What is the difference between cinnamon sticks and ground cinnamon? (with Table)

Cinnamon has been consumed for thousands of years. This beloved spice made its way to Europe and Africa through the Silk Road, a vast commerce route founded around 130 B.C.E.

Currently, it’s difficult to find a pantry that doesn’t have cinnamon in it, whether it’s tightly curled cinnamon sticks or finely powdered cinnamon powder. This is because cinnamon spice is often used in sweet meals such as pastries and hot drinks such as coffee.

Cinnamon Sticks vs Ground Cinnamon

The primary distinction between cinnamon sticks and ground cinnamon is their look. Cinnamon sticks are twig-like solid forms of cinnamon spice, while ground cinnamon is a refined, powder-like variant made by crushing and grinding cinnamon sticks.

  • Cinnamon sticks are rod-like cinnamon spice, while ground cinnamon is a fine powder.
  • Cinnamon sticks are used to add flavor to liquid-based foods and drinks. It is removed before to those providing the meals and beverages. Ground cinnamon is often used in sweets, stews, and beverages, but it is not removed before serving.
  • Price: Whole cinnamon sticks normally cost $30 per pound, but ground cinnamon costs about $10 per pound.

You may also be interested in this comparison of spicy brown mustard and dijon mustard.

Comparison Table Between Cinnamon Sticks and Ground Cinnamon

Feature Cinnamon Sticks Ground Cinnamon
Appearance Elongated, rod-like, typically 10 inches or shorter, dark brown with an orange tint Fine, powdery, naturally a golden brown color
Flavor Slightly sweet, earthy, spicy Slightly sweet, somewhat spicy, more subdued flavor than cinnamon sticks
Shelf Life 3 – 4 years 3 – 4 years
Usage Used to flavor teas, soups, wine, and other liquids Used to flavor pastries, cookies, cakes, beverages, and stews
Price About $30 per pound About $10 per pound

Can You Substitute Cinnamon Sticks for Ground Cinnamon?

You may use cinnamon sticks instead of ground cinnamon, but you may need a mortar and pestle or a food processor to do so. After all, powdered cinnamon is made by grinding cinnamon twigs into a fine powdery form.

Cinnamon sticks may be used in any recipe that asks for ground cinnamon. If you’re flavoring a liquid-based meal (soups, stews) or a beverage, you may not need to crush cinnamon sticks into a powder to use them in place of ground cinnamon.

Depending on the intensity of the cinnamon taste you want, you may add a single cinnamon stick to a hot beverage or boiling soup and leave it for a few minutes or hours. Naturally, the longer it sits in your food or drink, the more flavor it will contribute.

But, if you use whole cinnamon sticks instead of powdered cinnamon, be careful to remove the stick before drinking or eating. Consuming a full cinnamon stick might result in stomach problems, vomiting, and liver damage.

When making recipes that call for ground cinnamon (such cinnamon rolls, pancakes, or other pastries), crush and grind your cinnamon sticks until they resemble store-bought ground cinnamon.

Just as the recipe directs, add this powder-like ingredient, leaning somewhat toward the lighter side. Cinnamon sticks have a stronger taste than ground cinnamon, therefore practicing discretion when using them as a ground cinnamon alternative is a good idea.

What Are Cinnamon Sticks?

Cinnamon sticks are dried bark in the shape of cinnamon sticks. They are made from the inner bark of Cinnamomum zeylanicum and Cinnamomum cassia plants. These plants come from China and Sri Lanka. Having said that, they are resilient enough to flourish in a variety of climates across the globe.

The process of gathering cinnamon sticks varies by area, although there are a few basic harvesting procedures.

Cutting cinnamon trees at their base when they are around two years old is one of the most common techniques to collect cinnamon sticks. Tiny shoots emerge from the stump of the tree, resulting in thinner stems that are more tasty and easier to harvest.

Cinnamon farmers remove these branches off the stump when they reach a height of several feet. They take the bark off the sprouts and set them out to dry in flat, sunny regions. The moisture-rich bark dehydrates and coils around itself throughout the drying process.

The quill-like structure associated with cinnamon sticks is formed during this phase. Manufacturers may leave cinnamon sticks as is after this procedure or cut them into similar twig-like forms, often 10 inches or shorter, depending on the desired length.

How to Use Cinnamon Sticks

Cinnamon sticks may be used to spice practically any meal, which is why it is an important component in many ethnic cuisines. Cinnamon sticks are often used in the following recipes:

  • Chocolate milk
  • Moroccan dishes
  • Puerco Verde Chile
  • Pho with pork
  • Sangria
  • Tea with chai

Utilizing cinnamon sticks is a simple technique. Nonetheless, use varies according on the meal. A cinnamon stick, for example, may be used as a coffee stirrer. The cinnamon stick’s inherent scents will be absorbed by the boiling coffee around it.

If you wish to add a cinnamon stick to a soup or stew, put the whole stick in the boiling liquid and let it simmer for few minutes or a few hours. The exact length of time depends on how much cinnamon flavor you want to add to the meal.

After you’re happy with the flavor of your food, remove the cinnamon stick using a pair of tongs. Let the used cinnamon stick to cool on a paper towel or dishcloth. You may discard it after it has reached room temperature.

What is Ground Cinnamon?

Cinnamomum zeylanicum and Cinnamomum cassia trees are also used to produce ground cinnamon. Ground cinnamon is really derived from dried cinnamon bark, often known as cinnamon sticks.

