Cinnamon has been a timeless baking staple. It adds a sweet flavor to pastries as well as mild citrusy, woody, and spicy hints. Literally, every baker’s kitchen has cinnamon powder on its shelf. And if you’re planning to get started on baking as well, you’re probably asking, what is the best cinnamon for baking?
Below, I reviewed 7 of my tried and tested cinnamon powders and sticks for baking. Each of these products pack a lot of flavors that will match just about any baked goods you have in mind. See which of these matches your budget and taste:
What Is The Best Cinnamon For Baking? Here Are My 7 Proven Picks!
OUR #1 CHOICE
OUR TOP PICK: HQOExpress Organic Ground Cinnamon
Overall, you can get this cinnamon in 5-pound bags or smaller amounts as you wish. HQOExpress also sells other spices like chili pepper, onion powder, paprika, beetroot powder, and more. You can easily shop all your needed spices in just one place. For this price, I can say that this cinnamon is total value for money. I just wish that they will improve the packaging so the cinnamon powder won’t leak easily. Also, I noticed that this cinnamon is slightly sweeter than most powders I purchased before. Other than that, this works well for baking pastries and cakes.
USDA-certified organic Non-GMO and sustainably farmed It comes in affordable 5-pound bags Kosher-friendly and gluten-free
It’s slightly sweeter than most cinnamon products I’ve tried. I wish it comes in better packaging.
FGO Organic Korintje Cinnamon Sticks
If you prefer grinding your own spices, I highly recommend the FGO Organic Korintje Cinnamon Sticks. This comes in 100+ sticks that are 2.75-inch long per piece. The sticks are packed in a resealable bag to retain their freshness.
The good thing with cinnamon sticks is that you’re assured that the spice is pure and has no filler.
Moreover, these Korintje cinnamon sticks are imported from Indonesia. It’s certified organic to guarantee healthy and flavorful baked goods.
Just like the one from HQOExpress, the FGO Organic Korintje cinnamon is USDA-certified to be organic and non-GMO. The
For this price, you’re already getting hefty servings of cinnamon. While you have to grind it yourself, it’s not a big deal once you have an electric spice grinder. Nevertheless, FGO also sells this cinnamon in powder form.
Overall, you can use these cinnamon sticks for baking, cooking, or preparing an all-natural potpourri.
Another thing I like about FGO is they give a refund guarantee if you’re not happy with the quality of their cinnamon sticks. For this price range, this is already an unbeatable guarantee.
FGO Organic also sells organic Ceylon cinnamon in both powder and stick form.
Naturevibe Botanicals Organic Ceylon Cinnamon Powder
For those who are looking for Ceylon cinnamon, I highly recommend the Naturevibe Botanicals. Their Ceylon cinnamon is available in small to large packs to suit the need of buyers.
Also, the Naturevibe Botanicals Ceylon Cinnamon Powder is non-GMO and USDA-certified organic. It’s also gluten-free and raw, so you’ll enjoy the full flavor in every scoop. There’s no bitter aftertaste, unlike other cinnamon for baking that I’ve tried before.
This cinnamon is diabetic-friendly and has a nice taste. It also comes at a large serving for a reasonable cost, so I have no major complaints.
I just wish that it comes in better packaging, though you can always transfer it in a canister for better storage. Overall, it’s delicious and flavorful.
For a fresh, organic, and authentic Ceylon cinnamon, this option from Naturevibe is already a steal.
Healthworks Ground Ceylon Cinnamon Powder
Are you into the keto diet? If so, you should consider the Healthworks Ground Ceylon Cinnamon Powder. This powder is sourced from either Sri Lanka or India, so it’s guaranteed pure and high-quality.
Aside from that, this cinnamon powder is USDA-certified organic. It’s also non-GMO, vegan, and keto-friendly to suit almost all diets. Whether you’re baking or cooking your favorite recipes, this cinnamon powder will be an excellent spice.
Moreover, the Healthworks Ceylon cinnamon powder is raw to ensure that it’s loaded with flavor. It also has a fragrant and warm aroma that matches savory meals, baked goods, and drinks.
As for the downside, my only gripe is the poor packaging. It’s not tamper-proof, which is a bit concerning. Nevertheless, their customer service is unbeatable and they will address any problems you have with the product.
If you’re not satisfied with the taste or quality of this cinnamon, Healthworks offers a 30-day replacement or refund guarantee. This way, your purchase is protected, not to mention that this is also reasonably priced.
Simply Organic Ceylon Cinnamon Powder
The Simply Organic Ceylon Cinnamon Powder is a high-quality spice that you can get in small 59-gram bottles. It’s available in 1, 2, and 6-pack options to suit your budget.
Aside from that, this cinnamon is guaranteed non-GMO, Kosher-certified, and ETO-free. It’s also certified organic by QAI. Overall, this is probably one of the cleanest Ceylon cinnamon you can use for baking or cooking.
