7 Excellent Cinnamon Substitutes

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Ground cinnamon is a pantry essential that most people have on hand in their spice rack or pantry closet. Although some flavors are too complicated to use on a regular basis, cinnamon is a beautifully aromatic spice that works well in both sweet and savory meals.

Cinnamon, like other often used spices, may rapidly and unexpectedly deplete your stock. You can find yourself in the middle of a dish with an empty bottle in your hand before you realize it!

Here is where we can help.

Welcome to your one-stop shop for all the greatest ground cinnamon replacements! This list includes substitutes for this popular spice in both sweet and savory dishes. Whether going to the market is out of the question, or just inconvenient, these substitutes will do your meals justice.

What is Cinnamon?

To understand why the following alternatives will work well as cinnamon substitutes, first learn a bit about cinnamon.

Cinnamon is the inner bark of an evergreen tree found in portions of eastern Asia, India, and Sri Lanka. The cinnamon tree belongs to the Lauraceae family and is linked to other laurels such as bay laurel, sassafras, and avocado. Laurels are famous for their aromatic oils, and cinnamon is no exception! The oil present in cinnamon bark is responsible for the spicy-sweet taste that cinnamon is famous for.

Cinnamon, like other laurels, offers several health advantages. Cinnamaldehyde, a fragrant molecule found in cinnamon oil, is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, cinnamon oil is antibacterial and may even help fight bacterial and viral illnesses, making it a valuable immune system supplement.

Substitutes for Cinnamon

Now that we’ve established what we’re searching for in cinnamon alternatives, let’s get started!

You may replace cinnamon with any of the alternatives listed below, however some may work better than others depending on the taste profile and other components in your recipe.

It is also crucial to note that if you have a cinnamon allergy and are seeking for a substitution, not all of these alternatives will be appropriate. Some of the alternatives listed below do include cinnamon, while others may be connected to or contain comparable substances that may also cause an allergy.

If you have a cinnamon allergy, be sure to properly read all ingredient lists, double-check any spice combination to determine if it contains cinnamon, and do any necessary research before using a replacement in your recipes.

Cinnamon Sticks

The simplest and most apparent cinnamon substitution choice is whole cinnamon sticks. You’re completely prepared if you have them on hand! As previously stated, cinnamon is the ground bark of a certain tree, and a cinnamon stick is merely a piece of bark that hasn’t yet been crushed into powder. Cinnamon sticks are the starting point for all ground cinnamon, thus they may readily be substituted.

If your recipe calls for long-simmering ingredients (such as a braise, marinade, sauce, or custard), you may use the cinnamon sticks intact. The boiling liquid will release enough of cinnamon flavor from the sticks without the need for crushing! Just be sure to remove the whole cinnamon stick before serving.

Whether you want to use cinnamon in a rub, as a topping, or in baked products like coffee cake, you’ll need to grind the cinnamon sticks. You may use either a spice grinder or a coffee grinder for this operation. Just drop the sticks in the grinder and grind until the cinnamon is a fine powder.

Is there no electric grinder? Not a problem! Cinnamon sticks may be ground by hand using a fine grater such as a microplane or crushed in a mortar and pestle. This will need some elbow grease, but it will be well worth it if it saves you a last-minute trip to the shop.

How Much to Use:

When substituting whole cinnamon sticks for ground cinnamon in a recipe, keep in mind that 1 cinnamon stick gives the same amount of flavor as around 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder. If you plan on grinding your cinnamon, measure your freshly ground cinnamon exactly as directed in the recipe.


Cinnamon Extract

Cinnamon extract is less prevalent than other kinds of cinnamon, but since it has a highly concentrated cinnamon taste, it makes an excellent cinnamon alternative! The extract is created by steeping entire cinnamon bark in alcohol, which extracts the taste of the cinnamon and transfers it to the liquid. The mixture is then filtered, yielding a richly scented cinnamon extract.

How Much to Use:

Since cinnamon extract has a strong cinnamon taste, you should use less of it than ground cinnamon or cinnamon sticks. We suggest beginning with with the quantity required in your recipe when substituting cinnamon extract for ground cinnamon.



