Mace vs. Nutmeg: Taste, Distinction, and Nutrition

While they are not widely utilized, nutmeg and mace are highly valued in the spice market.

Nutmeg is the hard pit that sits in the center of the nutmeg tree’s fruit, while mace is the coating that covers the pits’ outer shell.

The gigantic, evergreen nutmeg tree, a member of the Myristicaceae family, may grow to a height of over 18 meters. It is mostly found in the Banda Islands, a tiny collection of islands off the coast of eastern Indonesia.

Comparing nutmeg and mace is a challenging puzzle to solve, particularly if you are unfamiliar with these exotic spices.

In this part of our spice study, we’ll look at the differences between nutmeg and mace. If you’re looking to spice up your cooking, the journey starts here!

Difference Between Mace and Nutmeg

The nutmeg tree produces both mace and nutmeg. As we discovered, nutmeg is the seed, and mace is the aril, a thin tissue stretched over the coat of the nutmeg seed.

Despite the fact that both spices have warm, woodsy, and powerfully aromatic smells, mace is said to have a more refined perfume than nutmeg.

Since powdered nutmeg rapidly loses its scent, we recommend purchasing it whole and grinding it just when required.

Mace has a greater concentration of particular essential oils, making it more heart-healthy, as we’ll discuss in a moment. Learn more about these two unique spices in the meanwhile.


Nutmeg seeds have an oval form, a rough covering, and spider-like ridges. Its interiors are dark brown, with a vein-like pattern sprinkled throughout.

The seeds become gray when dried. Ground nutmeg, on the other hand, takes on an entirely distinct hue, brown with reddish overtones.

Mace stands out due to its bright scarlet color. If you look carefully, it has a strange appearance that resembles an octopus.

Mace’s vibrant red hue fades to a yellowish orange when dried. As a consequence, it’s popular among chefs as a natural food colour.


While nutmeg is often used as a sweet seasoning, its taste is far from that of syrupy sweetness. Sweetness, nuttiness, and earthiness are clues.

Nonetheless, nutmeg is considered as being sweeter and milder than its relative mace, which is described as being more robust and forceful.

Mace’s woody aromas provide a touch of nutmeg to your cuisine while also bringing spicy, toasty tones reminiscent of other winter-season spices.

The spiciness, for example, is equal to ground cinnamon or cinnamon sticks, making it an excellent cinnamon alternative. Moreover, mace imparts a citrus taste to your cuisine.

Overall, mace and nutmeg are both distinct spices with diverse aromas. Yet, if you want a more robust taste, mace easily trumps nutmeg.

Shelf Life

Powder nutmeg has a two-year shelf life, whereas whole nutmeg seeds may be kept correctly in an airtight container for four years.

Mace powder may be stored for up to two years. Whole mace, on the other hand, may be stored in an airtight container for up to four years, much like nutmeg.


Nutmeg is less expensive than mace in terms of cost. Nonetheless, ground mace and nutmeg are widely accessible in supermarkets and grocery shops. Whole nutmeg and mace, on the other hand, may often be found at specialist stores.

Mace vs. Nutmeg Comparison Table

Category Nutmeg Mace
What is it? Nutmeg is a spice formed from a nutmeg tree fruit pit Mace is a spice from the reddish outer skin of the nutmeg tree fruit pit
Appearance It is an oval-shaped, dark-brown nutmeg fruit pit It appears in the form of a crimson webbing that envelopes the fruit’s pit
Flavor It tastes milder and sweeter Has a stronger taste
Price It’s more affordable It is usually more pricey
Shelf life 2 to 4 years 2 to 4 years
Availability Ground and entire seeds are available Dry blades and ground nutmeg are available

Nutritional Content Breakdown: Which One Is Healthier?

Nutmeg has long been used in traditional medicine in South Indian, Arabic, and Asian countries as an alternative cure for a variety of diseases.

This walnut-sized spice provides a number of health advantages for your body, including the maintenance of a healthy digestive system and the relief of chronic pain.

This is because nutmeg contains a lot of minerals, essential oils, fibers, and vitamins.

Nonetheless, mace contains more minerals than its counterpart, including copper and iron. It also has a higher percentage of volatile essential oils.

Let’s see which one is healthiest, all things considered.

Mace vs. Nutmeg: Nutritional Profile

Category (100g) Nutmeg Mace
Calories 525 475
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 mg
Carbs 49.29 g 50.50 g
Fiber 20.8 g 20.2 g
Fat 36.31 g 32.38 g
Protein 5.84 g 6.71 g
Vitamin C 3 mg 21 mg
Folates 76 µg 76 µg
Vitamin A 102 IU 800 IU
Pyridoxine 0.160 mg 0.160 mg
Thiamin 0.346 mg 0.312 mg
Riboflavin 0.057 mg 0.448 mg
Niacin 1.299 mg 1.350 mg
Potassium 350 mg 463 mg
Sodium 16 mg 80 mg
Zinc 2.15 mg 2.15 mg
Iron 3.04 mg 13.90 mg
Calcium 184 mg 252 mg
Magnesium 193 mg 163 mg
Copper 1.027 mg 2.467 mg
Manganese 2.900 mg 1.500 mg
Phosphorous 213 mg 110 mg

Can I Substitute Nutmeg for Mace & Vice Versa?

Mace may be substituted for nutmeg and vice versa. Since nutmeg and mace have similar taste attributes, they may be readily substituted for one another.

