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The Best Allspice Substitutes

Ingredient Swaps
Wooden spoon with whole allspice berries and bowl full of ground allspice

Allspice is a unique spice that resembles the flavours of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and pepper. Because of this, it’s often confused as being a combination of ingredients. We’ve used allspice to make our delicious molasses bread rolls and pumpkin and molasses cookies.

What is allspice?

Allspice is made from the dried, ground, unripened berries from the Pimenta dioica plant. Also known as Jamaican pepper, it’s a popular ingredient in Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Latin American dishes.

What is allspice used for in baking?

You’ll find allspice is used as a key ingredient in many sweet and savoury dishes. Its sweet and warm flavour works well in jerk chicken seasoning, BBQ sauces and other meat marinades. These flavours also go perfectly with cakes, gingerbread and pies.

Allspice can also be used to flavour beverages, like mulled wine and hot cider.

Allspice substitutes

Due to allspice’s unique flavour resembling lots of other flavours, there are many ways you can replicate this yourself. What you should use will depend on what you plan to make.

Cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg

Replacement ratio: Replace 10g of allspice with 5g of cinnamon, 2.5g of cloves and 2.5g of nutmeg

You don’t need to follow the above ratio exactly to replace allspice, this is an approximate guide to get a similar flavour profile of allspice. Depending on what you’re baking or personal taste, you can alter these proportions to make it sweeter or spicier.


Replacement ratio: Replace 10g of allspice with 10g of cinnamon

You can also use just cinnamon to replace allspice. This works better in sweeter desserts, rather than for savoury marinades. If the recipe requires whole allspice berries rather than ground, you can use a cinnamon stick instead. If you miss the mellow bite of allspice, you can also add a crack of black pepper if using it for a savoury dish.


Replacement ratio: Replace 10g of allspice with 5g of cloves

Cloves can be used to replace allspice, however, they have a stronger flavour profile so you should start with using half of the measurement and then add more if needed. Similar to cinnamon, cloves don’t have the peppery bite of allspice, so you can add some to savoury dishes.

You can also add whole cloves to flavour mulled wine in place of whole allspice.


Replacement ratio: Replace 10g of allspice with 5g of nutmeg

Like with using cloves to replace allspice, nutmeg has a strong flavour profile so you should start by using just half of the amount of allspice you’d normally use and slowly add more until it is right.

Although, if you’re using this for baking it can be difficult to add more nutmeg afterwards, so we‘d recommend just using half. Like cinnamon and cloves, nutmeg also lacks the bite of allspice, so if using it in a savoury dish then you can also add a crack of black pepper.


Replacement ratio: Replace 10g of allspice with 10g of five-spice

Five-spice powder contains lots of the flavours associated with allspice, making it a good substitute for sweet or savoury recipes. Five-spice is a blend of cinnamon, star anise, cloves, fennel and ginger or pepper, so you’ll get plenty of warmth, sweetness and a bit of bite from this spice mix.

Mixed spice

Replacement ratio: Replace 10g of allspice with 10g of mixed spice

Allspice and mixed spice are often confused with one another. However, despite the name, allspice is made from just one ingredient. Mixed spice on the other hand typically contains allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, cloves, coriander and ginger.

As mixed spice contains allspice, as well as other flavours similar to allspice, it makes a great replacement in both sweet and savoury dishes.