When making baked goods or a tasty chai tea latte, you definitely know how important allspice is. However, not everyone loves its flavor, or it seems hard to find at times. If this is the case, you may be left wondering, what can I use as an allspice substitute?
What Is Allspice?
Before we go into what substitutes work, let’s talk about what allspice is and how it is used.
While the name may suggest it as a blend, allspice is the unripe berry of the Pimenta dioica tree. This tree is native in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America. The berries of this tree have a dark, reddish exterior when they are dried.
Because it is native to Jamaica, you can probably find it in jerk seasoning and beef patties. Allspice has been part of alternative medicine for years as well, and it is used for treating colic, cholera, and diarrhea.
What Can I Replace Allspice With?
No matter what the reason is, if you need to find a replacement, these are the best allspice substitutes:
Best For Baking, Pumpkin Pie, Chai Tea, and Cookies
This spice is used in plenty of dishes, from cookies and bread to chai tea and savory dishes.
You can find cinnamon anywhere, but when replacing allspice, you may want to go for the powdered version, though in a pinch cinnamon sticks can work too. Use cinnamon in baking cookies, pies, and making chai tea latte.
You can replace allspice for the same amount of cinnamon, but you may need to add peppercorn or other ingredients if you are looking for that bit of spice.
See More: Cinnamon Shelf Life
Nutmeg is a nutty and sweet spice that is often used in baked goods. You can use both whole and ground, but most recipes ask for the ground spice. In making pumpkin pie, cookies, and baked goods, we suggest you stick to ground nutmeg.
If you want to use nutmeg in place of allspice, use ½ teaspoon for every teaspoon of allspice. Finding nutmeg shouldn’t be too hard, but you can try your local grocery store or organic market.
See More: Best Nutmeg Substitutes
Also sweet and almost hot, cloves are a good substitution for allspice in making baked goods, like cookies or pie, and in making chai tea.
You can use either whole or ground cloves, but the latter pack more flavor and dissolve quickly. If you go for the whole cloves, you may want to let them sit for a while so the flavor is absorbed.
To replace allspice with cloves, use ½ teaspoon ground cloves for every teaspoon of allspice, or a couple of whole cloves. Finding cloves isn’t hard, but you can search the baking or spice rack in your local grocery store.
See More: Cloves Alternatives
Best For Swedish Meatballs, Jamaican Food, and Jerky
#4. Garam Masala
This sweet, warm, and floral spice is a traditional ingredient in cooking Indian and Middle Eastern dishes. However, when you cook savory dishes with allspice, adding garam masala can work well. You can use it in making the famous Swedish meatballs, Jamaican foods, and jerky.
You can buy garam masala in most grocery or organic stores. This blend is made of peppercorns, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cumin. Use ½ teaspoon for every teaspoon of allspice substitute, otherwise, you may overpower the rest of the flavors.
See More: Garam Masala Replacements
This is a spice that comes from the same tree as nutmeg, so it has similar flavors. This option is more delicate but can work well in cooking savory dishes, like Swedish meatballs, Jamaican beef jerky, and more.
Mace is simply the red covering of the nutmeg seed, and it is usually sold ground.
Finding mace may be a bit harder, but you can try the local organic store or a farmer’s market. To use mace in place of allspice, use the same amount, but make sure you taste as you go, as you may need more.
This spice isn’t ideal, but it can work if you don’t have a choice. We recommend you use ground cinnamon, but even grated or ground ginger can work. Keep in mind that ginger does pack more spice and it is a bit more aromatic, so it may alter the final flavor of your dish.
You probably already have ginger at home, but it is easy to get one at any grocery store or organic supermarket.
Use ground ginger when making Swedish meatballs, beef stews, jerky, or any other savory dish, but consider tasting as you go. Use ⅓ teaspoon for every teaspoon of allspice, as you may find ginger to be too strong.
This spice is only a choice if you are cooking savory dishes, as it doesn’t go well in baked goods.
Cumin is a traditional Indian and Middle Eastern ingredient but is now used in many cuisines around the world, such as Latin American and German. You can use cumin in making meatballs, stews, jerky, and beef dishes.
Buying cumin should be easy. It is a very popular spice and can be found in any grocery store or organic supermarket. Use half the amount of what the recipe calls for, and mix other spices if you want.
See More: Best Substitutes for Cumin
While many think that allspice is a mix of spices, it is a spice made from the dried berries of a tree. The flavor is very similar to cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, so you can use these to create a homemade replacement.
Yes, you can use five-spice powder instead of allspice. Five-spice is a mix of Chinese cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and fennel seeds. However, some brands can also include anise seeds, nutmeg, ginger root, and cumin.
You can use pumpkin pie spice instead of allspice in making sweet dishes, such as cookies, muffins, and chai tea latte.
This spice is generally made of ground cinnamon, ground ginger, cloves, and even allspice sometimes. The flavor is very similar, but it may be sweeter, so add a little at a time.
Even though not everyone is familiar with allspice, this ingredient is common in many dishes we all enjoy, such as chai tea latte, cookies, and Swedish meatballs.
Instead of changing your plans or going to the store, use one of these 7 substitutes. These options will add great flavors and aromas.
*Photo by romualdocrissi/depositphotos