Allspice isn’t as common as other spices in your area, though. Because of that, you might come across a situation where your recipes require allspice, but you have none on hand.
Your recipes aren’t doomed forever, nor do you have to go to many different supermarkets just to look for one spice!
Thankfully, there are other allspice substitutes you can use, no matter what recipes you plan to make.
Read on to find the best allspice substitute suitable for you!
What is a Good Substitute for Allspice?
We love using allspice in various recipes, as it contains a sweet, warm, and slightly earthy flavor. (*)
Fun fact: Allspice doesn’t refer to a mix of spices, which is the common assumption. It just means that allspice smells and tastes similar to other spices, like nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove.
With allspice’s flavor profile, one might assume that it’s best used for sweet dishes. But that’s not the case, as allspice is a versatile herb you can use in savory dishes from around the world, even in drinks and sauces!
Fun fact: English explorers discovered allspice in Jamaica, remarking that it tasted like a mix of different spices, hence the name allspice.
Now, let’s delve into what you can use as a substitute for allspice:
1. Pumpkin Pie Spice Mixture
You probably already have pumpkin pie spice mix ready for fall! This is an amazing allspice substitute in various recipes, particularly sweet ones.
If you’re creating a savory recipe, not to worry, you can add a bit of ground black pepper to help get that peppery bite.
Regardless of whether you use homemade or branded pumpkin pie spice, it will most likely have cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and other delicious herbs and spices. It may even have allspice, too!
For every one teaspoon of ground allspice needed, use one teaspoon of pumpkin spice mix in sweet and savory recipes. For delicious dishes, add 1/4 teaspoon for every teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice mix used.
Remember that store-bought pumpkin pie spice mix may contain other flavorings, like vanilla, sugar, or other sweeteners. This can alter your recipe, so it’s best to adjust the ingredient amount accordingly or stay away from pumpkin pie spice mixes with additional extras.
Furthermore, you can try using apple pie spice mix! However, the apple pie spice mix would have a different flavor, tasting a bit tarter. It’s still worth trying!
2. Ground Cloves
Ground cloves work as a good substitute in many recipes, as it has the cloves taste that allspice contains.
You can also use whole cloves if the recipe requires whole allspice berries.
Note that cloves taste more bitter when used on their own, so you shouldn’t use an equal amount. We recommend using only half the amount a recipe calls for.
We recommend using cloves in sweet dishes, as it adds warmth and depth, particularly in cakes or fruit dishes.
That said, using ground cloves will have you missing that hint of pepper expected from allspice. You can add a bit of black pepper or black peppercorns.
Cloves are also a suitable replacement for the allspice berry in mulled wine or hot cider, which adds depth and wintry spice.
Nutmeg is a delicious and distinct spice adding warmth and depth to any recipe! However, it doesn’t have the peppery taste allspice has, so it’s not the best in savory recipes unless you add some pepper.
But when it comes to a sweet recipe, you can use nutmeg in equal amounts. You can either use whole or ground nutmeg, though we recommend the latter. Ground nutmeg is a great replacement for grounding allspice in baked dishes!
But please note that nutmeg can overpower your dish’s flavors, so we recommend adding smaller amounts of it. If a recipe calls for one teaspoon of ground allspice, opt for half a teaspoon of nutmeg.
While we recommend nutmeg in sweet recipes, you can also use it in savory dishes, as long as you add half a teaspoon of black pepper for every teaspoon of nutmeg.
Ground cinnamon is the most common allspice substitute because it’s easy to find. You probably already have it at home!
Cinnamon has similar elements allspice has, as it contains warmth, depth, and sweet earthiness. You can use ground cinnamon in a sweet or savory recipe that requires ground allspice. Furthermore, you can use the same amount of cinnamon in recipes that require allspice.
That said, allspice contains a peppery bite compared to cinnamon. Just like nutmeg and cloves, add 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you still have a few questions about finding the best allspice substitute? We answer your frequently asked questions here!
1. Does allspice come from whole allspice berries?
Allspice comes from dried berries from the Pimenta dioica plant, coming from the myrtle family.
You can use the berries fresh or dried for their flavor, though it’s more common to find ground allspice in powdered form, made of dried, ground berries. You can also use the plant’s leaves in various recipes, resembling bay leaves.
Because of that, you can also use the other types of allspice, fresh or dried, as an allspice substitute.
For instance, if your recipe calls for whole allspice berries, you can use ground allspice and vice versa.
2. What spices create ground allspice?
Allspice has four vital spices in its composition. It’s a combination of flavors from pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
All those are warm spices in terms of flavor and use in recipes. You can use it for various purposes where spices are typically used in cooking and baking.
Whole allspice berries are great to add in meats, particularly dark meats like lamb and beef, for extra flavor, similar to garlic.
You would also use the spices in warmer recipes like Jamaican jerk chicken or Cincinnati-style chili, giving your dishes a kick of flavor!
3. Can I use mixed spice as an allspice substitute?
While some people might presume you can use mixed spices as a substitute for allspice, they aren’t the same.
Allspice is a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, with a mild flavor. Think of allspice as a fruity version of cloves!
As for mixed spice, it’s a combination of sweeter spices, including cinnamon quills, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, cassia, and coriander seed. Surprisingly, mixed spice tastes milder, so you may not get the punch you need compared to allspice.
While you can use the mixed spice in similar recipes that require allspice, they aren’t generally interchangeable. You can still try mixed spice in your recipe as a substitute, but don’t expect consistently outstanding results.
4. Is five-spice-powder a good allspice substitute?
Allspice is a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, a warm combination of spices. Allspice berries also 1resemble peppercorns for seasoning meats and stews, while ground allspice is used for the dry mix of baked goods for a warm spice flavor.
On the other hand, the Chinese five-spice combines anise, cinnamon, ginger, and star anise. Because of that, it’s too warm to be a spice mix, tasting warm and slightly sweet and spicy in baked goods or meat dishes.
But even with its differences, five-spice-powder is an adequate substitute for allspice to get a warm and spicy flavor. It won’t give that same peppery kick and might be too warm, but you can add a smaller amount first, then work your way up.
Wrapping It Up
We hope our list helped you find the best substitute for allspice! Regardless of what recipe you plan to make, let thee individual spices give your tastebuds the spicy-sweet flavor you want in sweet or savory recipes.
Have fun cooking and if you want to continue learning about ingredient substitutions and food shelf life, check out more of what our blog posts offer!