Substitute For Nutmeg In Apple Pie

Substitute For Nutmeg In Apple Pie

Nutmeg is a spice that actually comes from the seed of an evergreen tree. You can find it whole or ground, but a lot of people prefer the whole seed since it lasts longer and can be freshly grated to get the best flavour. This spice can be intense so you must use it sparingly. It has a warm, nutty, and spicy flavour that packs a punch in both sweet and savoury dishes. You can find nutmeg in desserts such pumpkin pie, gingerbread cookies and apple pie and it also adds flavour to creamy dishes such as Alfredo sauce and green bean casserole. This spice is often used in combination with other spices. There may be instances where you run out of nutmeg, thankfully there are a lot of other alternatives that you can consider using in place of nutmeg in apple pie. Below are some of the best alternatives for nutmeg.



One of the best substitutes for nutmeg in apple pie is cinnamon. There is a high chance that this spice is already in your cabinet. Cinnamon comes from the bark of the cinnamon tree and it can be found as whole sticks or ground. Both cinnamon and nutmeg add warmth to sweet and savoury dishes, although their flavours may be different. To use cinnamon in place of nutmeg use about half as much cinnamon as you would nutmeg, then taste in order to determine if you want to add more or not.


Another great substitute for nutmeg in apple pie is mace. Mace and nutmeg are actually one in the same thing. Mace is the outer part of the nutmeg seed, so it only makes sense that the ground spice is one of the best alternatives for nutmeg. In addition, mace has a similar warm, sweet flavour and can often be used as a replacement in equal parts. You can also use mace in a lot of other pastry products apart from baking apple pie.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

You can also use pumpkin pie spice in place of nutmeg when preparing apple pie. The good thing about pumpkin pie spice is that it appears in all sorts of recipes such as in latte pancakes. This classic autumnal spice is usually a mix of cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, as well as nutmeg. Therefore you can use pumpkin pie spice in almost all the dishes that require nutmeg. You can use a one to  one ratio when using pumpkin pie spice in place of nutmeg. The good thing about using pumpkin pie spice is that your apple pie or other recipe will not be very different.


Also on our list of some of the best substitutes for nutmeg in apple pie is allspice. In spite its name, allspice is not a blend of all different spices, it is made from ground dried allspice berries. The flavour of allspice tastes just like a combination of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and peppercorn. Allspice makes a great substitute for nutmeg in a lot of recipes that may need nutmeg.  You can simply use a one to one ratio when using allspice in place of nutmeg in your baked goods.


Cloves can also make a great substitute for nutmeg in apple pie. In fact cloves are another classic holiday spice that are great in a lot of recipes. Just like nutmeg, ground cloves can add a bit of warmth and spice to a lot of holiday desserts. The aromatic flower buds can be found whole or ground. You can easily swap ground cloves for ground nutmeg in equal parts, but if you are using whole cloves to add flavour to sauces or soups, make sure that you strain them out before serving them.


This may come as a surprise to many but you can use ginger in place of nutmeg in apple pie. You can consider using ground ginger because it has a lot more zing than nutmeg, but it makes for a great substitute if you do not mind a little spicy flavour. Also, if you are making a recipe that calls for both ginger and nutmeg such as gingerbread cookies you can easily make use of more ground ginger in place of the nutmeg in your recipe.


If you are the kind of person that likes chai tea lattes, then you probably know about cardamom. Cardamom is one of the main ingredients used in chai spice blends. This ingredient has a distinct flavour, so it can be a bit tricky to use as a substitute for a lot of baked goods. However, you can use cardamom in place of nutmeg if your recipe calls for a small amount of nutmeg. You can also use cardamom if you are making eggnog, simply dust ground cardamom over the top for a unique twist.

Garam Masala

Garam masala is another key ingredient in a lot of Indian curries and other dishes that you can use in place of nutmeg in apple pie. Take note that garam masala is a complex blend of spices that sometimes includes cinnamon, coriander, mace, nutmeg, and peppercorn, to name a few. Like nutmeg, garam masala can add warmth and a touch of heat to your dish. However, it works best as a replacement in savoury dishes, not desserts. Also take note the garam masala contains a lot of flavours so be sure to only use a little at a time.

Apple Pie Spice

The last substitute for nutmeg  in apple pie on our list of some of the best alternatives for nutmeg is apple pie spice. Just like pumpkin pie spice, apple pie spice is a mix of warm spices. The main difference between apple pie spice and pumpkin pie spice is that apple pie spice normally includes cardamom. It can make a great substitute for nutmeg when used in small amounts though. When replacing nutmeg with apple pie spice you can start with half the suggested amount of nutmeg and taste as you go.

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