Does Cinnamon Expire or Go Bad? How Long Does It Last?

Many of us love a good cinnamon roll or cinnamon bun, whether fresh or reheated. Many of us also use cinnamon in many other recipes. It’s possible that while going through your spice cabinet you have found an old jar or bottle of cinnamon that you bought a long time ago but never used. You want to use this cinnamon but worry if the cinnamon has expired.

While cinnamon does not have an expiration date on its bottle, it does have a “best by” date. Cinnamon can last anywhere from one to two years, but it can last longer than this period if it has been stored properly. This time applies to both ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks.

Does Cinnamon Go Bad?

While there is no exact expiration date for cinnamon, there is a period in which the cinnamon is good to use and a period for when it can go bad. Whether you are using ground cinnamon or cinnamon sticks, the cinnamon will eventually reach the point where it loses some of its flavoring. This is what it means for cinnamon to go bad.

Most do not worry about checking the expiration date of their spices, such as cinnamon. Since cinnamon can last for a long time, many see no need to worry if the cinnamon has expired or not. It does not become dangerous to use cinnamon once it expires. It may no longer taste fresh, but it is still safe to use until you go out and buy cinnamon that is more fresh.

How Long Does Cinnamon Last?

There is no exact expiration date for spices, such as cinnamon. Over time, the cinnamon can become less fresh and may not taste as good as it once did, but this is nothing to worry over.

Typically, cinnamon has a shelf life of approximately one to two years. Ground cinnamon can often stay good for three or four years. It can also stay good for a good while longer after this period. The biggest factor that comes into play when it comes to the expiration of cinnamon is the condition in which the cinnamon was stored.

When stored properly, cinnamon can last for a long period of time. It is best to store your cinnamon properly in an area that is cool and dark in order to keep the cinnamon fresher for a longer period of time. By this logic, if you found cinnamon in the back of a cupboard or pantry that has stayed cool and dark, the cinnamon should still be good to use.

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How to Tell If Cinnamon Has Expired

Ground cinnamon typically does not go bad unless water is added to it. This is similar to other powdered spices.

If you open your container of cinnamon, there can be some signs that you can see which inform you that the spice has expired. These signs include:

  • Big clumps
  • Mold
  • Other types of organic growth
  • Wet spots

If you notice any of these signs, you should throw away your cinnamon as it could no longer be safe to use. Typically, cinnamon can stay good to use even after the period in which it would expire.

The cinnamon does lose flavor over time, but it can still be used. This may cause the dish you are preparing to not taste as good as it should, but it should still be safe to eat. If you notice any of the troubling signs above, you should refrain from using the cinnamon.

Some other signs that your cinnamon is no longer good to use include an odd smell or taste to the cinnamon and the presence of bugs in the container that the cinnamon is in.

Is It Okay to Use Expired Cinnamon?

As previously stated, it is difficult to determine the exact point in which cinnamon expires. As long as there are no troubling signs, such as mold, large clumps, bugs, or wet spots, the cinnamon should still be good to use, after its period for expiration has passed.

When using cinnamon that you have had for a while, it is best to smell the cinnamon before using it as this can be a good indication on if the cinnamon is still usable. Most of the time cinnamon will lose its flavor and aroma as it reaches expiration. While you can still use the cinnamon, your dish may not have as much flavor as you wish.

Using cinnamon after it has expired is okay. It will not cause any harm for you to use expired cinnamon as long as it does not have any troubling signs. If you choose to use expired cinnamon, you can add more to your dish in order to incorporate more of the flavor.

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How to Properly Store Cinnamon

As stated above, keeping your cinnamon stored in a proper fashion can extend the shelf life of your cinnamon. It is best to keep your cinnamon stored in an area that is cool and dry. You also want to keep the cinnamon in an airtight container in order to keep any excess moisture from getting into the cinnamon. If moisture were to get into your cinnamon, it could cause the cinnamon to expire and go bad much more quickly. 

Once you have opened the package that the cinnamon is in, you may want to transfer it to a resealable bag or a bottle that has a lid. This can allow for you to still use the cinnamon, but it also allows for you to reseal the cinnamon in order to keep it fresh.

You want to avoid keeping your cinnamon in areas that are warm or in direct sunlight. This can cause moisture in the container to react to the heat which can ruin your cinnamon. It can also cause the cinnamon to dry faster which can ruin the flavor.


Cinnamon is a spice that most keep in their home. It is possible that you store your cinnamon for a while and do not know if it is still good to use. Luckily, cinnamon is a spice that has a long shelf life before it begins to expire. When stored properly, cinnamon can last for many years. Typically, the shelf life can be anywhere between one to four years.

It is best to check your cinnamon before using it. While using expired cinnamon will not cause any harm to you, there are some troubling signs that can point out that your cinnamon has expired. If you see bugs, mold, large clumps, or wet spots in your cinnamon, it is best to throw it away. As long as you keep your cinnamon in an airtight container in a space that is cool and dry, it should last for a while.