This may depend on recipe, however since Mace is the outer coating of nutmeg seeds, I was wondering if nutmeg can be substituted in for mace in recipes. Specifically, there is this recipe for hot dogs that I want to try from about.com:


3 feet sheep or small (1-1/2-inch diameter) hog casings
1 pound lean pork, cubed
3/4 pound lean beef, cubed
1/4 pound pork fat, cubed
1/4 cup very finely minced onion
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard seed
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon freshly fine ground white pepper
1 egg white
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 cup milk

I have nutmeg in powdered form, is that an acceptable substitution and if so do I need to make any adjustments to the recipe? Would prefer the answer generalized a ratio of nutmeg for needed mace for other recipes.

3 Answers 3


The flavors are very similar (they are different parts of the fruit of the same tree, nutmeg being the nut itself, and mace being a covering that grows around the shell), although nutmeg tends to be slightly stronger and more forward.

in a complicated hot dog recipe, I imagine that the substitution should work well, although you might choose to try your first batch with 3/4 the amount.


Nutmeg can be substituted for mace in many cases, but it will depend on your recipe and personal preferences. I find the flavor of nutmeg to be much stronger and more astringent than mace, so I generally only keep mace on hand and substitute the other way. Keeping in mind that nutmeg is much stronger in flavor, I'd start by substituting at 1/4 and working up by taste.


Try "Apple Pie Spice" mixes. From the smell of these, I believe they usually contain mace. Otherwise, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, coriander, cardamom, or a some combination of these can all be substituted for mace. In butternut squash, I recommend a mild curry powder. However, none of these will give the same flavor as mace. Nutmeg, mace's fraternal twin, will only taste like a distant relative. I have noticed that, in recent years, mace has been getting harder to find. I don't know why. Mace is my favorite spice, and I use it in most of my holiday desserts. I recommend doing whatever it takes to get mace.

  • 3
    The questioner specifically mentioned he wanted to substitute nutmeg for mace in a hot-dog recipe. I would not expect a mixture of spices to be a good substitute for one of its components, ...particularly if we are talking apple pie spice ... in a hot-dog recipe.
    – Lorel C.
    Oct 10, 2017 at 21:32

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