What is a substitute for cardamom?

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “What is a substitute for cardamom?” We will also discuss the different combinations of spices that can be used in place of cardamom. Moreover, we will also describe its flavor profile and uses.

What is a substitute for cardamom?

Because of its unique flavors, it will be hard to find a replacement for cardamom, but cinnamon is the closest to cardamom in terms of its warmth and hint of sweetness. You can substitute cardamom with the following combination of spices:

Cinnamon + allspice

Combine cinnamon and allspice in equal amounts to get the best substitute for cardamom. Therefore, 1 teaspoon of cardamom is equal to ½ teaspoon each of cinnamon and allspice. 

Although it lacks the richness and individuality of cardamom, allspice contains a hint of cardamom’s floral undertone. This makes it your best bet to replicate the flavors of cardamom. 

Cinnamon + nutmeg

Cinnamon and nutmeg make another great pair to replicate the taste of cardamom. Use 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon and ½ teaspoon nutmeg for each teaspoon of cardamom. Nutmeg also has floral notes like cardamom so this can work.

Cinnamon + Ginger

Mix equal amounts of cinnamon and ginger to use as a substitute for cardamom. You should start with less and adjust to taste. It brings out the spicy nuance of cardamom. This combination works well in savory recipes.

Cumin + coriander

Mix ½ teaspoon cumin with 1 teaspoon of coriander for flavoring curries.

Nutmeg + cloves

 You can also use ½  teaspoon of nutmeg and ½ teaspoon of cloves in place of cardamom. This combination makes a decent substitute and works especially well in savory dishes. 

What can we use in place of cardamom while baking?

Cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice work great in sweet dishes and bakery items. You can use a mixture of  ½ teaspoon of cinnamon with ½ teaspoon of nutmeg or ½ teaspoon of allspice. This combination will give you the floral, minty, and sweet flavors of cardamom.

What is the flavor profile of cardamom?

The flavors of cardamom are quite intense, the words sweet, pungent, lemony, minty, peppery, and floral can be used to describe its taste and aroma. It is more lemony than fennel and less sweet than cumin. Its unique flavor profile makes it suitable for use in both sweet and savory dishes.

Although both whole cardamom pods and ground cardamom are products of the same plant, they do differ in their flavors and use. The tiny black seeds inside the cardamom pods contain the essential oils that give the spice its distinct flavors. When they turn into their ground form, they quickly lose their flavors. 

This means that they have a very less shelf life so for better utilization, you should purchase the cardamom powder in less quantity or even better if you buy whole cardamom pods and just grind the cardamom pods by yourself when it is needed. Be careful not to use too much of it, this may mess up your flavors.

Do cinnamon and cardamom taste the same?

Cinnamon and cardamom do have some similarities but they do not taste the same at all. Cinnamon brings more woody and citrusy flavors to the table but cardamom gives an earthy, minty, herbal, and floral aroma with a hint of lemon. 

Due to their warm and sweet nature, they are often paired together in sweet and savory dishes. Both cardamom and cinnamon are widely used in making different sweet delicacies like pastries, cookies, muffins, bread, smoothies, icecreams, etc also, cardamom is much more valuable than cinnamon. 

Despite their differences, they can be used in place of each other with the right amount of spice combination.

It should be noted that they have different nutrient compositions. For detailed information, please click the link here.

What is cardamom used for?

Cardamom is popularly used as an aromatic spice in different cuisines, beverages, and bakery items. Cardamom is a perfect spice for both sweet as well as savory dishes. 

Its unique and complex flavors make the perfect savory dish. It’s citrusy, minty, spicy, and herbal all at the same time, with a strong aroma as well. 

 Due to its diuretic, antioxidant, and antiemetic properties, it is popular not just in the culinary world but is also used for different medicinal purposes. Cardamom seeds are also used in making medicines. This has even earned it the title of “Queen of spices”.

Other FAQs about Spices that you may be interested in.

Is garam masala the same as allspice?

What is the difference between masala and garam masala?

Is garam masala just curry powder?

What is cumin used for?


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “What is a substitute for cardamom?” We have also discussed the different combinations of spices that can be used in place of cardamom. Moreover, we will also describe its flavor profile and uses.