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The 9 Best Cinnamon Substitutes

The 9 Best Cinnamon Substitutes

Cinnamon is a fragrant spice that is derived from the inner bark of a Cinnamomum tree and can be purchased in quills, sticks, or freshly ground powder. If you have questions on what to do with your cinnamon quills, check out this guide on how to use cinnamon sticks. Sometimes used medicinally, cinnamon can lend both a sweet and savory element to dishes worldwide from cinnamon rolls and snickerdoodles to Moroccan chicken and Mexican Mole sauce. 

Ceylon cinnamon, Saigon cinnamon and Korintje cinnamon all have unique flavor profiles. Ceylon is the more “classic” flavor of cinnamon with floral and citrus notes. Saigon cinnamon has a hotter flavor and is noticeably sweet. Korintje is a favorite among bakers and has a bittersweet flavor that you can find in cinnamon candies. To take a deep dive into the different types of cinnamon check out this blog post we wrote on the subject.


Cinnamon Substitutes: 

So, you are probably at this point asking: “what can I use as a substitute for cinnamon?” 

Substitutes for Cinnamon can range from spices with similar flavor profiles, such as nutmeg and allspice, to a whole blend of spices. Alternatively, apple pie spice and pumpkin pie spice blends often contain cinnamon and can serve as a good substitute in a pinch. 

Substitute for Cinnamon Stick: 

If a recipe calls for a whole cinnamon stick or quill, but you only have ground cinnamon, use 1/2-1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon for one stick or quill. You could also use ground allspice to substitute cinnamon sticks. If you use allspice instead, start with a 1/4 of the amount of allspice for cinnamon. 

Substitute for Cinnamon in Apple Pie:

A good substitute for cinnamon in apple pie is the aptly named apple pie spice. This is a good alternative because cinnamon is a key ingredient in apple pie spice. Other good substitutes include nutmeg and allspice (use 1/4 amount). 

Substitute for Cinnamon in Baking:

Cinnamon is a key ingredient in sweet baking recipes, especially cinnamon rolls and apple pie. If you need to substitute cinnamon, consider using nutmeg, cloves, or allspice. Another option is apple pie spice which contains cinnamon. 

Common Cinnamon Questions 

What is Similar to Cinnamon? 

There are a few spices that are similar to cinnamon in flavor profile including nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, and mace

Can You Substitute Ginger for Cinnamon? 

Ground ginger is a good substitute for cinnamon because they both lend a warm, sweet flavor to dishes. Both spices are fairly equal in strength, so you can try a 1:1 substitution ratio. 

Can You Use Cinnamon Sugar Instead of Ground Cinnamon?

Yes! Cinnamon sugar is a good substitute for ground cinnamon as both contain the key spice: cinnamon. Obviously the sugar should be considered and lessened in the recipe as a result. Typically in a cinnamon sugar recipe with ½ cup there is 1-2 tablespoons of cinnamon. 

Which Cinnamon is Best?

There is no right or wrong way to use cinnamon in regards to its flavor. We do suggest buying it often and in smaller amounts to enjoy its peak flavor. Each type of cinnamon has its own nuanced flavor, and each lends themselves better to certain recipes. For instance, Korintje cinnamon is popular for sweet baking while Ceylon cinnamon is perfect for curries or a Mexican-style hot cocoa. Check our blog on the different types of cinnamon for more information. 

How to Use Cinnamon?

Cinnamon is a powerful flavor that adds depth to any dish you add it to. It is a popular spice in many baking recipes like persimmon pudding, ginger spice cookies, ginger snaps, and cinnamon rolls. If you are looking for a savory flavor profile, try recipes for Turkish stuffed peppers or a classic beef curry cassoulet.




Cathy Meier on September 8th, 2021

My daughter in law is allergic to any amount of cinnamon! I am making apple pie filling and I want her to be able to enjoy it also! What can I use instead of cinnamon and what are the measurements? Thank you

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