8 Best Nutmeg Substitute

The seed of the fragrant evergreen tree Myristica fragrans is used to make nutmeg. The spice complements both sweet and savory foods by combining sweet, nutty, and spicy tastes.

In this post, you’ll learn about seven spices that may be substituted for nutmeg in a hurry, so don’t worry if you don’t have any on hand. Mace, pumpkin pie spice, apple pie spice, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and ginger are excellent substitutes for nutmeg in recipes.

Nutmeg Substitutes: Cooking Ratio & Nutritional Value

1tsp Calories Fat Carb Protein Fiber Ratio
Mace 8 0.6g 0.9g 0.1g 0.3g 1:1
Pumpkin Pie Spice 6 0.2g 1.1g 0.1g 0.3g 1:1
Apple Pie Spice 9 0.2g 2g 0.2g 1g 2:1
Cinnamon 6 0.07g 1.8g 0.09g 1.2g 2:1
Allspice 5 0.1g 1.37g 0.12g 0.4g 1:1
Cloves 7 0.4g 1.2g 0.1g 0.7g 2:1
Ginger 2 0.02g 0.3g 0.04g 0g 1:1

What Does Nutmeg Taste Like?

Nutmeg is a spicy spice with a strong and unique aroma that is nutty and somewhat sweet. It may, however, be extremely hot for those who are more sensitive to heat.

But just what is this spice? The genuine nutmeg is the pit found inside the fruit of the nutmeg tree. It is processed into nutmeg powder, which is often seen in the spice aisle.

It is derived from the Myristica fragrans tree and is available whole or ground. Whole nutmeg provides a more pronounced, cleaner taste, but it must be shredded.

The taste of nutmeg may be used in both sweet and savory dishes. It goes well with pork, winter squash, and other soups and stews.

Furthermore, nutmeg is an essential ingredient in pumpkin pie, creamy custards, cakes, and other sweet treats. It’s also a common element in winter drinks like mulled wine and eggnog.

In any case, don’t use too much of it since this strong spice will rapidly overpower the flavor of all other components in your dish.

Nutmeg Nutritional Value

One teaspoon (2.2g) of nutmeg contains:

  • 12 calories;
  • 0.8g fat;
  • 1g carbs;
  • 0.46g fiber;
  • 0.13g protein;

Nutmeg Substitutes

  1. Mace
  2. Pumpkin Pie Spice
  3. Apple Pie Spice
  4. Cinnamon
  5. Allspice
  6. Cloves
  7. Ginger
  8. Garam Masala


Mace and nutmeg are closely related. Mace is derived from the Myristica fragrans tree and is the outer covering of nutmeg seeds.

Because of their closeness in flavor, they are often used interchangeably and in identical proportions.

When using mace, however, apply it gradually since it has a stronger and more powerful flavor than nutmeg. Its color is likewise somewhat darker than nutmegs, however this has no effect on the color of the meal.

Furthermore, mace is the most costly of the two. As a result, if you’re seeking for a less expensive choice, consider our other options.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Pumpkin spice is often used in a number of fall meals. Despite its name, the taste is not pumpkin-like.

Pumpkin pie spice is really a blend of nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and cloves. Because nutmeg is a component of pumpkin pie spice, substituting it for the original spice will leave your dish with a nutmeg flavor.

In pies, cakes, cupcakes, and roasted vegetables, pumpkin pie spice may simply replace nutmeg. Overall, having it on hand during the chilly autumn months is a great idea.

Apple Pie Spice

In apple-based dishes, apple pie spice is often used. This spice is similar to the pumpkin pie spice we described previously, except it has a stronger cinnamon flavor.

Apple pie spice also includes nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, and ginger, in addition to cinnamon. As a consequence, it has a sweet and nutty flavor with a citrus undertone.

Apple pie spice may be used in any recipe that asks for nutmeg. To prevent an overpowering cinnamon taste, use a 1: ratio of apple pie spice. Then, according to your preferences, you may add more.


Cinnamon is derived from the bark of the cinnamon tree and, like nutmeg, is available whole or ground. Furthermore, since it is a widely used spice, chances are you already have some on hand.

Cinnamon and nutmeg, on the other hand, have distinct flavors. Cinnamon is somewhat stronger, nuttier, and sweeter than nutmeg.

Nonetheless, both have the same warming impact on a dish and may be used to either sweet or savory dishes for a taste boost.

Because you don’t want the taste to overshadow your meal, we suggest replacing cinnamon for half the quantity of nutmeg called for. You may always add more gradually if you want a stronger taste.


When you run out of nutmeg, allspice is a good substitute. It’s rather common, so you could already have some in your pantry. Allspice, contrary to popular belief, is a dried berry of the Pimenta dioica tree native to the Caribbean and Central America.

Allspice has a deep taste similar to nutmeg, peppercorns, cinnamon, and cloves. As a consequence, allspice, like nutmeg, is used in both sweet and savory dishes.

Having said that, nutmeg is stronger in taste than cinnamon. When replacing, use allspice in a larger proportion than nutmeg. To be safe, switch them in equal parts and gradually add additional allspice to get the desired flavor.

Finally, allspice and nutmeg have similar hues, so swapping one for the other will not drastically affect the final appearance of the meal.


Cloves are a famous holiday spice that originated in Indonesia, namely from the Syzygium aromaticum tree. It, like nutmeg, adds warmth and a unique scent to some of our favorite Christmas meals.

Cloves may be purchased whole or ground. Whole cloves have a stronger taste and aroma, although powdered cloves mix well in most recipes.

