These German Cinnamon Stars Are The Perfect Holiday Treat!
Searching for an authentic German Christmas cookie? German cinnamon stars – or Zimtsterne as they are called in German – are exactly that!
Made from ground almond and cinnamon, these holiday cookies are naturally gluten-free and have a delicious white icing glazed on top.
Their shape and simple, sweet flavors make them a great addition to the holiday cookie platter!
German Cinnamon stars have been around for ages. They are a popular German Christmas Market cookie and are also popular around Advent.
Lisa has made and eaten cinnamon stars since she was a child growing up in Germany. She used to always enjoy them – along with vanilla crescent cookies and other winter favorites such as mulled wine – in December with her family.
Giving cookies to friends and/or family is also a popular little gift idea during the holiday season in Germany. Since these cookies are gluten-free they work well as part of a cookie-based gift.
Before you call us out – we are aware that traditionally German cinnamon stars are made with a 6-pointed star cookie cutter.
We, unfortunately, had the most difficult time finding a 6-point star cookie cutter in North America… so we settled for 5 points.
Nevertheless, we still think they look great and they taste the same even without one point!
These cookies will come out of the oven soft and harden up as they cool. This is completely normal.
If you overcook the stars and they are too hard, you can always try placing them in a sealed container with half of an apple. The moisture will help to soften the cookies again.
As for storing them, just keep them in a plastic container or cookie tin with a lid. They can be stored in a cool and dry place, such as your basement or garage.
German Cinnamon Stars (Zimtsterne)
- 2 egg whites, from medium-sized eggs
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 cups ground almonds
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Separate the eggs and beat the egg whites in a medium-sized bowl until stiff. The egg white is stiff enough when you can turn over the bowl and the egg white doesn’t move.
- Sift in the powdered sugar and fold it in carefully with a spatula. Remove approximately 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture and set it aside in a small bowl.
- Add the ground almonds, cinnamon, and vanilla extract into the bowl and mix carefully with your spatula. You can use your hands towards the end.
- Place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes (optional). This will make it easier when it comes to rolling out the dough in the next step.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Place some powdered sugar on the surface and roll out the dough until it is approximately 1/4 inch thick. Cut out the stars with your star-shaped cookie cutter and transfer the cookies to a baking sheet. Gather the leftover dough, form another ball, roll it out again, and cut more cookies until you have used up all the dough.
- Brush the egg white mixture you set aside earlier on top of the stars with a brush or the tip of a knife.
- Bake the cinnamon stars in the bottom third of the oven for approximately 15 minutes. Since every oven is different, your baking time may vary. The white top of the cookies should remain white.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and place them on a cooling tray. The bottoms of the cookies should still feel slightly soft. They’ll harden a bit more once cooled.
- You can dip your cookie cutter into some powdered sugar if the dough sticks to the cookie cutter too much.
- In case the cinnamon stars are too hard after they have cooled, you can put them in a cookie tin/plastic container with a slice of apple. This will add moisture and soften them a bit again.
- Depending on the size of your cookie cutter, the baking time might be slightly shorter or longer than indicated in our recipe above.
This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice.