8 Best Cinnamon Substitutes To Try

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Ran out of cinnamon and thought about what to do with the rest of the batches of cookies? No worries! Stay here and find some best cinnamon substitutes that you can try in your baking. You can find cinnamon in a variety of desserts as well as some savory dishes. 

cinnamon powder on surface

Cinnamon is a fragrant spice derived from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree and is available in quills, sticks, or freshly ground powder. It can also be used medicinally and add a sweet and savory element to dishes worldwide, from cinnamon rolls and snickerdoodles to Mexican dishes. 

However, in the middle of time, if you run out of cinnamon, you can choose any of these substitutes based on your recipe taste profile. So, let’s find out what type of cinnamon alternatives you can incorporate in your recipe preps. 

So, now you must be wondering what the substitutes for cinnamon are? The best substitutes for cinnamon are nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cardamom, pumpkin pie seasoning, cloves, mace, and star anise. 

Interesting, right? The best part about these substitutes is that they have top-notch flavors. They can work awesomely, just like cinnamon in your recipes. So, you don’t compromise on the rich taste of cinnamon in one of your recipes. One happy news after another! Ok, I’ll calm down. I’ll tell you all you need to know about cinnamon first, and then we’ll move to its list of substitutes. Let’s go!

Quick Peek: Cinnamon 

cinnamon powder in bowl

So, this section is a little course on cinnamon. It contains everything about these ingredients’ texture, flavor, uses, and health benefits. Let’s begin, shall we?

What Is Cinnamon?

Cinnamon is a spice that goes well with toast and lattes. It is mostly used in cooking, baking, and various meals. The extracts from the cinnamon tree’s bark, leaves, blossoms, fruits, and roots have been utilized in traditional medicine for thousands of years. 

Cinnamon is currently the second most popular spice in the United States and Europe after black pepper. Cinnamon is grown in several countries worldwide, including Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, and China. Ceylon and cassia are the two most common varieties seen in cinnamon. 

Cinnamon is a spice derived from the branches of the Cinnamomum family of trees. Its native range includes the Caribbean, South America, and Southeast Asia.

Cinnamon is offered as a spice in powder form or as pieces of bark. People can also take supplements and use cinnamon essential oil. Cinnamon has a sweet yet woody flavor with a slight lemony note.

Describing Cinnamon: Flavor And Texture

Wondering what cinnamon tastes like? Cinnamon has a woody, sweet and spicy flavor, which is unique on its own. It is often compared to the potent punch of cloves. Aside from texture, there is no difference in flavor between ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks. 

Cinnamon is available in mainly two forms; stick and powder. Cinnamon sticks are spicier and have a clean, woody flavor, although freshly ground cinnamon also has these attributes. Cinnamon is a warm, spicy spice that is hot, aromatic, and bitter. 

It’s not extremely sweet, but the lack of tartness allows for a sweet experience. You probably know what cinnamon tastes like if you’ve eaten nutmeg, yet cinnamon is the “sweeter” spice. 

Talking about the texture of cinnamon, the cinnamon stick is incredibly hard; you wouldn’t want to chew it. Rather, you soak it in liquid to release its powerful flavors. Cinnamon powder is fine, dry, and fluffy, similar to all-purpose flour. When added to a beverage or recipe, it leaves no sign of powdery texture.

Uses Of Cinnamon

Cinnamon is considered one of the world’s most delicious and aromatic spices. It is also a popular choice among almost everyone. Cinnamon can be found in a wide range of foods, including baked goods, mulled wine, curries, and casseroles. 

The bark of the Cinnamomum tree is actually a beloved ingredient used in kitchens all over the world to flavor beverages, desserts, entrees, and side dishes. Cinnamon has been treasured throughout the ages for its delightfully spicy flavor and powerful smell and is used in sweet and savory foods.

Cinnamon is a sweet and aromatic spice that is commonly used in toasts and lattes. However, extracts from the cinnamon tree’s bark, leaves, blossoms, fruits, and roots have been utilized in traditional medicine for thousands of years. It is used in cooking, baking, and various meals.

Cinnamon is a surprisingly versatile spice, but it is most commonly associated with Christmas. A slight sweetness and smokiness characterize this spice’s aroma. Many people associate cinnamon with Christmas.

Cinnamon On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

Cinnamon is a sweet and healthful spice commonly used in French toast, coffee, and morning pastries. Cinnamon is created by drying the stems of cinnamon trees into what we know as cinnamon sticks. These cinnamon sticks can also be processed into cinnamon powder. Cinnamaldehyde is the oily portion of cinnamon that gives it its distinct sweet and spicy scent and flavor.

