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Cardamom Substitute In Baking: 4 Great Options

Cardamom Substitute In Baking: 4 Great Options

Cardamom is a great spice for baking, but when it’s not available, I’m here to help you find a suitable cardamom substitute in baking and answer FAQs

Because cardamom has a unique flavor, looking for a spice to replace it can be tricky, but the good news is there are common substitutes that work well. 

Here, ourtop four cardamom substitutes in baking include:

SubstituteRatio to Cardamom
Nutmeg1/2 teaspoon for 1 teaspoon
Allspice1/2 teaspoon for 1 teaspoon

Cardamom, very popular in Indian cooking, isn’t quite as well known in American cuisine. It’s a spice that can add a warm, aromatic, tempered citrus, and slightly peppery flavor to your creations. It’s often used in baking to add depth and complexity to cakes, cookies, breads, and other desserts. I love using it in curries, stews, and other savory dishes.

Before we take a closer look at substitutes for cardamom in baking recipes, let’s learn more about its taste and how it can enhance baked goods and more.

Understanding Cardamom In Baking

So, what’s the deal with cardamom? Cardamom adds a warm, sweet, mild citrus, and floral flavor to baked goods and helps enhance the other tastes in the recipe.

It’s a widely recognized spice used in cakes, cookies, breads, and pastries. I often use it in muffins, waffles, and pancakes, as it adds just the right amount of flavor to my creations.

Here’s atip: When baking with cardamom, start with just a little bit, and if you want more flavor, add a bit more.  You can continue adding small measures until you find the taste you’re looking for. 

Cardamom can be a strong spice, and too much can overpower the other flavors in the recipe.

Common Cardamom Substitutes

Now, let’s get to the juicy part—what to do when you run out of cardamom. Here are some great alternatives that you can use as substitutes for the spice, including the proper way to use them:


Ginger has a similar warm and spicy flavor to cardamom. It can be used in equal amounts to cardamom in baking recipes. Where cardamom plays it safe, though, ginger is wild. 

If a recipe calls for one teaspoon of ground cardamom, substitute one teaspoon of ground ginger.


Nutmeg has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor that can complement the other flavors in a baking recipe. You can use half the cardamom required in baking recipes. 

If a recipe calls for one teaspoon of ground cardamom,use an amount worth 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg.


Yes, cinnamon can be a substitute for cardamom in many recipes. It has a similar flavor profile, but cinnamon is very distinctive in most American baking recipes, with warm, sweet, and slightly spicy notes. 

However, since cinnamon is not an exact match for cardamom, the results may vary depending on the recipe. 

If a recipe calls for one teaspoon of ground cardamom, replace it with one teaspoon of ground cinnamon.


Allspice has a warm and spicy flavor that can replace some of the flavors of cardamom. You need only use it in half the amount of cardamom in baking recipes. 

If your dish or recipe calls for one teaspoon of ground cardamom, substituting it with 1/2 teaspoon of ground allspice should do the trick.

How To Choose The Right Substitute

Here are some things to think about when choosing which substitute is best for the dish you want to make:

Type of baked good

Think about what you’re making. For cookies and cakes, cinnamon or nutmeg can be excellent choices. But if you’re baking something exotic, like Indian sweets, you might lean toward ginger or allspice.

Personal taste

What flavors do you enjoy? If you love the warmth of cinnamon, go for it! If you’re feeling adventurous, try allspice or ginger for a little twist.

Available ingredients

Sometimes, you have to work with what you have in your pantry. If you’re out of one spice but have another, use it! Baking is all about creativity. Who knows, you might prefer it over the one that you would have used.

I would encourage you to mix and match spices to find your preferred cardamom substitute. Hopefully, you can come up with an original blend!

The bottom line

We have learned that cardamom is a great baking spice that brings flavor and aroma to your treats. But when it’s missing in action, we have alternatives to provide a similar delicious experience. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger are incredible options! 

Remember, choosing the right substitute depends on your baked goods, taste buds, and ingredient stash. So, get creative in the kitchen, and do not be afraid to experiment with these spice substitutes.

More About Cardamom

4 Best Cardamom Substitutes In Baking

4 Best Cardamom Substitutes In Baking

Cardamom is a great spice for baking, but when it's not available, I'm here to help you find a suitable cardamom substitute in baking and answer FAQs.


  • Ginger - 1:1 ratio
  • Nutmeg - ½ t for 1 t cardamom
  • Cinnamon - 1:1 ratio
  • Allspice - ½ t for 1 t cardamom


  1. Substitute cardamom for one of our top four recommended options. 
  2. Use one of the above ratios when substituting for cardamom in a recipe.

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