Christmas Herbs and Spices for the Holiday Season

Christmas is almost synonymous with baking, so ‘Christmas spices’ brings to mind all the spices you love to bake with, like cinnamon and ginger. That is why it can mean different spices to different people, based on what they associate with the season.

Most of the spices typically used in the kitchen during winter make it to the list of Christmas spices, as this is the season’s biggest holiday. But, they are not limited to baking spices. Here are the names of the typical Christmas spices with an idea about what to do with them.

Christmas Spices and Herbs

Herbs and Spices Associated With Christmas

NameFlavor Profile Used inChristmas Recipes to Try 
CinnamonWarm, sweet, and spicyBaked items, desserts, and drinksCinnamon Rolls
NutmegWarm, slightly sweet, and nuttyBaked items (cookies, pies), desserts, and drinksEggnog
ClovesWarm, sweet, and slightly bitterBaked dishes, stews, and drinksGlazed Ham
GingerWarm, zesty, and slightly sweetBaked confectionaries (cookies, gingerbread)Gingerbread Cookies
AllspiceWarm, sweet, and pepperyBaked items, desserts, and mulled drinksJamaican Jerk Chicken
CardamomWarm, citrusy, and slightly floralBaked confectionaries and dessertsCardamom Cookies
Star AniseLicorice-like and slightly sweetBaked confectionaries, stews, and mulled drinksStar Anise Cookies
VanillaSweet, creamy, and slightly floralBaked desserts, and flavored beveragesVanilla Custard
Anise SeedSweet, licorice-like, and slightly spicyBaked savory dishes, and drinksAnise Biscotti
Orange ZestBright, citrusy, and slightly sweetBaked desserts, and savory dishesOrange Cranberry Sauce
ParsleyFresh and slightly pepperySeasoning, salads, soups, and saucesHerb-roasted Turkey
SageEarthy, savoryStuffings, sausages, and poultrySage and Onion Stuffing
RosemaryPine-like, woodyRoasts, stews, potatoes, and breadRosemary Roast Lamb
ThymeEarthy, lemonyRoasts, stews, soups, and stuffingThyme-roasted Chicken
Bay LeavesHerbal, slightly floralSoups, stews, sauces, and braisesBay Leaf and Hibiscus Christmas Cordial
MintFresh, coolDesserts, beverages, and lamb dishesMint Chocolate Bark
LavenderFloral, sweetBaked items, desserts, and beveragesLavender Shortbread Cookies

All the above spices are great on their own. Still, if you need more than that, you can combine them together based on your preferences to prepare a unique Christmas spice blend to welcome the winter and festive season. Traditional mulling spice blends with cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves are also a Christmastime favorite.

A few others, like cayenne pepper and turmeric, are also counted among winter spices, but they are not included in the above table as they are not traditionally associated with Christmas. Cooking is not all you can do with these spices. A stovetop potpourri is one of the best ways to make your home smell like the holidays and welcome your dinner guests without spending a lot of time thinking and planning. You can also put your favorite spices in a jar for easy DIY hostess gifts.