Substitute for cinnamon

Substitute for cinnamon
Substitute for cinnamon

Cinnamon is a type of spice got from the inner back of many species of trees belonging to genus is used widely as a flavoring and aromatic in many cuisines, savory, sweet meals, cereals, tea, snacks and traditional dishes. The taste and smell of cinnamon are obtained from essential oil, cinnamaldehyde, and several components of eugenol. Nutrient composition per 100g is 1,035KJ, 80.6g carbohydrates, 1.2g fat, 4g fat, 3.8mg vitamin C, 2.3mg vitamin E and 31.2mg vitamin K. minerals available are 100% calcium, 64% iron, 17%magnesium, 9% phosphorus, 9% potassium, 1% sodium and 19% zinc. Cinnamon has antioxidants; anti-inflammatory properties prevent heart diseases and lower blood sugar. Below are the substitutes of cinnamon.

1. Cardamom

Cardamom is a type of spice obtained from seeds of plants belonging to the Zingiberaceae family. The spice has a strong taste and an intensely aromatic fragrance. It is used in cooking and flavoring spices in drink, food and acts as medicine. Also, cardamom can be smoked. Nutritional facts per 100g are 311 calories, 7g total fat, 18mg sodium, 1,119mg potassium, 68g carbohydrate, 28g dietary fiber, and 11g protein. Vitamins and minerals are 35% vitamin C, 10% vitamin B-6 77% iron, 57% magnesium and 38% calcium. Health benefits are antimicrobial ability, breath freshener, and liver health, anti-cancer properties, prevent ulcers, and improve heart health.


This is a good substitute for cinnamon especially in Indian and Nepal dishes. Nordic countries like Finland, Sweden and Norway use it in baking. On the other hand, it serves as spice, flavor for tea and coffee in Middle East countries.

2. Allspice berries

Allspice is a single berry obtained from the Jamaican bayberry tree. The spice is highly flavored and used in seasonings, sauces, apple pie, and gingerbread. Nutritional value in 100g is 263 calories, 9g fat, 77mg sodium, 1,044mg potassium, 22g fiber, and 6g protein. Vitamins and minerals are 10% vitamin A, 65% vitamin C, 10% vitamin B-6, 66% calcium, 39% iron, and 33% magnesium. Allspice relieves aches, pains, antiseptic properties, antioxidant, anti-cancer properties, stomach upsets, vomiting, and nausea.


Use ¼ amounts to replace cinnamon until you achieve taste. It has the same flavor like cinnamon and creates a good substitute in desert recipes.

3. Mace

Mace is obtained from the nutmeg tree that is found in Grenada and Indonesia. It should not be confused with nutmeg tastes because it is pungent. Mace is found outside and protects nutmeg which is found inside. nutritional fact in 100g includes 475 calories, 32g total fat, 80mg sodium, 51g carbohydrate, 20g dietary fiber, 6.7g protein, 463mg potassium, 252mg calcium, and 13.90mg iron. Mace has essential vitamins, minerals, and oil and antioxidant compounds. It is used as traditional medicine as an anti-depressant, antifungal, digestive, carminative, and aphrodisiac. The presence of iron helps in the production of red blood cells and co-factor for enzymes. Copper and manganese act as anti-oxidant. Mace has eugenol which helps toothache problems. Other treatments are reducing pain, gastritis, nausea, and indigestion problems.


Mace has sharper and less sweet flavor hence the best substitute for cinnamon in many savory recipes. Use ¼ amounts in your dishes. Furthermore, it costs higher than nutmeg because of the intense aroma.

4. Nutmeg

Nutmeg is a ground spice or seed got from various species. It is consumed as a spice but a large amount can cause allergic reactions. Nutmeg is used to flavor dishes, spice soups, and meat dishes like beef stew. Nutritional facts in 100g are 36g fat, 525 calories, 16mg sodium, 6g protein, 350mg potassium, 2% vitamin A, 5% vitamin C, 16% iron, 45% magnesium and 10% vitamin B-6. The spice relieves pain, insomnia, improves digestion, brain health, and oral health, protects the liver, and regulates blood pressure. It also acts as an anti-depressant, anti-cancer, promotes skincare, low cholesterol levels, anti-diarrhea, and contains anticonvulsant properties.


Best substitute and has same taste like cinnamon. Give best results in baked foods.

