The Truth About Dessert Spices from Bespoke Spice Suppliers

Posted by World of Spice 20/09/2021

An image of a dessert using spice from bespoke spice suppliers.

Ever heard of the phrase sugar and spice and all things nice? Well, there’s a reason it exists! Spice is actually the hidden ingredient in many desserts, giving them the edge and infusing our favourite sweet treats with that distinctive flavour. If you’re sat here thinking ‘spices? No way’, well, you wouldn’t be the first! As expert bespoke spice suppliers, we thought we’d take a closer look into the spices that make our best loved desserts taste simply irresistible and how to create the desired flavours.

Spice Compliments Sweet

Everybody knows that spices are used in savoury cooking, but it seems to be one of cooking’s best kept secrets that they are also used when it comes to the sweeter side of life. In fact, spice compliments those sweet treats perfectly and can be the difference between a good pudding and an amazing one. As leading bespoke spice suppliers, we believe that any desserts can benefit and even depend on that extra kick of cinnamon or cardamom to give it that signature flavour. Where desserts are concerned, spices are always a good idea and you don’t always have to play it as safe as you think…

Mouth-Watering Combos

Now, your combinations don’t have to be completely extravagant, but you can certainly think outside the box. Here’s some food for thought: in Mexico, chocolate desserts are almost always seasoned with chili, enriching the cocoa flavour, creating a slight bite with a warm depth. In Greece, cinnamon is added to Baklava to create a warm and nutty filling. In India, fennel seeds are added to the famous pancake dessert, Malpua, to give it a fragrant aniseed like flavour. Interesting right?

If you’re looking to really push the boat out, take some inspiration from these recent award-winning desserts: Jalapeño and Sriracha Beignets, Burnt Orange Jalapeño Ice Cream and Caramelized Banana with Bone Marrow Caramel. It seems that it pays to be adventurous! Don’t be afraid to mix it up a little.

How To Add Spices To Sweets

With our experience as bespoke spice suppliers, we have previously spoken about how spices taste best when they are bloomed. This is usually through a combination of exposing them to liquid or heat. It always depends on the dessert, but here are some of our top tips for adding spice to sweet.

  • If you’re using water or milk for cooking, consider steeping the liquid to draw out their full potential. The liquid will subtly take on the aromatic flavours of the spice.
  • For cooked puddings like rice pudding or sticky toffee pudding, try adding the spices halfway through the cooking time to infuse without overpowering.
  • For icing, biscuits and cakes, add your spices when melting or creaming the butter or oil, instead of with the drier ingredients. The spice flavour will be richer, as the fats draw the volatile oils out of them.

What Spices Should I Have on The Dessert Shelf?

 As we’ve touched upon, there are other ways you can spice up your dessert shelf besides the standards. Flavours like star anise, thyme and black pepper are firm favourites – you can simply use these as you would in your savoury dishes. Here are our bespoke spice suppliers favourites when it comes to alternatives when jazzing up your desserts.

Black Pepper: A staple in many puddings, yet many don’t know it! Black pepper adds a subtle warm and earthy flavour to your dish. Just a little is enough and pairs wonderfully with citrusy sweets.

Chipotle: A dash of chipotle powder is a great way of getting a smoky depth into chocolate and coffee-based desserts. The richer the dessert, the better chipotle works.

Fennel Seeds: Used mainly for Italian and Indian desserts, fennel offers a gentle, aromatic anise flavouring. It’s naturally bittersweet, but more on the sweeter side. This one is dessert specific as it’s a distinct flavour. Different but delicious!

Saffron: Saffron is the perfect spice to add some sweet, earthy elegance to your desserts. It’s often added to rice puddings, custards, ice cream and cakes. Simple to add, it’ll make your pudding stand out with its vibrant colour!

Cinnamon: Cinnamon is arguably the spice used most in desserts. It’s widely known and is a real crowd pleaser. There are actually two types of cinnamon. The more common variety is cassia (Cinnamomum cassia) and is often labelled as ‘Korintje’ or ‘Saigon’. Then there’s true cinnamon, (Cinnamomum zelanicum), a higher quality spice which comes from Ceylon and India that has a mild and delicate taste. Use whole cinnamon sticks for infusing subtle flavour into liquids and use ground cinnamon for recipes that require a stronger taste.

Cloves: Known for their aromatic flavour, cloves are flower buds from the clove tree. They have a warming, sweet, yet slightly bitter taste. Slightly sharper than cinnamon, they lend a whole new flavour to autumnal and winter desserts. A little goes a long way!

Cardamom: The main types of cardamom used in desserts are black and green pods. Green is the best choice for desserts, as it has a strong, sweet flavour with an undertone of fresh lemon and mint.

Ginger: Widely recognised for its use in gingerbread, Ginger is warm, spicy and sweet, lending a wonderful flavour to many puddings. Ginger pairs well with fruit-based puddings, but also complements chocolate well. In our opinion, it’s a great all-rounder!

Spice Things Up!

At World of Spice, we understand the importance of authentic and traditional tasting cuisine, whether it’s savoury or sweet! As leading bespoke spice suppliers, our products are known for their purity and potency, full of delicious flavour to give your desserts the edge. Our service is cost-effective and reliable; we go above and beyond for each of our customers to ensure that you get the produce you need for business.

From bespoke blends to a choice of packaging, complete with custom labelling, our comprehensive service can help you achieve your culinary goals. For more information about our services and what we can offer you, please contact us at, or feel free to call our team on 01277 633303. We look forward to hearing from you.

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