Simply Organic also observes strict standards to ensure the potency and quality of their cinnamon powder.
Also, this brand has an annual giving program all over Canada and United States. They commit a portion of their sales to food security. So as you enjoy delicious cinnamon rolls, you’re also helping their cause.
The only thing I noticed is it has a slightly bitter taste. Other than that, this cinnamon has the right balance of sweetness, earthy flavor, and spice.
Lastly, this may sound a bit nitpicky, but the lid is creaky. It won’t turn smoothly, but it’s not really a big deal.
King Arthur Ground Vietnamese Cinnamon
For those looking for Vietnamese cinnamon, the one from King Arthur is a must try. It’s nut-free and certified Kosher. On top of that, King Arthur is a baking company, so rest assured that the cinnamon you’ll get has the best flavor to match your baked goods.
Also, since Vietnamese cinnamon has higher oil content, it mixes well with baked goods. It makes this cinnamon easier to bake with, whatever pastries or sweets you’re preparing.
As its name suggests, this cinnamon is sourced from Vietnam. The brand takes pride in its responsible sourcing to ensure that its products remain sustainable and eco-friendly.
Overall, this cinnamon has a warm and sweet taste that’s not too overpowering. It makes great cinnamon rolls and it also blends well with hot cocoa drinks. Every scoop is packed with flavor, so the small jar is worth the purchase.
The only downside I see on this cinnamon is its short shelf life. Unless you’re planning to use it right away, you should only purchase small amounts at a time.
DRUERA Pure Ceylon Cinnamon Powder
My last pick for this roundup is the DRUERA Pure Ceylon Cinnamon Powder. This is a non-GMO, gluten-free, and non-irradiated cinnamon guaranteed to be safe to use for baking and cooking.
Aside from that, this cinnamon is made of pure Ceylon, which DRUERA has been shipping worldwide since 2005. Also, they offer fast shipping through FedEx, so the spices won’t be damaged or get stuck during transit.
This cinnamon powder is only processed and ground upon your order. That way, the spice can last for up to two years and you’ll get fresh cinnamon in every bottle. It’s much better than other cinnamon powders that have been on the shelf for months.
If you want the freshest cinnamon in the market, DRUERA won’t disappoint. However, their product sure comes at a higher price range, though it’s for a very good reason.
The only niggle I have over this cinnamon is that the container isn’t 100% airtight. I had to transfer it to a mason jar to prevent moisture exposure. Other than that, this spice gives the best value for money.
How to choose cinnamon for baking
Overall, you can purchase just about any cinnamon powder in the market that suits your budget. But if you want to get the best flavors, you should consider the following:
Cinnamon comes in a variety of types, which is basically how the bark is harvested and the type of tree. The following are the widely used types that you can also find in the market:
Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) is probably the most popular option for baking and cooking. This is also called ‘true cinnamon’ and Mexican cinnamon since Mexico is the biggest importer of this type.
Most Ceylon cinnamon in the market is harvested and produced in Sri Lanka. This is because Ceylon is a native tree in the country, which makes Sri Lanka the source of over 90% of Ceylon cinnamon in the entire world.
Ceylon cinnamon has a crumbly consistency and can easily break into small pieces. It also has a lighter color than other types and the taste is subtle but sweet. Aside from that, its odor is mildly fragrant and not too overpowering.
Moreover, Ceylon cinnamon contains 0.04% or less coumarin, which is the lowest among all types. Coumarin is the substance that gives cinnamon its pleasant aroma and sweet flavor.
Despite that, large amounts of coumarin can cause liver damage and other health problems. So if you have a history of liver or kidney problems, Ceylon cinnamon might be the best choice among all types.
Another popular cinnamon is Cassia (Cinnamomum cassia/aromaticum). This variety originates from China that’s why it’s also known as Chinese cinnamon.
Compared to Ceylon, Cassia cinnamon has a dark brown to reddish color. It also has thicker sticks, which are rougher and stiffer.
Aside from cooking, Cassia cinnamon is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine. However, you should note that it contains a tad more coumarin than Ceylon, though not as high as Korintje and Saigon varieties.
Also, Cassia cinnamon has a spicier flavor because around 95% of its oil is composed of cinnamaldehyde. At the same time, this composition gives Cassia cinnamon a sweeter flavor.
Korintje cinnamon is also called Indonesian cinnamon since it’s harvested from a type of Cassia tree found in the country. Overall, Korintje cinnamon accounts for over 70% of all North American imports.
This cinnamon has a mildly sweet flavor with a little bit of sour and spice. With this, Korintje cinnamon is often used for soups, curries, and sauces. It also blends well among baked goodies like cookies and cake.
However, you should know that Korintje cinnamon has 4% coumarin. If you’re baking for those with sensitivity to coumarin, you’re better off using Ceylon or Cassia.