5. Ginger

Ginger is a plant with flowers and the roots serve as spice and medicine. Nutritional facts per 100g are 80 calories, 0.8g fat, 13mg sodium, 1.8g protein,18g carbs, 1% calcium, 10% magnesium, 3% iron, 8% vitamin C, and 10% vitamin B-6. Ginger fights germs, soothes nausea, relief pain, low blood sugar, ease period pains, lowers cholesterol, and contains antibacterial properties. Also, protects the body from diseases, relieves indigestion, ease arthritis, and prevents the growth of cancer.


Ginger is an amazing substitute with various benefits. Some people drink it in tea in order to cure several infections.

6. Ground cloves

Ground cloves are used to flavor sauces, rice, and meat dishes. It can be combined with cinnamon and nutmeg to get a perfect combination of spice. Nutritional facts are 47KJ energy, 8% carbs, 6% protein, 0.5% fat, 14% fiber, 0.5% vitamin A, 20% vitamin C, 1% vitamin E and 12% vitamin K. minerals are 4% calcium, 27% copper, 16% iron, 15% magnesium, 11% manganese, 13% phosphorus, 21% zinc and 13% selenium. It prevents diabetes, cancer, maintains oral health, reduces obesity, and rich in antioxidants. Moreover, ground cloves help to cure constipation problems, indigestion, control blood pressure, improve heart rate, maintain healthy skin, vision, mucosa, and assists the body to resist infections.


They are spicy, sweet, earthly substitute for cinnamon.

7. Vanilla beans

They come from orchid fruit known as vanilla planifolia. It is sweet, creamy, smooth as well as flavored. Nutritional amount per 100g are 288 calories, 0.1g fat, 9mg sodium, 13g carbs, 0.1g protein,3% magnesium, and 1% calcium. Vanillas helps to relieve anxiety, reduce acne, promote digestion, eases respiratory problems, weight loss, reduce cholesterol levels, strengthen hair, and have healing properties.


Sweet replacement used in dessert recipes.

8. Fennel or anise seeds

Fennel belongs to the carrot family. The seeds give a sweet taste in a wide range of cuisines. Nutritional facts found in 100g are 31 calories, 0.2g fat, 52mg sodium,414mg potassium, 7g carbs, 1.2g protein,4% calcium, 3% iron, 4% magnesium and 20% vitamin C. anise seeds boost metabolism, improves eyesight, encourage urination, treat hypertension, prevent glaucoma, reduce stress, and gas. Lastly, it detoxifies the body, regulates appetite, and stimulates the production of milk in lactating mothers, speeds digestion, and clear mucus.


Anise seeds are one of the best replacements for savory and sweet dishes. The seeds are sweet but have bitter edges.

Summary Table

Ingredient Substitute Flavor Profile Texture Best Used In Source
Cardamom Cinnamon and Cloves Warm, aromatic, citrusy Spice Sweets, curries, beverages Spice section
Allspice Berries Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Cloves Warm, sweet, peppery Hard, dried berries Sweet and savory dishes Spice section
Mace Nutmeg Similar to nutmeg, milder Hard, dried outer covering Sweets, baked goods, sauces Spice section
Nutmeg Mace Warm, nutty, slightly sweet Hard, dried seed Sweets, savory dishes Spice section
Ginger Ground Cloves Spicy, aromatic, warming Spice Baking, sweets, drinks Spice section
Ground Cloves Cinnamon and Nutmeg Warm, sweet, slightly peppery Spice Sweets, spiced dishes Spice section
Vanilla Beans Vanilla Extract Sweet, floral, aromatic Soft, moist beans Baking, desserts Baking aisle
Fennel or Anise Seeds Star Anise Anise-like, slightly sweet Seeds Baking, sausage making, teas Spice section


What is the closest spice to cinnamon?

Nutmeg is a spice that is often considered to be closest in flavor profile to cinnamon. It has a warm and slightly sweet taste, similar to cinnamon.

Does Allspice have cinnamon in it?

No, allspice is a separate spice not made up of cinnamon. Allspice comes from the dried berries of the Pimenta dioica plant and has a flavor reminiscent of a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

What can I use instead of cinnamon in Indian food?

In Indian cuisine, you can use cardamom or nutmeg as substitutes for cinnamon. These spices can provide a similar warm and aromatic quality to your dishes.

Can I substitute cinnamon for cloves?

While cinnamon and cloves have distinct flavors, you can use a small amount of ground cinnamon as a substitute for cloves if needed. Keep in mind that the flavor will be different, but cinnamon can provide a hint of warmth and spice similar to cloves.


Ji Eun Kim

Written by Ji Eun Kim

Don't listen to anyone who says you can't be vegan and do well in sports and fitness. Vegans can do great, look good, and feel awesome!

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