Unlocking the Secrets of Homemade Cinnamon Extract: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to make and use cinnamon extract

Cinnamon extract is a versatile ingredient that adds a sweet and spicy flavor to a variety of dishes and beverages. While it is readily available in stores, making your own cinnamon extract at home can be a rewarding and cost-effective option. In this article, we will walk you through the process of making cinnamon extract with simple ingredients and provide insight into its uses and benefits.

What is cinnamon extract?

Cinnamon extract is derived from the bark of the Cinnamomum tree and is known for its distinct flavor and aroma. It offers several health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, and anticoagulant properties. Cinnamon extract comes in two types: Cassia Cinnamon and Ceylon Cinnamon.

Types of cinnamon

  1. Cassia Cinnamon:
    • Origin: Imported from China, India, Vietnam and Indonesia.
    • Characteristics: Hard bark with a deep reddish brown color.
    • Common in the USA.
  2. Ceylon cinnamon:
    • Origin: Imported from Sri Lanka and Madagascar.
    • Characteristics: Delicate rind with a sweet, floral aroma and light brown color.
    • Mostly found in Europe and Mexico, gaining popularity in the USA.

How to make cinnamon extract

Making cinnamon extract at home is a simple process that requires only two ingredients: cinnamon sticks and alcohol. Follow the steps below to make your own cinnamon extract:

  1. Gather your ingredients: You will need fresh cinnamon sticks and high proof grain alcohol.
  2. Prepare a clean, wide-mouth Mason jar.
  3. Place 4 or more cinnamon sticks in the jar. If the sticks are too long, use a serrated knife to cut them shorter.
  4. Fill the jar with alcohol, making sure the cinnamon sticks are completely submerged. Leave about ½ inch of headspace.
  5. Close the jar tightly and store in a cool, dry place.
  6. Shake the jar once a week for 4-6 weeks. This will allow the flavors to infuse into the alcohol.
  7. After 4-6 weeks, open the jar and smell the extract. If it has a strong aroma, remove the cinnamon sticks from the jar.
  8. Pour the cinnamon extract into a storage container, such as a pretty jar, if desired.

Note: It is important to remove the cinnamon sticks once the desired strength is reached to prevent the extract from becoming bitter.

Making Sous Vide Cinnamon Extract

If you want to speed up the extraction process, you can use the sous vide method. Sous vide involves cooking ingredients at a precise temperature for a set amount of time. Here’s how to make sous vide cinnamon extract:

  1. Fill a sous vide water bath with hot water and set the temperature to approximately 135°F (57°C).
  2. Place 4 cinnamon sticks, cut to fit if necessary, in a clean Mason jar.
  3. Fill the jar with alcohol, making sure the cinnamon sticks are completely submerged. Leave about ½ inch of headspace.
  4. Close the jar tightly and use the jar lifter to lower the jar into the water bath.
  5. Boil the extract at 135°F (57°C) for approximately 3 hours.
  6. When cooked, carefully remove the jar from the water bath and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  7. Shake the jar vigorously to release the flavors and strain out the cinnamon sticks.

Making Instant Pot Cinnamon Extract

Another method of making cinnamon extract is to use an electric instant pot. This method provides a ready-to-use extract in a shorter time frame. Here are the steps to make instant pot cinnamon extract:

  1. Divide the cinnamon sticks and alcohol evenly into 2-3 jars, depending on the desired amount.
  2. Seal the jars to make sure they are airtight.
  3. Fill the instant pot with water and place a trivet inside.
  4. Place the jars on the trivet and close the lid.
  5. Set the Instant Pot on high pressure for 30 minutes.
  6. Allow full natural pressure release for 60 minutes.
  7. Carefully remove the jars from the Instant Pot and allow to cool completely.
  8. Remove the cinnamon sticks from the jars and pour the extract into a container of your choice.

Using Cinnamon Extract

Cinnamon extract can be used as a substitute for cinnamon powder in many recipes. However, due to its concentrated flavor, it is recommended to use ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon extract for each teaspoon of cinnamon powder. Here are some ideas for incorporating cinnamon extract into your culinary creations:

  • Cakes
  • Brownies
  • Biscuits
  • Pies
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake
  • Oatmeal
  • Cinnamon Scones
  • Cranberry Sauce
    -Roasted Vegetables
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Hot Coffee
  • Smoothies
  • Cocktails
  • Mulled Wine
  • Applesauce
  • Chutneys
  • Marinades
  • Salad Dressings

Storage of cinnamon extract

To ensure the longevity of your homemade cinnamon extract, store it in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. Properly stored, cinnamon extract can last up to a year. It is recommended to use dark glass bottles or jars to protect the extract from light.


Making cinnamon extract at home is an easy and rewarding process that allows you to enjoy the flavors and benefits of this versatile spice. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can create your own cinnamon extract using cinnamon sticks and alcohol. Experiment with different types of cinnamon and explore the many culinary uses of cinnamon extract in your favorite recipes. Enjoy the sweet and spicy flavor of homemade cinnamon extract in your baked goods, beverages, and other culinary creations.


Can I use cinnamon powder instead of cinnamon sticks to make extract?

It is not recommended to use cinnamon powder to make extract as it can be difficult to sieve out after the extraction process, resulting in a gritty texture.

How long does it take to make cinnamon extract at home?

It typically takes 4-6 weeks to make cinnamon extract at home. During this time, the aromas from the cinnamon sticks infuse into the alcohol, creating a flavorful extract.

Can I use any type of alcohol to make cinnamon extract?

It is best to use high proof grain alcohol with a higher ABV (alcohol by volume) to make cinnamon extract. The alcohol acts as a preservative and helps extract the flavors from the cinnamon sticks.

How should I store my homemade cinnamon extract?

To ensure the longevity of your homemade cinnamon extract, store it in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. Using dark glass bottles or jars can help protect the extract from light.

Can I adjust the strength of my cinnamon extract?

Yes, you can adjust the strength of the cinnamon extract by varying the number of cinnamon sticks and the duration of the extraction process. The longer you leave the cinnamon sticks in the alcohol, the stronger the extract will be.

Are there alternative methods for making cinnamon extract?

Yes, in addition to the traditional method, you can also make cinnamon extract using the sous vide method or an electric pressure cooker. These methods offer faster extraction times while still producing flavorful extracts.