Spice-Up your Professional Baking!

Spices have been an essential ingredient in professional baking for centuries, adding a burst of flavor, aroma, and color to an array of baked goods. From the warm and comforting taste of cinnamon to the bold kick of black pepper, from the all-time favourite vanilla to the most expensive saffron, spices have the power to transform ordinary baked goods into extraordinary delights. In this article, we will explore the fascinating world of spices in professional baking, and how they are used to create delicious confections, gourmet breads, and much more.
 Flavouring Agents  Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom are often used to add depth and complexity to the flavor of baked goods, such as cakes, cookies & pies.
Strong Aromatics  Spices like cloves, ginger, and allspice can add a pleasant aroma to baked goods that can make them more appealing
Balance the Sweetness  Spices can help balance the sweetness of baked goods. For example, a pinch of salt and a dash of cinnamon in a sweet pie filling can help cut through the sweetness and balance the flavors.
Colour & Aesthetic Appeal  Spices like paprika, turmeric & saffron are often used to add color to baked goods additionally used as subtle garnishes & toppings to breads, petite confectionaries & pastries
Textural Properties  Some spices, like cardamom, pepper, cloves & finely chopped ginger-garlic can add texture to baked goods by providing a slightly gritty or crunchy sensation.
Health Benefits  Spices have health benefits and are often used in baked goods to make them more nutritious. Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-bacterial, immune-boosting & metabolic-boosting properties
Preserving Agents  Certain spices like cinnamon & cloves have natural preservative properties that can help to extend the shelf life of baked goods

Vanilla – The Most Favourite & Floral (needs no further introduction)
Vanilla is undoubtedly the most popular spice in the world. But did you know that vanilla is a type of orchid? The Vanilla planifolia orchid to be specific. The orchid's seed pods are meticulously hand-pollinated and harvested after several months, resulting in the fragrant and flavorful spice that is a baking pantry essential. Despite being the second most expensive spice after saffron, the sweet and floral aroma of pure vanilla extract is priceless.
  • Origin: Vanilla planifolia orchid
  • Flavour Profile: Sweet, creamy, floral, and aromatic
  • Applications & Uses: sweet breads or confectionaries, desserts, frappes, candies, ice creams or desserts
Cinnamon – The Sweet and Warm Spice
Cinnamon is one of the most popular spices used in bakery products. It is also a key ingredient in many spice blends. Its sweet and warm flavour while it not only great in taste but also has several health benefits.
  • Origin: Inner bark of trees of the Cinnamomum genus
  • Flavour Profile: Sweet, warm, and slightly spicy with a fragrant aroma
  • Textural Profile: Bark-like, can be ground or in stick form
  • Applications & Uses: to add flavour + aroma to cakes, cookies, chocolates, caramels, hard candies. & pastries; key ingredient in many spice blends used in baking, such as pumpkin pie spice & apple pie spice; a popular topping for breads & pastries, such as cinnamon rolls and coffee cake.
Saffron – The Luxurious & Most Expensive Spice
With its lively golden hue and strong, aromatic fragrance, Saffron is renowned as one of the world's most expensive spices. Elevate your baked goods with the luxurious taste and colour of saffron
  • Origin: Crocus sativus flower
  • Flavour Profile: boasts a mildly sweet, honeyed flavour and pairs exquisitely with citrus fruits, nuts, and dairy
  • Textural Profile: Dried, thread-like strands
  • Applications & Uses: to add floral-sweet notes and colour to cakes, pastries & candies; commonly used in desserts such as ice creams, custards, puddings, fruitcake, bread & pancakes can elevate those dishes to new level in both taste and colour.
  • The remarkable flavor and texture from adding saffron to these recipes makes it a worthwhile investment.
Paprika – The Sizzling Hot Spice
Add a pop of colour and flavour to your baked creations with paprika. This versatile spice comes in multiple variations, ranging from subtle and sweet to spicy and pungent.
  • Origin: Dried & ground Capsicum annuum peppers
  • Flavour Profile: Mildly sweet & hot, slightly earthy, and smoky
  • Textural Profile: Fine bright red powder
  • Applications & Uses: to add a mild, sweet flavour and a vibrant red colour to breads, such as focaccia & sourdough pastries, and confectionery as well as in chocolates and candies. Additionally, add a pinch of paprika to your tarts, puff pastries, croissants, or bread dough, and witness the magic of this spice come to life.
Nutmeg – The Sweet but Pungent Spice
The spice known for its aroma and flavor add depth and complexity to the final product, making it a worthy addition to your spice cabinet.
  • Origin: seed of the Myristica fragrans tree
  • Flavour Profile: Warm, sweet, and slightly nutty with a musky aroma
  • Textural Profile: Hard, egg-shaped, brown coloured seed
  • Applications & Uses: commonly used in pies, cakes, and custards. It pairs well with cinnamon, allspice, and other warm spices, as well as with cheesy or savoury flavours. Nutmeg is a go-to spice for holiday flavors like pumpkin, gingerbread, and apple pie.
