Coming to your dining table with supreme versatility, cinnamon is a spice that could flavor an assortment of savory dishes, desserts, and even beverages.
So, what could you do if you ran out of cinnamon in your kitchen and forgot to purchase your batch?
Thankfully, you will have an adequate amount of substitutes that you could use in place of cinnamon that could give a similar flavor, aroma, and punch to whatever dish you prepare. The alternatives you can use in place of cinnamon are:
- Star anise
- Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix
- Apple Pie Spice Mix
- Cinnamon extract
In this feature, we hope to discuss how these ingredients become a good reason to use in place of cinnamon whenever you can’t reach the original element in your foods.
9 Best Cinnamon Substitutes
Cinnamon has become a culinary staple since the days of yore, and thus it is a spice that we cannot exclude from many dishes that it calls for. It is generally warm, spicy, pungent, intense, woodsy, and has bitter and sweet notes.
Ceylon cinnamon is basically mild and delicate with a subtle and nuanced floral flavor. At the same time, other varieties like Cassia, Saigon, and Korintje would be more powerful and pungent in taste.
So, your next question would probably be if any other ingredients could replicate the flavor of cinnamon? Well, there are a few in your pantry that could be used as cinnamon substitutes that you should be aware of. Try using these alternatives whenever you run out of cinnamon at home and see how they could come closer to the flavor.
As the name suggests, nutmeg is indeed nutty, warm, intense, and slightly sweet that could give a comparable flavor to cinnamon. Thanks to its nutty, warm, and sweet notes, it can be both added to sweet and savory dishes.
Nutmeg can go into the curry dishes that cinnamon calls for. If you use nutmeg instead of cinnamon, use the same amount as you use cinnamon. However, this spice can have a different, in fact, a more robust, sharp flavor than cinnamon. So, if you intend to replace it in place of cinnamon in a sweet recipe, you will have to add a little more sugar or whatever sweetener you use.
Moreover, even if you can use cinnamon in pieces and its ground form, you cannot use nutmeg as a whole. Suppose it comes to you with the outer shell, which is dark brown. So, you will have to break it, get the seed out, and freshly grate it using a Microplane. If not, you can use ground nutmeg, which is readily available in the store.
Although nutmeg is a better fit for certain dishes that require cinnamon, there are a few things you need to know about the differences between these two spices. Click on this link for more information.
Allspice is obviously not “all the spices”! Neither is a combination of a few spices or seasoning. This spice is actually a dried berry with a sweet, savory, and warm flavor.
It is considered that having Allspice in your spice rack is like having three spices just in one spice. This is because Allspice tastes like a combination of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. And, thus, doesn’t it make sense why it could be an excellent substitute for cinnamon?
This flavoring is also widely available in the market and comes in its ground form or as whole dried berries. So, if you are hoping to replace cinnamon with Allspice, it will make a suitable replacement if you use the same amount of ground allspice as much as you use cinnamon in a particular recipe.
In addition, if you wish to use it as a removable flavoring, you can do it the same way as you do with cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves.
Substituting a spice mix is actually easier than replacing a single spice like cinnamon. Hence, we have an easily approachable list of best Baharat substitutes right inside this article. Click this space to discover what they are.
Readily available as fresh rhizomes, dried or ground form, ginger is another go-to replacement often used when you don’t have cinnamon. Fresh ginger is slightly peppery and sweet with an intense, spicy aroma. But, the ground ginger is not as strongly flavored as fresh ones yet has a slight sweetness with a warm bite.
The best thing about this spice is that it can also be used in savory dishes, curries, desserts, and beverages like cinnamon.
So, if you need to substitute cinnamon with ginger, your best bet would be ground ginger. And, use the same amount as you use cinnamon in the recipe. However, since cinnamon has a rich woodsy and smokiness and ginger is somewhat sweet and sharp, it would be best if you incorporate ginger with a spice like nutmeg.
Fresh ginger has a powerful punch, so a little amount will always go a long way. Like cinnamon, ginger is also rich in antioxidants, and it is often used as a folk medicine to treat vomiting and nausea.
Cloves are a robustly aromatic, subtly sweet-flavored spice that pairs really well with spices like Allspice, nutmeg and obviously, could replace cinnamon. They have a slight hint of bitterness and astringency that could counterbalance the warmth and sweetness.
