Why Is Cinnamon Spicy? What Makes Cinnamon Hot?


Cinnamon is one of the staple spices compliment great with sweet as well as savory recipes. It’s a brown-colored woody spice rich in savory spicy flavor and aroma. Ground or fine powder of cinnamon is essential for baking as it gives the baked products sweetish yet hot flavor tones. However, cinnamon sticks, which are the rolled dry bark of the Cinnamomum tree, are more potent and spicier to taste. But why is cinnamon spicy?

If you have ever tried a cinnamon bite, you have definitely experienced the hot stingy sensation. Here, we’ll discuss what makes cinnamon so spicy? And, how can you tone down its potent hot flavor. So, all the answers to your questions are coming right up. Cling to this article till the end.

Why Is Cinnamon Spicy?

Cinnamon is a spice full of aromatic compounds and essential oils. One of the chemical compounds known as cinnamaldehyde is answerable for the spiciness and hot sensation of cinnamon.

Cinnamaldehyde is found in tree bark, and when extracted from the tree, it’s a really potent and strong compound that can cause serious skin irritation.

Cinnamon sticks contain more cinnamaldehyde than ground cinnamon, thus stimulating a fiery kick to taste buds just like peppers.

However, the cinnamon essential oil is more pungent and stronger in taste as it contains a higher concentration of aromatic compounds that ultimately give it a hot mouthfeel.

What Makes Cinnamon Candy Spicy?

Cinnamon candies use either artificial or natural cinnamon flavor but contain a fair bit of potent flavor and spiciness.

These hot spicy tones are just because of cinnamon essential oils and oil extracts. These oils are rich in concentrated cinnamaldehyde, so they give an extremely irresistible hot flavor to candies.

So, next time when you try cinnamon candy and feel that it’s too hotter, remember the notorious aromatic cinnamaldehyde.

Cinnamon Essential Oil Vs Ground Cinnamon

Both are full of savory cinnamon flavor but work differently in your favorite food dishes. Cinnamon essential oils contain more cinnamaldehyde and thus have a more concentrated and aromatic flavor.

On the other hand, ground cinnamon contains less oil extract and thus less spicier and stronger than cinnamon oil.

So, if you want to make the overall recipe flavor notch higher, use cinnamon oil. It gives food dishes more palatable and irresistible flavor tones.

Its single drop is enough to give intense flavor to a big batch of food. Therefore, it goes great in baked creations such as bread loaves, cupcakes, and cookies. Besides this, it also goes great in various beverages where you want to enjoy the natural cinnamon flavor.

On the other hand, ground cinnamon goes wonderful when it comes to relishes and condiments. It amazingly enhances the flavor of desserts, puddings, pies, and fruit syrups and makes them mouth-watering.

Types Of Cinnamon

Cinnamon is divided into two major categories; one is Ceylon, and the other is Cassia cinnamon. Both varieties belong to the same family and harvest the bark of trees but differ in flavor, smell, and way of harvesting.

So, let’s discuss both these varieties and know whether both cinnamons are spicy to taste or not.

Cassia Cinnamon

Cassia cinnamon is what you called cinnamon, and pretty familiar with it. Its brownish red powder seems prominent in spice cabinets and store aisles.

When harvested, it’s darker in color, has a rough texture, and is rolled into thick sheets that we called cinnamon sticks.

Cassia cinnamon contains a significant amount of aromatic compounds that give it a characteristic spicy flavor and intense aroma.

Ceylon Cinnamon

Ceylon cinnamon is also known as true cinnamon, is a bit harder to find as compared to the cassia variety. And when harvested, bark sheets are rolled manually that are comparatively thin than cassia sticks.

Ceylon cinnamon is mild in flavor and less spicier to taste. Its delicate yet fine floral notes give your dish all it needs. So, if you are seeking for real cinnamon flavor with less spiciness, go with true cinnamon and enjoy your cooking.

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How Can You Make Cinnamon Less Spicy?

Sometimes after considering the exotic flavor of cinnamon, we overpower it in a recipe. Consequently, the overall flavor of the dish got too much potency that really goes bad to taste. But you can fix it in various ways instead of wasting the dish.

For instance, adding more ingredients, other spices, or even dairy products will work for you in counteracting the cinnamon flavor. However, you must have an idea of what ingredient will go best to your which dishes.

Add More Ingredients

Adding more ingredients to food is the simplest way to balance the bold, spicy flavor of cinnamon. In stews, casseroles, and soups, adding extra vegetables or other ingredients perfectly do the trick.

Leafy vegetables such as spinach and cabbage also go great in savory dishes. In addition, tomatoes can dilute the concentrated cinnamon flavor and make the food healthy as well as flavorful.

Add Other Spices

Another way to fix the strong cinnamon flavor is using other spices. Usually, chilli powder, garlic powder, and paprika can wonderfully round off too much cinnamon taste. These spices go great if cinnamon makes the dish more on the sweet side.

On the other hand, if the cinnamon gives the recipe a pungent flavor tone, it will be best to add bit of brown sugar or nutmeg. So, before adding any spice to your food, make sure to test the overall flavor and know which spice to go with.

Add Liquids

Adding liquids can neutralize too much cinnamon in casseroles, stews, and soups. Adding wine, cream, or even tomato juice works great if you add them in a balanced way.

Moreover, acidic ingredients such as lime juice or lemon juice can turn the strong cinnamon flavor into a pleasantly tart flavor.

Add More Milk Or Cream

Dairy products can remove the spiciness of cinnamon from baked products. In times when you have added extra ground cinnamon to desserts, cupcakes, or pies, you can control the flavor by adding milk or cream toppings.

This way, you’ll end up with extra creamy and delicious desserts straight in your plate.

However, if you want to cut down on dairy fat, try to change the ratio of dry ingredients for your desserts. Add more starch, either in the form of flour or cornstarch, to the recipe and make the whole dish as you expected it to be.

So, Why Is Cinnamon So Spicy?

Cinnamon got its unique spiciness from an aromatic compound, cinnamaldehyde. Cinnamaldehyde being more potent in flavor and aroma gives your foods all they need. However, not all types of cinnamon are stronger enough to sting your mouth as Ceylon, or true cinnamon is more on the sweet side rather than too savory.