Cinnamon Recipes: 263 Things To Do With It, Part I

Ahhh, fresh cinnamon, you amazing spice you.

Whether it’s used as a subtle accent or a more assertive note, cinnamon adds a one-of-a-kind layer of warmth to many preparations, sweet or savory. It can boost the taste of other ingredients and deepen the overall flavor of dishes, sometimes acting as a barely recognizable, “secret” ingredient.

A little while ago I asked you to share your best cinnamon recipes, and you submitted such brilliant, inspired cinnamon ideas that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to compile this rich list of suggested uses for this wonderful, versatile spice.

As we head into the holiday season, I give this list to you in two installments. Ideas from the realm of sweets below; savory, beverage, and non-food uses follow in Part II. Enjoy!

About the cinnamon I use

I am in love with the fresh cinnamon I order from Cinnamon Hill, a small company that specializes in sourcing and selling the highest-quality, freshest cinnamon from Sri Lanka and Vietnam (ordinary cinnamon usually comes from China or Indonesia). I get whole sticks, and grate them with the beautifully crafted (and highly giftable!) cinnamon grater that Cinnamon Hill has designed. Truly, you don’t know what cinnamon tastes like until you’ve tried freshly harvested, freshly grated, top-grade cinnamon, and it makes an amazing difference in this recipe.


Cinnamon + Apple
Cinnamon + Peach
Cinnamon + Plum
Cinnamon + Orange
Cinnamon + Blueberry
Cinnamon + Raisin
Cinnamon + Chocolate
Cinnamon + Chili
Cinnamon + Nutmeg
Cinnamon + Clove
Cinnamon + Cumin
Cinnamon + Chicken
Cinnamon + Lamb
Cinnamon + Bread
Cinnamon + Rice
Cinnamon + Butter
Cinnamon + Honey
Cinnamon + Winter squash
Cinnamon + Sweet potato
Cinnamon + Eggplant
Cinnamon + Carrot
Cinnamon + Tomato

Apple with cinnamon and nut butter

Serve apples with some cinnamon and homemade crunchy nut butter.


… a warm apple pie
… a warm Portuguese pastel de nata or pastel de Belém
… waffles
… French toast, along with nutmeg
… a doughnut
… apple slices, along with salt
… poached or fresh fruit, especially apples and peaches
… flan


– In pain d’épices, spice cake, or gingerbread
– In carrot cake
– In stollen
– In Amish friendship bread
– In pear cake
– In a plain buttery cinnamon cake with swirls of the crushed spice throughout the cake
– In coffee cake, esp. cinnamon cream cheese coffeecake
– In banana bread
– In purple plum cake
– Grated over vegan pumpkin cake with dollops of coconut whipped cream
– In zucchini bread
– In blueberry breakfast cake
– In pumpkin bread

Who can resist a nice snickerdoodle ? (Photo: Shelly/Cookies & Cups)

Who can resist a nice snickerdoodle ? (Photo: Shelly/Cookies & Cups)


– In snickerdoodles
– In Christmas sablés
– In star-shaped Christmas cookies made out of almonds, egg whites and lots of cinnamon, iced with cinnamon flavored icing
– In baklava
– In pumpkin cookies
– In peperkakor cookies and speculaas
– In chestnut pecan biscotti, or chocolate almond biscotti, or cinnamon raisin walnut biscotti
– In Christmas biscotti, coupled with star anise, cardamom and nutmeg and orange zest
– In oatmeal cookies
– In honey cookies
– In cinnamon macaron shells
– Use a mix of cinnamon and sugar as a filling for puff pastry palmiers
– In cinnamon and olive oil sablés: cinnamon, sugar, flour and olive oil — awesome on plain vanilla ice cream


– In cinnamon rolls using a recipe by Molly from Orangette
– In hot cinnamon buns with a sticky sauce (kanelbullar)
– In pumpkin roll
– In the crumble topping for muffins, esp. wild blueberry muffins
– In pumpkin pie along with ginger and ground cloves — better than pumpkin pie spice mix
– In pumpkin cheesecake, topped off with cinnamon whipped cream
– Rolled up with butter in fresh croissants while they are baking
– In bread pudding
– In Dutch toast “wentelteefjes”: the bread is dipped in egg and milk, then baked and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar
– In capirotada, a Mexican bread pudding made with cheddar cheese and eaten as a dessert
– Infused in the cream to make flan
– In peach pie
– In pear crumble

Caramelized Apple Tarte Fine

Use up your cinnamon stash on my apple tarte fine recipe.


