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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Ground Cinnamon

Ran out of ground cinnamon? No sweat.

We’ve been there, elbows deep in a recipe, only to find the cinnamon jar empty. It’s annoying, right?

Well, we dove into our spice racks and kitchens, played around a bit, and guess what?

We found five rockstar substitutes that’ll save your dish without skipping a beat.

Each swap we’ve discovered isn’t just a second choice; they’re game changers.

Picture this: you’re about to whip up your favorite cinnamon rolls or that go-to Moroccan stew, and bam, no cinnamon.

Hold up, though, because these alternatives are not only easy to find but might just make your dish pop in a new and exciting way.

Ready to avoid the last-minute grocery dash and still knock your recipe out of the park? Let’s get into it.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Ground Cinnamon

Ground cinnamon is a popular spice known for its warm and sweet flavor, commonly used in baking, cooking, and beverages.

If you find yourself without ground cinnamon or prefer an alternative, there are several substitutes available.

In this guide, we will compare the top 5 substitutes for ground cinnamon, discussing their key characteristics and suggesting proper ratios to help you find suitable alternatives.

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsProper Ratio
AllspiceWarm and sweet flavor with notes of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg; versatile in both sweet and savory dishesUse an equal amount of allspice as a substitute for ground cinnamon
CardamomUnique and aromatic flavor with hints of citrus and mint; adds depth to dishesUse half the amount of cardamom compared to ground cinnamon
Ground ClovesStrong and pungent flavor with a hint of sweetness; commonly used in holiday recipesUse a quarter to half the amount of ground cloves compared to ground cinnamon
Ground NutmegWarm and nutty flavor; slightly sweet; complements both sweet and savory dishesUse an equal amount of ground nutmeg as a substitute for ground cinnamon
Pumpkin Spice MixA blend of spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves; reminiscent of fall flavorsUse an equal amount of pumpkin spice mix as a substitute for ground cinnamon

Now, let’s delve into each substitute in more detail:

1 – Allspice

allspice

First and foremost, allspice is not a type of spice.

Rather, it is a blend of three spices: cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

This unique combination gives allspice its characteristic flavor and aroma.

Allspice has been used for centuries in both sweet and savory dishes.

It was one of the first spices traded between the Old and New Worlds.

Allspice is a versatile spice that can be used in many different dishes.

It is commonly used in pickling recipes and baked goods such as cakes, cookies, and pies.

Allspice can also make savory dishes such as jerk chicken or pork.

If the recipe calls for a large amount of ground cinnamon, you may want to use less allspice to avoid overwhelming the other flavors in the dish.

  • Key Characteristics: Allspice offers a warm and sweet flavor profile with notes of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. It is a versatile substitute for ground cinnamon in both sweet and savory dishes.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of allspice as a substitute for ground cinnamon. Adjust the quantity based on personal preference and desired taste.

2 – Cardamom

cardamom

Cardamom is a perfect substitute for ground cinnamon for those who want a more complex flavor profile.

It has a similar sweetness but also adds floral and citrus notes.

The texture is slightly different as well, being more crunchy than powdery.

If you want to experiment with something new, cardamom is a great spice to start with.

In terms of flavor, cardamom is a versatile spice that can be used in sweet and savory dishes alike.

Try it in oatmeal or yogurt for a breakfast treat, or add it to curry for a unique twist.

No matter how you use it, cardamom will give your dish an extra flavor boost.

While finding ground cardamom at your local grocery store might be difficult, you can usually find it online or in specialty stores.

Be warned that it is a bit more expensive than other spices.

A little goes a long way, though, so it will last you a while.

  • Key Characteristics: Cardamom provides a unique and aromatic flavor with hints of citrus and mint. It adds depth to dishes and works well in both sweet and savory recipes.
  • Proper Ratio: Use half the amount of cardamom compared to ground cinnamon. Cardamom has a strong flavor, so adjust the quantity accordingly.

