Cinnamon has a sweet yet spicy flavor that goes well with tons of recipes and can give your foods and beverages an irresistible kick. Cinnamon is also packed with medicinal properties that help lower blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of heart disease, and more. However, there are many types and forms of this spice, which makes it challenging to find the right one for your kitchen.
When looking for the best cinnamon to buy, you should think about factors such as the form of the cinnamon and how it is processed. For an excellent, all-purpose cinnamon, we recommend Simply Organic's Ceylon Cinnamon. To help you figure out which is the best cinnamon for you, we also compiled a buying guide at the end with plenty of helpful tips and information.
I am a pastry chef of 10+ years, classically trained. I'm also the owner and operator of Bleu Moon Bakery - Vegan (2016-2021). My newest endeavor (small business) - Baby Cakes - creates custom cakes and treats with allergy-friendly options.
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Cinnamon is a healthy, tasty spice made from tree bark that's a great addition to hot drinks and baked goods. However, each type of cinnamon has its own distinctive taste and flavor. You might also want to consider which form of cinnamon - stick or ground - will be the most convenient for you.
There are two popular types of cinnamon: Ceylon and Cassia. Both taste great, but they have some differences that you might want to take into consideration before making a purchase.
Ceylon cinnamon originally comes from Sri Lanka and the southern regions of India. It's tan and has a nuanced, slightly sweet flavor that's great for simple desserts and drinks. It's also the type of cinnamon commonly used in Mexican recipes. When in stick form, it has a smoother texture than Cassia cinnamon.
Since it's more subtle, it's best used alone or with flavors that won't overwhelm it, like vanilla. This will allow you to enjoy its complex flavor! However, Ceylon cinnamon is often more expensive. If you need a lot of cinnamon flavor and aren't too worried about nuance, you may want to use Cassia instead.
According to research studies, Ceylon cinnamon can help prevent blood sugar spikes and improve insulin sensitivity.
If you love cinnamon and often integrate it into your daily diet, Ceylon cinnamon is a good choice since it contains only 0.004 percent coumarin, a compound in the plant that has been associated with kidney, liver, or lung damage in extremely high doses.
Ceylon cinnamon is delicious, yet mild. It is great to use when blending and building flavors, but you don't want it to be the most prominent thing you taste. It's especially great in spice mixes and cakes.
Cassia cinnamon is native to southern China but has been cultivated across eastern and southern Asia. It's dark brown-red and has a rougher texture than Ceylon cinnamon. While its flavor differs depending on the reason, it generally offers a strong, classic taste. Since it's not as sweet as Ceylon, it's excellent for savory dishes.
Like Ceylon cinnamon, Cassia cinnamon is excellent for people with diabetes since it helps control blood sugar levels, improves insulin sensitivity, and stops the growth of bacteria or fungi.
However, Cassia cinnamon contains around one percent coumarin, so you shouldn't use it too often in your daily diet. To be safe, adults shouldn't consume more than one teaspoon per day.
Cassia cinnamon is the most common. It has a nice flavor but can tend to get bitter when used in large amounts.
Cassia cinnamon has a pretty intense flavor, so a small amount can go a long way. Also, you should keep in mind that Cassia cinnamons produced in different regions have their own distinctive tastes!
Just like anything grown, different regions will have a different flavor profile, similar to wines. My favorite cinnamon would be Saigon cinnamon. It is considered the world's finest cinnamon and has the best bold flavor overall.
When shopping for cinnamon, you will usually see it as a whole stick or ground powder. Each form has some small differences in flavor, longevity, and application.
Ground cinnamon can be used for a variety of recipes, from irresistible cinnamon rolls to a cup of hot chocolate. It's also excellent as a garnish on top of whipped cream or baked goods.
Since you typically add the powder directly to foods and drinks, the flavor tends to release more quickly and is a bit stronger than a cinnamon stick. However, the flavor will likely dissipate quickly as well. You might want to add the powder closer to the end of cooking to ensure that the taste remains.
However, keep in mind that ground cinnamon won't ever dissolve! If you want to add it to a liquid, like coffee, be sure to stir it well to incorporate the powder. You can also mix it with other things, like honey, to help incorporate it. If you don't want the gritty texture of cinnamon in drinks like spiced cider, infuse your drink with a stick instead.
