If you're looking for high-quality cinnamon, Burlap and Barrel's Cinnamon Verum, a variety of the Ceylon variety from Zanzibar that boasts a nuanced flavor profile, is a great choice. If you want that strong, sweet flavor that brings you back to your favorite childhood pastries, we recommend McCormick's Ground Cinnamon.
For everyone from seasoned chefs to weeknight home cooks to aspiring foodies, cinnamon is a kitchen staple. It’s one of the tastiest spices around and is an important part of thousands of recipes (not to mention hot beverages in the winter!). What’s not to love?
Cinnamon is a highly versatile spice that can be used in both savory dishes (like soups and stews) and sweet recipes, like pies, cookies, and even your breakfast oatmeal. There are four types of this popular spice, the most common one being cinnamon cassia, which is typically found in the supermarket store, especially in ground form. Ceylon cinnamon, another common variety, has a distinctive color and taste that sets it apart from the former.
Wondering what kind of cinnamon is best for your recipe or favorite dish? Here are the best cinnamons for every use.
Burlap and Barrel Cinnamon Verum
What do buyers say? 100+ Burlap & Barrel reviewers rated this product 5 stars.
If you're looking for high-quality and versatile cinnamon to use in the kitchen, Burlap and Barrel's Cinnamon Verum is our top pick.
Sourced from the Zanzibar Islands off the coast of Tanzania, this cinnamon is hand-cut and sun-dried in order to preserve its freshness and complex flavoring. It's grown organically in the hillside, with notes of sea salt, brown sugar, raw honey, and citrus peel in the flavor profile. Of the four types of cinnamon, this comes from the bark of the Ceylon cinnamon tree.
If you haven't heard of Burlap and Barrel, they're the only importer of Zanzibar spices to the United States, and it maintains a highly respected reputation in the culinary world.
Available in a 1.8-ounce glass jar or a 14-ounce plastic container.
Price at time of publish: $9.99
Type: Ground Ceylon | Origin: Zanzibar, Tanzania | Product Weight: 1.8 ounces, 14 ounces | Tasting Notes: Citrus peel, pine, sea salt, raw honey, brown sugar | Pairs Well With: Savory sauces, stews, rubs, chilis
Best Cinnamon Sticks
Frontier Co-op Organic Cinnamon Sticks
Fragrant, warm, and deliciously spicy, Frontier Organic Whole Cinnamon Sticks are a great item to keep stocked in your kitchen. These cinnamon sticks, also called quills, offer a more robust and rich flavor compared to powdered cinnamon and will last much longer. For added flavor, toss one of these sticks into a bowl of oatmeal while it’s cooking, or place it into a steaming mug of herbal tea for a comforting bedtime drink. You can even add one of these sticks to your slow cooker with different meats to add heat and spice to your dish. These sticks are certified organic, and reviewers call these "the best cinnamon sticks ever," noting the bright flavor and aroma.
Price at time of publish: $20.54
Type: Ceylon (Korintje) sticks | Origin: Sri Lanka | Product Weight: 16 ounces | Tasting Notes: Clove, warm sweetness | Pairs Well With: Baked goods, breads, stews, curries, oatmeal, tea, coffee, hot cider
"Most cinnamon at the store will be the Korintje variety. Its sweet, mild scent will remind you of your childhood and you can use it for any of your bakes. You can’t go wrong with this type!" — Christopher Federici, Owner of Gooey Center Bakery
Simply Organic Ground Ceylon Cinnamon
For a Ceylon cinnamon option that's well-reviewed by plenty of fans, we recommend Simply Organic's Ground Ceylon Cinnamon.
Users praise the subtle flavor of this ground cinnamon, although a few noted that it was much milder than the cassia cinnamon they were used to. "I like the aroma and softer flavor of this version (Ceylon) compared to the more pungent 'traditional' cinnamon (Cassia) which can be a bit bitter by itself," wrote one reviewer online. "It's a new staple in my cupboard." A shaker top makes it easy to sprinkle onto foods, or you can take the shaker off to measure the correct amount for your baking needs. It is certified organic by the USDA.