The last type of cinnamon typically sold in the market is the Vietnamese variety (Cinnamomum loureiroi). It’s harvested from a type of Cassia tree native to Vietnam.
This is extra sweet and extra spicy. But don’t let this taste fool you because Vietnamese cinnamon also contains the highest coumarin content.
Nonetheless, Vietnamese cinnamon makes a great choice for baked goods. You can also find this in stick or powder form.
🥯Powder vs. sticks
When it comes to baking and cooking, powder cinnamon is the most convenient. Also, it often comes cheaper than sticks since the latter has to be packaged more carefully to prevent breakage.
Aside from that, ground cinnamon offers a stronger flavor than sticks alone. And by buying the powder form, you’ll save yourself from the hassle of grinding spices on your own. Take note that cinnamon can be difficult to grind due to its coarse and hard consistency.
Another thing you should check is the quality of the cinnamon you’re going to buy. Always ensure that you’re getting pure and quality cinnamon from a reputable seller or brand.
If the label of the cinnamon product doesn’t have any brand name or information, you should look for another option.
🥯Value for money
Lastly, it’s important to get cinnamon that matches your budget. This spice isn’t really diamond-expensive, but if you want the best flavor, you should consider putting your money on a quality stick or powder.
Caution: too much cinnamon can have side effects
Cinnamon is spice and everything nice unless you use it too much. Excessive consumption of this spice is linked to a few side effects, which can be worse for those who have lingering illnesses or sensitivities. With that, here are a few side effects you should watch out for:
- Potential liver damage. Don’t get this wrong, cinnamon won’t cause liver damage right away. It will just happen if you consume the spice in large amounts due to the coumarin content. Overall, eating baked goods with cinnamon daily won’t hurt, but just avoid using the spice on every food item you’re preparing.
- Mouth sores. The cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon can trigger allergies. One of the side effects here is mouth sores, which can be accompanied by gum swelling and a burning sensation. Overall, this side effect isn’t life-threatening, but it can cause severe discomfort.
- Low blood sugar. One of the benefits of cinnamon is its ability to help reduce blood sugar levels. However, if consumed in hefty amounts, this benefit can become a danger. It’s because cinnamon can bring your sugar level down to the point of hypoglycemia. Again, moderation is needed to avoid these potential side effects.
- Contraindications to medications. In some cases, consuming large amounts of cinnamon can have adverse effects if you’re also taking specific medications. This is because many medications are synthesized in the liver, which cinnamon can greatly affect. Overall, this spice can reduce or enhance the effect of the drug.
- Throat irritation. This can happen if you try to eat dry cinnamon. Aside from irritating your throat, the spice can get into your lungs and cause a more serious health problem. With that, you should never eat raw or dry cinnamon whatever happens.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is Ceylon cinnamon so expensive?
A: Ceylon cinnamon is costlier than other types since it’s more expensive to produce. It’s made from the dried tree bark from a tree in Sri Lanka. Unlike other cinnamon, the Ceylon type is harvested from the inner bark, so only a small amount can be produced in a day.
Q: What’s the difference between Cassia and Ceylon cinnamon?
A: The Cassia cinnamon has a tougher and thicker bark compared to Ceylon cinnamon. Meanwhile, Ceylon has a papery texture and will create multiple layers when rolled. While Cassia cinnamon also has layers when rolled, it’s fewer than Ceylon.
Q: What country has the best cinnamon in the world?
A: Countries like Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and China are known to produce the best cinnamons in the world. Nevertheless, it’s Sri Lanka that’s known for the highest quality. And since their cinnamon has better quality, you should expect it to have a higher price tag.
Q: How can you tell good quality cinnamon?
A: A good quality cinnamon has a tan brown color. Also, cinnamon has a strong smell once you open the package. Overall, it should have a sweet and delicate flavor that’s not too overpowering. If you’re purchasing cinnamon powder, you should get it from trusted brands to ensure its purity and quality.
Q: What is the healthiest cinnamon to buy?
A: Ceylon cinnamon is probably the healthiest cinnamon you can buy for baking or cooking. It has a lot of healthy compounds without any potentially toxic properties. The only downside is that Ceylon cinnamon comes at a rather high price.
Q: Does cinnamon lose its flavor when cooked?
A: Cinnamon won’t lose its flavor if cooked well. In fact, the process of cooking can enhance the flavor of this spice. However, you shouldn’t cook it for too long since it will make cinnamon taste bitter. Also, you should be modest with the amount, so it doesn’t overpower the food you’re preparing.
What is the best cinnamon for baking, you ask? Above, I reviewed 7 options you can get at varying prices. Each one is packed with flavor and matches the different baked goods you plan to make.
Just remember that cinnamon comes in different types, which affects its taste, aroma, and consistency. Feel free to experiment, so you get to find the right match for your recipes.