How Many Teaspoons of Whole Allspice and Ground Allspice Do I Need?

What Is Allspice?

Allspice is a cooking spice that has a unique, sweet and “warm” flavor. You may sometimes see it referred to as pimento berry oil or Jamaican pepper.

It’s not a spice blend but actually one healing spice made from the ground brown berries of the tropical Pimenta dioica plant, which is native to Jamaica, the West Indies and Central America.

Why is allspice called allspice? It supposedly earned its name from European settlers in the 17th century because it resembles the taste of a combination of clove, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Still today it’s commonly combined with these spices in recipes, such as gingerbread cookies and apple pie. It’s also one of the most prominent spices used to make jerk seasoning and pumpkin pie spice.

In terms of how it tastes, many people find it to be most similar to clove. Both spices contain the compound called eugenol, which has a signature warm aroma and flavor.

Allspice also contains cineole caryophyllene, which is described as tasting woody and fresh.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The “coverage” chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food

4 Cinnamon

Contains more Magnesium +125% Contains more Phosphorus +76.6% Contains more Potassium +142.2% Contains more Copper +63.1% Contains more Calcium +51.6% Contains more Iron +17.8% Contains less Sodium -87% Contains more Zinc +81.2%

Allspice Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 199% 265% 97% 49% 93% 11% 28% 185% Cinnamon Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 301% 312% 43% 28% 39% 2% 50% 114%

Contains more Magnesium +125% Contains more Phosphorus +76.6% Contains more Potassium +142.2% Contains more Copper +63.1% Contains more Calcium +51.6% Contains more Iron +17.8% Contains less Sodium -87% Contains more Zinc +81.2%


Pie Spice Blends

Pumpkin pie spice and apple pie spice are blends that you can substitute for an equal measure of ground allspice, even if you’re not making pie. These spice mixes typically contain a mixture of allspice and other spices that are similar in flavor. Pumpkin pie spice usually blends allspice with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Apple pie spice is usually heavier on the cinnamon, while also incorporating allspice and nutmeg.

Some other benefits include:

  • Its many antioxidants (especially eugenol) treat gas, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, and bloating.
  • It’s anesthetic and analgesic properties relax the muscles.
  • Restores hormone balance during menopause, which may assist in relieving ‘hot flashes’.
  • Helps to prevent bacterial infections.

Best Substitutes for Allspice

Fortunately, allspice’s signature flavor, though unique, is not impossible to imitate. To select the right alternative, look for spices with a balance of warmth, sweetness, and hint of bite.

Also, do not forget about color. In recipes where appearance matters, stick to substitutes with a deep brown hue. Use any of the following spices—or a blend of all three—as a suitable substitute for allspice.


Of all the options for allspice alternatives, ground cloves may be the best. Their dark color is nearly a match for allspice’s deep brown, so they will not change the appearance of foods.

As for flavor, their combination of sweetness and pungency is a close cousin to allspice. Still, you may find cloves leave a stronger impression than allspice—so try adding them gradually, if possible. Cloves also are not known for being as peppery as allspice.

Depending on your recipe, feel free to sprinkle in a bit of black pepper to create the same flavor profile.

Ground cloves can be substituted for ground allspice with a one-to-one ratio. Because they are low in almost all nutrients, using them will not dramatically change the nutrition in a finished food.


There is a reason you will often see allspice paired with nutmeg—the two have a strikingly similar flavor. Like allspice, nutmeg is also harvested in whole pods from an evergreen tree—though it originates in Indonesia, not Central America.

However, nutmeg’s flavor is somewhat simpler and nuttier than that of allspice.

When possible, start with a one-to-two ratio of nutmeg to allspice and work your way up, tasting as you go. If the recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon of allspice, for example, start with 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg.

To recreate the signature kick of allspice in savory dishes, again, try a dash of pepper alongside the nutmeg. Swapping nutmeg for allspice will not make any significant nutrition changes and is not likely to change the appearance of foods either.

The Risky Side Effects of a Nutmeg High


Are you still perusing the spice cabinet? Here is one last common option you are likely to have on hand when the allspice jar is empty—cinnamon.

With its milder, sweeter flavor, cinnamon may not be as ideal as spicier cloves or nutmeg.

But in a pinch, its pleasant earthiness will do just fine. And do not forget about that extra sprinkle-of-pepper option.

Because cinnamon’s taste is not overpowering, you can add it to recipes with a one-to-one ratio to allspice. Like nutmeg and cloves, cinnamon’s color and nutrient profile are close enough to allspice for a nearly indistinguishable switch.