Ginger – The Heart-Warming Spice
  • Origin: Root of the Zingiber officinale plant
  • Flavour Profile: Spicy, warm, and slightly sweet with a zesty aroma
  • Textural Profile: whole fibrous root, can be grated or sliced or powdered
  • Applications & Uses: It pairs well with spice blends and adds depth to several bakery products in various forms, including fresh, powdered, and candied. In addition to its use in gingerbread and ginger snaps, ginger can be used in fruit pies, muffins & cakes; ginger can be used to flavour chocolates, caramels and hard candies.
Garlic – The Aromatic & Flavourful Spice
We know garlic mostly as a flavour in savoury dishes, but it can also be used in small quantities to add a subtle savoury depth to sweet baked goods.
  • Origin: Allium sativum plant bulb
  • Flavour Profile: Pungent, spicy, and slightly sweet with a strong aroma
  • Textural Profile: Cloves, can be crushed, minced, or chopped and be dried & powdered
  • Applications & Uses: Garlic powder, when used in combination with other spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, brings out a unique umami flavour that enhances the final product. You can use garlic in your gourmet breads, tarts, crackers, biscuit recipes to add a savoury & aromatic twist to the flavour profile.
Pepper – The Pungent & Power-Packed Spice
Give your baked goods a little kick with the spicy and versatile flavor of pepper. Pepper is a spice made from ground black or white peppercorns.
  • Origin: Dried & ground berries of the Piper nigrum plant
  • Flavour Profile: Spicy, pungent, and slightly sweet with a woody aroma
  • Textural Profile: Whole peppercorns or powdered
  • Applications & Uses: used to add a spicy, pungent flavour to savoury baked goods such as breads, crackers & biscuits; pepper can be used to flavour sorbets, granitas, meringue shards, caramels & hard candies; lastly it adds spicy kick to savoury breads such as baguettes, focaccias and sourdoughs.
Cardamom – The Strong and Floral Spice
Infuse your baked treats with the exotic and fragrant taste of cardamom. Cardamom, the strong-floral commonly used in Asian & Middle eastern pastries, sweets & desserts.
  • Origin: Seeds of the Elettaria cardamomum plant
  • Flavour Profile: Sweet-spicy, and slightly floral with a woody aroma
  • Textural Profile: Pods or seeds, can be ground or whole
  • Applications & Uses: its extracts and powder are also used in tarts, doughs, cookies, ice-creams & breads. It pairs well with nuts, dried fruits, and chocolates.
Cloves – The Strong and Aromatic Spice
Cloves are commonly used spices in bakery owing to their robust and distinct scent that enhances the taste in baked goods. Cloves are a spice made from the dried flower buds of the clove tree.
  • Origin: dried flower buds of the Syzygium aromaticum tree
  • Flavour Profile: Strong, pungent, and slightly sweet
  • Textural Profile: as whole buds that can be ground into a powder
  • Applications & Uses: enhances the taste of fruit pies, spice cakes, and cookies; to flavour caramels, fudge, and truffles. In gourmet breads, cloves can be used to add flavour to sweet breads and brioche.
All Spice – The Trio of Spices in One
Experience the unique and complex flavor of all-spice in your baking creations!
  • Origin: dried berries of the Pimenta dioica tree
  • Flavour Profile: Warm, spicy & slightly sweet, with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves
  • Textural Profile: as whole berries or as a ground powder
  • Applications & Uses: commonly used in festive cakes, spice cakes, cookies, and puddings. It pairs well with chocolate, fruits, and nuts; used to flavour caramels, fudge, and truffles. In gourmet breads, all-spice can be used to add flavour to sweet-savoury gourmet breads and brioche.
Whether you're baking artisanal breads, whipping up aesthetic confectionery treats, or crafting gourmet desserts, spices are an essential tool in any baker's arsenal. However, it is important to be mindful when using spices in baking. Overuse of spices can overwhelm other flavors and create an unbalanced taste. On the other hand, underuse of spices can result in a lackluster flavor profile. It is important to use fresh, high-quality spices and to measure them carefully to ensure consistent results. Additionally, it is important to consider the pairing of flavors when selecting spices for a recipe, as certain spices may complement or overpower other ingredients.
In conclusion, spices play an essential role in professional baking, confectioneries, and gourmet breads. From adding flavor and color to enhancing the aroma, spices can turn an ordinary baked good into an extraordinary culinary masterpiece. Therefore, SwissBake® has a professional mixes and premium bakery premixes that are spiced-up with real and natural blends of spices! From the Spicy Plum Cake Mix, Holiday Cookies, Spicy Plum Waffle to Sunflower Brot Mix, Saffron Glaze, Maize Brot & Pizza Sugo Powder- elevate your bakery creations with these spice-rich professional mixes and confectionary/dessert mixes with the goodness of pure and rich vanilla!