A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into quills that are used to add a warm, distinctive flavour and aroma to sweet dishes such as poached fruit. Cinnamon is also widely used in spice mixes for savoury dishes in Asian, Middle Eastern and North African cuisines, for example in tagines.

Read our guide on the health benefits of cinnamon.

Choose the best

Ground cinnamon has a stronger aroma than whole sticks, but if either type does not smell sweet it is past its best and should be discarded.

Store it

Store cinnamon sticks in an air-tight container in a cool place.

Cook it

Ground in cakes, biscuits and desserts. Sprinkled over baked fruit and custards. Added whole to casseroles, mulled wine and punch. Beat into butter with a little sugar and spread on toast. Soak a cinnamon stick in herbal tea before drinking; add to water when boiling rice.


Try nutmeg.