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The 5 Best Substitutes for Ground Cloves

Ground cloves are one of the most common spices globally, found in dishes from savory to sweet.

Cloves are the dried flower buds of a small tree in the myrtle family.

They have a sweet, pungent flavor and add flavor to many dishes.

Ground cloves can also be a natural remedy for upset stomachs and respiratory problems.

In modern cuisine, ground cloves can be found in curries, spice rubs, and even desserts.

However, if you don’t have any ground cloves on hand, several substitutes can be used instead.

This blog post will explore five of the best substitutes for ground cloves.

So whether you’re cooking up a storm or need a little pinch of flavor, these substitutes will do the trick.

Read on to learn more.

What’s Ground Clove?

what ground clove

Have you ever wondered what ground clove is? This spice is derived from a tree’s dried, unripened fruit in the myrtle family.

Ground cloves are an ingredient that can enhance the flavor of many dishes.

They have a slightly sweet and pungent taste, making them perfect for adding depth to your cooking.

If you’re looking to add a new spice to your cooking repertoire, ground cloves are a great option.

They can be used in sweet and savory dishes alike.

Here are some ideas of how you can use them:

  • Add ground cloves to homemade sausage for a flavor boost.
  • Mix ground cloves with sugar to make a delicious glaze for ham.
  • Add a pinch to your morning coffee or tea for an extra boost of flavor.
  • Sprinkle on roasted vegetables for added flavor.
  • Use in place of cinnamon in apple pie or other desserts.
  • Mix with ground ginger and use in pumpkin pies, cookies, or cakes.

Ground cloves can also be used to make a simple home remedy.

Combine ground cloves with honey and hot water to make a soothing drink that can help ease congestion when you’re sick.

You can find ground cloves in the spice aisle of your local grocery store.

Give them a try the next time you’re in the kitchen.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Ground Clove

For those times when you’re out of ground cloves or don’t have the time to run to the store, here are five great substitutes:

1 – Allspice


First on our list is allspice.

This spice is made from the dried berries of a tropical tree.

Allspice tastes like a combination of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

The smell of cloves and cinnamon is brought together with an earthy accent to create this unique spice that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.

A triple threat for your taste buds, allspice helps make anything from apple sauce or baking pies more flavorful by adding dimensionality and the entire culinary experience—from sweetness (cloves) towards spiciness(cinnamon).

It’s also great on its own when added directly into sauces at home or sprinkled on top of your morning oatmeal for a bit of flair.

Allspice is one versatile little number.

When used in savory dishes, allspice can help to round out flavors and add a depth of flavor.

It is often used in Caribbean cuisine and Middle Eastern food—Allspice pairs especially well with chicken, lamb, pork, and rice.

2 – Nutmeg and Cinnamon

nutmeg and cinnamon

If you’ve ever baked a pie or cake, you’re probably familiar with the warm and cozy flavors of nutmeg and cinnamon.

These spices are used in many different sweet dishes because they pair well with sugar and other sweet flavors.

But what do nutmeg and cinnamon taste like? And why are they so popular in baking?

Nutmeg is a fragrant spice made from the seed of an apricot-like fruit.

It has a sweet, nutty flavor and is often used in savory dishes, such as curries and stews.

Cinnamon is a spicy, fragrant bark that is dried and ground into a powder.

It has a sweet and tangy taste and is most commonly used in sweet dishes, such as baked goods and cereals.

These spices are popular in baking because they add a warm and cozy flavor to desserts.

Nutmeg is especially good at adding depth of flavor to dishes, while cinnamon adds a bit of spice and sweetness.

When substituting ground clove for either nutmeg or cinnamon, you will need to use a little less than the recipe calls for because they are both more potent spices.

3 – Cardamom


If you haven’t tried cardamom before, you’re in for a treat.

This aromatic spice is used in sweet and savory dishes and has a unique flavor that is sure to please.

Here are three things you should know about this versatile spice:

  • Cardamom is native to India and used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.
  • It is used in both sweet and savory dishes, adding a unique flavor to both.
  • Cardamom is high in antioxidants, which makes it good for your health.

Cardamom is a good substitute for ground cloves because it has a similar flavor profile.

It is also very versatile to use in sweet or savory dishes.

Just be sure to adjust the amount you use, as cardamom is more potent than cloves.

4 – Pumpkin Pie Spice

pumpkin pie spice

You can make your own pumpkin pie spice mix at home with just a few common spices.

All you need is cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.

Combine equal parts of each spice and store them in an airtight container.

This recipe makes about ¼ cup of pumpkin pie spice.

While many people think of pumpkin pie spice as only being used in pumpkin pies, it can be used in various sweet and savory dishes.

Try it in oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, coffee, tea, or even on roasted vegetables.

The flavor of pumpkin pie spice perfectly complements the sweetness of pumpkin, but it can also be used in place of ground cloves in other recipes.

If you are looking for a substitute for ground cloves with a similar flavor profile, pumpkin pie spice is a great option.

Texture-wise, pumpkin pie spice is slightly more granular than ground cloves.

It can be used in recipes that call for either ground cloves or pumpkin pie spice, so it is a versatile substitution option.

5 – Ground Mace

ground mace

The last of our ground spices is mace, which comes from the nutmeg tree.

Mace has a slightly sweeter taste than nutmeg, with hints of cinnamon and pepper.

It’s often used in baking and can also be added to savory dishes.

Mace is available both ground and as a whole pod.

Compared to other ground spices, mace is relatively expensive.

This is because it’s difficult to harvest.

The nutmeg tree produces a fruit that contains both the mace and the nutmeg.

The mace is harvested first, and then the nutmeg is extracted from the fruit.

While mace isn’t as common as some of the other spices on this list, it’s still a good option for those looking for a ground spice substitute.

Mace can be used in both sweet and savory dishes and has a unique flavor that sets it apart from other spices.

If you’re looking for something special, give mace a try.


Ground cloves are a key ingredient in many dishes, but they can be hard to find.

If you can’t find ground cloves, a few substitutes will work well in their place.

Allspice is the most similar flavor to ground cloves, so it’s a good first choice.

If you don’t have allspice, cinnamon or nutmeg are good substitutes.

Each has a slightly different flavor, so you may need to experiment to find the one that works best for your dish.

Be aware that the flavor of these substitutes will be stronger than ground cloves, so use sparingly at first.

Also, keep in mind that the texture and appearance of your dish may change with a substitute.

Yield: 4 Servings

The 5 Best Substitutes for Ground Cloves

ground cloves
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Allspice
  • Nutmeg and Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Ground Mace


  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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