Price at time of publish: $6.11
Type: Ground Ceylon | Origin: Sri Lanka | Product Weight: 2.08 ounces | Tasting Notes: Fruit, apple, floral, nectar | Pairs Well With: Coffee, tea, baked goods, oatmeal
Frontier Co-op Ground Ceylon Cinnamon
Another Ceylon cinnamon worth considering is the Frontier Co-op Ground Ceylon Cinnamon. Not only is this cinnamon organic, but it’s non-irradiated and Fair Trade certified, which means that you're supporting farming families and fair wages through the purchase of this product. It's sourced from Sri Lanka and has a sweet and warm flavor that lends itself well to cookies, cakes, and other baked goods. Many customers noted that the flavor was better than grocery store versions, and agreed that the taste of "true" cinnamon is well worth the price.
Price at time of publish: $5.03
Type: Ground Ceylon | Origin: Sri Lanka | Product Weight: 1.76 ounces | Tasting Notes: Floral, clove | Pairs Well With: Baked goods, coffee, apples, smoothies
McCormick Ground Cinnamon
McCormick is a trusted name in the food industry and their company has been around for more than 125 years, so this is the cinnamon that you’re probably most familiar with. Because their ground cinnamon is classified as cinnamon cassia the flavor profile will be much stronger and sweeter than Ceylon cinnamon. According to reviewers, this spice has a wonderful smell and the sweet flavor evoked childhood memories of trips to the mall for giant cinnamon rolls. Several reviewers also said that this cinnamon works as an ant repellent in their garden or even around the house. Sprinkling ground cinnamon where ants usually congregate may deter them from coming back.
Price at time of publish: $2.78
Type: Ground cassia | Origin: Indonesia | Product Weight: tktk | Tasting Notes: Spicy, warm sweetness | Pairs Well With: French toast, oatmeal, baked goods, savory dishes
"When making cinnamon rolls, you’ll go through a full cup of cinnamon in just a few batches. Save your money and buy in bulk at a big box store. Grocery store cinnamon jars are very expensive and too small. Plus, a little extra cinnamon in your recipe will only make for a better roll. Sprinkle liberally!" — Christopher Federici, Owner of Gooey Center Bakery
Best for Beverages
Feel Good Organics Korintje Cinnamon Sticks
Warm beverages garnished or sweetened with cinnamon offer a pleasant alternative to tea that's sweetened with sugar. If you're looking to incorporate cinnamon sticks into some of your favorite beverages, we recommend using the Feel Good Organics Organic Korintje Cinnamon Sticks. This Indonesian cinnamon is Cinnamomum burmaniia, which has a smoother taste compared to other varieties. The bag contains 100 hard cinnamon sticks which are cut to 2.75 inches long, so you can add them to your tea, coffee, cocktails (like a hot toddy or mulled wine), and hot chocolate with ease.
Price at time of publish: $19.99
Type: Ceylon (Korintje) sticks | Origin: Sri Lanka | Product Weight: 16 ounces | Tasting Notes: Floral, spice | Pairs Well With: Tea, hot cider, wine, curries, cakes
Burlap and Barrel Royal Cinnamon
Burlap and Barrel works with cinnamon tree growers in the Quang Nam Mountains of Vietnam to get this heirloom variety of Saigon cinnamon that isn't as common in American spice racks. Sweet and spicy, this cinnamon bark is dried while it's still on the tree, resulting in an intense flavor that's the perfect finishing touch to any recipe. Burlap and Barrel says this cinnamon has tasting notes of brown butter, honey, and orange peel, and will probably be stronger than you're used to if you usually use Ceylon cinnamon in your recipes. You can choose between a 1.8-ounce glass jar or a 16-ounce plastic container, which is a great deal if you use a lot of cinnamon in your kitchen.
Price at time of publish: $9.99
Type: Vietnamese cassia | Origin: Vietnam | Product Weight: 1.8 ounces, 16 ounces | Tasting Notes: Brown butter, orange peel, honey | Pairs Well With: Baked goods, meats, tomato-based dishes, sweet potatoes, chai
Best Cinnamon Sugar
Richards Maple Products Maple Cinnamon Sugar
Cinnamon sugar is a versatile and delicious addition to many baked goods, but the reason we love this one is because of its unique flavor thanks to the extra ingredient—maple syrup. Richards Maple Products has been creating maple goodies in Geauga County, Ohio, since 1910, including maple candy, maple coffee, and maple cinnamon sugar. Sure, you can easily make this at home, but the added maple syrup gives this cinnamon sugar extra sweetness. Shake it over coffee, on French toast, on top of muffins as they go into the oven, or even on meat as part of a rub.
