9 Amazing Cinnamon Substitutes

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Extracted from the bark of trees in the Cinnamomum genus, cinnamon is the popular spice that is used worldwide in both sweet and savory recipes, such as cereal, desserts or meat dishes. However, if you’ve run out this spice or are cooking for anyone with a cinnamon allergy there are plenty of cinnamon substitutes.

Cinnamon Substitutes

There is a broad range of cinnamon substitutes, such as allspice, cardamom, nutmeg, mace, ground cloves, ginger, anise, vanilla extract or vanilla beans and more.

Allspice Berries

This spice shares a similar flavor to cinnamon and makes a good replacement in dessert recipes. Add 1/4 of the recommended amount for cinnamon and add more according to taste, if necessary.

A bowl of cinnamon powder with cinnamon sticks on a table

Sprinkle cinnamon powder on your coffee for a boost! Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Cardamom

Cardamom is a particularly good replacement for cinnamon in Indian recipes.

Nutmeg

Nutmeg has a similar sweetness to cinnamon and is a good substitute for baked foods. Like allspice, it is worth being initially frugal with the amount you substitute.

Mace

Mace offers a sharper and less sweet flavor than nutmeg and is, therefore, a good cinnamon substitute in more savory recipes. Add it to the recipe in the same way as nutmeg and allspice.

Ground Cloves

Ground cloves are an earthy, spicy, and sweet replacement for cinnamon.

Fresh or Powdered Ginger

To get the spicy, warming element that cinnamon gives to a dish, try adding fresh or powdered ginger.

Anise or Fennel Seeds

A good substitute for both sweet and savory recipes, anise and fennel seeds are sweet with a bitter edge.

Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Beans

One of the sweetest substitutions, vanilla extract is best used in moderation for dessert recipes.

Combination

You might like to try combining the above-recommended substitutes to get a well-rounded and unique replacement for cinnamon that ticks all the boxes. For example, vanilla and cloves might create a taste that is both warming and sweet, or the combination of cardamom and fennel might work great in a curry.

Knowing the best cinnamon substitutes will ensure that you don’t run into any major problems next time you’re baking in the kitchen!

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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