Cayenne Cinnamon Ribs with Maple Glaze

Sticky, sweet, salty, spicy ribs that are so crazy simple to make (the only cooking equipment you need is tin foil and an oven!)

We normally enjoy our baby backs fall off the bone – they are so tender that when you lift up the bone, the meat really does fall off. But I remember chatting with Dr. BBQ a couple of years ago when he came over to our house and he said that he likes a little “bite” and “chew” when it comes to ribs.

And yeah, okay, I can see the satisfaction of having to pulling the meat off the rib bones with a slight tug….something about that must be deep deep deeeeeep inside our veins that brings us back to Man. Cave. Hunt. Meat.

Instead of the usual 4 hour low-and-slow roasting of the baby back ribs, these ribs bake at a higher temperature (375F) and for only 1 hour.

Yes, they were BETTER than fall-off-the-bone – it must be the cave-girl inside me.

Cayanne-Cinnamon Baby Back Ribs with Maple Glaze

The ingredients for the rub is simple:

Brown sugar, garlic powder, cayenne, paprika and cinnamon.

One of the most important things you’ll want to do before putting on the rub is to remove the thick, chewy membrane that’s on the underside of the ribs.

Removing the membrane makes for more tender ribs.




Turn the ribs over.

Stick a butter knife right under that membrane. Sometimes, the membrane is really thin, even see-through. Sometimes on a fat pig, it’s thick and fatty like this one.

Wedge the butter knife in between membrane and meat/bone.

Pull membrane off.


Okay, now rub the spice rub on both sides of the ribs.

Cover completely and then bake for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, remove from oven, carefully (hot steam!) open up the foil.


Brush the baby back ribs with maple syrup.

Put back into oven (uncovered) to let the sugar caramelize.

Enjoy the baby back ribs!

About Paprika

I’m part of the McCormick Gourmet team, bringing you in-depth information about everyday spices. From McCormick Gourmet’s Enspicelopedia:


From the sweeter, milder branch of the fiery Capsicum annuum family comes paprika, cousin to chili and bell peppers. Prized for its orange red color, it is made from the dried, ground fruits of the plant. Although it is available in several varieties that are very hot, paprika is most often used in its sweet or smoked incarnations. Although most paprika is without heat and is used for its vibrant color and mild sweet flavor, there are several varieties which are hot.


Sweet paprika is mild, and often appears in seasoning blends for barbeque and chili or to dress pale dishes like deviled eggs. Hungarians love to use this spice in recipes like goulash and chicken paprikás, where the color alone is enough to warm the heart. But it is also popular in Indian, Moroccan and Middle Eastern cooking. Smoked paprika brings a toasty hint of the grill, and makes a wonderful rub for pork and chicken when combined with dashes of cinnamon, sugar and salt.


Like all Capsicum species, paprika is a New World spice, native to the Caribbean and Central America. It didn’t take hold in Europe until it was introduced there by Bulgarians and Turks in the 1600s. Today, paprika is primarily produced in Spain, Peru, South Africa, Israel, and the United States.


Did you know that, pound for pound, paprika has more vitamin C than citrus fruit? This discovery won, Albert Szent-Györgyi, a Hungarian scientist the Nobel Prize for Research in 1937.


Cayenne Cinnamon Baby Back Ribs with Maple Glaze Recipe

Servings: 4 Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Adapted from McCormick

You can use other rib cuts if you wish, I like St. Louis rib cut.


1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cayenne powder (or crushed red pepper flakes)
1 teaspoon sea salt (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt)
3 pounds pork baby back ribs
1/4 cup maple syrup


1. Preheat oven to 375F (or prepare your grill). Remove the tough membrane from the underside of the ribs.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, garlic powder, paprika, ground cinnamon, cayenne and salt.. Place ribs on a double layer of tin foil (large enough to wrap around ribs) and season the ribs on both sides with the rub. Fold over foil and completely cover ribs. Place ribs on baking sheet or roasting pan.

3. Bake 1 hour or until meat starts to pull away from bones.

4. Turn broiler on to high and move rack to upper-mid position. Carefully open foil. Brush ribs with maple syrup. Broil ribs 3-4 minutes until browned. Take care not to burn the ribs!

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Comments 60

  1. Karin

    Yumm. That looks delicious. And now I have a use for my maple syrup 😀 I am sure my husband will thank you. Deeply.

  2. Anne

    I’m going to try this rib recipe this week-end, it sure looks good.

    As for the use for Maple syrup, we love it on cream of wheat and porridge etc. you don’t need much and it’s so much better than brown and yellow sugar. A small amount on a homemade waffles or pancakes with fresh fruit is delicious.