Price at time of publish: $10.49
Type: Cinnamon, maple syrup, and sugar blend | Origin: Ohio | Product Weight: 4 ounces | Tasting Notes: Maple syrup and sugar | Pairs Well With: Muffins, breads, desserts, cereal, French toast, coffee
Pure Original Ingredients Ground Cassia Cinnamon
Cassia cinnamon is a stronger, bolder cinnamon that still can be used for sweet things like desserts, but that also brings a unique flavor to savory things. Sprinkle it on meat or roasted vegetables, or in curry or pho. However, it's important to note that it's not healthy to ingest this type of cinnamon in large doses.
This Cassia cinnamon is inexpensive and packaged in Utah. It comes in a bag, so be sure to store it in an airtight to keep it fresh for longer.
Price at time of publish: $5.99
Type: Cassia | Origin: Utah | Product Weight: 4 ounces | Tasting Notes: Strong, peppery, sweet | Pairs Well With: Cinnamon rolls, coffee, meat, curries, pho
What to Look for When Buying Cinnamon
Of the four types of cinnamon, Ceylon and cassia are the two most widely available. Cassia cinnamon primarily comes from China and is the type on most grocery store shelve (if it doesn’t specify, it’s likely cassia), but Ceylon cinnamon is often regarded as higher quality and better-tasting.
All cinnamon is not created equally. If you’re using cinnamon mainly for baking, cassia cinnamon is a safe choice. It’s less expensive and while it's a stronger flavor out of the jar, it gets milder during cooking. If you’re looking for a milder flavor to begin with, Ceylon cinnamon is the way to go.
Culinary cinnamon is available in many different forms: whole (stick), ground, and liquid. There’s no best type of cinnamon; it really depends on what you want to use it for. For cooking and baking, ground cinnamon is the most convenient, but grinding a cinnamon stick will give a fresher flavor (and they last longer). Cinnamon sticks are also an excellent choice for infusing hot teas or other beverages. Liquid cinnamon extracts are a more concentrated form that are helpful when making chocolates or cinnamon-flavored drinks.
Where does cinnamon come from?
Cinnamon comes from the bark of different varieties of evergreen trees that fall under the Cinnamomum genus. Most of these trees are located in Sri Lanka, but there are also some in India, China, and Burma.
How does cinnamon grow?
The evergreen trees that house cinnamon are allowed to grow for two years, before they’re cut and harvested. To harvest the cinnamon, sections of the bark are scored and then peeled. The outer portion is then scraped off, leaving the inner bark—or cinnamon. The next year, new shoots will form where the tree was cut, starting the process for new cinnamon.
Does cinnamon have calories?
Yes, cinnamon has 6 calories—and 2.1 grams of carbs—per teaspoon. Of those carbs, 1.4 grams are in the form of fiber.
What is Ceylon cinnamon?
Ceylon cinnamon is a milder, lighter form of cinnamon that comes from the evergreen trees native to Sri Lanka and southern parts of India. It's less common and higher in the essential oils that give cinnamon its flavor. Most cinnamon that you find in the grocery store is cassia cinnamon, which has a stronger flavor.
Does cinnamon expire?
Cinnamon doesn’t technically expire—or spoil—but it may lose potency and flavor over time, especially if it’s opened. For optimal flavor, use ground cinnamon within one year of opening and cinnamon sticks within three to four years.
How We Researched
To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best cinnamon varieties on the market, evaluating their key features—like origin, additives, or price—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Donna Currie is a freelancer who writes roundups and tests products for The Spruce Eats. The author of Cookistry, her recipe blog, and the cookbook Make Ahead Bread, Donna is enamored with cooking and is always looking for the spices and condiments that push that just-good-enough recipe over the edge. Check out her roundups on the best hot sauces, vanilla extracts, and pepper mills.
Lindsay Boyers, who wrote the What to Look for and FAQs for this roundup, has a degree in food and nutrition from Framingham State University and is certified in both holistic and functional nutrition.
An update to this piece was completed by Amanda McDonald, an editor at The Spruce Eats who has over seven years of experience researching, writing, and editing about all things food — from what new products are at the grocery store to chef-approved hacks that keep tricky leftovers fresh for days.
- Christopher Federici, Owner of Gooey Center Bakery in Los Angeles
United States Department of Agriculture. Labeling organic products.
- Sharifi-Rad J, Dey A, Koirala N, et al. Cinnamomum species: bridging phytochemistry knowledge, pharmacological properties and toxicological safety for health benefits. Front Pharmacol. 2021;12:600139. doi:10.3389/fphar.2021.600139.