9 Best Cardamom Substitutes That You Can Try

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Are you here looking for a cardamom substitute? Cardamom is an exquisite spice that blends well with sweet and savory dishes. Whether you are a sweet tooth or a spice lover, cardamom as a spice is everyone’s favorite.


However, there can be times when we really need a cardamom flavor but are all out of it. What to do in such situations? That is when a good cardamom substitute comes in handy.

Are you thinking about the best cardamom substitutes? Cinamon, nutmeg, apple pie spice, cloves, ginger, and allspice are the best cardamom substitutes.

Before going deep into cardamom’s substitutes, let’s look into the cardamom itself. If you are new to the spice cardamom, this section will help you better understand the spice.

Quick Peek: Cardamom


Cardamom is a versatile spice that may be used in a wide range of cuisines. A lot of information on cardamom can be found in this section. You’ll learn what it is, what it tastes like, how it smells, what it’s used for, and how much it costs.

What Is Cardamom?

Cardamom is native to India and Indonesia. Cardamom has a strong flavor profile. It is small in size and has a paper-like outer covering with black seeds inside it. Both the outer cover and the seeds inside it are used as spice.

There are mainly two varieties of cardamom – green cardamom and black cardamom. Green cardamom is the one that is widely used across the globe. It’s available as whole pods, shelled whole seeds, or powder.

Describing Cardamom: Flavor and Texture

Cardamom has a unique flavor profile. Green cardamom has a very sweet and spicy aroma. When it comes to taste, it has a lemon and minty flavor. When added to food, it provided a unique cardamom taste along with a strong aroma to the food.

The black color cardamom has less smell and smoky flavor when compared to green cardamom. However, both of them are extremely flavorful when compared to most of the other spices.

Uses of Cardamom

Cardamom is a very expensive spice only next to saffron. But due to its very unique taste and extremely pleasant smell, it is widely used all around the world. As discussed, cardamom is a constant in both sweet and savory dishes.

If you like to experiment with your tea, try adding a few cardamom pods next time. You can add either full cardamom or powdered cardamom to it. It provides a sweet smell and unique taste to your tea. 

Cardamom can also be added to sweet dishes like ice creams and pancakes. Not only does it enhance its sweet taste, but it also adds to the flavor of almost all of the sweet dishes.

Cardamom is a staple in Indian cuisines, especially savory dishes. Even though both green and black cardamom go really well with the spice, black cardamom, with its spicy flavor, is preferred for spicy dishes.

Cardamom On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

Cardamom has been in use for a very long time. People have been using it as a species as well as medicine. This little green aromatic spice has a lot of health benefits.

However, since it is a spice, we only use a little cardamom in our food. Therefore, the nutritional value cardamom can often add to our meals is very low. However, it is important to note the important health benefits of cardamom.

Cardamom, with its strong aroma, has antimicrobial properties. Cardamom oil is very effective in treating almost all microbes. However, one cannot consume cardamom oil without a doctor’s consent.

Cardamom is also great for treating gut issues. It helps you with better food digestion and bloating. Thereby helping you have a healthy body.

Cardamom and cardamom tea is often hailed as effective against obesity, hypertension, and high blood sugar. A lot of ayurvedic medicine in India has cardamom as one of its major ingredients.

Why Use A Substitute For Cardamom?

If you’re a cardamom fan like me, you’ll be hesitant to use a substitute for cardamom. However, there may be times when a cardamom substitute is required instead of cardamom.

First and foremost, you, like many others, may be allergic to the king of spices. Even if you adore its flavor and aroma, you can’t incorporate it into your diet. If cardamom isn’t possible, a cardamom substitute can be used instead.

Because cardamom is mostly produced in India, it is a very expensive spice. As a result, your local grocer may occasionally be out of stock. You can use a cardamom substitute in these cases.

Finally, why go to the market when you already have a wonderful cardamom alternative lying in your pantry? The majority of the cardamom alternatives we explore are readily available.

I believe I’ve covered cardamom in sufficient detail. Let me know quickly and go over all of the best cardamom substitutes.

Other Food Substitutes You Can Try

7 Best Cardamom Substitutes

This section has a list of all the best substitutes for cardamom. Moreover, you will also get to understand how you can use each substitute in place of cardamom.

1. Nutmeg


Nutmeg has a strong flavor profile. It has a strong refreshing smell and sweet and minty taste. Hence nutmeg can be a good cardamom substitute on many occasions.

Nutmeg is a seed spice. It is dark brown in color and has a very hard nature. However, it can be either used in pieces or a powdered form. Just like cardamom, nutmeg goes really well with sweet and savory dishes.

Not just that, nutmeg also has multiple health benefits. However, nutmeg has a more intense flavor when compared to cardamom. Therefore use half a teaspoon of nutmeg powder for one teaspoon (4 cardamoms).

2. Cinnamon


Cinnamon is another spice we can use as a cardamom substitute. It has a sweet taste and refreshing smell. It is tree bark and is available in both ground and stick forms.

If you are a fan of good-smelling things, next time when you are out of cardamom, try some cinnamon. It can be added in place of cardamom in a variety of dishes as well as beverages.

You can add cinnamon as a cardamom substitute in meat dishes as well. But when you purchase cinnamon, make sure to buy a fresh cinnamon stick as it holds more flavor than the old ones.

