Can You Grind Cinnamon Sticks? All You Need To Know

You can grind cinnamon sticks to make your cinnamon powder spice using a coffee grinder, spice grinder, Microplane grater, or mortar and pestle.

I’m really a big fan of cinnamon. I put them in my oatmeal and chai tea and use them to spice up my soups and stews. But sadly, they get used up quickly.  So I’ve always wondered if it was possible to grind cinnamon sticks into a finer powder myself and store – rather than buying that pre-made stuff from the store.

After trying out different grinders and blenders, I finally found what works best! It turns out there are easy ways to grind your cinnamon that will help you save a lot of money buying cooking spices, and you’ll never run out of cinnamon in your kitchen. 

In this guide, I will not only introduce you to these methods but also provide you with the step-by-step approach to grinding cinnamon with tools you may already have in your home. 

can you grind cinnamon sticks

Can I Grind Cinnamon Sticks?

You can grind cinnamon sticks into a powder to use as a spice in your recipes. I actually recommend grinding your own cinnamon stick, as it saves you money over buying pre-ground cinnamon. Plus, you get to crush your spice to taste, whether smooth or gritty.

However, you should know cinnamon sticks have a tough back that requires a powerful and sharp blade to cut through. As a result, you can’t just chuck your cinnamon stick into any grinder without risking damaging the appliance. 

bowl of cinnamon sticks

So let’s take a look at the best ways to go about this

How To Make Powdered Cinnamon From Cinnamon Sticks

Making ground cinnamon is not as hard as you would think. However, as a first-time grinder, you may find it tough to work on the sticks. But with time, it becomes easier. 

Also, you don’t have to invest in a specialized machine to make powdered cinnamon at home. You can always use the tools you already have in your kitchen.

So, what are the grinding methods? Whether you’re grinding Ceylon cinnamon or Cassia cinnamon, below are two major ways for easy and effective grinding, and each has its own set of instruments.

Electrical Methods

You can make your homemade ground cinnamon using electrical grinders. It is the easiest method to use and produces the finest result.

Tools Required

  • Electric Spice grinder
  • Coffee grinder. 

You probably have one or both of these devices at home. Now is the time to put them to good use. Grinding cinnamon in an electric spice or coffee grinder won’t affect its original use and will not damage them.

Use Electric Spice Grinder

I make powdered cinnamon with an electric spice grinder, which is by far my favorite tool to grind cinnamon. An electric spice grinder would grind your cinnamon stick into the smoothest form imaginable.

electric spice grinder

To use an electric spice grinder:

  • Cut long cinnamon sticks into little bits.
  • Place the chopped cinnamon sticks in the coffee grinder.
  • Divide the chopped sticks into small batches so your grinder can handle them and produce a smooth grind.
  • Close the grinder lid. Make sure the lid is securely closed to prevent cinnamon from escaping when grinding. 
  • Start the grinder and blend the ground cinnamon sticks thoroughly.
  • Depending on its model, you may be able to set your grinder and control how smooth it grinds your spice.
  • After the initial grinding cycle, you should have smooth cinnamon on top and rough cinnamon on the bottom.
  • Pour the ground cinnamon into a bowl and sift out the powder.
  • Return the ground cinnamon into the grinder and repeat the procedure.
  • Once the powder has been ground to taste, store it in a dry container. 

Use Coffee Grinder

Coffee grinders are designed to ground coffee beans but also work well for grinding cinnamon sticks. These devices are one of the most commonly used for grinding cinnamon sticks into powder.

vintage coffee grinder

Step-By-Step Process to Grind cinnamon sticks in a coffee grinder

  • Cut the cinnamon sticks into tiny pieces.
  • Then, add the chopped sticks to the coffee grinder in batches. This allows the grinder to grind efficiently.
  • Start the grinder and select the espresso setting to create a smooth powder.
  • Once the powder is smooth to taste, store in a dry container. 
  • Clean out your coffee grinder right after use to prevent cinnamon-flavored coffee.

Precautions when using an electric grinder

  • To avoid damaging your grinder, always ensure you cut the cinnamon sticks into little pieces.
  • Do not ground cinnamon sticks in a regular blender. The blades aren’t strong enough to smooth cinnamon.

Manual Methods

If you don’t have an electric grinder or don’t want to use it to grind cinnamon, you can still make finely ground cinnamon at home using the manual method. 

These methods require kitchen equipment you probably already have in your kitchen. However, they may need some elbow grease to get started.

grinding cinnamon with a mortar and pestel

While the manual approach is slower than the electrical method, it affords you more control over the grinding process. For example, you can make your ground cinnamon as smooth or coarse as you like. And you can grind only the quantity of cinnamon needed at one time. 

Tools Required

  • A mortar and pestle.
  • A Ziploc bag and a meat tenderizer
  • Microplane Grater

Using Mortar and Pestle

These handy little twin kitchenware come in various sizes and materials and are quite simple to use, making them a popular choice for grinding cinnamon sticks. 

