Although one of the most commonly used spice, there may be times when you do not have cinnamon in stock. Or you may want to know if you can use ground cinnamon instead of cinnamon stick. This posts lists the best substitute for cinnamon that you can use.
Cinnamon comes in two forms, one is the cinnamon stick also known as cinnamon quills and the other is the cinnamon powder.
There are also different ways to use the types of cinnamon in cooking which I have shared in the post here.
But what if you do not have any type and the recipe lists cinnamon? What would be the best cinnamon alternative?
Thankfully there are few options to choose from depending on the cooking purpose and the kind of dish you are using cinnamon in.
Spice Substitute for Cinnamon
Since cinnamon has a very distinctive aroma and taste it is hard to replicate the same flavour with any other spice especially when it comes to baking.
Being a woody, slightly sweet spice it is easy to replace cinnamon with other similar spices in cooking.
Apart from the cooking purpose it also depends on whether you are using whole cinnamon sticks or cinnamon powder.
Substitute for Cinnamon Sticks
The use of whole cinnamon sticks is not recommended for baking because it can get gritty sand sandy.
I have shared how to make cinnamon powder from sticks in the linked post if you do not have cinnamon powder for baking.
It is best to use the sticks for cooking purpose. Below are the best cinnamon stick substitute.
Option 1 – Star anise
Option 2 – Brown/black Cardamom pod
Option 3 – Mace or Nutmeg
Substitute for Ground Cinnamon
It is much easier to find a ground cinnamon replacement compared to the stick. Below are your best options of alternative spices.
Option 1 – Allspice, nutmeg powder
Option 2 – Cardamon powder
Cinnamon Substitute in Baking
The best cinnamon replacement for baking is to use
Option 1 – Ground Allspice Or Apple pie seasoning
Option 2 – Mace powder or nutmeg powder.
Cinnamon Substitute in Cooking
You have a greater option of cinnamon alternatives when it is used for cooking curries, soups, stir-fries or generally in any dish that lists cinnamon as an ingredient.
Option 1 – Star anise. You will only require one star anise for a serving of 4 as the flavour of start anise is much stronger when compared to cinnamon.
Option 2 – Whole black/brown cardamom pods or green cardamom.
How To Use Cinnamon Stick VS Ground Cinnamon
For cooking and baking purpose you can use cinnamon stick in place of cinnamon powder and vise versa.
But there is a slight difference on how to use them for cooking depending of some factors below:
The Cinnamon Form
Ground cinnamon is much easier to use as it comes in a refined form, it is powdered compared to whole cinnamon stick.
You can add a tsp of ground cinnamon during the cooking process. Whole cinnamon is normally used to infuse flavour in liquids like broth and oil. You can remove whole stick before serving.
The flavour of cinnamon powder is slightly stronger compared to whole cinnamon stick.
So while you can use one or even two whole cinnamon sticks you should only be using 1/2 to 1 tsp of ground cinnamon when cooking for a serving of 4.
What Goes Best With Cinnamon
Being a mild strong aromatic spice, it is best to use cinnamon in moderation to prevent it from overpowering the dish.
Best food pairing: beans, red and yellow vegetables, potatoes, ginger,chicken, lamb, meat, dairy products, couscous, lentils, rice, soups, stews,curry,
Best spice pairing: asafoetida, bay leaves, cardamom, cumin, coriander, ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves, dry chilies, mustard seeds
Where to Buy Cinnamon
Buy Cinnamon sticks and other types of cinnamon from the The Spice House online store.