How Cinnamon Plays A Key Role In Transforming Baked Treats

The flavorful, historically significant spice cinnamon is made from the aromatic bark of trees in the Cinnamomum family. With its one-of-a-kind aroma and flavour, this spice—originally from Sri Lanka—has become widespread around the world. Because of its historical importance in cuisine, its migration from Asia to Europe dates back to antiquity. In southern India, in places like Tamil Nadu and Kerala, as well as in parts of Goa and other states, it is cultivated extensively. Its versatile use as an ingredient enhances the taste of sweet and savoury dishes alike in its rolled bark, powder, and oil forms. 

Role of Cinnamon in Baking 

Baking isn't complete without cinnamon, a spice known for adding richness and warmth to baked goods. No matter how it's used—as a topping for a delicious apple pie or mixed into cinnamon rolls batter—it enhances the flavour and aroma of the dish. Cookies, cakes, bread, and pastries are just a few of the many recipes that call for this versatile ingredient. 

Types of Cinnamon 

You can't just use any cinnamon. The market is dominated by two primary types: Ceylon and Cassia. The delicate and rich flavour of Ceylon, sometimes called "true cinnamon," makes it a perfect ingredient for light pastries. On the other hand, Cassia, with its bold and robust taste, takes the lead in heartier baked goods. Understanding the nuances between these varieties empowers bakers to choose the perfect cinnamon for their culinary creations. 

What Gives it the Flavour 

The spice cinnamon gets its spicy sweetness from cinnamonaldehyde, an essential oil that gives cinnamon its distinctive flavour. It is this component, together with other aromatic oils and chemicals, that gives cinnamon its distinctively rich flavour. Its warming and sweet flavour profile makes it a great complement to both sweet and savoury foods, elevating them to a whole new level. 

Choosing the Right Form of Cinnamon 

The many varieties of cinnamon make them ideal for use in a wide variety of recipes. Due to its portability, ground cinnamon is ideal for incorporating into a variety of recipes. Cinnamon sticks, on the other hand, permit a gradual absorption of the spice, giving it depth that ground cinnamon might not have, making them ideal for anyone seeking a more complex flavour. No matter if you prefer cinnamon sticks or powder, using high-quality cinnamon will give your baked goods the best flavour boost. 

Substituting Cinnamon 

Ginger, nutmeg, or allspice can stand in for cinnamon if you run out, but they will impart a somewhat different flavour character. Cinnamon is a versatile spice that is always useful to have on hand because of its many uses in baking. The Ceylon bark or whole cinnamon sticks have a shelf life of up to a year when sealed in a container. There is a six-month shelf life for ground cinnamon. Regardless matter the spice you purchase, be sure to read the label.