Here's What You Can Substitute For Cinnamon

We've all been there before — you get home from the store, hands aching after carrying all those shopping bags in one trip, but still brimming with excitement about trying out the latest recipe you saw online. Then, as you unload your items, slowly but surely realization hits: You forgot something essential. If that essential something just happens to be cinnamon, then you're in luck! We're here to tell you there are a few simple solutions to your missing ingredient problem.

Cinnamon is a versatile spice that often pops up in festive fall and winter cooking, but has made its way into America's heart year-round. Even better? Cinnamon has a ton of health benefits, which means that eating all of those cinnamon rolls you recently baked is actually somewhat justifiable. And if you are in fact baking some cinnamon rolls and find yourself in a pinch, one of the best spices to substitute cinnamon with is nutmeg. According to Rachel Fine, RD, CSSD of To The Pointe Nutrition, nutmeg is an effortlessly sweet swap for cinnamon because it's easy to do so at a one-to-one ratio and even packs some health benefits of its own, since it is rich in antioxidants (via Livestrong). But nutmeg isn't the only substitute for cinnamon.

Even more substitutes for cinnamon

According to SPICEography, another great bet for substituting cinnamon is allspice. This fragrant spice is actually produced from small, peppercorn-like berries that fall from the Jamaican-native allspice tree. You'll find allspice in both sweet and savory dishes like jerk chicken and gingerbread (via The Spruce Eats). Allspice has a similar flavor to cinnamon that makes the swap almost unnoticeable, so long as you only use 1/3 of the amount. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, only use 1/3 teaspoon of allspice. It's important to be cautious when measuring out your allspice substitution, as it is more potent than cinnamon — and if 2011's viral Cinnamon Challenge taught us anything, it's that cinnamon is strong; so remember, start out small, then add more to taste if necessary.

While obviously not an ideal solution for replacing cinnamon altogether, whole cinnamon sticks are another great option for baking if you don't have (or can't find) the spice in its ground form. The math is simple: 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon powder is equal to one single 3 inch cinnamon stick (via GourmetSleuth). You can easily grind whole cinnamon sticks yourself to make a powder, but if you're already baking with a warm liquid component, you could infuse with the sticks as well. FoodsGuy says you do this by simply heating the necessary liquid that your recipe calls for with the sticks submerged for at least 10 minutes. Afterwards, you can remove the cinnamon sticks and continue to bake with the liquid per your recipe's instructions.