– In apple crumble, or an apple-apricot crumble, or an apple-orange-chestnut crumble
– In apple pie and Dutch apple pie with a crumb topping
– In apple crisp
– In apfelstrudel
– In apple cake
– In apple cinnamon muffins
– In the German apple cake from Pike Place Market Recipes
– In apple galette
– In an apple tarte fine
– Combine with apples, bananas and walnuts in a pie
– On baked apples
– Fry up apples with butter, sugar and cinnamon and made into toffee apple cheesecake — or just eaten right out of the pan
– Sprinkle sliced apples with cinnamon and raisins and cook briefly in the microwave oven
– In caramelized apple compote
– Place a stick in apple sauce as it cooks
– In homemade cranberry applesauce
– In chunky applesauce


– In rice pudding with milk, rice, honey, and golden raisins; or with cream, brandy, and raisins; or with lemon zest
– As cinnamon sugar on top of the traditional, Danish Christmas rice pudding, served in a soup plate and dotted with butter
– In semolina or tapioca pudding


– In brownies, with toasted sliced almonds and a bit of olive oil; or with chilli
– In red velvet cake (the original, made with brown sugar and no food coloring)
– In melt-in-your-mouth chocolate cake
– In chocolate pudding cake
– In chocolate chunk oatmeal cookies
– In peanut butter chocolate chip cookies
– In chocolate mousse


– Mix with lime juice (6 limes), honey (3 tablespoons), sesame oil (1/2 teaspoon) and sea salt (a pinch), and drizzle on fresh fruit such as mango or pineapple
– On baked or grilled peaches
– In plum tart with walnut cream
– In Damson plum dishes such as cordials, tarts, jams, or a spicy sauce with allspice and cloves
– In pumpkin custard
– On roasted pumpkin slices with butter and brown sugar, like a crust-less pumpkin pie
– On a salad of sliced oranges, with a tiny splash of orange flower water


– Cinnamon ice cream (David Lebovitz‘s, of course)
– Frozen cinnamon parfait with still-warm cherry pie
– In chocolate frozen yogurt or chocolate sorbet
– On top of good vanilla ice cream with a drizzle of honey
– Made into a simple syrup poured over ice cream


– Add it to pancake batter
– In Sweet Potato Jack-o-Lanterns with cinnamon sugar
– On crêpes, esp. spread with butter, sprinkled with brown sugar and lots of cinnamon, then rolled up to eat
– Make spiced pecans with chili powder, cinnamon and egg whites and use them to top a dark chocolate tart that also has a touch of cinnamon
– In Dutch baby pancakes
– To spice up buckwheat pecan pancakes, along with cardamom, nutmeg, and vanilla
– In sweet potato waffles
– In Irish potato candy


Granola and cinnamon are a heavenly pairing.


– In homemade granola
– In muesli
– In cream of wheat, cooked in whole milk and then flavored with a bit of sugar and a lot of cinnamon
– In porridge, especially banana-oats, or oats and quinoa, or helmipuuro
– On steel-cut oatmeal, especially with raisins; or with apples and almonds; or with walnuts, apples and maple syrup; or with dried cranberries, sliced almonds, and brown sugar
– In baked oatmeal
– On persimmon slices, atop hot cereal with soy or almond milk
– In a baby-friendly breakfast of porridge, stewed pear, yogurt and chia seeds
– Add it to an egg white and oatmeal omelet
– In scrambled eggs with vegetables
– On avocado with a bit of honey


– Combine with sugar and sprinkle on buttered, lightly toasted bread, especially multigrain bread
– Cinnamon toast made with butter and brown sugar, then put under the broiler until it bubbles
– In cinnamon raisin bagels
– Cinnamon raisin bread spread with salted butter
– Sprinkled over some local honey on top of toast
– Sprinkled on some peanut butter toast
– A mix of cinnamon, cardamom and demerara sugar beaten together and spread as a filling for white sourdough swirls


