Cooking TipsIngredient Guides11 Substitutes for Cardamom to Help You Spice Up Your Recipes

11 Substitutes for Cardamom to Help You Spice Up Your Recipes

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David Larsen
I’m a husband, dad, food blogger, photographer, writer, social media boss, entrepreneur.

Do you love cardamom, but find that it’s a bit too pricey for your taste? Or maybe you’re just looking for some new and exciting spices to add to your cooking repertoire. Either way, we’ve got you covered! In this blog post, we’ll be discussing 11 different substitutes for cardamom that will help you create delicious and flavorful dishes. So whether you’re on a budget or just looking to try something new, these substitutes are sure to satisfy!

Substitutes for Cardamom

1. Cloves.

Cloves have a very unique flavor, and can be used as a cardamom substitute.

Cloves are also a common ingredient in Chinese Five Spice powder.

2. Cinnamon.


Cinnamon is a spice that is used in many different cuisines. It has a warm, sweet, and slightly spicy flavor that can be used to enhance the flavor of food.

Cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka and India, and has been used for centuries in these countries for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Cinnamon was also one of the first spices to be traded internationally.

Cinnamon is a great substitute for cardamom. It has a similar flavor and can be used in sweet or savory dishes. Cinnamon is also less expensive than cardamom, making it a great option for those on a budget.

3. Apple Pie Spice.

Apple Pie Spice is a blend of spices used to flavor apple pies.

The most common apple pie spice ingredients are cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Other popular spices include allspice, ginger, and mace.

Apple pie spice can be used to flavor other dishes as well, such as oatmeal or pancakes. It can also be added to applesauce or used to make a cider.

Apple pie spice is easy to make at home with just a few common spices. To make your own apple pie spice, simply mix together cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice in a small bowl. Store the mixture in an airtight container and use as needed. With homemade apple pie spice on hand, you can easily flavor your favorite dishes all autumn long.

Apple pie spice is a great substitute for cardamom. It has a similar flavor and can be used in many of the same dishes. If you don’t have any cardamom on hand, apple pie spice is a good option to use in its place.

4. Nutmeg.

Nutmeg is a common flavoring ingredient in baking and cooking. It can be used in sweet or savory dishes, and is often used to flavor holiday foods. Nutmeg is also a popular addition to Indian cuisine.

Cardamom is a close relative of nutmeg, and the two spices share many of the same characteristics. Both have a warm, earthy flavor that is slightly sweet and somewhat spicy. Cardamom is a bit more pungent than nutmeg, however, and has a hint of citrus flavor.

5. Ginger.

Ginger is a flowering plant that originated in China. It is a member of the Zingiberaceae family, and its close relatives include turmeric, cardamom, and galangal. The rhizome (underground stem) of the ginger plant is used as a spice or medicine.

Ginger has a long history of use in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine. In China, it is often used to treat stomach disorders, whereas in India it is more commonly used to relieve nausea and vomiting.

Ginger is a popular spice that can be used in many different dishes. It has a warm, slightly sweet taste that pairs well with other spices like cinnamon and cloves. You can use ginger to flavor soups, stews, curries, and baked goods. It can also be used to make a refreshing tea.

6. Star anise.

Star anise is a spice that is used in many different cuisines. It has a strong anise flavor and can be used in place of cardamom.

Star anise is a good substitute for cardamom because it has a similar flavor profile. If you are looking for a substitute for cardamom, then star anise is a good option.

Star anise can be found in most grocery stores. It is usually sold in the spice aisle. If you cannot find it, then you can also order it online.

7. Allspice.

Allspice is a spice made from the dried berries of the Pimenta dioica plant. The name “allspice” was coined by the English in the 1600s because they thought it tasted like a combination of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

Allspice is used as a flavor enhancer in many cuisines. It can be used in sweet or savory dishes, and is especially common in Caribbean cuisine. Allspice can be used as a substitute for cardamom in Indian dishes.

When substituting allspice for cardamom, use a ratio of one-to-one. So, if the recipe calls for one teaspoon of cardamom, use one teaspoon of allspice.

8. Cinnamon and allspice.

Mix Cinnamon and allspice together and use it as a substitute for cardamom. This combination works well in sweet and savory dishes alike. All you need is a teaspoon of this mixture for every tablespoon of cardamom called for in the recipe.

9. Cinnamon + nutmeg.

Mix cinnamon and nutmeg together in a bowl and use this mixture as a replacement for cardamom.

10. Cinnamon + ginger.

Mix cinnamon and ginger together and use them in place of cardamom. This combination is especially good in curries, gingerbread, and chai.

11. Cinnamon + cloves.

Mix cinnamon and cloves together and use them in place of cardamom. This combination works well in sweet and savory dishes alike.

Cinnamon has a warm, sweet flavor that pairs well with rich spices like cloves. When used together, they can mimic the complex flavor of cardamom without being overwhelming. This spice blend is perfect for baked goods, curries, and even fruit dishes. Give it a try the next time you’re looking for an interesting flavor twist.

