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The Best Substitutes for Cloves

The Best Substitutes for Cloves

Cloves are aromatic, warm, and strong and can be found in both savory and sweet dishes along with drinks and desserts. If you don’t have any cloves in your spice rack, but are hoping to whip up something spice forward, you can find all of the best substitutes here.


Cloves Substitute

Ground cloves pair well with ginger like in our gingerbread muffins and quadruple ginger cookies and whole cloves are great for adding warmth to main dishes like baked ham, and spice to beverages like hot toddies. If you don’t have whole or ground cloves on hand, you can use one of the substitutes here. Both of the substitutes here are commonly used with cloves so they naturally create the same feeling as cloves in many recipes.

  • Ground allspice
    • Allspice has the same peppery notes as cloves so it makes a great substitute.
    • Use a 1-1 ratio allspice to cloves in your favorite recipe.
  • Cinnamon & Ground nutmeg
    • Using a combination of cinnamon and nutmeg recreates the essence of cloves because cinnamon balances out the strong bite of the nutmeg.

Common Cloves Substitution Questions

Substitute for Cloves in Curry

Cloves are a staple in garam masala which is an essential spice blend for curries. If you don’t have any cloves or garam masala on hand, you can use curry powder or allspice and cumin. Using 4 parts ground cumin with 1 part allspice is a great substitute for cloves and garam masala in curries.

Cloves Substitute in Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie spice doesn’t always contain cloves. Usually pumpkin pie spice is a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and sometimes allspice or cloves. If you don’t have any cloves, be sure to use allspice in the mixture. Take a look at our substitutes for pumpkin pie spice for more information on these substitutes.

Whole Cloves to Ground Cloves Conversion

To use ground cloves instead of whole cloves, use ¾ teaspoon ground cloves for every 1 teaspoon whole cloves called for in the recipe.



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