Compared to cinnamon sticks, powder tends to lose its flavor faster in storage. Also, you should be careful not to get moisture into the bottle, as it can easily ruin the whole jar!
Using ground cinnamon in baking adds a flavorful addition to any recipe, a heavy and prominent flavor in cinnamon rolls, and even a mild balanced flavor in carrot cakes. Using sticks in baking works when poaching pears or adding a nice flavor to jams or sauces.
Cinnamon sticks are a great addition to mulled wines, stews, or curries. You can also place them in your favorite hot drinks to slowly extract the flavor. Or, you can infuse liquids like tea, honey, and milk for more flavor! You can infuse it in a sealed container in the fridge for at least a day or gently heat it on the stove.
Cinnamon sticks are great for arts and crafts as well. You can grab a bunch of them together to make a Christmas wreath or a cinnamon-scented candle.
Typically, cinnamon sticks have a longer shelf life than the ground variety. Plus, you can also grind the sticks into powder if needed. You can use an electric coffee or spice grinder, or do it manually with a mortar and pestle or zester.
You might see the "certified organic" seal on the packaging, but what exactly does it mean? According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), products can only be certified organic if they are grown on soil with no prohibited substances such as certain fertilizers or pesticides. However, some pesticides are allowed.
All stages of production, including processing, handling, or storage, have to conform to organic standards approved by a certification body such as USDA, ECOCERT, or EU Organic Certification.
So if eating organic is a priority for you, choose a product with a certified organic label. If you have allergies, check if the product is produced in a dedicated facility to avoid cross-contamination.
If you're concerned about sourcing, it may be more helpful to look into fair-trade or ethically farmed options. See if the company is transparent about where they get their cinnamon and how they treat the people involved in the production! Some products that aren't certified organic may still have excellent production practices.
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Best Organic Ground Ceylon Cinnamon
Organic Korintje Cinnamon Stick
Best Bulk Cinnamon Sticks for a Strong Scent
Ceylon Cinnamon Powder
Best Ceylon Cinnamon for Cooking
Ceylon Cinnamon Powder
Best Ground Ceylon for Coffee and Tea
Organic Vietnamese Cinnamon
Best Strong Cinnamon With a High Oil Content
Best Container for Keeping Cinnamon Fresh
Best Versatile and Familiar Cinnamon Sticks
Best Large Jar of Cinnamon for Avid Bakers
Best Long Cinnamon Sticks for Drinks
Best Bulk Sticks for Baking, Crafts, and More
This organic cinnamon powder has a nuanced, slightly-sweet flavor with spicy notes. It has about one to 1.6 percent oil content, giving it a flavor that's pleasant without being overly strong. Plus, Epicurious, a popular food website, voted it as their favorite in 2018.
Some reviewers have concerns about the authenticity of the product on Amazon, so we included a link to the brand's official online shop as well. Overall, many reviewers compliment this cinnamon's subtle, slightly sweet taste. They say that it's excellent for everyday use in french toast, hot cocoa, banana bread, and more.
FGO's cinnamon sticks are sourced from Indonesia and packaged in a resealable bag. One bag contains 100 organic sticks of cinnamon that are just under three inches long.
There are some reports that these sticks have a milder cinnamon flavor. Meanwhile, most are pleased with their freshness and sweet flavor. They especially love the scent! Many enjoy using them in cider, coffee, and mulled wine.
This organic Ceylon cinnamon comes in a large one-pound bag, making it an excellent choice for avid bakers and cooks. However, there are some reports that it doesn't have the typical nuanced flavor of Ceylon, so keep that in mind.
Overall, many reviewers love that it doesn't have any bitterness. They especially like that they can enjoy the health benefits of cinnamon without worry, like with Cassia. Since it's slightly bolder than Ceylon usually is, we especially recommend it for cooking! Reviewers confirm that it's great in sweet potatoes.
This organic Ceylon cinnamon has a mildly sweet taste. It comes in a large one-pound resealable bag, making it an excellent choice to keep in your pantry for baking or cooking. We especially recommend it for drinks since it has a mild flavor.
