You'll Want to Make These Cinnamon-Flavored Recipes All Fall Long

Photo: Jonathan Lovekin

The cozy, sweet spice perfumes our favorite fall dishes, from hot apple cider to chicken stew to cinnamon rolls.

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Spicy Hot-Chocolate with Cinnamon

If there is a favorite spice, the winner may be cinnamon. Spanning cultures and continents, cinnamon's warm familiarity lifts our spirits. While it is often associated with baked goods, from buns to babkas, cinnamon is an unusually flexible ingredient, used more often in savory dishes in the Middle East and parts of Asia and Mexico (for instance) than it is as a sweet. To make the most of a spice that is so familiar that it can be overlooked, we have collected a diverse range of our best cinnamon recipes; they're packed with fall flavors and demonstrate the spice's culinary versatility.

Want to make your home smell instantly appealing? While the scent of chocolate chip cookies is always appealing, we suggest cooking up some Mexican hot chocolate, pictured here, this season—its cinnamon and ancho scent will appeal to every adult's inner child. And that is cinnamon's strongest association for many of us: comfort. Including cinnamon in hot drinks, snacks, entrées, and desserts is guaranteed to satisfy a craving for consolation that is familiar to all of us.

In desserts, cinnamon functions as an appealing but one-dimensional light, high note; in savory recipes, on the other hand, cinnamon is a spicy anchor, conveying pungent heat and working very well as a team player in complex blends. In the iconic and regionally variable spice blends of Middle Eastern baharat and Indian garam masala, for instance, the cinnamon note is essential. And in Turkey, you're as likely to meet cinnamon in an aromatic moussaka or kofta as you are in the creamy topping of your rice pudding.

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Roasted Cinnamon-Rubbed Chicken

Roasted Cinnamon-Rubbed Chicken
Chris Simpson

Change your chicken game with this ultra-delicious, skin-browning spice rub where cinnamon takes the lead, balanced by earthy cumin, black pepper, and ginger.

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Cinnamon and Raisin Bites

Cinnamon and Raisin Bites

For a healthy raw food snack, it doesn't come easier than sunflower seeds and raisins spiked with the heat of cinnamon. Just pulse, roll, and chill.

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Hot Apple Cider and Ginger

apple cider
Linda Pugliese

Apples and cinnamon are as good in hot drinks as they are in pie. Brightened with fresh lemon juice and spiced with fresh ginger, this hot apple punch is an essential winter sipper.

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Slow-Cooker Sweet and Spicy Chicken


Cool nights and busy schedules call for comforting stews that cook themselves. Fragrant with cinnamon and enriched with tomatoes and sweet onion, this easy meal is like supper therapy in a bowl.

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Seared Apples

Seared Apples with cinnamon
James Merrell

Simple and elegant, and perfect for a fall supper: Halved market-sweet apples are coated in a rub of cinnamon, almonds and candied ginger, then pan-seared in butter.

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Thirty-Minute Chili


Cinnamon is the surprise-ingredient in this 30-minute chili where tomatoes and beer combine with smoky chipotle to make that essential, soothing sauce.

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Lamb Ghouzi

lamb ghouzi
Bobbi Lin

In a mouthwatering and accessible riff on the Persian Gulf's ghouzi (which calls for a whole lamb), rich lamb shoulder is slow-cooked with aromatic cinnamon sticks, saffron, cardamom, and bay. Invite friends!

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Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Crunch

Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Crunch
Raymond Hom

The crackle of a phyllo pastry topping over warm apples and cranberries scented with cinnamon is a welcome (and easy) variation on a more traditional crumb topping.

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Cinnamon Orange Black Tea

citrus mint and spicy assam tea in french press
Alpha Smoot

Toasting cinnamon sticks and orange zest emphasizes the fragrance of both aromatics. Soaked in antioxidant-rich steaming black tea they create a therapeutic hot tonic.

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Lamb Kofta

Lamb Kofta on plate

Lamb and cinnamon were made for one another, the heat of the spice balancing the full-flavored meat. Serve these pine nut-spiked kofta with dollops of refreshing yogurt and mint sauce.

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Cinnamon Sugar Raggamuffins

Cinnamon-Sugar Ragamuffins
Kate Sears

What do you get when you take buttermilk biscuit dough, dust it with cinnamon-sugar and roll it up sideways before baking in a muffin pan? Raggamuffins! These delightful biscuit relatives will become a family favorite.

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Lamb and Quince Tagine

Lamb and Quince Tagine
Maria Robledo

Lamb shanks turn meltingly tender in this wildly fragrant stew. Sweetened with honey and a purée of lemony quinces, heated with cayenne, and perfumed with cinnamon, saffron, and cumin, it's finished with pungent fresh cilantro and toasted almonds.

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The Best Cinnamon Rolls

cinnamon rolls in glass pan with bowl of frosting
Lennart Weibull

And the secret to the most tender buns is…? Mashed potato! These airy cinnamon rolls-slash-buns are the last word in breakfast.

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Lamb Curry

Jonathan Lovekin

This piquant lamb curry is infused with cinnamon and coriander, turmeric and ginger, cardamom and cumin. A late addition of a bunch of fresh spinach is a welcome sponge for the intensely good gravy.

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Wrinkled Pears

Wrinkled Pears serving tray
William Abranowicz

Wrinkles can be a very elegant thing: Tall Bosc pears are roasted in a glaze of port and honey, peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, and star anise. Serve hot or cool.

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