Cinnamon is a versatile ingredient that adds an aromatic condiment and flavoring additive in a wide variety of cuisines, breakfast cereals, sweet and savory dishes, snacks, tea, and traditional foods.
However, some factors might make you want to replace them. Maybe because you’re on certain medications, or you don’t have them on hand, or you are simply allergic.
Whatever may be the reason, there are great close substitutes for a cinnamon stick that provides almost the same citrusy fragrance and sweet, woody flavor suitable for any dish.
Some of the best cinnamon stick alternatives are round cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cassia, cranberry sauce, etc.
What Is Cinnamon Stick?
The cinnamon stick is an ancient spice harvested from the innermost bark of cinnamon trees. When dried, it forms strips that curl into rolls, which are then called cinnamon sticks.
Cinnamon is a highly delicious spice. It has been prized for its medicinal properties for thousands of years.
These sticks can also be ground to form cinnamon powder.
All Cinnamon sticks are dark, muted, apricot orange with a faint scent and a sweet, woody flavor that has a slightly citrusy note.
Furthermore, the stick of cinnamon tends to be used in liquids for warm tea, chocolate, as well as mulled wine.
Unlike cinnamon sticks that have a subtle flavor, the powdered form is far more potent and spicier.
Most people use either of this cinnamon because they contain a good number of antioxidants and some antibacterial properties.
They are ideal for baked goods such as coffee cake, muffins, banana bread, and cookies.
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Best Substitutes for Cinnamon Sticks
So below are the best substitutes for cinnamon sticks. They have similar flavors and can be used equally in their dishes.
1. Ground Cinnamon
Ground cinnamon is the closest thing you can get to cinnamon sticks because they are virtually from the same source.
Only that Ground cinnamon is cinnamon bark that has been ground to a powder.
So, of course, You can use them interchangeably without any consideration — if you choose so. But avid chefs consider this:
In beverage or dish that consists mostly of liquid, they often add it later in the cooking or baking process.
Having said that, ground cinnamon contains all the flavor of fresh cinnamon stick — the citrusy aroma and moderately woody-spicy taste.
It has anti-viral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties.
They also contain antioxidants with anti-inflammatory effects, prebiotic properties that enhance gut health reduces blood pressure, and Lowers blood sugar and risk of type 2 diabetes.
As for the usage, a novice may want to use it as a 1:1 substitute, and that is okay.
But the precise measurement and rule of thumb are to use ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon to replace 1 cinnamon stick.
Allspice is another great Substitute for Cinnamon Stick — an easy-to-find herb.
There is a common misconception that Allspice is a blend of different spices — I once thought that too, maybe it’s because of the name.
But Allspice is a single spice with a
spicy, herb-alike flavor and a recognizable earthy smell that most herbs have. It is a spice made from the dried berries of a plant — Pimenta dioica.
Allspice is a deep, bright, sun-soaked yellow with a dandelion undertone.
You can add a couple of them when making glühwein or chai tea, sprinkling a pinch on roasted vegetables for a hint of warmth, or add to sweet dishes like gingerbread, dark chocolate desserts or apple pie where you want a bit more spiciness.
More often than not, people prefer Its subtle peppery overtone to curries, stews, and soups.
This Allspice is known for reducing inflammation, treating Nausea, preventing infection, delaying cancer growth, relieving pains, and easing Menopause Symptoms.
But since the spicy level of Allspice is more potent than cinnamon, you only need a quarter of it than what the recipes call for the cinnamon stick.
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Nutmeg —a healthy substitute for cinnamon —is a spice harvested from the seed of the tropical tree name Myristicaceae.
It is a warm, nutty flavor that pairs wonderfully well with grilled pork, puddings, potatoes, sausages, sauces, and beverages.
What makes Nutmeg distinctive is its unique acrid aroma that can be detected from far away.
This nut offers a slightly sweet, woody, spicy flavor, similar to the cinnamon stick.
When comparing both, Nutmeg’s spiciness is lower than cinnamon, which means you have to use twice the portion need for cinnamon sticks.
Cassia is a type of cinnamon also called Chinese cinnamon — a spice consisting of the aromatic bark of the Cinnamomum cassia plant of the family Lauraceae.
Cassia is harvested from cutting down the seeds of Cinnamomum cassia trees and then dried, fermented, and curled into rolls.
So if the harvest process is the same among Cassia and cinnamon and that they are from the laurel tree family, substituting one for another won’t be a big deal.
Although cassia bark is thicker and has a more intense, less delicate flavor than cinnamon.
They are excellent for use in savory dishes rather than sweets.
Whereas a cinnamon stick is best for sweet baked goods.
However, dried cassia buds go well with pickles, candies, curries, and spicy meat dishes. The leaves may also be used as a flavoring in the same manner as bay leaves if you choose to.
Health-wise, Cassia is a true hero. It solves cases like erectile dysfunction (ED), hernia, joint pain, bed-wetting, menopausal symptoms, menstrual problems, and more.
Also, Cassia cinnamon is known for reduces chest pain, prevent high blood pressure, kidney disorders, cramps, and cancer.
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5. Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry is not a spice per se. It’s a palatable sauce made of cranberry, honey, and cinnamon.
The only reason we’re adding it to the list is that it has a root to cinnamon.
This cranberry sauce is a mouth-watering combo of sweet, tangy taste and a pungent fragrance.
Unlike spice, it is commonly served as a condiment or a side dish.
However, when combined with a diet rich in fiber, cranberry sauce can help relieve constipation, improve intestines work, decreasing bloating, pain, and other symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome.
You should note that since cranberry sauce is in liquid form and cinnamon sticks in solid, it won’t be ideal for topping recipes, as it will merge with the entire meal.
6. Pumpkin Pie Spice
The pumpkin spice is a combo of ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and sometimes Allspice — making it a great alternative if you’re out of the cinnamon stick.
Pumpkin alone tastes like bland squash.
It is only after the concoction that pumpkin spice tastes good enough to crave.
You can add them to most recipes you plan using cinnamon sticks.
You use pumpkin spice to spruce up your favorite cookies, fall pies, muffins, and cake; Or whipped cream, lattes, yogurt, oatmeal, and roasted fall veggies.
Aside from being a flavorful spice to have on hand for your meals, they are anti-inflammatory, which may help protect the brain.
I highly recommend you have a jar of it lying around in your kitchen.
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In summary, now we have gone through the list of substitutions for cinnamon sticks, we believe you will definitely arrive at the one suitable for your cooking.
Each option may have its characteristics, but the application remains interchangeable.
But if you like holiday drinks and desserts, cloves are essential during this time. They taste sweet and bitter. And are also warm with a bit pungent.
Similar to cinnamon sticks, you can add them in cookies, cakes and in making tea, curry sauces, and more. But it should be at the beginning of the cooking process, so the flavors have time to set in.
Should you use cloves, they are strong. Thus, after eating them, your mouth may get dry and tingle a little — even if you use them in equal quantity as cinnamon.