Allspice Substitute – Other 3 Ingredients That Work Great

It is challenging to find an exact-match allspice substitute. However, you can still have a substitute by using some of the similar spices you already have on your shelf.

What is Allspice?

Allspice is the dried brown berry of the tropical Pimenta dioica tree, primarily found in the West Indies and Central America. Other names like Jamaica pepper, myrtle pepper, pimenta, or pimento know this berry.

The name ‘allspice’ is said to be given by 17th-century European merchants because it tastes like a combination of nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon.

Jamaica pepper is harvested when unripe (green) and briefly fermented, then sun-dried. The berry turns reddish-brown when thoroughly dried.

Allspice is popularly used in Middle Eastern, Caribbean, and Latin American cuisines.

What is the flavor of Allspice? Allspice contains all the warm, sweet, savory flavors of three spices – cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Eugenol is its chief aromatic compound, also found in cloves. Caryophyllene (woody) and cineole (fresh and sharp) are other flavoring compounds.

This berry’s sweet and warm pungent note has a peppery overtone with hints of peppercorn and juniper.

Allspice is also somewhat hot, rating a 4 on the hotness scale.

Ground Allspice Vs. Whole Allspice

Allspice is a brown berry, almost like a large peppercorn. Usually, this berry in ground form is used in cooking. You may use the whole allspice berries or a sachet to infuse spiced wine or cider in pickling brine.

Note that pre-ground Allspice kept on shelves for more than a few weeks may typically lose its flavor. Therefore, grinding the berries in small quantities is best for immediate use. For storing, keep the dried berries in their whole form in an air-tight container.

What is a Good Substitute for Allspice?

If you have exhausted allspice availability, use an allspice substitute replicating its flavor profile and aroma.

You may already have in the spice rack other ingredients that you can use to replace Allspice.

Here are a few suggestions for you as a replacement for allspice berries.

Blend Of Cloves, Nutmeg, and Cinnamon

Honestly, you’ll not find a single ingredient that matches the complex flavor profile of Allspice.

You can approximate its flavor in a pinch by blending three spices: cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.


  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine the three ingredients well in a small jar or using a mixer-grinder.

Most recipes require only a tiny amount of Allspice. You can substitute the mixture for Allspice in a 1:1 ratio.

According to the flavor profile of your recipe, you may omit nutmeg and use 2 parts of cinnamon and one part of cloves.

Ground Cloves

In place of Allspice, you may use ground cloves alone or in combination with nutmeg, black peppercorns, mace, or cinnamon.

Clove has the strongest flavor and closest similarity to Allspice among all these spices. The emphatic, warm flavor of clove can overpower other ingredients with a delicate flavor. If you use ground cloves as a substitute for Allspice, use them in less quantity; preferably, just half the portion.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

If you notice, one of the critical ingredients in pumpkin pie spice is Allspice. Besides, it also contains cinnamon and clove, which have a similar flavor profile. So, for this reason, pumpkin pie spice is an excellent alternative to Allspice. Use it in a 1:1 ratio.

Substitute for Whole Allspice Berry

Some recipes, like pickle brine, may call for whole Allspice. Without whole Allspice, you can use about ½ teaspoon of ground allspice instead of six allspice berries.

Beware; using ground spices can alter the flavor and color of the dish to some extent.

Instead of whole Allspice, you can use the same amount of whole cloves in equal quantities.

How to use Allspice in cooking?

Allspice has hints of other staple kitchen spices like cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Just a few allspice berries can infuse a dish with its warm flavor and sparkling texture. This berry, especially in ground form, complements a variety of sweet and savory dishes.

Generally, it is added at the beginning of cooking or baking.

Ground allspice is used to season meat and vegetables. It’s an excellent addition to baked goods as a replacement for cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg.

You can use it in cooking:

  • for adding a peppery overtone to curries, soups, or stews
  • when making glühwein or chai tea
  • to sprinkle over roasted vegetables for a hint of warmth
  • to add a spicy flavor to sweet dishes like gingerbread or chocolate desserts
  • make jerk chicken, a typical Jamaican dish
  • as a substitute ingredient for cloves, cinnamon, or nutmeg

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