Desserts can be rather dull if they don’t have the right ingredients giving them the right mix of flavors. Interestingly, throwing in herbs and spices into your desserts can make them more flavorful.
While they make savory dishes tasty, herbs and spices with their subtle flavors and aromas can also be fantastic for your desserts and baked foods. If you’re wondering how that’s possible, check out these 11 amazing herbs and spices you can add to your desserts.
11 Herbs And Spices For Your Desserts
Nutmeg is a hot favorite in desserts. It comes with a sweet, nutty taste that brings your pies, cakes, pastries, cookies, and custards to life. It’s an important part of eggnog because it contributes to most of the flavor. It also goes quite well with souffle and sweet potato pie. Nutmeg is best when purchased whole or grated because it tends to lose its flavor quickly when ground.
If you’re wondering why ginger is a part of this list, it’s because this spice is multifaceted and works great in all kinds of foods, including desserts. It gives them an amazing aroma and a sweet, spicy flavor. The form you can use it in will vary depending on what you’re making. You can use dried ground, dried whole, fresh, preserved, or crystallized ginger. Fruit pies, cakes, cookies, and custard can use the dried ground form, while cookies and cakes can use crystallized and preserved ginger. Gingerbread is a great choice if you want to try baked goods with ginger.
While cardamom is a hot favorite in loads of savory Indian dishes, it is great for your desserts too. In addition to the flavor, it also adds an amazing aroma to your desserts. People prefer to use it in the ground form. It’s a popular choice for cakes, pastries, spice cakes, breads, and cookies. You can use it as a substitute for nutmeg in apple and pumpkin pies too. Carrot pudding and cardamom rice pudding are good ideas for desserts with this spice.
Allspice is a member of the pepper family. It has a taste that is a mix of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg – hence the name allspice. Its dried berries come in both whole and ground forms. Allspice is a great option if you want to use spices in apple, plum, and peach pies. It is also great for use in cakes, cookies, biscuits, steamed puddings, and flavored breads.
5. Anise Seeds
Popular for good digestion, anise seeds add a sweet licorice flavor to desserts. They are great for use in cookies, cakes, bread, and fruit fillings. You can either use the dried whole seeds or the form of a powder. Some popular desserts that include anise for flavor are anise biscotti and anise mousse with tropical fruit.
Nutmeg’s outer covering – called mace – works great if you want your desserts to have a mild nutmeg taste. You can use it in custards, spice cakes, and cookies. If you’re looking to make fruit desserts or doughnuts, mace is your go-to spice. It gives a great taste to plum, apple, and peach fruit desserts. Mace pound cake is a good idea for a dessert with mace.
Mint is good for desserts that you want to add a cool, refreshing taste to, which is why it goes really well with ice cream and fruit salads. It has loads of varieties you can choose from like peppermint, lemon mint, and apple mint. Use mint in desserts like peppermint ice cream and mint chocolate pie.
Yet another digestive aid, cinnamon adds a warm, spicy flavor to desserts. It’s great for spice cakes, cookies, custards, and pies – apple pie specifically. The ground form is best for desserts.
Clove, with its pungent and sweet flavor, is usually great for use in a lot of desserts. It is a great choice for a spice in fruit pies, cookies, cakes, and quick breads. If you’re wondering what desserts to use it in specifically, try adding clove to apple tarts.
10. Fennel Seeds
These seeds give a mild licorice flavor to desserts like breads, cakes, and cookies.
11. Poppy Seeds
The seeds of the poppy flower have a nut-like sweet flavor and are a great addition to cookies, cakes, pastries, and bread. Because the seeds are so tiny, you’ll probably have to use a fair amount if you want its flavor to be noticeable. So, the seeds are sometimes ground into a paste that can be used as a filling for some desserts.
Besides these, you can also add saffron to breads and cakes and vanilla beans to custards and ice cream to make them more flavorful.
Add any of these great herbs and spices to your desserts to give them that extra yummy flavor.