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Baking Substitutes for Nutmeg

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Not many spices can claim of the breadth of advantages that Nutmeg has. As a result, it is a prominent element in traditional cuisines from throughout the globe. With its warm and stunning tones and warm tones, it’s no surprise that many people like using it in baking dishes. It also provides a variety of health benefits to the human body and mind that you may not be aware of.


But, instances in which you run out of Nutmeg in your spice rack are not unavoidable. Additionally, you may want a different flavor in your baked goods and hence wish to experiment with other alternatives to Nutmeg.

As Nutmeg alternatives, our suggestions perform well in baked goods. They may not have all of their advantages, but they will provide the toasty tone and flavor that you love about Nutmeg. So, how do you know what’s a good enough alternative, and how much of each should you use to replace Nutmeg?

What is Nutmeg?

Nutmeg is a spice made from the powdered seeds of the fragrant Myristica fragrans tree. It may be found in baked goods, confections, puddings, potatoes, meats, sausages, sauces, vegetables, and drinks such as eggnog. It has a distinct pungent aroma and a warm, somewhat sweet, and nutty flavor.

During the preparation process, which takes around six to eight weeks, the seeds are gradually dried in the sun. At this period, the nutmegs shrink from their hard seed coat, and the kernels rattle in their shells when shaken. When the shell is cracked with a wooden club, the nutmegs are extracted. Dried nutmegs are often grayish brown, oblong, and wrinkled.

Nutmeg is utilized in various sweet and savory foods local to many areas, including India, Indonesia, Europe, and the Dutch, among others. Nutmeg has also been proved to aid with pain reduction, digestion, sleep, and brain health. It may also help to reduce stress and dangerous cholesterol levels. It can also protect the liver, alleviate depression, reduce blood pressure, and address oral issues.

Nutmeg Nutrition Facts

Uses of Nutmeg in Baking Recipes

Nutmeg spice is widely used in cuisines across the globe due to its unique flavor and taste. It is available in a variety of forms, including essential oils, powder, and extracts, each of which is effective for producing different types of effects. It is also a healthy spice since it contains numerous antioxidants and other qualities that support excellent health.

Nutmeg is a versatile spice that is particularly useful in baking. Apart from its excellent taste, it blends in and mixes well with other tastes to provide delightful outcomes in baked meals. Nutmeg is typically used in the following baked recipes:

  • Meatloaf
  • Sponge cake with spices
  • The cheesecake with nutmeg
  • Macaroni and cheese baked in the oven
  • Custard baked in the oven
  • Rice pudding baked in the oven
  • Apples cooked with cinnamon
  • Baked vegan beans
  • Ziti baked in the oven
  • Butternut squash cooked with cinnamon
  • Baked apple cinnamon oatmeal
  • Banana bread with spices
  • Muffins with bananas
  • Cookies with brown sugar, maple, and nutmeg
  • Scotch eggs baked

Substitutes for Nutmeg in Baking

The attractiveness and popularity of nutmeg as a cooking spice stems from its diverse culinary uses. Its nutty, sweet taste goes well with both savory and sweet dishes, making it a wonderful accompaniment to most meals. The sweet spice quintet is led by nutmeg. Yet, unlike the other components (cinnamon, allspice, and clove), it may stand alone and is often enhanced by the lack of the other tastes.

Nevertheless, suppose you run out of Nutmeg in your spice cabinet or don’t like for its taste but want to duplicate its other properties in your baking recipes. In such scenario, there are a few alternative spices that may be used in its stead. Use these Nutmeg substitutes in your baking recipes.


Assume you’re looking for a great alternative for Nutmeg. In such instance, mace is an excellent substitute since both spices are derived from the Myristica fragranstree and are hence related. Whereas nutmeg is derived from the plant’s seeds, mace is derived from the seeds’ outer covering, known as an aril. As a result, the ground spice is a natural nutmeg substitute.

Mace, like Nutmeg, is popular in rich pastry dishes such as doughnuts, cakes, and sweet potato or pumpkin pie. Its warm tones assist to balance the spicy and sweet elements of these dishes.

Mace has a similar toasty, sweet taste to Nutmeg and may often be used in the same baking recipes to produce similar effects. It works best in a 1:1 ratio, equal quantities, in Nutmeg to get the desired benefits.


Cinnamon is a well-known spice that is present in almost every kitchen. Most cinnamon is available in powdered form, derived from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum genus of trees, and is great for substituting Nutmeg in baking recipes.