However, if you are using cloves instead of cinnamon, make sure to remove them before serving since a bite will entirely change the taste of your dish. You just need to extract the flavor, but the aftertaste will linger in your mouth for a long time when bitten.
Cloves are best included in savory dishes like meat, sauces, chutneys, and curries, but they will make a good impression when used in beverages like mulled wine too. Powdered cloves are not very common in the market, and they are often sold as whole coves.
It has a stronger aroma than cinnamon but still would be a great substitute when you need to add it in particular for strongly tasted meats, curries, and chilis.
Famous as one of the most expensive spices in the world, cardamom is another excellent flavoring that can replace cinnamon in a particular dish. Cardamoms have a minty, eucalyptus, peppery flavor with a fragrance of herbal warmth.
Compared with other spices that are significantly closer to the taste of cinnamon that we have on our list, cardamom does not have a flavor similar to cinnamon. However, it possesses the aroma and the warmth that cinnamon would have.
Cardamoms are great flavor-enhancers in curries and sweet treats that pair well with apples and pears. We can find cardamoms as green and black pods in the market. But, if you need to substitute cardamom with cinnamon, we suggest that you go for the green type.
Powdered cardamom is abundant out in the market, and you could also buy cardamom pods as a whole. So, whatever the form you get this spice, you can use the same amount as cinnamon when replacing it in a particular recipe.
As now you are well aware of the best possible cinnamon substitutes, we are ready to take you on a journey on how to use cinnamon in baking. Click here to have the best ideas to bake with cinnamon.
06- Star Anise
Utterly different in shape, yet star anise is often combined with cinnamon. Star anise possesses a strong flavor with a licorice-like aroma. The taste of this spice also can be defined as a cross between cinnamon and licorice, making it another good replacement candidate for cinnamon.
However, it has a relatively different and sharper taste than cinnamon and can be a great addition to many curries.
Talking in terms of its market, star anise is rarely found in its powdered form. And just like cloves, you will have to remove them from food before being served as they have a very intense flavor.
07- Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix
Pumpkin pie spice mix is basically a blend of spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, Allspice, and cloves. So, as you see these ingredients, you might get the guise why it becomes a good substitute for cinnamon.
Pumpkin pie spice itself includes cinnamon in a larger quantity and could add a more robust, aromatic, and sweeter taste to the dishes you add it to.
So, in instances you run out of cinnamon, you include a pinch of this spice blend, but be careful with the amount as it contains other powerful, intense and sharp spices as well. It goes really well with chocolate-infused desserts, cakes, and coffee.
Pumpkin spice is the best cinnamon alternative in sweet dishes, and we rarely see it is being added to savory recipes.
08- Apple Pie Spice Mix
Just like Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix doesn’t contain pumpkin, Apple Pie Spice Mix doesn’t have apples! It also includes ingredients like ground cinnamon, nutmeg, Allspice, ginger, and cardamoms.
Apple pie spice mix is also an excellent substitute, especially in sweet dishes when you don’t have cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice blend.
Even though it does not generally include cloves, it could still give an intense, powerful, and flavorful taste with the combination of all the strong spices.
Like you would do with pumpkin pie spice, be watchful when substituting this in place of cinnamon as it could deliver a robust flavor in the recipes you add it in.
Try this substitute with desserts that calls for cinnamon, such as apple pie bars, as a topping for your oatmeal, cinnamon toast, or in a frothy latte!
09- Cinnamon Extract
Last but not least, what else would be better off than cinnamon extract when you don’t have fresh cinnamon pieces, quills, or powder!
In fact, cinnamon extract is a great way to add flavor without much thought, particularly with coffee or mousses. The extract of cinnamon that you buy could not be as fresh as cinnamon, giving a slightly artificial flavor.
Just like these substitutes would replace cinnamon, there are several alternatives that can be used in place of Tandoori Masala. Need to discover what they are? Click here for our feature.
But, it still could do the trick with its concentrated flavor, which is not as solid or aromatic as fresh cinnamon. It is versatile, and although it has some other ingredients and preservatives, it will not impact much on the cinnamon flavor it could provide.
Rounding Off With All The Substitutes…
Cinnamon could be one of the main spices in your kitchen, but there could be instances when you forget to replace your batch! In such cases, the substitutes we have mentioned on our kist will undoubtedly come to your rescue.
So, if replacing cinnamon was one of your major cooking issues so far, we think we have answered you right on point. Try using these ingredients and make flavorful treats for your family, whether you have or don’t have cinnamon!