When substituting, you can use two-finger size cinnamon in place for four cardamoms. If you use powdered cinnamon, one teaspoon of cinnamon is enough in place of two teaspoons of cardamom.

3. Apple Pie Spices

Apple sauce

Apple pie spice is a mixture of different spices. It enhances the flavor of the dishes and is a perfect cardamom alternative.

Apple pie spice normally contains spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Apart from that, it might also contain ginger powder and cardamom powder.

Try apple pie spice if you want a cardamom powder replacement in non-meat dishes. It can be added to sweet dishes. It often works great in baking as well. When using cardamom, use only a little as it is a mixture of different spices.

4. Cloves


Cloves are another popular cardamom substitute. It has a strong aroma and a slightly bitter minty taste. When used in the right proportion, it can be used as one of the best cardamom substitutes.

Cloves like cardamom can be added to both sweet and savory dishes. However, it has a very strong taste profile, and therefore, before using it as a substitute, one should do a quick taste test.

5. Ginger


Ginger is a root vegetable and is one of the widely used and mostly available cardamom substitutes. It has a lightly sweet and peppery flavor with a strong aroma. 

When added fresh, ginger adds a warm and peppery flavor to the dishes. It is often used in sweet and savory dishes. It is just as perfect as cardamom in tea and beverages.

However, when it is boiled, its taste lightens. But one should be careful about not overcooking ginger. Over-cooked ginger has a bitter taste which might totally spoil your dish. 

Since ginger has a very strong taste, it should only be added in small quantities compared to cardamom. One teaspoon of shredded ginger equals two teaspoons of ground cardamom.

6. Allspice


Allspice is called allspice for a reason. Its flavor is almost a mix of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, and cardamom. And for the same reason, allspice can be a reliable cardamom substitute. 

Also known as pimento, allspice is a dried berry. The taste of allspice is spicy with a warm and smoky undertone. Therefore it can be used as a cardamom substitute in sweet and savory dishes.

It is a common ingredient in Indian as well as Caribbean dishes. You can buy in whole or ground form. It can be used for cooking as well as garnishing.

7. Mace


Mace is the outer covering of nutmeg. It has a slight cinnamon-like flavor and can be used as a cardamom substitute in most dishes.

Mace is often found in red and orange color, and sometimes it can also be found in yellow color. It, like cardamom, has multiple health benefits as well. However, it creates a mint-like mouthfeel. 

Even though it is nutmeg’s outer cover, it is not as aromatic as nutmeg. However, you can use mace as a cardamom substitute in garnishing. Just use one-third teaspoon of ground mace instead of one teaspoon of ground cardamom.

8. Coriander Seeds

Coriander seeds

Coriander seed has a sweet and spicy taste and can be considered one of the best cardamom substitutes.

Coriander seeds work just as cardamom in most dishes, especially in baking. It doesn’t have the exact taste of cardamom; however, it works well when used as a cardamom substitute.

Moreover, you can also use coriander leaves in place of cardamom. Coriander leaves work as a cardamom substitute as a garnish in curries and gravies.

9. Cumin 


Cumin has a sweet aroma and earthy flavor profile. These little seeds can be a great cardamom substitute in most dishes. Cumin has a warm sweet taste to it. You can use it whole or in grounded form. It adds a distinctive nutty flavor to the dish. And can also be added either as a main ingredient or as a garnish.

A Short Recap For Best Cardamom Substitutes

 I am sure that by now, you must have gone through all the best substitutes for cardamom. However, are you confused about which one would work best in your recipes? I have broken it down further into three categories to make it easier. 

Most Suitable: The most suitable substitute for cardamom is cinnamon. 

Easily Available: ground ginger is the most easily available cardamom substitute. 

Best Flavor Profile: All Spices will give the best flavor profile when used as a substitute for cardamom. 

How To Use Cardamom Substitutes In Your Recipes


Cardamom Substitutes

Cinamon, nutmeg, applepie sauce, cloves, ginger and all spice are the best cardamom substitutes
5 from 1 vote


  • Cinnamon
  • Apple Pie Sauces
  • Cloves
  • Ginger
  • Allspices
  • Mace
  • Corriander Seeds
  • Cumin


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Final Thoughts

I hope this article helped you choose the finest cardamom substitution for your recipe now that we’ve reached the end. While cardamom is a versatile ingredient, it may also be easily substituted.

All of the above-mentioned alternate options, however, are excellent choices. You can choose what will work best for your recipe and flavor profile. However, if you are ready to take a risk, try mixing two of the above-mentioned spices to get that perfect cardamom substitute!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best cardamom substitute in tea?

Ginger is one of the best cardamom substitutes ones can use in tea.

Can I substitute cardamom for nutmeg?

Yes. Both cardamom and nutmeg have an exotic aroma and minty flavor which are very close to each other. Therefore cardamom can be used as a nutmeg substitute and vice versa.

Can I use cinnamon as a cardamom substitute?

Yes. Cinnamon has a very strong flavor and fresh aroma and can be sued as a cardamom substitute in most dishes.

Can I use coriander leaves as a cardamom substitute?

Coriander leaves have a mild flavor when compared to cardamom. However, it can be used as a cardamom substitute in a variety of dishes like curries and soups.

What flavor is similar to cardamom?

Cinnamon and nutmeg have the closest flavor profile when compared to cardamom.

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