Some recipes call for candied ginger, but it isn’t the easiest type of candy to purchase. If you don’t have candied ginger, what are some things that you can use instead?
Well, you are in luck because we have listed 9 things that you can use as substitutes for candied ginger.
1. Fresh Ginger and Sugar
It should come as no surprise that the best replacement option for candied ginger is going to be ginger and sugar, the two ingredients candied ginger is made of. However, while you now have the needed materials, you do have to worry about what ratios you are supposed to use.
It has been found that you should do 2 tablespoons of ginger and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar for every 1/2 cup of candied ginger you are replacing. You are going to want to add these two ingredients at the same time in order to make it as though you are using candied ginger, or your dish might not turn out right.
2. Powdered Ginger
The only other option that I will talk about that directly uses ginger, and no other spices are using a mix of powdered ginger and granulated sugar. This is very similar to the fresh ginger and sugar that I talked about previously. However, the ratio that you will use is going to be a bit different.
If using powdered ginger, you are going to want to put 4 teaspoons of powdered ginger and 4 teaspoons of granulated sugar into their own bowl. Then mix the two ingredients with 2 teaspoons of water. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes, then add it to the dish that you are working on.
3. Chopped Nuts
Chopped nuts are an option that you should only use if you don’t have any of the other spices mentioned previously and can’t get a hold of them, as it isn’t a perfect substitute. But, you can use chopped nuts as a candied ginger replacement. You will want to combine 1 teaspoon of chopped walnuts with 1 teaspoon of chopped pecans, then add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or zest and 1 teaspoon of sugar to the mixture.
With this mixture, you will get close to the right texture and have the sweetness from the lemon, but the dessert you make won’t have a ginger flavor to it. So, while this mixture will be the closest you can get to candied ginger without any kind of ginger in it, consider your options before choosing to use chopped nuts as a candied ginger substitute.
Allspice is somewhat similar to ginger in the fact that it is very versatile and used in both baking and cooking. Because allspice has a nice balance between a sweet and spicy taste, people find that it has a ginger-like profile. However, allspice is much stronger than ginger and doesn’t work the best in baked goods.
So, what you’re going to want to do is use 1/2 teaspoon of allspice for every teaspoon of ginger that is needed. If the flavor isn’t as strong as you’d like, you can add a bit more to reach the flavor you want, but you shouldn’t go over a 1-to-1 ratio.
One spice that you are likely going to have in your pantry that you can use as a candied ginger substitute is nutmeg. Like several of the other spices on this list, nutmeg is similar to ginger in that it is both sweet and a bit spicy.
Since nutmeg works really well in baked dishes, it can be a great substitute for candied ginger. However, nutmeg is a strong spice, so you will only want to add 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg for every 1 teaspoon of candied ginger the recipe asks for. To give it a more sweet flavor, you will also want to add 1 teaspoon of sugar along with the nutmeg. You can add more nutmeg to get a stronger flavor if you want.
Mace is another spice that comes from the same tree as nutmeg, so it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that mace, nutmeg, and ginger all have similar taste profiles. However, mace isn’t nearly as strong as nutmeg, so if you are planning on using mace as a substitute for candied ginger, you are going to use a 1-to-1 ratio of mace to candied ginger.
Remember to also add an equal amount of sugar to avoid losing any of the sweetness that comes from candied ginger.
Cardamom is a spice that is frequently used in Southeast Asian cooking, and it has a very similar flavor profile to ginger. Just like you should with all of the other replacement spices, you are going to want to use less of the spice to avoid any significant changes to the dish’s flavor. You will want to put 1/2 teaspoon for every teaspoon of candied ginger the recipe calls for.
While many of the other possibilities are better suited for more savory dishes, if you are making a dessert, you are going to want to use cinnamon or a mixture of cinnamon and sugar as a substitute for candied ginger.
If you are just adding cinnamon, the ratio you will want to use will be 1/4 teaspoon for every teaspoon of ginger that the recipe asks for. However, with cinnamon sugar, you will want to use 1/2 teaspoon for every teaspoon of ginger.
9. Pumpkin Pie Spice
A solid replacement for candied ginger is pumpkin pie spice because pumpkin pie spice is a combination of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. This is going to change the taste a bit, but if you start with a ratio of 1/4 teaspoon for every 1 teaspoon of candied ginger, you will be able to regulate how strongly the spices affect the flavor of what you are making.
If the flavor isn’t strong enough, you can always add more. You will also want to add sugar in order to get the sweetness that comes from candied ginger, or the dessert you use this alternative in won’t be as sweet as you expect it to be.
Thanks for stoppin’ by!
Anne James has a wealth of expertise in a wide array of interests, including quilting, cooking, gardening, camping, and making jelly.
She has a professional canning business and has been featured in the local newspaper, and has been her family canner for decades. Anyone growing up in the South knows that there is always a person in the family who has knowledge of the “old ways,” and this is exactly what Anne is.
With over 55 years of experience in these endeavors, she brings a level of hands-on knowledge that is hard to surpass.
Lovingly known as “Jelly Grandma” by her grandkids, Anne hopes your visit here has been a sweet one.