Mace is a spice combo of pepper and cinnamon, which gives it a sweet and warm flavor, similar to nutmeg, only a little bit spicier.
It can be used in sweet and savory dishes to season soups, sauces, meat, seafood, vegetables, rice puddings, cookies, cakes, donuts, and other baked goods.
Mace is, however, an expensive spice, and you may find yourself needing an alternative should your recipe call for mace, and you are out of stock. So, what are the best substitutes for mace?
Nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin pie spice, cloves, and mace blades are all excellent mace substitutes. Whichever replacement you use will depend on how sweet or savory you want your recipe to turn out.
What Is Ground Mace?
Mace is an exotic spice that originates from Moluccas, Indonesia. It comes from nutmeg trees meaning they are closely related to nutmeg.
When people harvest nutmeg fruits, the hard seed inside is removed and sold as nutmeg. The fruit has a red covering that is separated and used as a strand of mace or mace blade. This makes mace and nutmeg closely similar in flavor.
Mace covering is dried and grounded to be ground mace which can be added to baked goods and sweet recipes, and it delivers a delicate, sweet, and pungent flavor.
Best Substitutes For Mace
Here are some common ingredients you can use as a mace spice substitute if you cannot get your hands on mace spice!
1. Mace Blades
Mace blades are a fantastic ground mace substitute, they are much cheaper than ground mace, and if your recipe calls for ground spice, you can dry the mace blades and blend them.
Use an equal amount of mace blades in place of ground mace in any recipe that calls for it.
But you may need to keep in mind that mace blades cannot dissolve in water, so they are best suited for steamed recipes like stocks or rice, where it can be cooked for a long time, so all the flavors are juiced out.
When turned into a ground mace, Mace blades can be added to dessert recipes. Simply place dried mace blades in a spice grinder or blender and grind the mace until you achieve a fine powder.
As stated earlier, nutmeg and mace are gotten from the same fruit; this makes nutmeg the closest substitute for mace. Both spices are extracted from the same source, but nutmeg seeds deliver a better flavor than the nutmeg tree.
They may be from the same tree, but nutmeg and mace share slight differences, especially in terms of flavor.
Nutmegs are the seeds of the fruit; this gives them an intense flavor and aroma than mace. They also have a slightly sweet taste, making them a perfect substitute for mace flavor when seasoning meat, sausages, puddings, and baked goods.
Cinnamon is a commonly added spice in desserts and baked goods and an excellent mace alternative. This ingredient is common in many American kitchens and is available in both stick and ground versions.
Cinnamon has a complex flavor profile and is filled with sweet, citrusy, pungent, and earthy notes. Ground cinnamon can be used in place of mace in recipes like puddings, cakes, and pies.
Keep in mind; however that cinnamon tends to have a strong and overwhelming flavor and aroma, so you might want to use less quantity than the recipes asks for mace.
Allspice is another popular spice common in most households. It is an excellent addition to many dessert dishes and not only serves as a mace substitute but can be used to replace nutmeg as well, especially in baking.
Allspice is derived from the dried berries of the pimenta dioica tree; it is a popular Jamaican spice with a flavor combo of nutmeg, cinnamon, and pepper, making it an exciting and fantastic ground mace replacement.
Substitute mace with allspice using a 1:1 ratio.
Ginger has a distinctive flavor profile and can be used as a mace alternative for seasoning meat and savory dishes.
Ginger is native in Southeast Asia; and is a common ingredient in many Asian dishes. It has a bright yellow color, an earth-grey skin, and a sweet but peppery and intense flavor with an intense aroma that gives your dish a desired warmness.
The taste of ginger makes it suitable for seasoning meat, rice, and soups.
6. Pumpkin Pie Spice
Pumpkin pie spice is infamous for its use in pumpkin pies, but that’s not the only dish they are great in; pumpkin pie spice can be used as a mace replacement.
Pumpkin pie spice, unlike fresh pumpkin, does not have an intense pumpkin flavor and aroma; it instead tastes like a mix of ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice, making it a perfect substitute for mace.
Its delicate flavor means you can use the same ratio as mace required in a recipe.
7. Apple Pie Spice
If you are making apple tart or pudding, you can swap out mace for some apple pie sauce; it is a great substitute for mace and quite similar to pumpkin pie spice.
Apple pie spice has a flavor combination of nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, and cinnamon. However, it also has an intense apple taste which means they are best used for only apple-based desserts.
Adding the spice to other recipes gives them an outstanding apple aroma which may alter your dish. When substituting, you should use a ratio of ½ teaspoon of apple pie spice for one teaspoon of mace.
Cloves also serve as a great mace spice substitute; in fact, cloves and mace both originate from Indonesia, although they are not from the same family. Cloves share similar flavor traits with mace, making them a suitable replacement.
Cloves have a peppery, smoky, and pungent aroma and give dishes a warm and sweet flavor like mace. You can purchase whole cloves and blend them into a fine powder to replace ground mace.
They can be used the same way you would use ground mace in meat and dessert recipes.