This chemical is responsible for cinnamon’s health effects in various ways. Cinnamon is beneficial for diabetics and also helps manage blood sugar levels. Moreover, it also controls cholesterol and is great for weight-loss goals.

Why Use A Substitute For Cinnamon?

This question might have popped into your mind. Cinnamon is the most important spice in many kitchens. However, even in a lot of professional kitchens, cinnamon is used. So, let us look at why you can use cinnamon substitutes. 

If you run out of cinnamon and need a pinch to add flavor quickly, you can choose one of these substitutes to replicate the taste of cinnamon. Cinnamon has a distinct warm flavor that you can easily match with these cinnamon alternatives. 

Don’t like the spicy and sweet taste of cinnamon in your dishes? No worries! You can always replace cinnamon with other substitutes and enjoy a different type of taste and flavors. 

Last but not least, if you are allergic to cinnamon spices, don’t be too sad! This article will teach you about the best cinnamon substitutes that will work wonderfully for you. So, you never fail to make some delicious and flavorful dishes. 

I may have saturated you with enough information on cinnamon. Now, let me quickly guide you through the best cinnamon substitutes without any further ado!

Other Food Substitutes You Can Try

8 Best Cinnamon Substitutes 

This section lists all the substitutes you can use in place of cinnamon. Moreover, you will also get to understand what recipes the substitutes work best in and the substitution ratio. 

1. Nutmeg 

nutmeg in the bowl

Nutmeg comes with a similar sweetness to cinnamon. It is the best substitute for cinnamon. Nutmeg is also good for baking. Nutmeg is derived from the nutmeg tree. It is available in either a whole or ground form.

We can get the idea from the name of this ingredient. Just like the name, nutmeg has a mild nutty flavor. It also has a hint of floral spice. Nutmeg is one of the popular spices. It can be used in recipes alongside cinnamon. These two spices have a naturally similar flavor. You can use nutmeg easily when you do not have cinnamon around you.

Nutmeg also has a sweet flavor touch, just like cinnamon. That is why both spices can be used in sweet and savory dishes. Nutmeg has a long life which is a plus thing. You can easily store this spice for a long, and it will not spoil.

2. Allspice

allspice powder in the bowl

Allspice is a spice that confuses many folks. Just like the name, you might think it combines all spices. It is the best substitute for cinnamon. Allspice contains notes of nutmeg, black pepper, cinnamon, and cloves. So basically, it is a flavored combination of many spices.

If we talk about allspice berries, they do not contain any of these other spices. Allspice is derived from the dried unripe berry of tree spices. Talking about the allspice berry as a whole looks like a large black peppercorn. Grinding allspice can give a robust and warm flavor. This thing makes them a great substitute for cinnamon.

Allspice has a very strong flavor, like cloves. It can completely change the mood of your dish. You always need to use a third part of the cinnamon. You can use allspice in powder form or as a whole. Turning your chicken or pork into a party flavor is easy with allspice as it is a blend of herbs and spices.

We can make amazing pumpkin pie, spice cake, and cookies. Allspice has plant compounds and antioxidant properties.

3. Ginger


A well-known and flavourful spice that we all know is ginger. Ginger is harvested from the underground stem ginger plant. It is the best substitute for cinnamon. Ginger comes and can be diluted in so many forms and variants. Ginger can be processed and sold in many ways.

There are many ways to use ginger: dried, ground, crystalized, pickled, and so on. You can use a dry form of ginger as an alternative to cinnamon. Ginger is much stronger than cinnamon. You should always combine ginger with something else to use it as a substitute for cinnamon.

We can make a really good sweet dish with ginger. Balancing the heat of ginger in your dish is very important. You can add other flavourful spices like cloves and nutmeg. You can also add any flavourful spice like vanilla extract. That thing adds a bit of extra sweetness to a recipe. For savory applications, try pairing ginger with smokey spice or cumin. That works well as a substitute for cinnamon.

4. Cardamom

cardamom in the bowl

Cardamom is a spice that can be more readily used than cinnamon. However, cardamom and cinnamon are both spices that have their signature flavor. But we can consider cardamom as a good substitute for cinnamon.

Cardamom spice comes with its pods. It takes a bit to use and grind it. We need to remove the pods of cardamom to use it. You can also remove cardamom pods after adding them to your dishes. Removing pods at the end of your recipe can leave the herbaceous flavor to your dish.

You can use the cardamom in the same ratio as cinnamon. Cardamom has a sweet, earthy, and nutty flavor. Replacing the woody flavor of cinnamon with cardamom is always a good idea. Cardamom comes in two colors, black and green. Green cardamom is a more perfect substitute for cinnamon than black.