– In chutneys, especially plum chutney
– Peanut butter mixed with marmalade and cinnamon
– In cherry tomato jam
– In fig jam
– In preserved pears, cooked with a cinnamon stick or two, a spoonful of whole allspice and a sprinkle of cloves
– In spicy peach jam
– In fruit butter: plum, apple, pumpkin, blueberry, strawberry…
– In butterscotch sauce, along with a smidge of cardamom
– Cinnamon sauce to go over baked apples


– On cottage cheese
– Added to yogurt, along with pumpkin puree, vanilla, and other pumpkin pie spices; throw in a few nuts and it’s like having pie!
– Lightly sprinkled atop apples, for dipping into maple syrup drizzled yogurt
– In a morning bowl of fresh-from-the-tree figs and yoghurt
– In Greek yogurt, along with some fruit, honey and a dash of vanilla extract; or with a splash of organic vanilla extract and a tart apple sliced thin; or with fruit and nuts
– Combined with greek yogurt, to top homemade waffles
– Mix warm white basmati rice into plain yogurt and mix in cinnamon
– With keffir
– Add cinnamon together with paprika and thyme, to baked feta cheese for a really Greek flavor
– Flavor whipped cream with cinnamon to dress up pies for the holidays

Click on for savory dishes, beverages and non-food uses.

This post was first published in November 2013, and updated in November 2016.

  • Laurie

    I sprinkle some in my coffee for a cheap version of a pumpkin spice latte!

  • Birute Skurdenis

    In northern Spain, I ordered a glass of gin and it came with a cinnamon stick in it. Delicious!

  • In the culinary world, this topic is akin to the query, “Times when oxygen comes in handy.” How could one survive without cinnamon?! I cannot imagine.

  • Awesome, I personally think of myself as a big of a cinnamon geek. I put it on everything. It is SO good. Ahh…

  • Donna M. Jackson

    Noodle pudding—Flan—trail mix

  • Posie

    Wow, so many great ideas to do with cinnamon! I was just going to add the wonder of honey and cinnamon on toast but I notice it’s been mentioned. I’ve never heard before though of cinnamon and brown sugar on toast, placed under the broiler. It sounds absolutely delicious – I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow morning!

  • According to my husband cinnamon is the smell of American shopping malls. We’ve had American clients here in France who have been intrigued by the subtle use of cinnamon with things. They comment that they can’t quite identify the spice in something at lunch, but it’s kind of like cinnamon. Their palates are used to cinnamon being applied in barrow loads, not tiny pinches, but they love the less is more approach in France.

    • I agree that it’s easy to overdo cinnamon, à la Big Red gum. :)

  • Amy

    Clotilde, thank you for sharing so many awesome ideas! I love them and pinned them too. Modern research indicates that this versatile spice may have some very beneficial properties. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Cinnamon is used to help treat muscle spasms, vomiting, diarrhea, infections, the common cold, loss of appetite, and erectile dysfunction (ED). It is also a natural food preservative.

    • Absolutely, thanks for bringing up those non-culinary qualities!

  • Sarah

    If I have overripe pears in my fruit bowl I make a spiced pear puree by chopping them, heating them with a bit of sugar, splash of water and a cinnamon stick until soft, then puree-ing with my wand blender… put a small dollop in a champagne flute, top up with prosecco and you’ve got yourself a spiced pear bellini! Puree keeps for a few days in the fridge :D

  • Charlotte

    Unfortunately, the holiday season in many of the chain grocery stores here is signalled by the arrival of the dread bags of “cinnamon”-infuse pine cones. You walk in the store to be met with a wall of artificial-cinnamon scent that gives me a headache. It’s very upsetting.

    Real cinnamon is lovely, and I just started an infusion with this year’s rosehips, some cinnamon sticks, some cloves, and vodka. Because it’s healthy! All that vitamin C!

    • Those pine cones sound nasty indeed. But your infusion must be lovely! How do you plan to use it?

  • Absolutely adore cinnamon! Thank for sharing such a extensive list, Cinnamon and Chili sounds gorgeous!

    • I agree! They each provide their own kind of heat, perfect for the cold months ahead…

  • Danna Farabee

    I put a good bit of cinnamon in with my coffee grounds to brew together. Honey with a lot of cinnamon is good to help get over a cold earlier.

