When only maximum flavor will do, you need to use freshly ground cinnamon. Wondering how to grind cinnamon sticks? We’ve got you covered. We’ll discuss three grinding methods so you can choose which is best for you.
This article covers everything you need to know about how to make cinnamon powder out of cinnamon sticks.
If you are interested in learning more about different types of cinnamon, its flavor profile, and how it’s used in Chinese cooking, you can read our article, Chinese cinnamon (Gui Pi / You Gui).
Reasons to Grind Cinnamon at Home
Whole Cinnamon Stays Fresh Longer
A major benefit of buying whole spices is that they stay fresh and fragrant longer than pre-ground spices. Oils in spices are the main component that gives them their robust flavor. When spices are ground, their oils are exposed to oxygen and they start to degrade and lose flavor.
Think of spices in the same way you think of fresh fruits or vegetables. A whole potato can last for weeks sitting on the counter, but the moment its sliced and exposed to oxygen it begins to turn brown and lose freshness.
Many people’s spice cabinets are filled with spices that they only use a few times per year.
Grinding whole spices only when needed translates into better flavor! When spices are freshly ground their oils are released and you can enjoy them at peak flavor before they degrade.
When spices are freshly ground and then compared to pre-ground spices, the smell and taste is immediately distinguishable. Pre-ground spices have an old stale quality to them, whereas freshly ground spices are bursting with vibrant fresh aroma.
Uses for Freshly ground Cinnamon
Use freshly ground cinnamon in any recipe where pre-ground cinnamon is used. Recently we have been using freshly ground cinnamon in our homemade Chinese five-spice, on our morning oatmeal, and on top of our coffee pour-over with oat milk (yum!).
Ingredients and Equipment
Whole Cinnamon Sticks
Small blender, spice/coffee grinder, or fine grater
How to Grind Cinnamon Sticks
We tried three different methods (blender, blade grinder, and fine grater) for grinding cinnamon sticks so we could report the results of each option so you can decide which is best for you.
We found using our small personal size blender with a 16 ounce (470 milliliter) cup worked the best of the three options. It ground the cinnamon the fastest and produced the finest grind. Also, using a blender allowed us to put the cinnamon sticks in whole, rather than breaking them into small pieces like we had to do with the blade spice/coffee grinder.
Step 1. Place whole cinnamon sticks into the blender.
Step 2. Blend for 30 to 60 seconds, or until your desired level of grind is achieved.
Hint: Be careful not to over grind because powerful blenders will cause the cinnamon to heat up, which will release the oils and cause the cinnamon to lose flavor faster. If you are using the ground cinnamon right away this isn’t much of a concern.
Spice / Coffee Grinder
For this test we used our spice and coffee bean grinder. Since the motor and blade are not as powerful as the blender, and the container is smaller, we broke up the cinnamon stick into pieces before adding it to the grinder.
The grinder produced a relatively fine grind, which was acceptable, but it was not as fine as the blender.
Step 1. Break cinnamon pieces into ½ inch (12 millimeter) sections.
Step 2. Grind for 30 to 60 seconds, or until your desired level of grind is achieved.
Using a fine grater, such as a microplane, is great for garlic, ginger, and many spices, but we found it did not produce a fine enough grind for our purposes. It is still a great option for grinding only a small amount of cinnamon, such as when topping a piece of dessert (pumpkin pie anyone?!) or coffee.
Step 1. Use as large a piece of cinnamon as possible so your hands won’t get close to the grater.
Step 2. Place the end of the grater on a plate and hold at an angle. Rub the cinnamon back and forth across the grater until you’ve grated your desired amount.
How long do cinnamon sticks last?
According to experts on Healthline, whole spices such as cinnamon have a shelf life of four years.
Although whole spices may be technically edible for four years, we do not recommend you keep your spices for four years. Even whole spices will lose flavor over time. We recommend you keep whole spices no more than 10 to 12 months to ensure maximum flavor.
How long does ground cinnamon last?
According to experts on Healthline, ground spices such as cinnamon have a shelf life of 2-3 years.
PLEASE, do not keep ground spices for 2-3 years. As we discussed above, after grinding, spices quickly begin to lose flavor.
We recommend keeping ground spices no more than 2 months to ensure they transform your dishes into everything you want them to be. The beauty of grinding your own spices is that you can grind just enough to use that day, or enough for the next couple of weeks.
Use a dedicated blender cup for grinding cinnamon because the oils in the cinnamon can be really hard to completely remove. Even after washing our container numerous times it still smells like cinnamon.
How to Grind Cinnamon Sticks
- Small blender, spice/coffee grinder, or fine grater
- Cinnamon Sticks
Method #1: Blender
- Place whole cinnamon sticks into the blender.Cinnamon Sticks
- Blend for 30 to 60 seconds, or until your desired level of grind is achieved.
Method #2: Spice / Coffee Grinder
- Break cinnamon pieces into ½ inch (12 millimeter) sections.
- Grind for 30 to 60 seconds, or until your desired level of grind is achieved.
Method #3: Fine Grater
- Use as large a piece of cinnamon as possible so your hands won’t get close to the grater.
- Place the end of the grater on a plate and hold at an angle. Rub the cinnamon back and forth across the grater until you’ve grated your desired amount.
malaeats.com is created for informational purposes only. Although we do our best to provide nutritional information to our readers as a general guideline, we are not certified nutritionists and the nutritional values provided should be considered estimates. Numerous factors such as variations in fresh ingredients, brands purchased, etc. will alter the nutritional values in any recipe. Different online calculators also provide different results depending on their sources. To obtain accurate nutritional information for a recipe, please use your preferred nutrition calculator to determine nutritional information with the actual ingredients and quantities you used.
We sometimes take for a granted that we have years (or decades) of cooking experience, that the average visitor may not. Add to, or remove from, the list below with health and safety tips.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C).
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods (less than 2 hours is recommended by the CDC).
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove.
See more guidelines at the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention website.