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Substitute for Ground Mace

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Mace is native to Indonesia and found in some Caribbean islands, specifically Grenada, where nutmeg is a national symbol. Myristica fragrans is a nutmeg tree, and its a tropical plant that produces both nutmeg and mace. And mace is the lacy red coating or aril, encasing the nutmeg seed.

Ground Mace Nutrition Facts

Substitute for Ground Mace

The trees fruit splits open at maturity to reveal the seed and aril. The aril is removed by hand, flattened once the fruit is harvested, and left to dry outside for ten to fourteen days. The red aril takes on an amber, yellow or orange-brown color as it dries and is called a blade of mace when left whole. The blades are then sold or ground into a powdered spice.

Uses of Ground Mace

Substitute for Ground Mace

Ground mace has a light flavor that pairs well with savory dishes. Its sweet, woody, and warm, with a mild spicy kick, much like nutmeg but not quite as strong or sweet. Maces can also be described as a combination of cinnamon and pepper. And it can be added to a dry spice mix, used in a recipe, or sprinkle on top of sweets, porridge, or beverages similar to ground nutmeg.

It can turn bitter when cooked too long, so its best used as a finishing touch, seasoning before serving, or incorporated into doughs that cook at lower temperatures. Pre-ground options are always easier to find but not always better to use. The essential oils in mace and nutmeg lose their potency and turn stale as soon as theyre ground. So, invest in a spice grinder if you can and buy mace in full, dried blade form. Itll give you the purest benefits of its flavor profile when its fresh ground.

It would be best to ground mace into a crumble or crisp topping to give a bit of an edge and use a pinch to garnish your creamy pasta or an old-fashioned cocktail. Or you can add it to these interesting recipes and dishes;

  • Colcannon
  • Orange chicken it
  • Pumpkin tea bread
  • Spiced pork
  • Liver pate
  • Squash and apple bake
  • Italian sausage
  • Tom and Jerry mix
  • Panang curry paste
  • Sweet potato pie
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Christmas rocks
  • Sugarless fruitcake
  • Cookies
  • Doughnuts
  • Chicken pie
  • French tourtiere
  • Sauerkraut balls

Substitutes for Ground Mace

You may discover too late that your jar of ground mace is exhausted and need to replace it. Or perhaps you need something different yet similar in your cooking. And any of these alternatives are capable of doing so;


This is the nutmeg tree’s seed. Its available as a whole and ground, and it has a sweet, nutty flavor similar to the flavor of mace but slightly sweeter. And its used in soups, casseroles, pies, meats, vegetables, puddings, baked goods, and many other sweet and savory dishes. You can substitute nutmeg with mace in a 1:1 ratio.


Whats great about cinnamon is that its affordable and can be found easily. And it has a strong and intense flavor, a slightly spicy and sweet effect used in many dishes. Its gotten from the inner bark of the cinnamon tree and works amazingly in baked goods, drinks, desserts, curry dishes, meat, and sausages. Its also one of the ingredients in some spice mixtures like garam masala and pumpkin pie spice.

Because of its strong flavor, use half of the cinnamon to substitute ground mace in your recipe, then taste the food and add more if needed.


Allspice is not a mixture of spices but one spice made from the dried berries of the allspice tree. This spice has a sweet, warm flavor similar to combining cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. And you can find it whole or in ground form.

Whole berries work well in stews but, you can also add them to lamb and beef meat. And usually, they are used for brining and pickling. On the other hand, ground allspice is a common ingredient in pies, cakes, vegetables, soups, and baked goods. Substitute ground mace with allspice in a 1:1 ratio.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Though many believe this ingredient is restricted to pumpkin pies, it still uses a mace substitute. One intriguing factor about it is the spice doesnt taste like pumpkin but is a combination of allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Some pumpkin pie spice blends also include cloves.

Its a great spice mixture that blends in cookies, cakes, potato pies, pumpkin pies, waffles, muffins, pancakes, and beverages. And nutmeg is one of the ingredients in this mixture. Therefore, pumpkin pie spice has a similar flavor to mace and is a good substitute. Use it in a 1:1 ratio in your recipes.