Here is how to grind cinnamon sticks with Mortar and Pestle:

  • Thoroughly clean and dry the Mortal and Pestle. Ensure there are no sand particles before pouring into your mortal.
  • Cut the cinnamon sticks into smaller pieces.
  • Add the broken cinnamon sticks into the mortal.
  • Gently pound cinnamon with your pestle to keep it from escaping the mortal. But add enough pressure to grind the sticks.
  • Pound, turn, and press until your cinnamon is reduced to powder. 
  • Pour ground cinnamon into a dry container and sieve out the powder.
  • Store powdered cinnamon in an air-tight container for long-term use.

Use Ziplock Bag, Cast-iron Pan, and Tenderizer

What if you don’t have a mortar and pestle? Simply get a strong pan such as a cast-iron pan, a ziplock bag, and a meat tenderizer to grind your sticks. 

Here’s how to use these items;

  • Put the dry cinnamon sticks in a large ziplock bag. You can double the bag if you want. 
  • Then, place the bag in the pan.
  • Pound the cinnamon inside the bag with the tenderizer. 
  • Don’t pound too hard, or the cinnamon will leak out of the bag. 
  • After grinding to taste, remove the cinnamon from the bag, add it to your recipe, or store it in a container.

Use Microplane Graters

If you have a grater in your kitchen, you can grind a small amount of cinnamon for immediate cooking. However, this method is not ideal for grinding large quantities of cinnamon.

A Microplane grater is my preferred choice over other types of graters, such as a box grater or cheese grater, because it has sharper blades that can cut cinnamon sticks into small pieces.

How to grind cinnamon sticks with a Microplane grater;

  • Cut the cinnamon sticks into tiny pieces. Although it is not required,
  • Put the grater over a bowl.
  • Keep rubbing your sticks against the grater to break it down into shards.
  • Add ground cinnamon to your recipe.

How to Store Cinnamon Powder

Powdered cinnamon is quite simple to preserve and can be stored similarly to other spices. If stored properly, it may remain for years in the cupboard.

However, like other spices, it might lose its flavor over time. So, it’s best not to store it for more than a year to ensure it retains its quality. After all, you can always use fresh cinnamon sticks.

storing spices in glass jars

Below are some tips that may help extend the shelf life of your cinnamon spice.

  • When not in use, store cinnamon in an airtight container and keep the spice unopened.
  • Store the container in a cold, dark area like a cupboard. Keep it away from direct sunshine, water, and heat sources. 
  • Cinnamon sticks retain flavor longer than ground cinnamon. As a result, grind only what you’ll need for a few months while storing the sticks in their original form for the following 3 to 5 years.

Healthy Cinnamon Recipes

While cinnamon sticks have very limited uses, powdered cinnamon can be used in various recipes, including cereal, yogurt, baked goods, chocolate tea, cocktails, and a smoothie topper. I bet you haven’t tried even one-sixth of its recipes.

healthy cinnamon spice

Here is a selection of healthy cinnamon recipes that I think you should try:

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

This breakfast cookie is absolutely delicious, and I highly recommend it any time! Made from simple ingredients, it tastes like a million bucks! It’s packed with healthy fat and protein and the perfect way to start your day!

To make your delicious oatmeal, combine a handful of ingredients, including apples, oats, sugar, and ground cinnamon.

Cinnamon Roasted Potatoes

This dish is excellent for your health and should be part of your diet. The potato provides plenty of vitamin A and potassium, while cinnamon is chock-full of antioxidants. So, having both makes for a perfect dinner.

Cinnamon roasted potatoes are baked using sweet potatoes, cinnamon, brown sugar, and butter. They are then topped with cheddar cheese and sour cream.

Cinnamon-Spiced Chicken

As I mentioned earlier, cinnamon would go with just about any dish, and chicken is not left out. Marinate your chicken breast in a mixture of lemon juice, orange juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, thyme, and cinnamon. Then grill on a hot grill.

Banana Cinnamon Smoothie

Smoothies are a great way to start your day, and cinnamon adds a spicy flavor to your already creamy smoothie to give it the perfect taste.

Make your protein shake with fresh or frozen ripe banana, milk, yogurt, honey, chia seeds, vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon. This gives you extra nutrients of Potassium, protein, and healthy fats.

Cinnamon French Toast 

This is a fantastic breakfast staple. It’s super easy to make and also quite healthful. French toast is made by soaking bread in eggs and milk. Then it is dipped in egg batter and fried. Topped with maple syrup, cinnamon, and sliced bananas, this dish is perfect for brunch. 

FAQs On Can You Grind Cinnamon Sticks

How Do I Know If Cinnamon Has Turned Bad?

Cinnamon can last a long time if it’s well-preserved. But once it goes bad, it will lose its sweet smell, spicy flavor, and taste. So to test if it’s still good, put a pinch of cinnamon in your hand and taste it.

Can I Eat Cinnamon Sticks?

Yes! Cinnamon sticks are safe to eat. However, be careful when eating them. You should chew them slowly and thoroughly before swallowing and avoid excess consumption. Consuming too many cinnamon sticks may cause stomach upset.

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