Cinnamon Sticks vs Ground Cinnamon: What’s The Difference?

ground cinnamon

Both ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks come from the same evergreen tree but they get to the market in different forms.

You will find that cinnamon powder is obtained from cinnamon sticks and can be used in a variety of dishes due to its texture.

On the other hand, cinnamon sticks have limited usage since they are hard sticks and will not dissolve such as cinnamon powder.

You will notice the main difference between cinnamon sticks and ground cinnamon right away. Their texture.

Cinnamon sticks are sticks cut from the cinnamon tree bark while ground cinnamon is a powder that comes from the sticks. As it follows, we will address the best way to make the most out of these two, apparently different ingredients.

Cinnamon Sticks vs Ground Cinnamon: Comparison Chart


Cinnamon sticks 

Ground cinnamon 





Cinnamon tree 

Processed cinnamon sticks 


Marinates, curries, baked recipes, and other cooked dishes and drinks 

All types of recipes including coffee, tea, and smoothies 


1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder per 1 cinnamon stick 

1 stick for 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder 


Milder than cinnamon powder 

More intense than cinnamon sticks 

Can I Use Ground Cinnamon Instead of Cinnamon Sticks?

Since cinnamon sticks might be more difficult to find than ground cinnamon, you might wonder if you can use these two interchangeably. The good news is that there is no difference in terms of flavor between cinnamon sticks and ground cinnamon.

So, if you want to obtain the same taste, you will be able to replace your cinnamon sticks with ground cinnamon, without altering the flavor of your food.


The ratio when you substitute cinnamon sticks with ground cinnamon is half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder for each stick that is between one and three inches long.

Another aspect that you have to consider when you replace cinnamon sticks with some ground cinnamon is the fact that your food will not have the same texture and color.

Cinnamon sticks are usually removed once they added the flavor you want to your food so they will not alter the texture of your final dish.

Even if you choose to not remove the cinnamon stick, chances are that it will not get dissolved either. Thus, you will still have a certain texture in your dish that is not the same as the texture obtained from the ground cinnamon.

On the other hand, when you add cinnamon powder, this will mix with the other ingredients and change the texture as well as the color of your final dish.

Cinnamon powder gives your food a brownish shade.

What is Better: Ground Cinnamon or Cinnamon Sticks?


Choosing between ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks is not always a walk in the park, as it depends a lot on the type of dish that you have to prepare.

The main rule says that cinnamon sticks are used to add a cinnamon flavor to your food but in a mild way. If all you want is this mild cinnamon flavor but no added texture from this ingredient, you will remove the sticks once the taste is incorporated into your dish.

At the same time, if you want to add a more intense cinnamon flavor, you should consider using cinnamon powder. The intense flavor doesn’t come because the cinnamon powder is stronger in taste. But it will get dissolved inside your dish and therefore, it will enrich the overall taste.

Adding cinnamon powder to your food will not only intensify the flavor but also change the color of your food, be it a drink, dessert, or main dish.

Keep in mind is that you can use ground cinnamon as topping on desserts, which you can’t do with cinnamon sticks.

Ground cinnamon can be used on cold dishes such as fruit salads as well when cinnamon sticks will release the flavor you want most if you cook them along with the rest of the ingredients.

Are Cinnamon Sticks the Same as Cinnamon?

Cinnamon sticks come from the cinnamon tree and have the same flavor as cinnamon powder. But in order to match this flavor, you will have to make sure that both the cinnamon sticks and the cinnamon powder provide from the same type of cinnamon tree.

There are four categories of cinnamon that you want to be looking at. Some work better for sweet dishes while others can be successfully used as an ingredient in a savory recipe.

Cinnamomum Verum

Ceylon Cinnamon, also known as Mexican cinnamon. It is one of the best types to use in savory dishes. It is also fairly common in East Africa even if the tree is cultivated mostly in Sri Lanka as well as Southern India.

Cinnamomum burmannii

Korintje Cinnamon offers you a milder taste and it is used mainly in drinks. You will find this type of cinnamon most common in America and it is adaptable to any type of recipe.

Cinnamomum cassia

Saigon Cinnamon comes from Southern Asia. It is sweeter than other kinds so it will work best for desserts. You will find this cinnamon type less spicy and easier to dissolve when it comes in a powder form.

Cinnamomum Loureiro

Royal Cinnamon offers the most intense flavor. It is also the rarest kind. This type of cinnamon is sweeter and spicier compared to others. Thus, you will have to use less of it to get the flavor you want.

Can I Use Cinnamon Powder Instead of a Stick for Tea?

When it comes to drinks such as tea or coffee and even different smoothies or other beverages, you can use both types of cinnamon.

You can use sticks if you want a mild cinnamon taste in your tea. Use the powder form if you are looking for a more intense flavor.

Keep in mind that cinnamon sticks will release a lot more flavor in conditions of heat so add it to your tea while it is still steaming hot and allow it to cool down inside your mug.


Regardless of the version of cinnamon that you choose, know that your food will taste amazing. This spice is used worldwide as it can enhance the taste of almost any drink, dessert, and savory dish.

Cinnamon has also a large list of health benefits, among which the most important one is keeping your blood pressure at optimum parameters.

So, there is no need to hesitate when it comes to adding cinnamon to your food, regardless of the form you choose.

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