Microwave Simple Syrup with Cinnamon Basil

Sneak Preview: Microwave Simple Syrup is a sweet, simple syrup recipe flavored with cinnamon basil and cooked in a microwave. Pour it over fresh fruit for a remarkable taste experience!

CINNAMON BASIL SYRUP in a jar with cinnamon sticks and sugar in a scoopPin

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Do you grow fresh herbs? Whether growing them in your kitchen window, pots on your patio, or a full-blown garden, I have an easy way to use some of that basil.

This summer, I experimented with growing cinnamon basil. Until now, the purpose of cinnamon basil was unknown to me. I had no idea what to do with the aromatic herb, but I may have found it.

This weekend I made shortcakes as part of my Baking with the Tuesdays with Dorie group. Her Tender Shortbread recipe from Baking called for plain, granulated white sugar to sweeten the berries. 

Dorie’s recommendation gave me the idea to make sugar syrup using the microwave. Then, I steeped some of the cinnamon basil in the syrup as it cooled. Although simple, it adds a subtle but exciting flavor note to the berries. No worries if you can’t find cinnamon basil. Sweet basil works, too.

Happy Cooks Speak Up

“So I made this last year and it was fabulous!!! =) I just made my first batch of the year while eating a pear. I drizzled a few drops of the simple syrup on my pear and and it was over the top.” –ANGELIQUE

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • SUGAR: Use granulated sugar. It will dissolve when you microwave it in water.
  • FRESH BASIL LEAVES: Fresh basil is important in this recipe. If you want to stick with the cinnamon theme, use sweet or cinnamon basil. Because cinnamon basil isn’t as strong (at least to my nose), I use a cup of cinnamon basil instead of 1/2 cup of sweet basil.
  • CINNAMON STICK: Cinnamon sticks are adorable floating in the syrup. Substitute cinnamon extract if you don’t have the sticks. I don’t recommend ground cinnamon because of its appearance. I’m afraid it would look like dirt in my syrup.

shortcake with basil cinnamon syrup--shortcake with strawberries and blackberriesPin

Microwave Simple Syrup with Cinnamon and Basil FAQ

Can I use a different herb for the basil?

Fresh mint or any variety of basil is a possibility.

Does it matter what bowl I use for cooking in the microwave?

Be sure to use a microwave-safe bowl to make this syrup in the microwave. Look at the bottom of the bowl to make sure. Sugar syrup gets extremely hot. Never use a plastic container to heat this syrup.

Can I make this recipe on top of the stove?

Heat the syrup on top of the stove until boiling. Then, proceed with the directions in the recipe.

How do I store this, and how long will it keep?

Store in the refrigerator for up to one month.

What else can I do with simple syrup?

Add it to iced tea, lemonade, or over the top of fresh fruit, as seen in the picture above.

What is the best way to store fresh basil when I can’t use it all immediately?

The leaves tend to blacken when stored in the fridge. Freezing is an option you can read about here.

Parting Thoughts: The recipe is simple. Finding cinnamon basil when needed might be the hardest part of this recipe. Or use plain basil and cinnamon sticks. If you have lots of basil, consider these recipes: Tomato Basil Bread Mixed in a Bread Machine, and Smoked Turkey, Pepper Jack cheese, and Basil Panini.

Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at saladinajar.com. If you need help, I’m happy to troubleshoot via email (faster than leaving a comment). Attach pictures and as many details as possible for the best advice.

cinnamon basil syrup in a glass jar with fresh basilPin
Yield: 4 2 Tablespoons

Microwave Simple Syrup Recipe with Cinnamon and Basil

You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to make a simple syrup in the microwave. Fresh herbs and cinnamon sticks take it to the next level.

Rate this recipe

(5 stars if you loved it)

5 from 6 votes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes


  • ½ cup (100 g) sugar
  • ¼ cup (57 g) water
  • 1 cup (24 g) fresh cinnamon basil leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick


  • Heat sugar and water in 2 cup or larger Pyrex MICROWAVE-SAFE bowl in the microwave to boiling. Stop and stir until sugar has dissolved.
  • Add leaves and cinnamon stick, pushing under the surface of the syrup to steep.
  • After 30 minutes, remove leaves. Pour cooled syrup over fruit.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 99kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 4mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg

All images and text ©️ Paula Rhodes for Salad in a Jar.com

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Recipe Rating


  1. Angelique says:

    So I made this last year and it was fabulous!!! =) I just made my first batch of the year while eating a pear. I drizzled a few drops of the simple syrup on my pear and and it was over the top. Now, I am inspired to use this recipe for a pear sorbet or poached pears. =) By the way, this recipe is one of my (home) bar favorites. 1 part vodka, 1 part apple juice, 1 part cranberry juice and a good splash of this simple syrup shaken and served in a martini glass. Oh my!!!

    1. Angelique,
      With pear season coming on, I can’t wait to try this.

  2. Angelique says:

    Awesome recipe. I am pulling out my cinnamon basil plant tomorrow. I am definitely going to try your recipe. Just curious, do you know the shelf life of this type of simple syrup?

  3. That sounds delicious and the photo of the shortcakes with those berries looks wonderful. I am going to have to get some berries from the local berry farm.

    Thanks for stopping by and and leaving your kind words. It’s nice to know I am not alone. 🙂

  4. I’ve never heard of cinnamon basil, what a great combo. Gorgeous, yummy looking shortcake!

  5. astheroshe says:

    Nice combination….I have never heard of cinnamon basil. What is the more dominant flavor? IS it hot/spicy?

    I would love to try this brushed on a cake ..thanks for the tips!

    1. It is part of the basil/mint family but not as strong as sweet basil. And of course, it has a cinnamon smell/flavor although not terribly intense.

  6. Cinnamon basil syrup sounds so interesting, and I’m sure it tastes great with your shortcakes!

  7. That looks great, lovely photos too. Another idea I have done with herbs is to infuse them into the jelly I make, same idea as above. It really gives a depth of flavor that is delicious.

    1. That sounds so good. May be an excuse to make some jelly or jam.

  8. Cinnamon basil… I grew that one year, but just have sweet (regular, boring) basil this year. Still… I have numerous cinnamon sticks – so I should be set! What a great recipe for summer!

  9. Wow, really great flavor ideas!

  10. Everything looks wonderful but your syrup put it over the top. This is my first visit to your blog but your wonderful recipes will keep me coming back. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  11. You are so clever with the syrup. I would love to try using this. Basil is more versaitile than I gave it credit for and I have some growing a few feet away. Beautiful shortcakes.

  12. Flourchild says:

    Wow your cakes look so good. The yummy cinnamon basil syrup really gives the fruit some sparkle!