Cinnamon: 263 Things To Do With It, Part II

Ground Cinnamon

Continuing from 263 Things To Do With Cinnamon, Part I inspired by the Cinnamon Hill fresh cinnamon, here’s a whole new batch of ideas for savory dishes, all kinds of beverages, and non-food uses. Many thanks to all of you who contributed these wonderful ideas; I hope you find the list as inspiring as I do!

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.


– In Morroccan lamb stews, such as lamb and prune tagine, or lamb and apricot tagine, or lamb and sweet potato tagine
– In Indian curries, particularly in lamb vindaloo and chicken curry
– In lamb pilaf
– In lamb kebabs
– In sheikh al mehshi (stuffed eggplant)
– In Moroccan roast chicken, stuffed with couscous mixed with whole almonds, garlic, sultanas, butter and cinnamon, and smeared with paprika and olive oil. Once cooked, a sauce is made with the pan juices, lemon juice, tomato puree and honey. This can also be done with quails.
– Tomato-based chicken chili with cinnamon and cacao
– In chicken or pigeon pastilla
– Mix in equal parts with smoked paprika, and dust on chicken before roasting; alternatively, mince a clove or two of garlic and spread on the skin, then dust with cinnamon and coarse salt. Makes a delicious, beautiful coating, brown and savory.
– On jerk chicken
– In chicken noodle soup
– In turkey meatballs
– Add cinnamon and fresh ginger when cooking chicken broth
– In chili con carne, Cincinnati-style
– In moussaka
– In beef stew with root vegetables
– In homemade burek: spice up ground beef and chopped onions in a frying pan with salt, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Spread the meat very thinly between filo layers in a well-oiled oven dish, score the filo dough layers and soak with a mixture of sour cream and sparkling water. Bake in the oven.
– Add to meatloaf
– In Mexico’s national dish, chiles en nogada (poblano peppers stuffed with a mixture of sautéed ground beef and dried fruits, all covered in fresh walnut sauce and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds)
– In pastitsio
– Braised hare with chocolate sauce and pieces of cinnamon
– With venison
– In a marinade or rub for pork
– In soy sauce-braised pork knuckles or tongues
– Grilled pork ribs served with cinnamon stewed quinces
– Cinnamon spiced ribs
– Add cinnamon sticks when cooking pulled pork with Coca-Cola


– Eggplants sautéed with a little soy sauce and some cinnamon
– In eggplant caviar
– In an eggplant, potato, and chickpea mole
– In sheik mahshi (Lebanese/Syrian dish of vegetarian stuffed eggplant)
– In imam bayildi (Turkish braised and stuffed eggplant)
– On roasted winter squash and sweet potatoes
– Add to unsweetened whipped cream floated on silken, buttery, savory pumpkin soup
– On roasted cabbage and roasted cauliflower
– With spinach, especially spinach lasagna
– On slow-roasted tomatoes
– In a butternut, carrot, and apple soup
– In a potimarron soup (red kuri squash; combine cinnamon with the onions as you cook them in oil)
– In carrot soup
– In a salad of carrots, orange segments, with a little bit of oil, orange juice, cilantro, salt, and cinnamon
– In paneer masala
– In vegan chilli
– In sodhi, a Srilankan coconut milk curry spiced with cinnamon sticks and fennel seeds
– In the batter for fried artichokes
– In kugel

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– Add to rice pilaf: toast cumin and coriander in a skillet, add a little olive oil, basmati rice, a bit of sugar, salt, pepper, and freshly grated cinnamon. Add water, bring to a simmer, then cover and cook gently. Delicious with lentils, fried onions, and a spiced tomato sauce with garlic and cumin.
– Add a whole stick to a pot of rice
– In couscous
– In bisi bell baath, a South Indian rice and lentil dish that has a lovely combination of warm spices, vegetables, and ghee


– Substitute cinnamon for nutmeg in bechamel sauce
– Add to roasted tomato sauce
– Add to any pasta sauce; it will transform a store-bought sauce in particular
– In homemade enchilada sauce, with cayenne and chili powder
– In a chocolate mole sauce
– In sauce Bolognese
– Add to tomato sauce for meatballs
– In barbecue sauce


– Include in homemade ras el hanout spice mix for vegetable and meat stews
– Make a cinnamon chili rub with chipotle peppers and other savory spices for chicken or pork chops
– Cinnamon and coffee (and, optionally, cocoa) make a great dry rub for steak


– Grind the cinnamon right in with the coffee beans, or put cinnamon in with the coffee grounds before brewing or French-pressing
– Sprinkle grated cinnamon on a latte
– Add to slushy latte
– Put a cinnamon stick in espresso for Expresso Cubano
– In cold-brewed coffee
– Combine good coffee with good honey and fresh cinnamon: good for sore throat and cold weather
– In café au lait
– Café de olla: simmer a stick with coffee, cloves, piloncillo and a little orange peel


– In a cup of hot chocolate, especially one made with coconut milk or soy milk
– Sprinkle on the whipped cream to top hot chocolate
– In hot chocolate made with raw cacao and honey
– In homemade Mexican hot chocolate
– In hot chocolate with chili powder, star anise, cayenne and/or chipotle


– To top off a hot cup of chai
– Mulled apple cider (a couple of cloves, a length of cinnamon stick and a pinch or so of allspice boiled up with good-quality cloudy apple juice); use cinnamon sticks like stirrers in the mugs
– Make cinnamon tea with cinnamon sticks
– Homemade vanilla and cinnamon tea
– Add to a ginger yerba mate blend
– In turmeric and honey tea
– Warm almond milk with vanilla and cinnamon
– A cup of hot water with fresh lemon juice, cayenne pepper, tumeric, and cinnamon
– In chamomille tea
– Mixed with honey and stirred into a steaming cup of Darjeeling tea to heal a sore throat
– Boil with ginger and lemon to nurse a cold


