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10 Best Substitutes for Cinnamon in Baking

If you don’t have the spice on hand, try any of these substitutes for cinnamon!

Cinnamon provides a warm and earthy flavor that is perfect for topping toast and adding zest to coffee. 

But perhaps you’re looking to mix it up with other spices, or maybe you don’t have any cinnamon around. Well, never fear! 

Ground Cinnamon in a Wooden Spoon

One of the best parts about cooking is the ability to play around with flavors, so why not get creative and use an alternative? 

There are many delicious options available to try out in place of your usual cinnamon.

Time to break away from traditional dishes and give your palate something new!

1. Cloves

Cloves on a Wooden Spoon

Cloves might just be the new cinnamon.

Although decidedly spicier than cinnamon, cloves bring a unique depth of flavor and aroma to any dish. 

Not to mention, cloves offer their own benefits.

They have higher levels of antioxidants, antiseptic properties, and the ability to reduce inflammation. 

Plus, who doesn’t love the extra kick cloves provide?

And if those arguments aren’t convincing enough, due to their bold flavor, you won’t need to use as much as you would with cinnamon.

Substitute at a 1:1 ratio.

2. Nutmeg

Whole Nutmeg in a Bowl and Nutmeg Powder on a Wooden Spoon

Nutmeg has long been a great substitute for cinnamon.

It’s wise to have alternative options in the spice aisle.

Nutmeg not only tastes delicious but offers several health benefits, too. 

Not to mention, its warm and earthy flavor can’t be beaten!

Nutmeg gives your dishes an added hint of complexity that you won’t find in cinnamon.

It’s perfect for spicing up your favorite recipes with some extra panache. 

So go ahead and give nutmeg a try. I guarantee its exotic aroma won’t disappoint!

This daring chef’s secret ingredient should become a part of her culinary trickery arsenal!

When substituting, add ¼ of nutmeg compared to the amount of cinnamon required.

3. Star Anise

Star Anise on a Rustic Cloth

Star anise is a great alternative to cinnamon if you’re looking for something with a bit more pizzaz! 

The sweet licorice notes it adds to your favorite recipes give them a unique twist that will make them stand out in any crowd. 

Perhaps its most prized attribute, however, is the fact that star anise contains higher concentrations of the compound shikimic acid.

This makes it an ideal substitute for dishes that need that little extra kick. 

Plus, it looks just as amazing in the finished product. Imagine apple pie with a pinch of star anise, yum!

For every teaspoon of cinnamon, add a ¼ teaspoon of star anise. The flavor is really strong.

4. Cardamom

Cardamom in Wooden Bowl with Scooper

This delectable spice can provide a sophisticated note to any recipe.

The taste might even seem more exciting than the familiar flavor of cinnamon. 

The golden hue of star cardamom also makes it an intriguing addition to any kitchen.

After all, isn’t cooking also about presentation? 

As if that weren’t enough reason to make the switch, cardamom has amazing health benefits.

This is why replacing cinnamon with star cardamom might be one of the cleverest culinary decisions you ever made. 

Substitute at a 1:1 ratio.

5. Ginger

Ginger Whole and Slice on a Wooden Cutting Board

If you’re looking for some spicy flavor in your life, then look no further than ginger! 

Not only is it a great substitute for cinnamon, but it also adds a unique flavor that will make all of your dishes stand out. 

Many recipes call for cinnamon, but it can be easy to forget the ingredient or have an unexpected rain check from the grocery store. 

Ginger is a great solution to this problem.

It’s now available in most supermarkets and requires minimal effort to prepare. 

And if that wasn’t enough, most experts agree that ginger actually carries more health benefits than cinnamon!

Substitute at a 1:1 ratio.

6. Pumpkin Pie Seasoning

Pumpkin Pie Seasoning on a Wooden Teaspoon

With pumpkin pie seasoning, it’s time to give cinnamon a break! 

We all know that cinnamon is the traditional choice for flavoring pumpkin pies and other baked treats.

But we can think outside the spice jar for a change. 

Pumpkin pie seasoning already has cinnamon, but also nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and even allspice in a single mix. 

That means there’s no more digging around your cupboard or cabinet hoping you have all the right spices.

Just snag some pumpkin pie seasoning and get to baking without stress. 

Plus, with an added hint of cardamom and a pinch of sea salt thrown in, this pre-made blend has a truly special zing

When substituting, use a 1:1 ratio, but be careful not to overdo it, since the pumpkin blend is more potent.

7. Allspice

Allspice in a Wooden Spatula and Allspice Powder in a Glass Bowl

This ever-versatile spice is a great substitute when you’re out of cinnamon.

It can save the day, and more importantly, your baking project. 

Allspice offers a subtle sweetness and hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

But interestingly enough, it brings its own unique flavor to the table as well. 

So if you find yourself in a pinch and unable to access your beloved cinnamon, consider allspice next time.

It just might surprise you! 

Plus, its convenient ‘multi-flavor’ capabilities will make your pantry basics much simpler to keep track of.

When it comes to the substitution amount, use a quarter of the amount called for in the recipe.

8. Mace


Mace is a wonderful spice to add to any dish.

Coming from the same plant as nutmeg, mace has much of the same flavor notes as cinnamon.

This makes it the perfect replacement if you don’t have any in your pantry. 

A little bit of nutmeg’s fragrant cousin can really take a dish up a notch and make it stand out among others. 

Chances are that your unsuspecting dinner guests will love its uniqueness and leave asking what made this meal so special.

After all, a little bit of mace goes a long way!

When replacing it, use the same amount of mace as you would cinnamon.

9. Cassia

Cassia in a Wooden bowl

Wondering what to do when the cinnamon isn’t available? Look no further than cassia! 

This spicy-sweet spice is an excellent substitute for cinnamon and is quickly becoming one of the top spices on shelves today. 

Not only does cassia come with a distinct flavor profile, but it also has a variety of health benefits. 

It’s rich in iron and fiber, helps reduce inflammation, and even contains antibacterial properties. 

Better yet, it’s pretty easy to find so there’s no need to worry about being left in the dust without cinnamon!

So the next time you find yourself without it, go for cassia instead.

For every teaspoon of cinnamon the recipe requires, use ¾ teaspoon of cassia.

10. Cinnamon Extract

Cinnamon Extract in a Bottle

Running out of cinnamon can bring the life out of even the most experienced baker.

Fortunately, cinnamon extract is here to rescue you! 

It provides an easy substitute for adding that hint of cinnamon flavor to all your baked goods.

But you won’t have to worry about clumpy residue as you do with the real ground stuff. 

Plus, you get more bang for your buck.

Just one teaspoon of extract takes care of multiple tablespoons worth of the real deal. Only add a couple of drops.

10 Best Substitutes for Cinnamon in Baking

These tasty substitutes for cinnamon work well in a variety of recipes! From cloves to nutmeg to ginger, these spices will give you a similar flavor.


  • Cloves Nutmeg

  • Star Anise

  • Cardamom

  • Ginger

  • Pumpkin Pie Seasoning

  • Allspice

  • Mace

  • Cassia

  • Cinnamon Extract


  • Choose your favorite cinnamon substitute.
  • Use it in all your favorite baking recipes (from cookies and cakes to bread!)
Substitutes for Cinnamon

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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