5. Pumpkin Pie Seasoning

pumpkin pie seasoning in the spoon

A nice blend of all spices is called pumpkin pie seasoning. This spice includes ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Some pumpkin pie seasonings also include allspice. This is a good substitute for pumpkin pie seasoning.

 Brands have created pumpkin pie spices for the flavoring. You can still use them in recipes as a substitute for cinnamon. If you are making sweet and baked goods, this is the best substitute for plain cinnamon. In recipes, you can use pumpkin pie seasoning as a 1:1 replacement for cinnamon. They are perfect for cookies, cakes, and bread. Just keep in mind that combining cinnamon with other spices will have a slightly different flavor than plain cinnamon.

6. Cloves 

Cloves in a bowl

Using clove or using cinnamon is almost the same.No doubt both spices can be used in each other’s place. But when you combine them, it creates different flavors. Clove buds produce from aromatic blossoms of the tree and become cloves. Cloves have so many health benefits. They have antibacterial and antioxidant properties.

Cloves have been utilized as a natural treatment. It is also one of the best ayurvedic medicines, mostly used for food preservation and preparation. Cloves have a strong sweet yet slightly bitter flavor. These spices are often combined with other spices like ginger and nutmeg. Suppose you are looking for baking essentials, then clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Their flavors and scents are similar, and they are frequently used interchangeably.

Clove, like cinnamon and nutmeg, is a popular spice. You can make good savory dishes with them. These spices are even excellent for baking sweet desserts and pies.

Cloves are much stronger in flavor than cinnamon. Use very few cloves to replace them with cinnamon. The correct ratio is 1:1. 1 teaspoon clove should be used instead of 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

7. Mace

mace on the green leaf surface

Mace is the shell of the nutmeg fruit. Basically, nutmeg is the powdered seed of the nutmeg fruit. It has a sweet and earthy flavor. But it is not as sweet as nutmeg. It is also pungent and spicy, similar to cinnamon.

There is a belief that mace tastes more like cinnamon than nutmeg. The flavor of the mace is frequently described as a cross flavor. It is between cinnamon and pepper. Because mace has a strong peppery flavor, it is best used as a substitute for cinnamon in savory foods.

One teaspoon of cinnamon can be replaced with 1/4 teaspoon of mace. It’s great if you have both nutmeg and mace on hand. Nutmeg and mace can create an excellent combination. They are the best cinnamon alternative. When combined, they make an excellent cinnamon alternative. You will not feel the absence of cinnamon.

8. Star Anise

star anise on surface

Star anise is most likely combined with cinnamon. It comes with a similar texture but a completely different shape. They are just like their name. A star-shaped spice. Star anise has a flavor that is similar to cinnamon and licorice.

Star anise’s aniseed flavor. You can see by reading the name. They add something different than cinnamon. It has the same warmth and scent as cinnamon. However, with a little difference, star anise has a stronger flavor.

The aniseed flavor, on the other hand, is not overbearing. You won’t taste like you sliced up a licorice root for your curry because it has less sweetness. Star anise is best suitable for savory dishes. Anise star is usually sold in its solid star shape and not crushed. So, just like cloves, star anise must be removed from meals before consumption.

Star anise is not harmful to your health. As with cloves, they have a very strong flavor that is not particularly pleasant to eat.

Short Recap

Here is a short recap of the best cinnamon substitutes.

Best Cinnamon Substitutes In Terms Of Flavor and Texture –

The best cinnamon substitute in terms of flavor and texture is nutmeg.

Best Cinnamon Substitutes In Terms Of Spice Level –

  1. Allspice 
  2. Ginger

Best Cinnamon Substitutes To Least Consider –

  1. Star Anise
  2. Mace

How To Use Cinnamon Substitutes In Your Recipes

cinnamon powder on surface

Cinnamon Substitutes

Ran out of cinnamon and thought about what to do with the rest of the batches of cookies? No worries! Stay here and find some best cinnamon substitutes that you can try in your baking.
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  • Nutmeg
  • Allspice
  • Ginger
  • Cardamom
  • Pumpkin Pie Seasoning
  • Cloves
  • Mace
  • Star Anise


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does cinnamon help in weight loss?

Yes! Cinnamon water stimulates metabolism and aids in fat burning. It also helps in suppressing appetite and cravings.

Can cinnamon cause periods?

Yes! Cinnamon can help your body regulate insulin levels, which can affect other hormones and the menstrual cycle.

What are the benefits of cinnamon?

Cinnamon can help gut health, manage blood pressure, aid in weight loss, and stress management, and also improve the metabolism of the body.

How much cinnamon a day is okay?

Using ½ tsp to 1 tsp a day is a good consumption of cinnamon in a day. 

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