Many people are perplexed by allspice since the name leads them to believe that it is a spice blend. Not so! Allspice got its name from the fact that its distinct taste includes hints of other spices including cloves, black pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Allspice berries, on the other hand, do not contain any of these other spices.

Allspice is obtained from the dried unripe fruit of a tree species native to Central and South America’s tropical areas. The allspice berry seems to be a huge black peppercorn in its whole! Ground allspice has a strong and warming taste that makes it an excellent alternative for cinnamon.

How Much to Use:

Since allspice is a strong spice, you should use less of it when substituting cinnamon. When substituting ground allspice for ground cinnamon, we suggest beginning with simply the quantity specified in the recipe. Taste and adjust as desired!



Nutmeg is one of two spices originating from the nutmeg tree and is usually sold whole or ground. Nutmeg has a pleasantly nutty taste with a tinge of flowery spice, as you would anticipate from the name. Since the two spices have a naturally similar taste, nutmeg is a popular spice to add in recipes with cinnamon. It’s no surprise that nutmeg is a fantastic cinnamon alternative!

How Much to Use:

Nutmeg has a stronger taste than cinnamon and may quickly render a dish bitter if used in excess. When substituting nutmeg for cinnamon, we suggest beginning with just the amount stated. You may always add extra after a tasting test, or garnish your meal with freshly grated nutmeg!



Cloves are really dried flower buds, which is difficult to discern simply by looking at them. The small blossoms are dried and powdered to create a fragrant spice with a strong taste and a warming impact on the mouth.

Many people associate the fragrance and taste of cloves with warm, homey recollections and holiday festivities. Cinnamon is right up there with it in the cozy category, so it stands to reason that ground cloves would make an excellent cinnamon alternative.

How Much to Use:

Cloves carry a powerful punch, as seen by their aroma! Cloves may readily overpower a meal and overpower other main tastes, so they must be used with caution. When replacing cinnamon for ground cloves, just use the quantity specified in the recipe.



The ginger spice is obtained from the subterranean stem of the ginger plant. Ginger is processed and marketed in a variety of methods, including dried and powdered, crystallized, pickled, and so on. Whilst ginger is delicious in all forms, when it comes to utilizing ginger as a cinnamon alternative, you should absolutely go for the dried and powdered kind.

Since ginger is considerably hotter than cinnamon, you may wish to mix it with something else when using it as a replacement for cinnamon. Sweet meals may benefit from the addition of a delicious spice like nutmeg or clove, something flowery like vanilla essence, or a little of additional sweetness to help balance the spiciness of ginger. Try mixing ginger with a smokey spice like cumin in place of cinnamon in savory dishes.

How Much to Use:

To prevent overheating when substituting ground cinnamon for ground ginger, start with with the quantity specified in the recipe.



Cardamom is a spice that is more often employed in savory foods than cinnamon, but the two spices have a considerable taste profile, making cardamom an excellent cinnamon alternative.

Cardamom pods are normally sold whole and require some effort to ground; consequently, they function best in meals where the whole pods may be soaked and removed after properly perfumeing the whole dish with their herbaceous taste.

How Much to Use:

Cardamom has a somewhat sweet and spicy taste similar to cinnamon, but it is much more herbal and may impart astringency to a dish if used in excess. When substituting cardamom for cinnamon, we suggest a one-to-one ratio, but keep in mind that the taste will be different than when using cinnamon or any of the other alternatives listed above. But, different does not imply unappealing; give it a try!


Spice Mixtures as Substitutes for Cinnamon

Pumpkin Pie Spice/Apple Pie Spice

Since pumpkin pie spice and apple pie spice already include cinnamon, they are naturally two of the greatest cinnamon alternatives available. Both often include cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and nutmeg. The main distinction between the two is that pumpkin pie spice also includes cloves.

How Much to Use:

Since pumpkin pie spice and apple spice are pre-mixed, the tastes are already harmonized to the point that they can easily substitute cinnamon in a dish. You may use a one-to-one ratio here; just be sure to check your recipe for any additional spices that may already be in your pie spice combination of choice and adjust appropriately!


