allspice substitute

Allspice Substitute For Your Everyday Cooking

Are you planning a Jamaican or Caribbean cuisine treat for your family this weekend? If you are, make sure that you have an ample supply of allspice in your spice rack. This is an ingredient that is very distinct in these dishes hence you don’t want to mess around. But when bad comes to worst and you can’t find allspice in your local supermarket, there is always an alternative.

Before we give you some allspice substitutes that you can use, let us give you a quick lesson about allspice. This is one of the common ingredients in many dishes. Whether you are baking or preparing savory dishes, you might need allspice at some point.

Many believe that allspice is made of a cocktail of several spices. Well, that may be true if you are making an allspice substitute. But in reality, allspice comes from the berries of one plant. The fruits of Pimenta dioica tree are picked when they are still unripe and green. The berries are dried in the sun until they turn brown. The Pimenta dioica tree usually grows in tropical climates such as in Jamaica, southern Mexico, and Central America.

Although its fresh leaves are also used in cooking like bay leaves, its whole or ground berries are more commonly added in dishes.

Whole allspice looks like dried peppercorns hence they are called pimento or Jamaica pepper. It has a very complex flavor and aroma. Apparently, when the early English explorers ate it, they declared that it tasted like several different spices. Later on, it was called allspice because it has the taste and aroma of pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves when combined. This also makes the mixture of these spices a handy allspice substitute.

Blend of Spices

There are several ways on how you can do an allspice mixture. The basic is a combination of the three spices – cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg - in equal amounts. If your recipe calls for a teaspoon of allspice, you would use a teaspoon of this blend instead.

Another way is a mixture of two parts of cinnamon to one part each of cloves and nutmeg. Mix ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon to 1/4 teaspoon each of ground cloves and ground nutmeg to come up with a teaspoon of allspice. Finally, you may add a pinch of black pepper for the richer flavored-mixture.

Keep in mind though that the blend of all these ground spices may change the flavor or color of your dish more than the whole or ground allspice could do. So the best thing to do is to add a little at a time until you achieve the taste that you want.


Allspice and cloves share the same woody flavor and aroma. Whole cloves can be used as allspice substitute when you need to brine meat or when you do other dishes that call for whole allspice. However, since cloves have a stronger flavor than allspice, use only about half the amount called for in the recipe.

Pie Spices

Apple and pumpkin pie spices typically contain allspice and other spices that are comparable in flavor and taste. Although you are not making either of these pies, you can use apple or pumpkin pie spice as an alternative to allspice. Substitute an equal amount of pumpkin or apple pie spice for the allspice measurement that is needed in your recipe.

Allspice and Allspice Substitute Storage Recommendation

Allspice is available in whole or in powder form. However, it is recommended to keep it in whole to keep its flavor. Grind your whole allspice only as needed. Allspice berries can keep its intense taste and fragrance for a long time. Ground allspice, on the other hand, gradually loses its flavor if it is kept in storage for long period of time.

If you need ground allspice, you can grind five or six whole allspice berries. If your recipe calls for whole allspice, you can use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of ground allspice in its place.

The storage recommendation is the same for the blend of allspice substitute. Prepare the blend only when you need it and only the amount that you need. Store your allspice and allspice blend in an airtight container preferably made of glass.

If you find out allspice substitute list helpful, let us know in the comment section below. Also, don’t forget to bookmark our page to keep updated on new helpful tips..

About the Author Hong Quy

Born in Hanoi, can speak English and Japanese fluently. Become interested in cooking after married, and love to share easy Japanese recipes with anyone has the same interest.

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