– In homemade soymilk, along with a dash of mace and cardamom
– In homemade almond milk, with stevia, a little salt, and vanilla extract
– In horchata
– In llet merengada, a typical drink in Catalonia: milk boiled with lemon peel, cinnamon and sugar, then chilled and powered with more cinnamon
– On freshly juiced apples and carrots
– In fresh fruit smoothies
– In green smoothies
– In agua fresca de platano (banana water)
– Cinnamon iced tea


– In vin chaud / mulled wine / glogg
– Grate over fall cocktails, or use a simple cinnamon syrup
– Drop in a bottle of vodka to steep
– In homemade sangria
– Mix some rum, some milk, a dash of brown sugar, and a dash of cinnamon — warms you up in the winter
– Add a broken cinnamon stick to a pot of apple cider, along with cloves and star anise, and top off with spiced rum


– Chew right on a cinnamon stick for a burst of flavor
– Put a stick or two in the sugar jar
– Roast whole sticks of cinnamon then crush them in a mortar and pestle before using


– Cut off ant trails with ground cinnamon
– Throw some cinnamon sticks along with other spices and a cut-up orange in a pan of water, and leave on a low simmer to make the house smell lovely and welcoming
– Use as a cure according to tradional Chinese medicine
– Leave a stick in the car as an air freshener
– Put a few sticks in almond oil: perfect for giving warming massages

A goldmine of ideas, sweet and savory, to use cinnamon!

  • Kammie @ Sensual Appeal

    Ohh yes… I do love me cinnamon <3 I love it in coffee and hot cocoa too :)

  • joeinvegas

    It’s my favorite spice, and I use it in almost everything. Daily it’s a shake into the coffee grounds when making my morning cup.

  • Posie

    Yet another wonderful list of ideas – thanks so much for all this inspiration Clotilde! I’m particularly drawn to the combination of chocolate and cinnamon, and honey and cinnamon, especially as prevention for colds. And I love the idea of cinnamon with couscous – we usually add toasted pine nuts, and dairy free butter for creaminess to couscous, which works really well but I think the further addition of cinnamon would be a lovely enhancement.

    • clotilde

      Love that idea too! Let me know if you try it.

      • Posie

        We tried it! And it was indeed a lovely addition, adding a very subtle yet distinctive flavour. We ate the couscous with a Moroccan stew so the cinnamon married very well with the dish. (I should also mention that we usually add a pinch of Maldon salt, along with the dairy free butter and toasted pine nuts). All in all, a beautiful meal and thanks again Clotilde for the “cinnamon inspiration”!

        • clotilde

          I’m so pleased Posie, thank you for reporting back!

  • Lindsey D

    I never thought of putting cinnamon in my coffee grounds before brewing! Great idea. Maybe I’ll try a little nutmeg too!

  • CAH

    Love this list. Cinnamon is tied with garlic as my favorite flavoring for food.

    Half of my family is Greek, and I learned very young to put a pinch of cinnamon in most savory meat dishes. I of course found the idea frightening but it explained why my mother’s beef and lamb was just a touch above what I was served at friends’ houses.

    My mother’s stuffed peppers were a favorite of everyone who tried them–stuffed with just ground sirloin, rice, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and a pinch each of oregano and cinnamon. So simple but intensely flavorful, and comforting beyond words. That was my birthday dinner every year.

    • clotilde

      Thanks for the great suggestions! Funny, before I compiled this list, I wasn’t aware that cinnamon played such an important role in Greek cuisine.

  • msue

    A nearby bakery makes a tasty sandwich bread that is dense, with lots of seeds and other texture-giving grains. The other day it dawned on me that they add cinnamon. I caught just a brief taste of it when I toasted a slice for breakfast. While the bread definitely falls in the savory range of flavors, the added cinnamon adds depth without being overpowering.

    • clotilde

      I can imagine how lovely that bread must be — very original!

  • Golden

    Cinnamon is one of my favorite spices – I put it in everything I can, and am always looking for others things to incorporate it in… Thanks for this list!

  • CinnamonLover

    Thank you so much! I love this list and have been trying recipes out! Two additions are:
    1. Adding cinnamon to salep (a thick and creamy Turkish tea made out of ground orchid root)
    2. Persian Apricot Lamb
    Heat olive oil in a heavy pan and fry an onion. Add a pound of cubed lamb and brown on all sides. Mix in 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon and turmeric, season with salt & pepper. Add in 2.5 tbsp golden raisins and 4 oz apricots. Add water to cover and simmer over a low heat ~1 1/2 hours or until meat is very tender. Texture should be thick, but pourable.

    Serve with long-grain Basmati rice garnished with fresh herbs.

    • clotilde

      Thank you for adding these wonderful ideas! I want to try your Persian apricot lamb stew. What cut do you typically use for this?

  • Shari @ Simply Shari’s Gluten Free

    Wow, that Moroccan stew sounds amazing. Thanks for all of the wonderful ideas. I love cinnamon!

    • clotilde

      Glad to be of service and inspiration, thank you Shari!

  • AJS

    Do not use cinnamon enough. Thanks for some great ideas.

    A revelation for me was making a simple eggplant caponata with anchovies, cinnamon and cocoa powder. Takes it to another level.

    • clotilde

      My sentiment exactly — I didn’t use cinnamon enough before this list. And I love your caponata idea, thank you!

  • Lucy

    I love cinnamon and youve given me a lot of great ideas here.

    • clotilde

      So glad you find it helpful, Lucy!

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