Garam Masala:

Garam masala is another spice blend that makes the cut. Garam masala is a spice blend made up of cinnamon and other spices like as nutmeg, cloves, black pepper, coriander, and cumin. Garam masala, which has its origins in Indian cuisine, is often employed in savory recipes and hence would not be a suitable alternative for cinnamon in any sweet applications.

While it may seem foreign, garam masala is commonly accessible at your local grocery shop and is a useful spice to have on hand.

How Much to Use:

It’s difficult to tell how much garam masala to use to replace cinnamon in a dish since the answer is totally reliant on the precise components and quantities of the garam masala combination you have. We believe it is best to start with the quantity specified in the recipe, then taste and adjust as required.


Choosing the Best Cinnamon Substitute: The Takeaway

The crucial takeaway here is that if you unexpectedly run out of cinnamon, don’t drop everything and go to the shop! Take stock of your pantry first, then use our guidance to examine your alternative possibilities.

Selecting a decent cinnamon replacement is all about balancing all of the spices in a dish. Sweet meals are more likely to benefit from comparable tones of nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and spice blends. Savory dishes are more adaptable and may use heartier spices like ginger, cardamom, and garam masala.

Who knows, you could discover that by substituting cinnamon for another spice, you bring a new taste to your dish that you enjoy even more! Sometimes the finest discoveries are those that arise by chance.


What tastes like cinnamon but isn’t cinnamon?

Yet, in terms of sweetness, nutmeg has the same scent and warmth as cinnamon. Ground nutmeg is a great cinnamon replacement in baking. Yet, it is flexible enough to be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Its nutty, peppery taste, as well as its pungent and rich scent, may be used in place of cinnamon.

What is the closest spice to cinnamon?

Allspice: Like nutmeg, allspice has a similar sweetness to cinnamon, according to Fine. “You’ll probably need less allspice (about a fifth of the quantity) than the recipe asks for with cinnamon,” Fine explains. Cloves: This spice has earthy and sweet aromas comparable to cinnamon.

What is the most effective cinnamon?

Saigon cinnamon is known for having the richest taste and the largest volatile oil concentration. Korintje ranks second in terms of volatile oil concentration, having a smoother finish and less bite than Saigon and cassia.

What spice offsets cinnamon?

Spices must be balanced.

If the cinnamon taste is too sweet, use a strong spice that contrasts with it, such as chili powder, lemon pepper, garlic powder, or paprika. Add white or brown sugar and a sweet spice, such as nutmeg, if the cinnamon is too hot.

What is the healthiest version of cinnamon?

Although Ceylon Cinnamon is milder than store-bought cinnamon, there have been few studies on its health benefits. The Claims: Ceylon cinnamon, a milder version of the spice available at gourmet shops, is healthier than regular retail cinnamon. Cinnamon may help diabetics decrease their blood sugar, relieve arthritis, and enhance their cholesterol.

What fruit taste like cinnamon?

According to Melissa’s Produce, this ‘cinnamon’ persimmon fruit type is named for the delicious flesh and black speckling inside that resembles cinnamon. As you cut it open, you’ll wonder, “What the heck – did someone really sprinkle cinnamon on this thing?”

What can I use in place of cinnamon?

7 Ingenious Cinnamon Substitutes
Nutmeg…. Allspice…. Ginger…. Pumpkin pie spice…. Cardamom…. Cloves…. Mace.
Can cinnamon sticks be used in lieu of ground cinnamon?
Additional details…•March 22, 2022

What is a better substitute for cinnamon?

If you can’t get cinnamon, use nutmeg, cloves, or allspice instead. Apple pie spice, which incorporates cinnamon, is another choice.

What herbs are related to cinnamon?

Cinnamon is linked to the fragrant Laurus nobilis, sometimes known as bay leaf, and Sassafras as a member of the Lauraceae family. Sassafras is occasionally used in place of cinnamon as a spice due to certain similarity in ingredients and fragrance.

Is McCormick cinnamon real cinnamon?

The cinnamon bark is picked straight from the tree—McCormick gets top grade whole cinnamon, which reduces the possibility of additional substances and contamination that may occur if a pre-ground product is used.

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