Cinnamon syrup is a sweet food item that is runny and is often used to sweeten dishes. Most often, cinnamon syrup is used to sweeten breakfast dishes like pancakes, waffles and French toast, but it can also be used for desserts. The effect of adding the cinnamon to the syrup is that it imparts a light spicy bite to the sweet base. Cinnamon syrup is also a common type of flavoring for coffee, often found in a lineup of other bottles of flavored coffee syrups. When cinnamon appears in a syrup alongside other spices, it is called spiced syrup.
A popular spice in many different parts of the world, for both sweet and savory or salty dishes, cinnamon is a natural flavoring agent that comes from the bark of an edible tree in the cinnamon family. When the cinnamon is peeled from the tree, the bark curls into a shape something like a straw. It is often used in this form in hot drinks like ciders, cocoas and coffees, but the most common way that cinnamon is consumed is ground into a powder. This is the form of cinnamon that is used in most syrup preparations as well.
The most common basic syrup is called a simple syrup, and it is made of sugar heated and melted down. To make this runny concoction, simple syrup, cinnamon and other ingredients are heated together until they meld to form a cinnamon-flavored syrup. A popular type of cinnamon syrup is cinnamon maple syrup, which is syrup flavored with cinnamon and maple; this can be made with real maple syrup, or it can be made with cheaper artificial maple flavoring. The unique flavor in maple syrup comes from the sap that is extracted from the maple tree. In a similar fashion, honey and agave are frequently used to add flavor to cinnamon syrup.
Cinnamon flavoring gets more intense, and the flavor hotter, as more cinnamon spice is added to a dish. Some cinnamon syrups are saturated with the spicy ingredient to make the cinnamon syrup into a hot cinnamon syrup. These syrups are often similar in flavor to popular hot cinnamon hard candies. Intense cinnamon syrups like these are most often used on items like pancakes, ice cream and popcorn because it takes a stronger flavor for the cinnamon to stand out when used on these sweet, rich foods.