Remember that mace has a stronger taste than nutmeg, so use half as much mace as nutmeg. If you wish to use nutmeg for mace, twice the quantity.

If the spice taste overpowers the other components, dilute it with a dairy product like milk or just mix it with other spices.

Nutmeg may be readily replaced with other spices such as garam masala, cloves, or cinnamon. Cinnamon, allspice, ginger, or pumpkin spice may be substituted with mace.

Mace and nutmeg go hand in hand with holidays and cold weather. These spices are utilized in a variety of savory and sweet dishes due to their warmth. Here are some festive recipes that include these spices.

Armenian Nutmeg Cake

This Armenian nutmeg cake recipe is great for everyone who like the taste of spice and the richness of nuts. The taste combination is rather pleasant, and the overall effect is not too sweet.

The cake is light and fluffy, with a wintery taste enhanced with nutmeg and walnuts. Each bite is a really unique experience, flavorful and crispy precisely the way it should be!

Multi-Root Veggie Soup With Mace

This multi-root vegetable soup has a great taste and a lot of character. It’s silky and creamy, and it’s deliciously smooth.

It is also quite nutritious, making it ideal for children! The mix of sweet potato, leek, parsnip, carrots, turnip, butternut squash, mace, and fresh herbs results in a wonderful winter soup.

Nutmeg French Toast

We all like a slice of French toast first thing in the morning (or, for some of us, after coffee!). There is no finer combination than eggs, butter, and milk; they provide the creamy base that gives each piece of toasted bread an incomparably delicious taste.

This classic dish, however, is improved by the addition of nutmeg and cinnamon, which give it a warm, rich taste. You may also drizzle some simple syrup over your French toast for an added touch of richness.

Swedish Nutmeg Meatballs

Swedish meatballs are a delicious and easy meal that is suitable for both formal holiday festivities and informal family gatherings.

Nutmeg not only adds a delightful nutty flavor to the meatballs, but it also softens the meat and increases its juiciness. Swedish meatballs go well with mashed potatoes, fried rice, or even steamed vegetables. If you give it a go, you’ll enjoy a feast-worthy meal.

Mace Cake

Our favorite Christmas dish is this mace cake! It’s delicious, juicy, and creamy all at the same time. The crisp coconut complements the vanilla buttercream well. In other words, when combined with mace, it becomes significantly more exotic.

The mace cake has the perfect amount of moistness and sweetness, with a gritty coconut taste to balance off the buttercream.

The greatest thing is that you’ll obtain that rich flavor without having to use any unknown components. All you’ll need is coconut, milk, powdered mace, butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking powder, and salt!


While nutmeg and mace are both produced from the same tree, they vary significantly despite having many similarities.

Both of these condiments are warm, nutty, and somewhat spicy. Their appearances vary, though, and mace is somewhat healthier than nutmeg.

After all, variety is the spice of life. Hence, if you have a recipe that asks for one of these distinctive spices, don’t be afraid to use them both.


Does mace taste different from nutmeg?

Since nutmeg is so widely available, recipes often call for it instead of mace. Moreover, mace has a hotter, more powerful flavor than nutmeg—in fact, mace tastes a lot like black pepper.

Why use mace instead of nutmeg?

Mace. Since both spices are derived from the Myristica fragrans tree, mace is the finest substitute for nutmeg. Although nutmeg comes from the plant’s seeds, mace is the outer coating of the seed known as an aril ( 1 ). Nutmeg may be substituted for mace in a 1:1 ratio.

Which is sweeter nutmeg or mace?

Both nutmeg and mace are derived from the same seed and have a warm, earthy, fragrant taste. Mace is somewhat stronger and sweeter than nutmeg, and it works well in custard-based sweets.

What is stronger mace or nutmeg?

This golden-brown spice has a sweet, toasty taste that is comparable to nutmeg but stronger.

Is mace the sister spice to nutmeg?

Mace is a delicate, fragrant, and adaptable spice derived from the tropical nutmeg tree (Myristica fragrans). The fruits of this aromatic evergreen tree provide two spices: mace and nutmeg. Since they share the same mother, mace is frequently referred to as nutmeg’s sister spice.

Can nutmeg replace mace?

The spice mace, on the other hand, packs a punch in terms of taste rather than physicality. Mace is a fragrant spice that is related to nutmeg. It is made from the nutmeg seeds’ outer covering. As a result, nutmeg is one of the finest mace alternatives.

Is mace a healthy spice?

Get rid of gas problems, stomach bloating, and constipation. Mace spice, also known as Javitri spice, regulates bowel motions and treats nausea and diarrhea. Mace Spice (Javitri) controls the digestive system and has several health advantages. Mace in your diet prevents constipation and flatulence.

What are the disadvantages of mace?

When eaten in proportions greater than those found in foods, mace is POSSIBLY SAFE. Myristicin, a substance found in mace, has been related to hallucinations and other mental adverse effects.

What spice is closest to mace?

Creating a Replacement

Replace the mace in your recipe with an equivalent quantity of nutmeg. The taste will be similar since mace is the membrane that covers nutmeg. Nutmeg just has a more pungent taste and smell.

Does mace taste good?

Mace has a sweet, woody, and toasty taste with a faint pungent kick, similar to nutmeg but softer and less sweet. The flavor of mace is similar to a blend of cinnamon and pepper.

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