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The 5 Best Substitutes for Cardamom

Cardamom is a pungent, aromatic spice that has been used since ancient times for both culinary and medicinal purposes.

Prized for its uniquely bold flavor, cardamom lends a distinctive zing to many different types of dishes, from sweet treats like pumpkin pie and snickerdoodles to savory main dishes like curries and stews.

However, cardamom also tends to be quite expensive, making it difficult for budget-conscious cooks to enjoy this delicious spice regularly.

Fortunately, there are several beautiful substitutes for cardamom that will help you achieve a similar flavor profile in your cooking without breaking the bank.

Some of the best substitutes include cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice.

Try incorporating these spices into your favorite recipes, or experiment with new flavors by creating custom spice mixes tailored to your tastes.

No matter which option you choose, you can rest assured that your meals will always have that extra something special with the addition of one of these versatile substitutions for cardamom.

What is Cardamom?

what is cardamom

Cardamom is a spice that is popular in many cuisines around the world.

It has a warm, aromatic flavor often used in sweet dishes.

Cardamom is native to India and Sri Lanka, and it is one of the traditional ingredients in curry powder.

The seeds of the cardamom plant are used to make the spice.

They can be found fresh, or they can be dried and ground into a powder.

Cardamom is a member of the ginger family, and it has many of the same health benefits.

It is a good source of antioxidants, and it has been shown to help reduce inflammation.

Additionally, cardamom has been used traditionally to treat upset stomachs and respiratory problems.

Today, it is becoming increasingly popular as an ingredient in natural health supplements.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Cardamom

For centuries, cardamom has been a popular spice in Indian cuisine.

It is used to add flavor and depth to many dishes, and it has also long been prized for its medicinal properties.

Unfortunately, this versatile spice can be expensive and difficult to find, so some people are looking for substitutes.

There are several different options available, and each one has its unique flavor profile.

1 – Allspice


Allspice is a fragrant spice commonly used in culinary applications around the world.

The unique flavor of allspice comes from its combination of flavors – it has notes of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom.

This makes it a popular addition to dishes like marinades, stews, curries, and baked goods.

Furthermore, all spices can be used in home remedies for minor aches and pains – the essential oils in the spice have natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe sore muscles and joints.

Overall, allspice is a versatile spice that can enhance food and health with its aromatic flavor and healing properties.

2 – Cinnamon and Nutmeg

cinnamon and nutmeg

Every spice has its unique flavor that can add a special touch to any dish.

However, sometimes it cannot be easy to find the right spice for a recipe.

This is especially true for cardamom, which is relatively expensive and can be hard to find.

Fortunately, two common spices make excellent substitutes for cardamom: cinnamon and nutmeg.

Both cinnamon and nutmeg have a warm, woodsy flavor that pairs well with sweet and savory dishes.

In addition, they are widely available and relatively affordable.

When substituting either cinnamon or nutmeg for cardamom, you can use the exact measurements that are called for in your recipe.

3 – Cinnamon and Cloves

cinnamon and cloves

For those looking to bake a delicious treat without cardamom, cinnamon and cloves spices can provide an excellent alternative.

These herbs are easily found in the spice aisle of any grocery store, and they offer many of the same aromatic and flavor-boosting benefits as cardamom.

Cinnamon, in particular, is also rich in nutrients like iron and manganese, making it great for supporting overall health.

So if you’re looking to create a sweet treat with a warm and inviting flavor profile, consider reaching for some cinnamon or cloves instead of your traditional go-to, cardamom.

With their bold flavors and a wide variety of uses in the kitchen, these seasonings will become your new baking staples.

4 – Cinnamon and Ginger

cinnamon and ginger

Cinnamon and ginger are popular spices that can often be used to substitute cardamom.

These spices have a spicy and warm flavor that complements many different types of dishes, ranging from curries to baked goods.

Because both cinnamon and ginger also tend to be more affordable than cardamom, they are ideal for home cooks looking for a cost-effective way to add some extra flavor to their recipes.

Additionally, both cinnamon and ginger act as natural decongestants, helping combat colds and congestion in the throat and lungs.

Whether you’re looking for an affordable spice alternative or simply looking for a way to get over a cold, cinnamon and ginger are sure to deliver all the delicious flavor you need.

5 – Cumin and Coriander

cumin and coriander

When traditional Indian and Middle Eastern dishes call for cardamom, many home cooks reach for cumin or coriander as an easy substitute.

Both spices are widely used in these regions, offering a distinct flavor and aroma that complements the rich, complex flavors typical of these types of cuisine.

And while cumin and coriander do not provide quite the same aromatic intensity as cardamom, they still add a pleasant bitterness that works well with other seasonings.

Whether you’re trying a new recipe or simply cooking up some familiar favorites, using cumin or coriander in place of cardamom can be an excellent way to get your food just right.


If you’re out of cardamom or just looking for something new to spice up your dishes, plenty of great substitutes can be used in its place.

Ginger, allspice, and nutmeg all have a similar warm, earthy flavor that can be used to replace cardamom in both sweet and savory dishes.

Cloves and cinnamon also have a similar flavor profile, although they tend to be more pungent.

While each of these spices has its unique flavor, they can all be used as a delicious replacement for cardamom.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Cardamom

The 5 Best Substitutes for Cardamom
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Allspice
  • Cinnamon and Nutmeg
  • Cinnamon and Cloves
  • Cinnamon and Ginger
  • Cumin and Coriander


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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