In the simplest terms, baking spices are the spices generally used in baking. But with all the different cultures and cuisines with their unique recipes, the term has come to refer to different things to different people based on what they associate with their favorite bread and cookies.
Still, a few specific spices bring to mind the warmth of the oven and a freshly baked batch of cookies or a loaf of bread you may have come across at the baker’s. These are counted as ‘baking spices’. For obvious reasons, these are often associated with Christmas.
Spices and Condiments Associated With Baking
It includes all the typical spices, including a couple of seeds, with an idea of what they taste like in baked goodies.
Additionally, you can get some ideas for substitutions and alterations if a particular spice is not at hand. But remember, no substitute will smell and taste identical to the original spice because each has its unique aroma and taste. Also, adjust the quantities based on your use and the recipe.
|Substitutes & Alternatives
|Warm, sweet, and slightly spicy
|Cakes, cookies, pies
|Licorice-like, sweet, and aromatic
|Anise seeds, fennel seeds
|Warm, spicy, and slightly sweet
|Ground allspice, cinnamon
|Warm, nutty, and slightly sweet
|Cakes, pies, custards
|Aromatic, warm, and slightly sweet
|Cakes, pies, cookies
|Sweet, rich, and aromatic
|Whole vanilla beans, almond extract
|Star anise, fennel seeds
|Citrusy, spicy, and slightly sweet
|Pungent, warm, and sweet
|Warm and nutmeg-like
|Mild, nutty, and slightly sweet
|Sesame, chia seeds
|Nutty and slightly earthy
|Poppy, flax, sunflower seeds
|Citrusy, slightly sweet, and earthy
|Sweet and licorice-like
|Anise seeds, star anise
Almost all these spices are best when added ground in baked items, though a few of them, like clove and cardamom, may also be used whole. The seeds are also often used whole or lightly crushed.
The very last entries, coriander and fennel, may be considered somewhat unusual by many. However, they can be as good as any of the other spices. Ground coriander works well in deepening the flavors of cookies while adding a citrusy brightness. Fennel can be used much the same as anise seeds.
The term is often used to describe certain wines, both red and white. It essentially refers to the warm and sweet aroma characteristic of spices such as cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and allspice — all mentioned above. This aroma can be attributed to specific grape varieties that naturally exhibit ‘baking spice’ notes or result from aging the wines in oak barrels. Oak can impart sweet, warm aromas reminiscent of cloves and similar spices due to the presence of the same aromatic compound (eugenol, isoeugenol).