Cinnamon: Benefits, Side Effects, and Preparations

Usage In Cooking- Allspice Vs Nutmeg

It is no mystery that both of these spices do wonders with anything they are added to! The nutty, pungent, warm flavor of nutmeg and the complex, fresh, balmy bite of allspice is such a match made in heaven.

Both allspice and nutmeg are spices that pair really well in many recipes. Allspice features in spice mixes like Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend and Apple Pie Spice Blend complementing cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. It is also the key ingredient in the Jamaican Jerk Seasoning that could add a deep flavor to many meat and poultry dishes.

Nutmeg is extensively used in spiced desserts. It is versatile and does not overpower the overall taste of your food. But, on the contrary, allspice has a more inclination to conquer your dishes as it has an intricate flavor profile.

Risks and Side Effects

If you’re allergic to clove or similar spices, be very cautious when consuming allspice. Since these spices share similar compounds, you may experience a reaction when consuming both.

If using allspice essential oil for the first time, use a very small amount, and always combine it with a carrier oil since it can be irritating. Test your reaction before applying more.

Also avoid consuming allspice essential oil internally unless working with your doctor, since it can be toxic to ingest in some cases.

What Is Allspice Used For?

Allspice is used for cooking, baking and used in other forms as a tea or for seasoning. This seasoning is a good way to ‘spice’ up your pot. In Jamaica, this is used to season their famous Jamaican Jerk Sauce, Jamaican Jerk Cauliflower. If you haven’t tried it, believe me, the taste is spectacular!

Jamaicans use it to spruce up non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages too, for example, Jamaican Sorrel,  as well as in their soups and barbecue sauces, like Vegan Pumpkin Soup.  Allspice is not just known to be used in Jamaican cuisine but others as well. This includes Caribbean, Middle-Eastern and Latin cuisines and others.

What is a good substitute for allspice?

If you have exhausted allspice availability then use an allspice substitute that replicates its flavor profile and aroma.

By happy chance, you may already have in the spice rack other ingredients that you can use to replace allspice.

Here are a few suggestions we have for you as a replacement for allspice berry.

Blend Of Cloves, Nutmeg, and Cinnamon

Honestly, you’ll not find a single ingredient that matches the complex flavor profile of allspice.

In a pinch, you can approximate its flavor by blending three spices: cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.


  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Ground the three ingredients and blend them well in a small jar or using a mixer-grinder.

Most recipes require only a small amount of allspice. You can substitute the mixture for allspice in a 1:1 ratio.

According to the flavor profile of your recipe, you may omit nutmeg and use 2 parts of cinnamon and one part of cloves.

Ground Cloves

In place of allspice, you may use ground cloves alone or in combination with nutmeg, black peppercorns, mace, or cinnamon.

Among all these spices, clove has the strongest flavor and closest similarity to allspice. The emphatic warm flavor of clove can overpower other ingredients with a delicate flavor. If you are using ground cloves as a substitute for allspice, use it in less quantity; preferably, just half the portion.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

If you notice, one of the key ingredients in pumpkin pie spice is allspice. Besides, it also contains cinnamon and clove that have a somewhat similar flavor profile. So for this reason, pumpkin pie spice is a great alternative to allspice. Use it in a 1:1 ratio.

Where to Buy

Ground and whole allspice can be found in most supermarkets in quantities that range from less than one ounce to three ounces. For larger quantities and more affordable pricing try purchasing both at international markets and online.

Lori Rice

Whole vs. Ground

Whole allspice is the dried allspice berry. It resembles a large, medium-brown peppercorn with a similar, pebble-like firmness. Whole allspice berries are often used with other whole spices like peppercorns and clove to infuse beverages, sauces, and broths.

Ground allspice results from grinding dried whole berries. You’ll most often see ground allspice called for in rubs, sauces, and baked goods recipes. Both whole and ground allspice have a similar aroma and flavor, but ground allspice is a tad more bitter.  

To make your own ground allspice, simply pulse whole allspice berries in a spice or coffee grinder or use a mortar and pestle to create a fine powder.

Where can I buy allspice?

Allspice may not be your most-used spice, but it’s a good one to keep on a well-stocked spice rack. Look for it in the spice aisle at the grocery store. The whole berries look a lot like dried peppercorns, so double check to make sure you’re buying allspice instead of pepper! If you’re deciding between buying whole allspice berries and ground allspice to stock your spice jars, consider what you’re cooking most often: If you’re making more savory dishes like chili or stews or mulled drinks, choose whole berries. If you’re more of a baker and plan to make something sweet like cookies or pumpkin pie, choose ground.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Go up