12. Cumin + Coriander.

Mix cumin and coriander in a spice grinder, and use the mixture in place of cardamom. This combination works well in curries, rice dishes, and baked goods.

Cardamom substitute for pho.

If you can’t find cardamom, cloves make a good substitute in this pho recipe. Cloves have a similar flavor profile to cardamom, with a hint of sweetness and spice. Add them to the pot along with the other spices and let them simmer until fragrant. You may need to adjust the amount of cloves depending on how strong you want the flavor to be.

If you can’t find cloves either, try using cinnamon sticks. Cinnamon has a sweeter flavor than cardamom or cloves, so you’ll need to use less of it. Add one or two cinnamon sticks to the pot along with the other spices and let them simmer until fragrant.

Cardamom substitute in garam masala.

There are a few cardamom substitutes that can be used in garam masala. These include cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, and cumin. Cloves and cinnamon will give the garam masala a similar flavor to cardamom. Black pepper can be used to add a bit of heat to the spice blend. Cumin will give the garam masala a smoky flavor. When substituting in any of these spices, start with a small amount and add more to taste.

Cardamom substitute in chai.

There are many substitutes for cardamom in chai, including cloves, cinnamon, and ginger. However, these spices can make the flavor of chai quite different from the traditional taste. If you’re looking for a more authentic flavor, try using green cardamom pods instead of ground cardamom.

You can also add other spices to taste, such as cloves, cinnamon, or ginger. Whatever spices you use, make sure to simmer the chai for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.


What spice is closest to cardamom?

There are a few spices that come close to cardamom in terms of flavor and aroma. These include cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. All three of these spices have a similar warm, sweet, and slightly floral flavor profile. Cardamom is also often used in savory dishes, so these other spices can be used as substitutes in those cases as well.

When it comes to aroma, cardamom has a strong and unique scent that can be hard to replicate. However, cloves and cinnamon come close. If you’re looking for a spice to use as a cardamom substitute in a recipe, these two are your best bet.

Is cardamom same as cumin?

This is a question that I get asked a lot, and the answer is no. Cardamom and cumin are two different spices with different flavor profiles.

Cardamom is a member of the ginger family, and its flavor is sweet and citrusy. Cumin, on the other hand, belongs to the parsley family and has a smoky, earthy flavor.

Is nutmeg and cardamom the same?

The answer is no, they are not the same. Nutmeg and cardamom are two different spices that come from different plants.

Nutmeg comes from the nutmeg tree, which is native to Indonesia. The spice is made by grinding up the seeds of the nutmeg tree. Cardamom, on the other hand, comes from a plant in the ginger family. It is native to India and Sri Lanka. The spice is made by drying and grinding up the pods of the cardamom plant.

Is coriander the same as cardamom?

No, coriander and cardamom are not the same. Coriander is a seed, while cardamom is a pod. They have different flavors too, with coriander being more citrusy and cardamom being more spicy. However, they are both used as spices in cooking. So if you’re out of one, you can usually substitute the other. Just keep in mind that they will give your dish a different flavor.

Is cardamom the same as turmeric?

No, they are not the same. Cardamom is a member of the ginger family, while turmeric is a member of the onion family. They have different flavor profiles, with cardamom being more spicy and turmeric being more earthy. While they can be used in similar dishes, they are not interchangeable. When substituting one for the other, be sure to taste your dish and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Can I substitute coriander with cardamom?

The answer is yes, you can. Both coriander and cardamom are spices that come from the same plant family. They have a similar flavor profile, so they can be used interchangeably in recipes.

Coriander is typically used in savory dishes, while cardamom is used in sweet and savory dishes. When substituting one for the other, keep this in mind and adjust the amount of sugar or salt in the recipe accordingly.

Coriander is a common ingredient in curries, while cardamom is used to flavor desserts like pudding and cake. If you’re making a curry, you can use either spice. If you’re making a dessert, you may want to use a little less cardamom than the recipe calls for, as it is more potent than coriander.

In general, you can substitute coriander for cardamom or vice versa without dramatically changing the flavor of your dish.

Can I substitute garam masala for cardamom?

The answer to this question is unfortunately, no. Garam masala and cardamom are two very different spices with different flavor profiles. While garam masala is a blend of spices that is typically used in Indian cooking, cardamom is a single spice that is often used in desserts and baking. If you’re looking for a substitution for cardamom, try cinnamon or nutmeg. Both of these spices will give your dish a similar flavor profile to what cardamom would.

Best Cardamom Substitute Recipe

Best Cardamom Substitute Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

If you don't have cardamom on hand, or can't find it at the store, there are a few substitutes that will work in a pinch. Here's a quick and easy recipe for a cardamom substitute that you can make at home.


  • Allspice
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Nutmeg


    • Combine all ingredients in a spice grinder and pulse until finely ground.
    • Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to six months.
    • Use as needed in recipes that call for cardamom. Enjoy!

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest


    So there you have it, a few substitutes for cardamom that can be used in a pinch. Hopefully this has been helpful and you can now continue on with your cooking or baking endeavors! Do you have a favorite substitute for cardamom? Let us know in the comments below!

    Happy cooking!

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