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Last updated on April 27th, 2024 at 12:51 pm

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Easy Allspice Substitute Recipe

Allspice Substitute can be used in anything from sweet dishes to savory dishes and can be easily made at home with just a few ingredients. It is a common ingredient in baking sweet and savory recipes, beverages, and condiments as well as for pickling. The flavor comes from the perfect blend of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. It is both sweet and a bit spicy with a kick of tanginess too.

While this is widely available in stores, from my experience, I can tell you that the best allspice substitute is the one you make yourself. You only need 3 ingredients and 5 minutes! For the most distinct and bold flavor, grind your spiced fresh the day you make your mix and transfer it to an airtight container right after, to preserve the complex flavor.

Homemade allspice substitute recipe

It’s true, allspice is a berry from the pimenta dioica tree native to Southern Mexico, Central America, and the Greater Antilles. The small sweet and spicy pepper is picked before it is ripe and dried to use in all sorts of recipes. It can be ground for an intense flavor in foods, used whole in beverages, or added to pickling juice for veggies and fruits.

I like to use my allspice substitute for ground allspice because it has a blend of natural spices that add a complex flavor profile to both sweet and savory recipes. Allspice berries are a major ingredient in adding flavor and pickling foods, you can find them in Homemade Corned Beef Brine and desserts, like this Gingerbread Fudge.

With just three ingredients, this easy homemade allspice substitute works well in cookies, cakes, soups, pickling, and making drinks. The warm spices add a mellow version of the authentic allspice berry for less intense dishes.

If you buy an allspice substitute in the store, it will cost you more than five dollars, but you can make it at home for pennies. Seriously, all you need is half a teaspoon of cinnamon, a quarter teaspoon of nutmeg, and a quarter teaspoon of cloves. And you can adjust the amounts of each to make it to your liking. Pour it into an airtight jar or bottle and it will stay fresh in the cabinet for a year.

The most important thing to remember about making the best allspice substitute is to grind your spices fresh when you are ready to pour them into an airtight bottle or jar. Unsealed, the spice will lose flavor quickly. Your family will love the flavor of your homemade allspice in this Irish apple cake recipe, it goes hand in hand with apples!!

What you’ll need to make an allspice substitute:

Special items:

  • An airtight jar or bottle – For keeping your allspice. It has to be sealed to keep its flavor.
  • A tiny funnel – I love my tiny spice funnel and use it for all sorts of things. It is essential to get the spices in a small jar without spilling.
  • A small bowl or mortar and pestle – You need these to grind your fresh spices right before making this allspice.


With only three ingredients, it doesn’t get much easier than this.

  • Cinnamon – Made from the bark of the Cinnamomum tree, this warm spice is sweet, earthy, and a bit spicy from the essential oil.
  • Cloves – You get another sweet and spicy boost with cloves, which are made from the clove tree in Indonesia. 
  • Nutmeg – Another warm spice, nutmeg is sweet and made from the seed of the Myristica tree.

How to make an allspice substitute from scratch?

  1. Grind your spices: First, grind each spice fresh before adding them to a small mixing bowl. Stir thoroughly until it is completely mixed. 
  2. Pour into a container: Then, pour your allspice substitute into a sealed container to keep it from losing its flavor. Use immediately for best results.

Expert tip

Grinding fresh spices

There is no debate on this. Grinding your fresh herbs and spices for any recipe is always going to be fresher and more flavorful than using the jarred stuff you get from the store. It is a nice idea to be able to just keep them in your spice rack or cabinet for use versus trying to keep fresh spices fresh all the time, but convenience can be a mistake in some recipes.

Take this recipe for an allspice substitute. You could buy some from the store and keep it for use whenever you need it. But with this easy recipe, grinding fresh spices and putting them in an airtight container like a mason jar will also allow you to keep the spices ready for up to a year.

Now, when I say fresh spices, I mean using nutmeg seeds, cinnamon quills (bark), and whole cloves. Grind them when you are ready to use it and then put the rest in an airtight container in the cabinet for up to a year. If you cannot find these items in your grocery store, try a health food store or you can order them online.

Recipe variations:

  • Star anise: You can add 1/4 teaspoon of ground star anise for a bit of a licorice flavor. 
  • Fennel: Another type of spice that goes great with allspice is fennel. 
  • Chai blend: The chai blend of allspice substitute has cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, and ginger.
  • Pepper: Some recipes have four key spices, which are cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and pepper. 
  • Sugar: For sweeter allspice, add a half teaspoon of white granulated sugar or brown sugar. 
  • Spicy-sweet: If you like spicy food, add a pinch of red pepper flakes. 

How to serve:

You can use allspice substitutes in just about any recipe. Many fall dishes call for allspice such as pumpkin pie and other baked goods. Try one of these great serving ideas or share some of your own down in the comments section. We love to hear from you!