Cinnamon is very affordable and widely accessible in almost all supermarkets. Apart from its taste, cinnamon is popular in commercial baking for the color it imparts to baked products.

Although cinnamon and nutmeg provide warmth to dishes, their scents differ. Cinnamon has a stronger taste. As a result, just a little amount is necessary. It may easily replace Nutmeg in most baking recipes. Nevertheless, because to its strong taste, it is recommended that you start with half the recommended quantity of Nutmeg. Next, taste to determine if you want to add anything more.


Ginger is a member of the Zingiberaceae family of flowering plants. Ginger root is more often used in cooking and is commonly referred to as ginger. Its taste is spicier and less sweet than Nutmeg, making it more typically used in savory dishes.

Ginger, on the other hand, is available in dried and powdered forms that may be utilized in baking recipes. Apart from dried and powdered ginger, it is also available in chopped form, or it is sliced and fried in sugar to produce a candied or crystallized type, in addition to its novel varieties. Bakers, on the other hand, prefer the dry and powdered varieties above the others.

Use the same quantity of ginger as Nutmeg in recipes that call for it. Consider a dish that asks for ginger and nutmeg, such as gingerbread cookies. In such scenario, you may simply substitute more ground ginger for the Nutmeg.

Garam Masala

Garam masala is a popular spice blend in Indian and South Asian cooking. Nutmeg, mace, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and black pepper are popular ingredients. The contents, however, differ depending on the geographical location. Cumin, turmeric, saffron, fenugreek, star anise, and other regional spices are examples of suitable additions.

Garam masala is an excellent alternative for Nutmeg since most of its spices are similar. It is most often used in savory foods, but it also has a lot of warm baking spice undertones. It may be used in a number of sweet baked treats.

Since garam masala has a variety of spices, use just a tiny bit at a time. When replacing Nutmeg in baking recipes, a 1:1 substitute ratio is recommended.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What does Nutmeg do in baking?

When ground nutmeg is added to baked goods, the taste is significantly improved.

Is Nutmeg the same as cloves?

Cloves are dried buds harvested from the Myrtaceae, sometimes known as the clove tree. Nutmeg, on the other hand, is the dried seed of the nutmeg tree, Myristica fragrans.

Is Nutmeg in the nut family?

No, despite the fact that it includes the word nut, nutmeg is not related to peanuts or tree nuts. It is a dried seed that has been ground into a spice.


Nutmeg is a versatile spice that can be used in both sweet and savory recipes and is valued for its nutty taste and warm tones. Besides from its taste, it has other health advantages that make it an excellent spice.

If you don’t have any nutmeg in your spice cabinet or want to spice things up, there are a few terrific substitutes. Since some of these substitutes work differently than Nutmeg, it’s best to start with little quantities to prevent their overpowering the taste of your baked products.


Can you leave out nutmeg in 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 can I use instead of nutmeg in pumpkin pie?

If You’re Short on Nutmeg

Nutmeg gives your pumpkin pie spice a nutty taste. Mace is a simple nutmeg substitution. If you don’t have mace, just replace it with a bit additional cinnamon.

Are cinnamon and nutmeg interchangeable?

Cinnamon. Cinnamon may be used in lieu of nutmeg in both sweet and savory dishes. It has a similar flavor profile, but it’s a little more pungent, so start with half the amount and taste to see if you need to add more.

Is nutmeg important in a recipe?

Nutmeg is somewhat sweeter than mace and works well with baked or stewed fruit, custards, eggnog, punches, curries, sauces (especially onion-based and milk sauces), pasta, and vegetables (especially spinach).

What spice is closest to nutmeg?

1. 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 ).

What is 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 you use allspice instead of nutmeg in pumpkin pie?

Add 1 Tablespoon + 12 teaspoon cinnamon, 12 teaspoon ginger, 12 teaspoon allspice, and 14 teaspoon cloves instead of nutmeg.

What does nutmeg do in baking?

Nutmeg maintains much of its charm when used to spice up cookery, from gingerbread to muffins to chocolate and fruit desserts. 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.

Can you use brown sugar instead of nutmeg?

Brown sugar has a sweet and tasty taste. It, like nutmeg, may be used in soups, pies, marinades, and even as a meat glaze.

Can I use cumin instead of nutmeg?

If you want to experiment with a different taste in a savory meal, use cumin instead of nutmeg. To avoid overloading your food with too much of a particular taste, start with half the quantity. If necessary or preferred, add extra.

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