  3. Courtney

    These look amazing. Yum, I have a little cave girl inside of me too! Picture turned out perfect despite your tweet! lol 🙂

  4. George

    That looks great. I have a Weber bullet smoker, so I normally do ribs outdoors. This looks like a really good indoor recipe.

    My dad does competition BBQ and he definitely subscribes to the “you should need to bite it to get it off the bone” camp. BBQ judges will score you down if it’s “fall off the bone”.

  5. Barry

    Hmm, this sounds tasty. Though I must say, I’ve never had “pull away” bones after only 1 hour. I must be doing something wrong.

  6. vesta

    I actually made these a few weeks ago and they were GOOD! THe best ribs I’ve ever made. YUM!

  7. Lois Szydlowski

    Definitely going to try these…sounds great…pulling that skin off the back of the ribs can be a real pain sometimes…I find using a paper towel to grab the skin helps get a better grip on the slippery stuff and pulls off easier…

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  9. Bill

    Love the drop of sticky sauce falling off the bone in the photo! Use a paper towel to help grasp that slippery skin and peel off…

  10. Chris

    Yes, for me “falling off the bone” is overcooked but I cook them for who I am serving. If they like fall of the bone, then that’s what I give them.

    Nice flavor profile, something different from the usual BBQ rub.

  11. [email protected]

    Great post. I didn’t know about removing the membrane. I love your information about paprika, a spice I rarely use, but did make chicken paprikash this week.

  12. Sherri M

    These look amazing. Think I might have to do these tomorrow for Mother’s Day, in rememberence of my Mom. Ribs were her favorite so it’d be a fitting tribute. Thanks for the post, Jaden!

  13. Snippets of Thyme

    Yep. (You gotta say things like “yep” and “gotta” when talking about ribs). These are going on my list for my Father’s Day meal for my husband!! So, so delicious…

  14. Drumsticks

    Love the recipe. Looks very very good! Unfortunately the weather down here is really bad lately, can’t wait till next weekend to try it out.

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  17. joey

    I love the sweet and savory flavor combination! And what a first photo! My goodness, stopped me in my tracks 🙂

  18. Chandy

    Saw this recipe on Friday and had to try it out that night. They were sooooo delicious and super simple I’m making them again on Wed 🙂

  19. Pam

    The idea of an hour instead of the usual half a day is definitely a big plus. And the seasoning sounds exquisite — the perfect mist of salty and sweet. I’m hungry just reading the recipe!

  20. Gabby

    Just made this for dinner. Good. Good. Good. Will definitely make this over and over. Thank you!

  21. Benita Wheeler

    This is a great idea for a backyard party. It is spring here in south and the grills are out in full force. It sounds better than a date on a Friday night. Sweet and hot.

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  23. teck cooking

    I still prefer the meat more tender and will fall off from bone:) But guess the taste must be very good with paprika added. A bit spicy and sweet mix in your mouth. I rarely add paprika in marinate. Will try this.:) Guess marinate for few hours before grill will be good too.:)

  24. Colleen

    Jaden, I was scared to cook ribs until I saw your “fall off the bone” recipe some while back. I’ve been making those regularly and my husband thinks I’m a miracle-worker. I popped onto the site today to remind myself how long and at what temp to cook them and saw that you have posted another rib recipes. Yikes! What is a girl to do? Do I stick with what we love and what has made my family VERY happy? Or do I try something new? Decisions, decisions. I think I will try this rub and the maple syrup, but still cook them low and slow like the other recipe. I have dainty daughters, so I think that falling off the bone might be better overall. Thank you!

  25. Ribfan

    I just made the ribs and me and my friends really liked them. Next time I think I will try the “fall of the bone meat”. However if you don’t have 4 hours to accomplish that the ribs are also delicious if baked for one hour.

    For europeans: Since maple syrup is very hard to obtain on our continent I used the dutch product “stroop” as a substitute. I think the english word is “molasses”. It made a great replacement I think!

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  27. wenders

    Thanks Jaden for referring me to this recipe! Gave it a try this evening, we like the cinnamon/cayenne flavor, love the maple glaze, and it was definitely easier to plate and not have all the meat fall off, but the family verdict is that they still prefer the fall off the bone method of cooking, and since my kiddo has a loose tooth, the ‘fall off the bone’ method wins. But again, I did like the cayenne cinnamon maple flavor (I omitted the garlic powder because another kiddo is allergic) but we all liked the flavor nonetheless. And when I’m short on time and don’t have the 4 hours for the fall off your bone, the 1 hour @ 375 degrees works great! Thanks always!

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  32. Melissa

    Hi Jaden,

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. I made it tonight. Didn’t have garlic powder so just used chopped garlic. Didn’t have brown sugar but demerara & I think it made the ribs more interesting for there was slight crunchy bits of unmelted sugar. It’s the best rib that my bf & I have ever eaten!

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