Pumpkin spice up your life

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EC: We Added Pumpkin Spice to Every Breakfast Food So You Don’t Have To
Credit: All Photos by Teresa Sabga

September hit the Extra Crispy offices hard, and with it came a deluge of all the pumpkin spice breakfast foods I never knew anyone needed (or wanted, for that matter). There was, of course, the classic PSL, but that was only the tip of the artificially orange, pumpkin spice-flavored iceberg. Within a week, our pantry was filled with pumpkin spice-flavored English muffins and pancake mix, pumpkin-flavored malted balls, pumpkin spice granola bars, even pumpkin tortilla chips. You name the food item, chances are good that there's a pumpkin spice-flavored version out there—or, you know, in our office.

So with all this pumpkin spice floating around, I naturally started joking that we should put together an all-pumpkin spice breakfast. Because if anything can be pumpkin spice-flavored, why can't everything be pumpkin spice-flavored, you know?

Fortunately, Jiselle Basile, our chef and in-office food wizard, was up for the challenge, and together, we developed three different all-pumpkin breakfast recipes. But when I say "all-pumpkin," I truly mean all-pumpkin. Everything served up on these plates was flavored with pumpkin spice or pumpkin or some combination of the two—even the savory foods like eggs, bacon, and yes, tortilla chips. And since brunch isn't anything without the beverages, we had to create some pumpkin-flavored cocktails, too.

Some words of advice? Don't be afraid to dish out the pumpkin spice; it's not as overpowering as you might think. It also was (surprisingly) not gross. We left the kitchen that day saying that we would've eaten everything again‚ though it's totally possible the combination of pumpkin spice Irish coffees and pumpkin spice Bellinis helped with that assertion. We also learned that you can make anything pumpkin spice-flavored, so if you're ready to take your PSL addiction to the next level, here are three different all-pumpkin breakfast recipes to inspire you and make your autumn more autumnal.

Pumpkin Spice Diner Breakfast with Pumpkin Spice Irish Coffee

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We figured a great place to start would be with a classic diner breakfast—eggs, bacon, and panckes—just done up with pumpkin spice. The pancakes were fairly simple, especially since there are lots of brands offering up pumpkin-flavored pancake mixes. If you don't have a pumpkin spice-flavored pancake mix on hand, you can make your own, either by adding a boatload of pumpkin pie spice to your favorite pancake batter with a dollop of pumpkin purée. Jiselle also made pumpkin spice compound butter, by mixing pumpkin pie spice into whipped butter and letting it reset in the fridge. The final touch was the pumpkin spice maple syrup, made by adding pumpkin pie extract to regular maple syrup and letting the ingredients simmer on the stove for a few minutes.

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Even the savory part of the diner breakfast got the pumpkin spice treatment. The toast was browned in a pan using that same pumpkin spice compound butter that we used for the pancakes (though you could also make your own pumpkin spice bread, if you're so inclined). It was then smeared with more compound butter, for extra fat and pumpkin spice.

The bacon was coated in a mixture of brown sugar and pumpkin spice, then cooked in a cast iron pan. The eggs were then fried in that pumpkin spicy bacon grease, with some extra pumpkin spice seasoning sprinkled on top. The ketchup had pumpkin spice mixed in, which gave it that darker brown color.

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No diner breakfast is complete without coffee, so we put together a pumpkin spice Irish coffee—made by pouring a shot of pumpkin spice-flavored Bailey's into a cup of pumpkin spice-flavored coffee. Jiselle then made some pumpkin spice whipped cream, by whipping together heavy cream, sugar, and—you guessed it—pumpkin pie spice.

Pumpkin Spice Eggs Benedict with Pumpkin Spice Bellini

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This plate of eggs Benedict is pretty standard plate of eggs Benedict—except for the fact that everything tastes like pumpkin spice. The eggs were poached in chai tea, which gave them a subtly sweet pumpkin-y flavor, and served on Canadian bacon that had been rubbed down with pumpkin spice before being cooked. The English muffins were pumpkin spice-flavored, too, and the hash browns on the side were seasoned with salt, pepper, and pumpkin pie spice. (Are you sensing a theme here?) Jiselle made a traditional Hollandaise sauce, double-boiler and all, and added the spice to the melted butter before it was whisked into yolk.

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If a Bellini is just a mix of Prosecco and peach purée, why not replace the peach purée with pumpkin purée? That was our thought, and it didn't not work. Turns out you need significantly less pumpkin purée to get the flavor than you do peach purée, but the final effect is about the same. The sweetness of the pumpkin purée, especially when mixed with brown sugar, is cut down by the dry Prosecco for a fairly balanced drink that'll make you feel both fancy and basic, in the best way.

Pumpkin Spice Chilaquiles with Pumpkin Beer

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These chilaquiles are proof that even your favorite Tex-Mex breakfast can be pumpkin spiced. You can buy pumpkin corn tortilla chips, but if those are unavailable, simply take regular corn tortilla chips and toss them in a mix of brown sugar and pumpkin spice. For the chilaquiles, instead of cooking the pumpkin-flavored tortilla chips in salsa, Jiselle tossed them in a mix of refried beans and pumpkin purée. Drizzle on some Mexica crema that's been seasoned with more pumpkin spice, and top with a fried egg, and you've got Tex-Mex gone autumnal. Served with a pumpkin ale from Smuttynose, this recipe really proves that you can make any breakfast taste like pumpkin spice if you try hard enough and use enough pumpkin pie spice.