4 Playdough Recipes for Fall

Looking for a playdough recipe that’s perfect for fall? These homemade playdoughs are scented with real apples, pumpkin, and spices. Use them in a pretend bakery shop, play with some free playdough mats or stamp them with alphabet letters… the possibilities are limitless. Each playdough recipe makes enough for 2-3 children to have a large ball of dough.

To continue your playdough fun, check out our Playdough Mats in our shop!

Playdough Recipes

Red Apple Cider Dough Playdough Recipe

1 cup of unsweetened apple sauce

1/2 cup of  apple cider

4 tablespoons of vegetable oil

red food coloring

2 cups flour

1/2 cup of salt

4 tablespoons of cream of tartar

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

To make the apple cider playdough recipe, my 4 year old daughter, A, measured the dry ingredients {flour, salt, cream of tartar, and cinnamon} and dumped each into a medium sized bowl.

Playdough Recipes

Next, she measured and mixed the wet ingredients {apple sauce, cider, oil, and dye} in a medium sized pot. Then we heated the wet ingredients on medium, stirring often until it bubbled.  The house smelled so yummy during this step – it made A dance around the kitchen in excitement. {I prefer using real apples and cider to scent my dough, instead of scented oils, so the smell isn’t overpowering.}

Once it was bubbling, we removed the pot from the heat and added the dry ingredients.  A stirred until the playdough began to form, then we dumped the mixture onto the counter to cool.  The dough was sticky at first but, once cooled and kneaded, the stickiness disappeared. The playdough recipe smelled wonderfully spicy and slightly sweet. This dough can store for several weeks in an airtight container or bag.

Pumpkin Pie Playdough Recipe

1 cup of pumpkin puree

3/4 cup of water

orange food coloring {or red and yellow}

4 tablespoons of vegetable oil

2 cups flour

1/2 cup of salt

4 tablespoons of cream of tartar

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of ginger

1/2-1 teaspoon of cloves {depending on your fondness of this spice}

For the pumpkin pie playdough recipe, we repeated the process for the apple cider dough.  First, A measured out the dry ingredients into a bowl and set it aside.  Next, she measured and mixed the wet ingredients in a medium pot.

Playdough Recipes

Again, we heated and whisked the sweet spicy pumpkin mixture until it bubbled and then removed it from the heat.  A dumped in the dry ingredients and stirred till her little arms could no longer mix.

After letting the dough cool for several minutes we dumped it onto the counter and kneaded it until completely mixed.  The dough will seem ever so slightly lumpy because of the real pumpkin puree which A thought made it “so real”!

This was our first time making a pumpkin pie playdough recipe using real pumpkin and it smelled just like a fresh baked pumpkin muffin.  Even I had to resist the urge to take a bite!

Spicy Ginger and Nutmeg Playdough Recipes

3 cups of flour

3 cups of water

3/4 cup of salt

6 tablespoons of cream of tartar

3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

yellow food coloring for ginger dough

brown dye for nutmeg dough {mix equal parts red and green dye to make brown}

1 tablespoon of  ginger spice

1 tablespoon of nutmeg spice

For these recipes we simply made a batch of One Pot Playdough which is amazingly squishy and smooth. Once cooked, we split the dough in half, scenting and dying one yellow for ginger dough and the other brown for nutmeg dough.  We added about a tablespoon of dry spice for each scent but you can add as much or as little as you choose.

Playdough Recipes

Whether together or separate these playdough recipes, smell awesome and are the perfect way to celebrate the delicious smells of Fall.  Both my kids have been playing with these doughs daily and as long as my house smells like a bakery, I don’t mind cleaning up after my two busy bakers!

More Playdough Fun

For more playdough inspiration, grab our Playdough Mats and let the fun continue!

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  1. Nikki

    How long will these last?

  2. Kristen

    I love the idea of using these ingredients (and I bet they smell AMAZING!) Should the dough be refrigerated since there’s applesauce and pumpkin in them though? I guess I just figure applesauce and opened pumpkin puree does…but maybe not since it’s cooked (like a baked good?) I’m just picturing mold. lol

    • Malia Hollowell

      Hi Kristen! I didn’t refrigerate mine and it lasted well over a month. I tend to toss mine after a month just since the colors get all mixed up and yucky by that point. The massive amount of salt in playdough usually keeps mold from growing. You could refrigerate it but I think it might actually cause it to change texture and harden a bit. 🙂 -Noirin

  3. Vanessa

    Where is the last recipe? I only see 3 here. 🙂

    • Kimberleigh

      Hello Vanessa,
      Great question!
      The last recipe Spicy Ginger and Nutmeg is actually made in one pot and then divided into two separate bowls before adding the seasoning- so you get two different flavors of playdough in just one batch.
      Hope this makes sense.

  4. Brailey

    Is there a possible substitute for the cream of tartar? Had Hubby pick some up, but it’s a tiny container lol

    • Ashley

      Hi Brailey,

      We’ve only used this with Cream of Tartar. I believe those small conatiners are about 2 tablesoons.
      So, you could try cutting the recipe in half, or grabbing another small one when you have a chance.

      Hope this helps!

      Ashley //Happiness Ambassador

  5. Jessica

    What do I do if my dough feels super sticky? Do I add more flour? Oil? Cream of Tartar? Help! Its too sticky to be played with by littles. I can manipulate it okay, but the kiddos will get it stuck to everything.

    • Ashley

      Hi Jessica,
      Yes, add more flour – that should help solve the stickiness problem.
      Ashley // Happiness Ambassador



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