wine recipe here.)
Mulling spices can likewise be ground (or pulverized in a coffee grinder) and used in place of spices in baking. They would make a lovely substitute for pumpkin pie or apple pie spice. You could even add the ground spice mix to your pancake or waffle batter for Thanksgiving or Christmas breakfast!
Besides those uses, you can put them in your tea or coffee for an extra flavor kick. Some folks like to add them to the brine for turkey and chicken.
Mulling spices also make an excellent gift. – Who knew there were so many ways to use them?
What are the ingredients in mulling spices?
After doing a lot of research, I learned that the ingredients can vary quite a bit. However, every recipe I found included the following:
From there, mulling spices can be customized with one or more of the following:
For my recipe, which you will find below, I went with the traditional ingredients plus cardamom pods and peppercorns.
I purchased all of my supplies (including the jars) on Amazon. Everything is linked in the ingredient list above. You can find the jars here and here.
Homemade Mulling Spices
Once you’ve gathered all the ingredients, just place them in a bowl and mix well.
A couple things to note:
1) To break up the cinnamon sticks, place them in a large zipper-top plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin or heavy skillet.
2) The dried orange zest will tend to settle at the bottom of the bowl. As you portion out the mulling spices into containers, keep mixing the ingredients.
If there is any orange zest leftover in the bowl, divide it evenly among the jars.
I decided to put the mulling spices I made into small jars so I can share them with friends and use them as holiday gifts.
If you’re just making the spices for yourself, you can scale back the recipe to suit your needs.
You can find all the details on how I make my Mulled Apple Cider here, but generally speaking, you’ll want to add about 2 tablespoons of mulling spices per 1/2 gallon of apple cider. Adjust the amount to suit your taste.
I recommend picking up some of these bags to hold the mulling spices when you add them to cider or wine.
This will eliminate the need to later strain out the cloves, bits of cinnamon, and other ingredients. (It’s almost like having a mulling spice tea bag!)
If you liked this recipe, you’ll love these too:
- Apple Cider Sidecar
- Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Sangria
- Apple Cinnamon Hot Toddy
- Spiced Pear Gin Cocktail
- Apple Cider Sangria
After seeing what I did and how easy this recipe for Homemade Mulling Spices is, I hope you’ll try making your own.
Stay tuned as I’ll be passing along more creative uses for mulling spices over the coming months.
Homemade Mulling Spices
- 2 cups cinnamon sticks crushed
- 2 cups whole cloves
- 2 cups allspice berries
- 1 1/2 cups dried orange zest
- 1 cup cardamom pods
- 1/2 cup peppercorns
- Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and stir to combine.
- Divide evenly into sealable jars. Store sealed up to one year.
I’m so excited to make this! I’ve got cute little jars coming and I’ll be filling them and giving them as gifts. Question about the peppercorns (I got them to add): do I crush them a little or leave them whole?
We tried some mulled wine at a winery in FL and when I tasted it I thought this would taste great in the apple pie moonshine recipe that I made with Everclear. Your recipe calls for 1.5 cups of orange zest, is this the whole rind or the ground up rind that is sold in the small spice bottles. I too thought that you had to have the pre packaged stuff to get it to taste right
I will try your recipe on Christmas Eve. However, I had to comment on the absolutely beautiful photos you posted. The one with the mixed spices is gorgeous enough to hang on a wall. Thank you for sharing. Merry Christmas
Thank you so much!!
Can you substitute ground cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and pepper for the whole spices. If so, how much should be used?
No. You need the whole spice for mulling spices.
Can I just slice some oranges with their peels and heat them with the cider instead of the dried orange zest, or will the orange rind be too bitter?
Fresh orange rings get bitter overtime, but you should be okay if you plan to make and drink within a few hours.
When you measure your cinnamon stick, is that before or after breaking it into pieces?
Thanks. I’ll make small batches first.
Can’t wait to try this combination. Perfect timing since the temperature has just dropped as well as the leaves. Was wondering what your recommendation is for substituting the cardamom pods with just the decorigated cardamom (just the seeds). What do you think the 1 cup equivalent of the pods is to the seeds? Many thanks. Carol
Carol. I honestly don’t know. I’d assume the seeds are more concentrated. So maybe a third? It’s honestly up to you. If you love cardamom add more, but if you just what a subtle hint of it, add less. Hope that helps!
thanks for the only good recipe out there! Mulled cider!
Thank you so much for posting this! I am yet another who thought I had to purchase this pre-blended. (And honestly have no idea why I didn’t think of making it myself until the store I was purchasing from ran out and won’t be restocking).
My blend is leaning slightly to the side of bitter (I used only the basic four ingredients). Have you a suggestion as to which one I could used less of (or more of)?
Or, is it possible that my cloves are too old? They have been sealed unopened in the original bottle they were purchased in for 2 years.
Darlene, I’m not sure. I typically buy all fresh when I go to make mine. It shouldn’t be bitter, so my guess is that something has gone bad.
good cider has a sour tinge!
Love this idea! …and I have most of the spices, too.
Thanks for the recipe! How many tablespoons (servings) can you get out of a five ounce jar, or the recipe? Thanks!!
I just made a batch of these mulling spices tonight and the smell alone made me so happy. I can’t wait to share them as gifts. Thank you for this idea!
I love that!! The smell is so good! If you simmer them on the stove with some apple and orange slices, it makes for a great seasonal potpourri too!
I can already smell this blend and think or hope I have all of the ingredients, thank you!
It’s so good! Feel free to adjust spices to make it your own no matter what you have on hand. Enjoy!
Michael, I LOVE hot spiced cider! Two questions…what are the GREEN things in the spice mix?
They add a nice color. And, how long will this spice mix stay fresh and flavorful? Thanks.
Linda, those are cardamom pods. 🙂 And like any spices, you can keep them in a sealed jar for up to one year. (Six months for ultimate freshness!)
Just in time! Temperatures are dropping this weekend so I’ll be tossing together some mulling spices to make some hot mulled cider. You always inspire.
Yes!! Same here. I’m ready to light a fire and cozy up!
I never thought about making them either. Thanks for sharing the supplies you use, I can’t wait to make these for myself and as gifts.
Enjoy them, Darla! Happy Fall!