3 – Ground Cloves

ground cloves

Another common way to use cloves is to grind them into powder.

This can be done using a mortar and pestle, a coffee grinder, or a blender.

Ground cloves can then be used in many different ways.

For example, you can add it to sugar to make clove sugar, sprinkle it on baked goods, or use it in savory dishes.

Its flavor is strong, so you’ll want to use it sparingly.

Ground cloves can also be used as a natural remedy for toothache and other dental problems.

Some people like to chew on whole cloves when they have a sore throat or cough.

Ground cloves can also be used in aromatherapy to help improve circulation and relieve pain.

When used topically, ground cloves can help to soothe insect bites and minor skin irritations.

You can also make a clove-infused oil by grinding up some cloves and adding them to a carrier oil like olive or coconut oil.

This can be used as a massage oil or added to bathwater to relax.

So, are ground cloves a good substitute for cinnamon? Yes and no.

Ground cloves have a very strong flavor that can overpower other spices.

So, if you’re looking for a similar flavor to cinnamon, ground cloves may not be the best choice.

However, if you want something with a slightly different taste or are looking to add some depth of flavor to a dish, ground cloves can be a good substitution.

Just be sure to use them sparingly.

  • Key Characteristics: Ground cloves have a strong and pungent flavor with a hint of sweetness. They are commonly used in holiday recipes and can be a suitable substitute for ground cinnamon.
  • Proper Ratio: Use a quarter to half the amount of ground cloves compared to ground cinnamon, as cloves have a more intense flavor.

4 – Ground Nutmeg

ground nutmeg

Ground nutmeg is a great substitute for ground cinnamon if you look for something with a slightly different flavor profile.

Nutmeg has a warm, spicy flavor that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.

It also has a slightly gritty texture, adding some interest to your dish.

When using nutmeg, one thing to keep in mind is that it’s a very strong flavor, so you don’t need to use it much.

Start with just a pinch and add more if needed.

Nutmeg pairs well with all kinds of different flavors, so experiment and see what you like best.

In addition to using nutmeg in recipes, you can also use it as a spice for drinks.

Try adding a pinch to your morning coffee or tea for an extra flavor boost.

  • Key Characteristics: Ground nutmeg offers a warm and nutty flavor with a slightly sweet taste. It complements both sweet and savory dishes and can be used as a substitute for ground cinnamon.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of ground nutmeg as a substitute for ground cinnamon. Adjust the other ingredients in your recipe as needed.

5 – Pumpkin Spice Mix

pumpkin spice mix

The last recipe in this series is for a pumpkin spice mix.

This is a great way to add flavor to all sorts of dishes, from sweet to savory.

It’s also really easy to make and only requires a few ingredients.

The pumpkin spice mix is made with ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.

You can adjust the proportions of these spices to suit your taste.

I like to use equal parts of each spice, but you can use more or less of any of them, depending on your preferences.

To make the mix, combine all spices in a jar or container and stir to combine. That’s it.

You can use this mix right away or store it in a cool, dry place for up to six months.

I like to mix pumpkin spice in oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, muffins, quick bread, cookies, pies, and even savory dishes like roasted vegetables or grilled chicken.

It’s a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different ways.

  • Key Characteristics: Pumpkin spice mix is a blend of spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. It evokes the flavors of fall and can be used as a convenient substitute for ground cinnamon.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of pumpkin spice mix as a substitute for ground cinnamon. Adjust the other spices and ingredients in your recipe accordingly.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Ground Cinnamon

Looking to spice up your recipes without ground cinnamon? No worries! We've compiled a list of the 5 best substitutes that will seamlessly replace ground cinnamon in your dishes, ensuring a flavorful and aromatic culinary experience.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 4 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • Allspice
  • Cardamom
  • Ground Cloves
  • Ground Nutmeg
  • Pumpkin Spice Mix

Instructions
 

  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for ground cinnamon
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