|

German Christmas Cinnamon Star Cookies (Zimtsterne)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

German Cinnamon Star Cookies, also known as Zimtsterne, are delicious and traditional holiday Christmas cookies. Tiny, shaped stars with meringue icing are made with 3 main ingredients: egg whites, cinnamon, and almond flour. This delicious and endearing Christmas tradition is perfect for your holiday cookie platter.

Horizontal view of Cinnamon Stars Cookies in a white bowl with Christmas greens.

Want to save this recipe?

Enter your email, and we’ll send it to your inbox. Plus, you’ll get delicious new recipes from us every Friday!

Save Recipe

Holiday Baking Journey

This recipe first appeared in my 24 Days of Christmas Cookies: An Advent Baking Journey. In this cookbook, we are baking through the Advent season, one cookie at a time, ending on December 24th.

These cinnamon star cookies appear in the cookbook on day 24, our baking journey’s final day. Which I felt was appropriate for Christmas Eve as it is, for me, a symbolic and meaningful cookie for the holidays. Shaped into a 5-point stars, these simple cookies symbolize hope for the season and the coming year.

Origins of Cinnamon Star Cookies (or Zimtsterne)

While we can’t pinpoint the exact origins of this traditional Advent cookie, written evidence from the mid-16th century suggests these cookies were made by medieval monks in Swabia or Southwest Germany.

Early written recipes used two main ingredients, almonds and cinnamon, both rare and expensive ingredients at that time. As they became more widely available, the popularity of these tiny cookies grew into the tradition we know today.

Ingredients for Cinnamon Star Cookies

You will find ingredient measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. This simple list of ingredients is all you need to make these delicious, gluten-free cookies.

  • Egg whites
  • Finely ground almonds, almond meal, or almond flour
  • Confectioners’ sugar or powdered sugar
  • Salt

Cinnamon Star Cookies Icing

I prefer this icing to the more traditional Zimtsterme recipe using raw egg whites.

  • Meringue powder
  • Confectioners’ sugar

How to Make Cinnamon Star Cookies

These cookies are simple to make, require only a handful of ingredients, and so delicious during the season. Egg whites in the batter will be whipped so you’ll need an electric mixer or stand mixer for convenience. It is possible, though, to whip them by hand using a whisk.

Step 1: Beat Egg Whites

In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites and salt until frothy at medium speed using a handheld mixer or the whisk attachment on a stand mixer. While the motor is running, slowly add the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating for 5 to 7 minutes or until the mixture is thick and glossy.

Step 2: Fold in almond flour

Fold cinnamon and 2 ¼ cups ground almonds (or almond flour) into the egg whites. Add additional ground almonds (up to ¾ cup additional) until you have a firm dough that’s only slightly sticky. The amount will depend on the size of your egg whites and the grind of the almonds.

Step 3: Chill for 30 minutes

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Then preheat oven to 350º F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Step 4: Cut cookies into star shapes

Remove chilled dough from the refrigerator, unwrap, and leave the plastic wrap underneath. Lay an additional piece of wrap over the dough and roll to ¼ inch thick.

Using a 1 ½ inch star-shaped cookie cutter, dipping the cutter in cold water from time to time to keep it from sticking to the dough, cut out the cookies. Place on the prepared baking sheets, separating slightly.

Step 5: Baking the star cookies

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until just slightly golden and set, but still soft on the inside. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

How to Make the Cinnamon Stars Icing

I am using meringue powder as a substitute for 1 egg white, which is traditional, but I’m not a fan of raw eggs. If you want to use an egg white, whisk it to a stiff peak before proceeding to step 2.

  1. Follow the instructions on the meringue powder container for mixing it with water. You will want to whisk it well to remove any lumps.
  2. Fold in the confectioners’ sugar. Add additional sugar or water to reach the desired consistency of glossy icing.
  3. Spoon small amounts of icing onto each cooled cookie using the tip of a knife and spreading into the points. If the icing is thin enough, you can also hold the cookie upside down with your fingers and dip it into the icing. Let dry at room temperature before storing it in an airtight container.

How long will these cinnamon star cookies keep?

These Christmas cookies will keep for a month or more in an airtight container or they can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Vertical view of Christmas Stars cookies in a white bowl with Christmas ornaments and greenery.

SAVE THIS AND PIN IT FOR LATER!

Make sure you don’t lose track of this recipe by pinning it for later! If you are not already, you can follow me on Pinterest, as well as keep up with me on FacebookInstagram, and YouTube. If you make this recipe, I would also love it if you’d tag me in your photos and leave a star rating below!

Horizontal view of Cinnamon Stars Cookies in a white bowl with Christmas greens.

Christmas Cinnamon Star Cookies Recipe (Zimtsterne)

German Cinnamon Star Cookies, or Zimtsterne, are delicious gluten-free shaped Christmas cookies made with 3 ingredients. A delicious tradition!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Save
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 30 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar plus more for dusting
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 ¼ – 3 cups finely ground almonds or almond flour

Cinnamon Stars Icing

  • 2 teaspoons meringue powder
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

  • In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites and salt until frothy at medium speed using a handheld mixer or the whisk attachment on a stand mixer. While the motor is running, slowly add the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating for 5 to 7 minutes or until the mixture is thick and glossy.
  • Fold cinnamon and 2 ¼ cups ground almonds (or almond flour) into the egg whites. Add additional ground almonds (up to ¾ cup additional) until you have a firm dough that’s only slightly sticky. The amount will depend on the size of your egg whites and the grind of the almonds.
  • Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Then preheat oven to 350º F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Remove chilled dough from the refrigerator, unwrap, and leave the plastic wrap underneath. Lay an additional piece of wrap over the dough and roll to ¼ inch thick.
  • Using a 1 ½ inch star shaped cookie cutter, dipping the cutter in cold water from time to time to keep it from sticking to the dough, cut out the cookies. Place on the prepared baking sheets, separating slightly.
  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until just slightly golden and set, but still soft on the inside. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cinnamon Star Icing

  • I am using meringue powder as a substitute for 1 egg white, which is traditional, but I’m not a fan of raw eggs. If you want to use an egg white, whisk it to a stiff peak before proceeding to step 2.
  • Follow the instructions on the meringue powder container for mixing it with water. You will want to whisk it well to remove any lumps.
  • Fold in the confectioners’ sugar. Add additional sugar or water to reach the desired consistency of glossy icing.
  • Spoon small amounts of icing onto each cooled cookie using the tip of a knife and spreading into the points. If the icing is thin enough, you can also hold the cookie upside down with your fingers and dip it into the icing. Let dry at room temperature before storing it in an airtight container.

Nutrition

Calories: 68kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Sodium: 23mg | Potassium: 4mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Tried this recipe? Pin it Today!Follow me on Pinterest for more and use the "Pin" button at the top of the recipe card.
Course: Cookies
Cuisine: German
Keyword: Cinnamon Stars Cookies, Zimptsterne cookies

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating