Do Nutmeg and Cinnamon go together? (Explained)

Nutmeg and cinnamon are popular spices used in baked goods and holiday treats, especially in making desserts. 

But do they go together?

Yes, you can use nutmeg and cinnamon to make a tasteful meal. Both spices have flavors that complement each other; however, you should not use them in the same quantity. 

This article highlights everything you need to know about nutmeg and cinnamon, their use in dishes, and the best substitutes for each. 

What is the difference between cinnamon and nutmeg?

Although they are both used for flavoring dishes, cinnamon and nutmeg are derived from different parts of the plant. While cinnamon is derived from the bark of the cinnamon tree, nutmeg is the seed of an Indonesian tree known as Myristica fragrans.

In terms of flavor, cinnamon is sweet, while nutmeg has a fairly sweet and pungent taste. Hence, nutmeg is commonly used for savory meals, while cinnamon is used for sweet dishes.

How to use nutmeg and cinnamon together

As mentioned in the introduction, nutmeg and cinnamon go together, making a great combination in dishes. 

To use these two spices in one dish, the rule of thumb is 1:4 nutmeg to cinnamon. This is necessary to keep the zing as minimal as possible. 

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You can, however, try other ratios to see what works best for you. Never use nutmeg and cinnamon in the exact quantities in recipes.

Can nutmeg and cinnamon be used interchangeably?

No, nutmeg and cinnamon taste very differently and should not be substituted for each other. Cinnamon gives a sweet, spicy taste to food, while nutmeg lends a remarkable tangy taste to dishes with a slight hint of sweetness.

Best substitutes for nutmeg 

If you don’t have nutmeg, the following spices are a great alternative to nutmeg. 


This spice is also from the Myristica fragrans tree; it has a similar flavor to nutmeg, and you can easily substitute them.


Though not as spicy as nutmeg, allspice has a similar color and nutritional value as nutmeg.

Star anise

You can grate some star anise as a perfect substitute for nutmeg, and it is also medicinal. 

Best substitutes for cinnamon 

  • Apple pie spice
  • Cardamom
  • Pumpkin pie spice 
  • Cloves

Health benefits of cinnamon

In addition to flavoring your meals, cinnamon can positively affect your health. Some of the benefits are:

  • Cinnamon can help with wrinkles and aging skin
  • It may help reduce cancer risk 
  • Improves gut health
  • It may help lower blood sugar level
  • Cinnamon contains antibacterial effects that can help clear acne.

Mix two teaspoons of honey with a sprinkle of cinnamon and apply to the affected area. Leave for about ten minutes, and then rinse gently with warm water.

Health benefits of nutmeg

  • It can help eliminate bad breath
  • Improves mood
  • Enhances better sleep 
  • Improves cognitive ability
  • It may help relieve stress 
  • Help regulate blood pressure 
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Recipes ideas for nutmeg and cinnamon

  • Carrot cake
  • Cinnamon rolls
  • Coconut puff puff
  • Mosa
  • Fish stew
  • Beef shawarma fillings
  • Cinnamon rice

Frequently asked questions

Can I use nutmeg in place of cinnamon? 

Cinnamon and nutmeg are very different and cannot be used interchangeably in recipes. Cinnamon gives a spicy flavor, and nutmeg adds a nutty taste to meals.

What other spices go together with cinnamon and nutmeg? 

Cloves, turmeric, ginger, and allspice make an excellent combination with nutmeg and cinnamon.  


Cinnamon and nutmeg have long been used to make meals taste better; the truth is, you can use them together for an even tastier meal. Remember to stick with the recommended ratio when using these spices together.

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