If you want the easiest substitute for ground mace, we recommend ginger. And were sure that you have some in your pantry. As for the flavor profile, ginger has a spicier flavor profile with a lesser sweet profile than mace, but its strong flavor mellows when cooked. And gingers flavor can be roughly described as slightly sweet but spicy.

Its a common ingredient in sweet and savory dishes, including stews, stir-fries, marinades, soups, curries, sauces, desserts, drinks, and spice mixtures. And ginger can replace ground mace in vegetable and meat dishes. But, ginger doesnt go well with sweet dishes or desserts. So, when youve to substitute for ground mace, use the same amount of ginger in the vegetable-based or meat recipes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are mace and nutmeg the same?

Though they come from the same nutmeg tree, theyre different. Nutmeg is the seed found inside the trees ripe fruit after being picked and split open, and the lacy membrane that surrounds the seed, once removed and dried, is mace.

What is ground mace good for?

Ground mace is taken by mouth for diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach spasms and pain, and intestinal gas. Mace is also applied to the skin to kill pain, especially those caused by achy joints.

How much maces do you need to get high?

Nutmeg and mace contain psychoactive chemicals such as safrole, elemicin, and myristicin because of the large amounts needed, usually 2 grams, to get high. People experiment with it, but we only advise you to do so in terms of blending flavors.


Ground mace has a perfect taste blend that makes the dish irresistible and appealing to anyone, anytime. But you cant always be sure to find this great ingredient every time you need it. So, these great ingredients are useful as substitutes for ground mace in your dishes and recipes.


Is mace and allspice the same?

Like mace, allspice can be used to add flavour to both sweet and savoury dishes. But although it has a similar flavour profile to mace, it’s stronger. So if you plan to use it as a substitute in your dishes, reduce the amount by half.

Can I use mace instead of nutmeg?

You can replace nutmeg for mace at a 1:1 ratio. Mace is the outer covering of the nutmeg seed and has a flavor similar to that of nutmeg. You can easily swap in mace using equal amounts.

Are mace and nutmeg the same?

Can you substitute one for the other? While nutmeg and mace are related, and come from the same nutmeg tree, they are different. Nutmeg is the seed found inside the ripe fruit of the tree, after it’s been picked and split open. The lacy membrane that surrounds the seed, once removed and dried, is mace.

What is ground mace?

An aromatic golden brown spice obtained from the dried aril (net-like sheath) of the Nutmeg seed, mace brings fragrant, nutmeg-like aromas and warm taste to any dish. Use as a nutmeg substitution or addition to desserts, stews and more. 5.0.

What is equivalent to whole mace?

However, if you cannot find mace, several good substitutes will work just as well. These substitutes include nutmeg, allspice, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and garam masala. What exactly is this? These spices have a similar flavor profile to mace and can be used in many of the same dishes.

What spice becomes mace?

What Is Mace? Mace (Myristica fragrans of the family Myristicaceae) is the lacy outer layer encircling a whole nutmeg seed. Also called the aril, this outer layer can be removed, dried, and used as a spice in its own right.

Is mace the same as ground cloves?

Allspice has a warm and peppery flavor that imitates the flavor of cloves in recipes. Ground allspice can be used as a 1:1 substitute for ground cloves in recipes. Mace is a good replacement for ground cloves because it complements other ingredients in the dish.

How do you make mace powder?

To make mace powder, first clean and roast the whole mace in a hot pan to release the moisture entirely and to make it crisp. Cool it. Now gently grind it in a grinder. If required, sieve it to get a smooth and uniform powder.

Why is mace so expensive?

It can also be used in beverages such as tropical punches and chocolate drinks to add an exotic kick. Mace is usually more expensive than nutmeg, since the yield of mace from a harvest of nutmeg fruits is so much lower than that of nutmeg. Only a single pound of mace is produced for every 100 pounds of nutmeg.

What does mace do in a recipe?

Mace is a component of numerous spice mixtures, including curry powder, garam masala, and ras el hanout. It is used in baked goods–particularly donuts, cakes, puddings, and custards–but also in pickling recipes or to infuse flavor, as is done with a bay leaf.

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