Is Cinnamon Gluten-Free?
Is Cinnamon Gluten-Free? – We’ll take the guesswork out of finding gluten-free cinnamon and cinnamon sticks at the grocery store!
We’re all the way into holiday baking season, so it feels like our house constantly smells like vanilla and spices. It seems like we want to put cinnamon into everything this time of year–gluten-free snickerdoodles, cinnamon buns, ginger cookies, cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting, spice cake, and more. It tastes so good!
If you’re in the same boat, or you’re baking for a gluten-free friend or loved one for the first time this year, you might be wondering whether cinnamon is gluten-free. (You are a great friend! Way to go you!)
We’ve got you covered with today’s gluten-free baking tip, all about cinnamon. It adds glorious flavor to everything from the best cinnamon rolls and cookies to cozy drinks to savory curries and turkey brines, and today we’re breaking down everything you need to know about this yummy spice.
Here’s what you need to know about gluten-free cinnamon…
Is Cinnamon Gluten-Free?
Yes! Cinnamon is simply cinnamon powder made from the bark from cinnamon trees in the Cinnamomum genus. It is naturally gluten-free and contains no gluten ingredients or wheat-based ingredients.
Cinnamon is considered safe for celiac disease, gluten intolerance, gluten sensitivities, and wheat allergies. (This is true of most single ingredient spices)
Are Cinnamon Sticks Gluten-Free?
Yes! Just like ground cinnamon, cinnamon sticks are naturally gluten-free and have no gluten-containing ingredients. They should be single ingredient cinnamon sticks (just cinnamon sticks with no other added ingredients).
What Brands Of Cinnamon Are GLuten-Free?
The good news is that most brands of cinnamon are gluten-free! It’s easy to find gluten-free cinnamon in most grocery stores. Keep an eye out for single ingredient spices (just one ingredient–cinnamon) in the ingredient list. Some of our favorite gluten-free cinnamon brands are:
- Simply Organic – One of my favorite brands for organic spices & gluten-free spices. Choose from Ceylon cinnamon, cinnamon sticks, or their ground cinnamon (Korintje/Indonesian)
- Frontier Co-Op – They carry Ceylon, Vietnamese, and Korintje Cinnamon + cinnamon sticks.
- Burlap & Barrel – Great quality single origin spices from smallholder farmers.
- McCormick Organic – Or their Saigon cinnamon sticks
- Spice Islands
- McCormick Cinnamon – Budget friendly & easy to find!
- Whole Foods 365 – Organic & regular varieties
- Good & Gather
- Simple Truth Organic
FAQ: Gluten-Free Cinnamon
How Do You Know If Cinnamon Is Gluten-Free? My biggest tip is to look for single-ingredient spices. There should only be one ingredient–cinnamon or cinnamon sticks in the ingredient list. Use the same guidelines for spice blends in jars.
I try to avoid any anti-caking agent (like silicon dioxide), silicates (like calcium silicate), or other additives and preservatives as these can dilute the flavor and increase risk for cross contamination in the manufacturing processes. Then, check the label for any allergen statement, which can be a helpful deciding factor in whether it’s gluten-free. (In rare cases, some brands use wheat starch, so it’s always best to check!)
Are Spices Certified Gluten-Free? While most herbs and spices themselves are gluten-free, few spice brands take the time to certify as gluten-free. This is because they have to undergo rigorous and expensive testing to detect the presence of gluten and qualify for this designation, verifying that they have good manufacturing practices and the level of gluten is fewer than 20 ppm of gluten in their products, since even tiny amounts of gluten can impact those with Celiac or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
However, they’re required to disclose potential allergens on their packaging, so if you don’t see a “contains” (i.e. “contains wheat ingredients”) or “may contain” statement (“may contain wheat, rye, barley, etc.”), and there’s only one ingredient in the ingredient list, it’s more likely to be gluten-free. As always, use your best judgement and don’t take any unnecessary health risk!
(We love this label-reading guide from the Celiac Disease foundation and these tips for gluten-free label reading from the Gluten Intolerance Group that can help you navigate gluten-free claims.)
What Are The Different Kinds Of Cinnamon? Are They All Gluten-Free?
- Ceylon Cinnamon – Sometimes labeled cinnamon vernum, ceylon cinnamon originated in Sri Lanka (which used to be known as Ceylon) and is considered true cinnamon. The sheets are more delicate, often hand-rolled, and the flavor is supposed to be the best. It’s sometimes sold as canela or Mexican cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon can be harder to find in the U.S., but culinary experts recommend it the most.
- Cassia Cinnamon – Considered by some to be “counterfeit” cinnamon, this is much more easily available and less expensive. To be clear, cassia cinnamon is actual cinnamon. There are several types of cassia cinnamon (Chinese, Indonesian (Korintje), and Saigon (Vietnamese)), and Indonesian cassia cinnamon is the cinnamon you’re most likely to find in the United States. It has a more intense flavor than Ceylon cinnamon so you can use less.
- Both types of cinnamon are considered gluten free and safe for a gluten-free diet!