  • Try it when seasoning meats like beef roasts or chicken breast. It is often dark meats like beef and mutton that benefit from a teaspoon of ground allspice but you can also use it in this BBQ pork chops recipe. 
  • Allspice is one of the main ingredients in many recipes including pumpkin pie spice, apple pie spice, cookies, and cakes. Try it in my spice cake recipe or add it to these pumpkin cheesecake bars.
  • Try adding a bit to any preserves, jelly, or jam.
  • Baked apples go great with allspice no matter whether they are being used for apple pie filling or apple cake. 
  • I also like to add a pinch to sweet potato casserole.
  • Jamaican jerk chicken is one of my favorite recipes that calls for allspice.
  • Gingerbread recipes also need some allspice substitute in them for just the right flavor.

Frequently asked questions

What is allspice substitute?

Although my easy and delicious allspice substitute recipe only calls for cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, the more common spice mix has several other ingredients such as Sichuan peppercorn for some spiciness and anise for that sweet licorice flavor. The different recipe versions have a variety of amounts of each spice to make them all taste very similar but not the same.

What are the five spices in allspice?

There are a few types of allspice including the Chinese and Sichuan types, but they typically use cinnamon, cloves, fennel, anise, and some kind of peppercorn. Some kids have other ingredients too but my favorite way to make it is simple and tastes perfect with just cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

What is the difference between dry and whole allspice?

If a recipe calls for dried allspice berries or whole allspice berries, you can often find these in the spice aisle. Some grocers do not have it so you may have to go to a specialty store or order it online. The dry allspice is a ground allspice berry. Whole allspice refers to the whole berry that looks similar to peppercorn. 

Ground allspice comes from grinding dried whole allspice berries. The flavor is sweet and spicy with a touch of bitterness. That is why the best substitute for all spices is a blend of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. But you could also buy the whole allspice berries and grind them yourself. 

What does allspice taste like?

The real allspice berry has been described as being salty, bitter, sweet, and umami as well as tangy and savory. To me, it also tastes peppery and pungent with hints of anise and fennel flavors. You can use it for both sweet and savory dishes from cakes and cookies to jerk chicken and pot roast.

Allspice is a delicious spice that tastes like a combination of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves because that is what it is made of. It is best to use whole cloves, cinnamon quills, and nutmeg seeds and grind them with a spice grinder the day you plan to make your allspice.

Where can I use Allspice?

In anything from pumpkin pie spice to meat dishes as well as apple pie spice. Sweet and savory recipes both benefit from a little bit of allspice substitute. There are many allspice substitutes, but since they are so simple, there is no reason not to make your own. However, it is best to use freshly ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves to get the best substitute for all spices.

What is the difference between this and Lebanese or Arabic seven spices?

This allspice substitute has just a few ingredients for a simply sweet and tangy fresh flavor. Also known as Baharat, Lebanese or Arabic seven-spice blend is made with nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves as well as black pepper, cumin, coriander, and cardamom. Some recipes use ground allspice berries instead of coriander and others call for white pepper instead of black.

How to store:

  • Store: You can store your leftover allspice substitute in an airtight container in the cabinet. No need to refrigerate or freeze it. It will last for six months to a year as long as it is kept closed when not in use. 

More pantry staples:

Recipe tips:

  • I cannot emphasize enough the importance of using freshly ground spices. Get nutmeg seeds, cinnamon quills, and whole cloves, and grind them yourself with a mortar and pestle.
  • If you do not have a mortar and pestle, you can use a coffee grinder, spice grinder, food processor, or even a blender.
  • Make sure you have a spice funnel before you start to help pour it into a small jar. If not, you can try using the corner of an envelope or a Ziploc baggie.
  • After mixing, you may have to strain your allspice mixture through a fine sieve to get rid of any chunks. You want only the fine powder. 
  • Always remember to shake the allspice whenever you want to use it to help remix the spices. 
  • Allspice substitute flavor profile fades fast if you don’t put it in an airtight container.

Homemade Allspice Substitute

Allspice Substitute can be used in anything from sweet dishes to savory dishes and can be easily made at home with just a few ingredients.

close shot of homemade allspice substitute mix in a small bowl
  • Prep Time5 MIN
  • Cook Time
  • Servings 1 teaspoon


  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


  • In a small bowl, mix the ingredients.
    mixing ingredients to make all spice substitute
  • Transfer to a mason jar, close tightly with the lid, and store in a cool dry place for up to 1 year.
  • Double or triple the recipe if needed.

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I love how quick and easy this is to make!!

Erin | Dinners, Dishes and Dessert

Erin | Dinners, Dishes and Dessert

Sounds really fantastic! I love everything about this!



I love this blend! I use allspice all the time. Unfortunately, I forget to buy it sometimes, too. I'll definitely have this on standby.



I use allspice a lot in my kitchen! I am so glad to make it at home now with your recipe!

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