    • I have a friend who swears by cinnamon essential oil to get over a cold faster. She puts a drop on a sugar cube, but in a spoonful of honey it should work even better.

    • Danna; yes, I know that honey-cinnamon combo too – actually, you can’t go wrong with honey and cinnamon, can you?! :)

  • Monique

    Made some plum jam with cinnamon, cloves and vanilla (wonderfully sticky and fragrant pods bought at G. Detou) last weekend. Delicious! And how about cinnamon in savoury dishes? I always add it to chili (along with cumin, paprika and cocoa) and it also goes very well with chicken (honestly!).

    • Glad the plum jam was successful! And Part II with savory dishes and beverages is coming later today. :)

  • Masboyzz Boyzz
  • Masboyzz Boyzz
  • Andreas

    Oh my, that is one heck of a list – you have been busy Clothilde!! I love cinnamon and use it in herbal tea, with fresh ginger, cloves, cardamom and peppercorns. One question about the cinnamon grater, does that work for the very fine bark or is it better used with the hard bark?

    • Cinnamon Hill sells two kinds of cinnamon: the Ceylon one has a thin bark and I grate it with the grater with no problem. The only thing to pay attention to is to hold the stick fairly close to the grater as you grate so the thin layers stay together and you don’t end up with a pile of shards. I want to note also that the grater is a truly beautifully crafted, noble object. Brings me joy every time I use it!

      • Andreas

        Hi Clothilde, makes sense to hold the thin bark stick close – now I realise how it works. It does look like a great little greater, and if it brings joy when you use it then it has definitely earned its place !! :-)

  • Paula Jones

    Dear Clotide,

    Puis- je caresser l’espoir that you wil adopt me so I don’t have to live in a country with Trump!


    • poor Paula; pour country…. Our heart aches for all of you (and we have family and friends). Wish we could help – but cinnamon in everything will (might?) lessen your pain ever so slightly…. We pray for America.

    • Well, I would, but you’d still live on a planet that has Trump as the President of the United States… We are all going to live with the consequences of this election, whether or not we had a say in it.

  • What a great post, chère Clotilde – I honestly could put cinnamon in nearly everything an would think it can improve the stuff. I LOVE IT….

    When I worked in UK for Alliance Française, we had a wonderful retired doctor in a conversation class and around the Christmas Season, we used to get Xmas cookies to share and the teacher asked about the recipe of this mature student…. He started talking in French naturellement and after some hésitation he said ….. et une bonne prise de canaille…. :)
    Since that hilarious lesson I smile every single time I get my cinnamon out! I’m sure our friend died quite some years ago but his ‘ésprit’ lives on in my memory.

    A spoon full of c is also good to mix with honey and a tea or just hot water as a natural remedy for people with a too high cholesterol level. If only the peeps concerned weren’t too lazy to do it – it’s so much easier to pop a tablet in the mouth….

  • Clotilde, I’ve finally succédés today to enter an Arab shop at Aligre Market in Pars and I was simply overwhelmed by their tremendous choice of all kinds of things I feared never to find anywhere…. They had all pulses one could think of, a ton of spices, ground cinnamon to last one person for 2 lifetimes (obviously we wouldn’t buy those huge packs), but also a wide choice of wonderful dates, organic spreads (confitures) & honey, and and and….. I shall now dig in your recipes to see what I shall need next (they also not only had Maizena but Farine de patates, mais, and other fécules)…. Aladin’s Cave came to mind…. And for Hero Husband I bought a surprise gift (for carrying all my shopping without complaining – he wanted outside, so he meritted a little something!) – a 700gr (yes, seven hundred grams) of Nocciolata (pâte à tartiner au cacao et noisettes), organic and wonderful. Thought of keeping it until Christmas; but now we have dug into it already, spoonful by little spoonful – heaven on earth and warming our hearts and bellies on this unfriendly, cold and grey November Sunday. (It’s however rather well chosen for the Bataclan anniversary – weather goes with the general feeling of sadness & melancholy)

  • zuriga

    Thanks for all of those wonderful cinnamon suggestions. I’m lucky to have a friend in Sri Lanka, and she often sends me some sticks and I send her cosmetics from England. :-)

    And merci for the link to the jeans. I needed some, and they easily post them to Angleterre!

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