Some reviewers report issues with quality control, stating they have received some bags that taste fresh and others that taste state. However, many reviewers are impressed with this cinnamon's delicious flavor and aroma. They confirm that it's excellent in coffee and tea!
This Vietnamese cinnamon has a relatively high volatile oil content of five percent, making the taste richer and bolder. Plus, it's made by a member-owned company that gives back four percent of its profit to charity.
Some reviewers warn that this cinnamon has a higher amount of coumarin. Nevertheless, many love the sweet, pungently fresh flavor. They also note that a little goes a long way. If you're after a strong cinnamon flavor, this may be the option for you!
This Ceylon cinnamon comes in a glass jar with a lid that clamps shut, making it one of the best types of packaging for freshness on our list. Plus, this style of jar is easier to refill. Since it has a delicate flavor, we recommend it in simple drinks and recipes.
Overall, reviewers love this cinnamon. Many state that it's their favorite brand, noting its sweet and nuanced flavor. They also like the functionality and appearance of the jar. Plus, you can order larger amounts of this cinnamon to refill the jar!
If you're looking for the flavor of cinnamon you grew up with, consider these sticks from McCormick. They have a nostalgic warm flavor. Plus, they are packed in a plastic container, protecting them from getting broken or crushed.
Some reviewers report that these sticks don't have a strong cinnamon scent. On the other hand, many reviewers like using them in coffee, tea, and mulled wine. They also appreciate that the sticks arrived whole!
If you often find yourself making recipes that call for a strong cinnamon flavor, this Vietnamese Cassia cinnamon is an excellent option. It has a bold flavor that will stand out in foods and drinks. Plus, the lid has shaking and pouring options.
Overall, this cinnamon is widely praised for its bold flavor. Many reviewers say this is an excellent bulk option for those that often cook or bake with cinnamon. Its rich taste means that it will stand up to strong flavors like chocolate or curry!
This is another offering from Frontier Co-op, a brand that's member-owned and gives back to the community. These Cassia cinnamon sticks are uniquely long. At six inches, they will easily rest in your cup of coffee, mulled wine, or spiced cider!
Overall, reviewers love the taste and smell of these sticks, saying they have a strong aroma. They especially love using them in drinks, saying they make excellent stirrers. Some also recommend them for crafting due to their scent and appearance.
This two-pound bag of cinnamon sticks is great if you need a lot of cinnamon. You will receive 100 to 150 sticks of Cassia cinnamon, making this an excellent option for bulk baking or crafting.
Some reviewers say that these sticks lack a strong cinnamon smell. However, other reviewers confirm that this is a great option for buying cinnamon sticks in bulk. While many enjoy using them for cooking, we especially recommend them for crafting.
King Arthur's Vietnamese Cinnamon is the only cinnamon I buy. The flavor overall is perfection. With a spicy, robust flavor, it adds boldness and vibrance to all bakes.
Herbs and spices like cinnamon are commonly irradiated. Irradiation is a process that exposes food to ionizing radiation. Food irradiation can help extend the shelf-life of foods by eliminating microorganisms that can cause spoilage or food-borne diseases.
Food treated this way is considered to be safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. However, there are conflicting opinions on the effect of irradiation on nutritional content. The U.S. Center for Food Safety states that food irradiation can reduce the vitamin content from two to 95 percent.
On the other hand, some scientists say that food irradiation doesn't cause any significant loss in nutritional value. The low levels of irradiation can result in a slight reduction of vitamins, but no more than other processes like canning, drying, or blanching.
While irradiation does improve the safety of certain foods, it doesn't replace proper storage and handling. Food can still become contaminated after irradiation! Whether or not this is an important factor for you, all irradiated food is labeled with the green Radura symbol and the statement "treated with radiation."
Still want to know more about cinnamon? Shayanne is here to answer a commonly asked question on the Internet.
Shayanne says, "It is rare but not impossible for a spice to go bad. As long as it is stored properly, it has the potential of lasting a very long time."
Use your cinnamon sticks to make this delicious mulled wine from The Edgy Veg. It's sure to keep you warm on cold winter nights!
If you are looking for some food and drinks that pair well with a bit of cinnamon, check out our suggestions below!
If you're interested in checking out even more cinnamon options, take a look at Amazon's best sellers!
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