After these sticks are dry, they are placed into enormous food-grade grinders. The cinnamon sticks are crushed in these grinders into a thin powdered material known as ground cinnamon.

Ground cinnamon may be made at home by breaking cinnamon sticks in a mortar or using a food processor. Since cinnamon sticks are relatively thick, a food processor may be necessary to obtain a fine, powdery final texture.

How to Use Ground Cinnamon

There are several applications for ground cinnamon. You may add a pinch to tea, coffee, or hot chocolate to give them a somewhat sweet taste. Yet, one of the most common uses for ground cinnamon is to spice up pastries.

Cinnamon buns are maybe the most famous dish that incorporates ground cinnamon spice. Bakers split the dough into portions, flatten it, then cut it into strips after making the dough for these rolls. The strips are then dusted with powdered cinnamon.

These strips are then rolled together to create concentric dough balls. After baking, the outcome is a flaky pastry with interior cinnamon layers.

Ground cinnamon is also a common ingredient in pancake, muffin, and cake recipes. Several of these recipes only call for one or two tablespoons of ground cinnamon, proving that a little goes a long way!

You may also sprinkle ground cinnamon on top of oatmeal, cereal, or muesli for a sweet-yet-spicy taste.

Interestingly, cinnamon spice is hydrophobic, or repels water.

As a result, adding ground cinnamon into water-based meals may require some time and effort. If you want to have a delicious cinnamon coffee, add the cinnamon to your cup before pouring the hot coffee over it.

To evenly distribute the cinnamon throughout the drink, you may need to whisk continually for several minutes. Shaking your cinnamon-laced mixture (in an airtight tumbler or container) is also a good technique to ensure the cinnamon is properly combined.

The Origin of Cinnamon

Knowing the origins of cinnamon may help you acquire a deeper appreciation for this golden brown spice. Yet, establishing the roots of cinnamon spice might be difficult since cinnamon spread fast around the planet throughout ancient times.

The island country of Sri Lanka produces true cinnamon plants (Cinnamomum verum). As a result, they are unable to spread to other places without the assistance of sailors and merchants.

The cinnamon mentioned in Ancient Egyptian writings, however, did not originate from Sri Lanka. It most likely originated in China’s eastern provinces. Cinnamomum cassia was employed in embalming procedures and may still be found in many Egyptian mummies today.

Cinnamon was a costly and sought-after spice at the time Ancient Greece was born. Cinnamon remained one of the most expensive spices until the 1800s, when real cinnamon trees spread to far-flung parts of South America and the Caribbean.

Final Thoughts

The only distinction between cinnamon sticks and ground cinnamon is their look. Cinnamon sticks are solid pieces of cinnamon tree bark obtained from trees. Ground cinnamon is a fine, powdery material made by the shattering and grinding of cinnamon twigs.

Both are used to flavor a variety of foods and drinks. Nonetheless, cinnamon sticks are frequently added to meals to provide taste and are removed before serving. Before serving, the ground cinnamon is not removed. If you’re prepared to make a few tweaks to your meals and recipes, you can frequently use cinnamon sticks and powder interchangeably.


Can you replace cinnamon sticks with ground cinnamon?

2 teaspoon (approximately 1.4 grams) cinnamon for each cinnamon stick called for in the recipe. Instead of cinnamon sticks, use ground cinnamon.

If a recipe asks for cinnamon sticks but you only have ground cinnamon, you may substitute it. The majority of recipe creators advocate using a 1.

Which is better ground cinnamon or cinnamon sticks?

Cinnamon sticks are usually preferable.

They’re more adaptable (they may be used in a number of recipes) and don’t need to be refrigerated like the powdered type!

How much ground cinnamon is equal to one stick?

For one stick or quill, use 2-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. If a recipe asks for a whole cinnamon stick or quill and all you have is ground cinnamon, use 1 teaspoon.

How can you tell the difference between two types of cinnamon?

Cassia cinnamon and Ceylon cinnamon have distinct flavors, textures, and bark colors. Cassia cinnamon has a strong taste and texture, as well as a dark brown appearance. Ceylon cinnamon has a lighter brown tint and a softer, more refined taste and texture. These variations are caused by how cinnamon is cultivated and harvested.

Why is ground cinnamon cheaper than sticks?

Since the cinnamon stick must be retrieved in one piece, it is extremely brittle and difficult to harvest. In addition, cinnamon sticks are less popular than ground cinnamon. (Maybe some of the decreasing demand derives from the fact that they are unreasonably pricey.

Does it matter what type of cinnamon you use?

Cinnamon comes in two varieties: Ceylon and cassia. Both are healthful, but one contains a toxin that might be hazardous if consumed in excess. Cinnamon is a widely used spice. It is not only tasty, but it also offers several health advantages.

What is the healthiest cinnamon to take?

Nutrition. Ceylon cinnamon is high in antioxidants, which assist your body deal with free radicals and lessen your risk of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

Should I use ground cinnamon or sticks in tea?

Which cinnamon is best for cinnamon tea? Instead of cinnamon powder, use cinnamon sticks. Cinnamon comes in two varieties: Ceylon and Cassia. Cassia is the most common kind seen in supermarkets and has a darker, more intense taste.

Is a teaspoon of cinnamon a day OK?

Cinnamon is widely recognized as safe for the majority of individuals when used as a culinary spice and in little doses – no more than 1 tsp per day is regarded acceptable for most adults, with less for children.

How much is 2 cinnamon sticks in powder?

If you’re using a cinnamon stick instead of ground cinnamon, a stick equals 12 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Here’s some additional information about this multipurpose spice.

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