Clove taste is typically characterized as sweet and spicy, akin to nutmeg. In fact, both of these spices are used in a variety of cuisines.

If your recipe calls for nutmeg, substitute half as much cloves. To prevent overloading the dish with cloves, if the recipe asks for both nutmeg and ground cloves, try an alternative substitution in addition to the cloves.


If you don’t mind a little more spice in your cuisine, ground ginger may be used in place of nutmeg.

Ginger is used to give warmth and a peppery taste to dishes in almost all of the world’s major cuisines. It comes from the tropical plant Zingiber officinale, which is native to Southeast Asia.

Ginger has a stronger bite than nutmeg, but it works really well in foods that call for something spicier.

The main distinction between the two is their sweetness. Ginger is not advised for desserts or other sweet foods since it lacks a sweet taste.

Nutmeg is a spice that offers the best of both worlds. It may be used to enhance the flavor of both sweet and savory meals. Some of the greatest nutmeg recipes are shown here.

Pull-Apart Spinach & Pumpkin Bread

This delicious nutmeg-seasoned pull-apart bread is loaded with pumpkin and spinach. It takes its form from the classic French baguette bread.

Cut the dough with kitchen scissors and gently move each piece to the side to form a branch. But prepare ahead since this bread will be ready in two and a half hours. As a consequence, it is not something you can whip up at the last minute!

Nutmeg Chicken

Nutmeg is one of the most flavorful spices to use while cooking chicken. Although the combo may seem strange, in this recipe, they both work heavenly well together.

The addition of nutmeg enhances the taste and tenderness of the chicken while also making it spicy, sweet, and somewhat nutty. Fried rice, mashed potatoes, or roasted vegetables go well with nutmeg chicken.

Nutmeg Cheesecake

Nutmeg cheesecake is the ideal way to cap off a fantastic meal. It has a creamy texture, a rich flavor, and a hint of heat.

We enjoy this dish because of its simple and traditional cooking processes. You may also add any toppings you like! Choose from apricot, cherry, or pomegranate glazes, or just graham crackers scattered on top.

Nutmeg Hot Chocolate

Nothing makes us happier than cuddling up with a hot chocolate and a blanket. On a cold day, nutmeg hot chocolate is the perfect way to keep warm. It’s also quite easy to make.

Simply add the ingredients in a saucepan, heat until everything melts, then whisk to blend. This hot chocolate is best served with a dab of whipped cream or a marshmallow topping.


Even the most well-stocked spice cupboard may periodically run out of nutmeg, but thanks to this guidance, you are now prepared to deal with the situation.

To pick the finest nutmeg substitution, you should first consider how you want to use it. Then, choose a good nutmeg substitute.

Bolder spices, such as ginger or allspice, perform well in savory dishes. Cinnamon, on the other hand, is a lighter, sweeter choice that works nicely with sweet baked items.

Last but not least, if you want to add aesthetic appeal, use a spice with a brown hue comparable to nutmeg.


What tastes the closest to nutmeg?

Mace is the spice that is most similar to nutmeg since they are almost identical; “mace” is the name for the ground-up powder of nutmeg’s hard, outer seed covering. In any dish, replace with a one-to-one substitute.

Can I leave nutmeg out of a recipe?

If you’re creating a meal that asks for a variety of spices, such as nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves, you may usually leave out the nutmeg totally without replacing anything else. If nutmeg is the only spice in the recipe, it’s advisable to replace it with another spice to prevent a bland meal.

What spice smells like nutmeg?

Myristica oil is a transparent liquid with a nutmeg-like aroma. When someone consumes this material, they get poisoned with myristica oil. This material is just for informational purposes.

Can I use cardamom instead of nutmeg?

Explanation of the Nutmeg and Cardamom Difference

As you can see, nutmeg and cardamom are very separate spices, even though they may be found combined in a variety of sweet and savory foods. Both are popular as warm baking spices, although they have unique taste and scent qualities.

What can I substitute for 1 whole nutmeg?

If your recipe asks for whole nutmeg, you may substitute ground nutmeg if you have it. For 1 whole nutmeg, use 2 tablespoons powdered nutmeg.

What spices are related to nutmeg?

Figures 14(d)-(i) show two different spices: nutmeg (seed) and mace (aril). The nutmeg tree is native to Indonesia (Moluccas Islands) and has been naturalized in the West Indies, Sri Lanka, India, the Philippines, Tropical America, and the Pacific Islands.

How important is nutmeg in baking?

Nutmeg is an excellent way to end a baked or unbaked cheesecake, and it works especially well if there is orange present, such as grated zest or orange-flower water. Nutmeg is an essential component of every spice blend, but it pairs exceptionally well with cinnamon, giving an almost ideal welcome, warming scent.

Does nutmeg taste like cinnamon?

Although spices such as nutmeg, allspice, and ginger may not taste exactly like cinnamon, they do share some of its flavor characteristics.

Can I omit nutmeg from apple pie?

Nutmeg is one of the key tastes in apple pie spice, but don’t use it in place of it—straight nutmeg in huge quantities will be much too overpowering. We suggest using cinnamon instead if you only have one spice on hand.

What is the smelliest spice in the world?

It was known as Devil’s Dung by Europeans in India. It is maybe the stinkiest spice on the planet. As a forewarning, the word “fetid” appears in its name. Yet, from ancient times, Indians have been loyal users of asafetida, using pinches of it to assist in the digestion of beans and vegetables.

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