Home » Perfect Cinnamon Stars (Zimtsterne) for Christmas

Perfect Cinnamon Stars (Zimtsterne) for Christmas

perfect cinnamon stars

I can’t describe how delicious Cinnamon Stars are! To make the perfect cinnamon stars, you need to try my recipe and method and you will not regret it. This is how Christmas tastes in Germany!

There are some recipes out there that are more straight forward and faster but if you really want your cinnamon stars to look & taste their best, then you should stick to my recipe. Yes, it takes longer, but it’s worth it.

How to bake Cinnamon Stars Video

What I Do Differently

Letting the dough rest for some hours is nothing new and most recipes recommend it. I let my dough rest overnight, this way it develops a lot of great taste. I also use a different cinnamon, more about that later.

Now, where my recipe is different from many others that I know, is that I don’t cut out the stars and then spread the icing on each star. Instead, I spread the icing onto the rolled dough before I cut out the stars. I then put the dough with the icing into the freezer and freeze it for two hours. Then I cut out the stars, let them dry for two more hours and finally bake them.

cinnamon star recipe zimtsterne

So overall there are three waiting times:

  • Resting the dough 6+ hours.
  • Freezing the rolled dough with the icing for 2 hours.
  • Drying the stars before baking for 2 hours.
Baking cinnamon stars

Cassia Cinnamon versus Ceylon Cinnamon

When you buy cinnamon, you usually get the cassia cinnamon. It is a cheaper version of the real cinnamon, which would be the Ceylon cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon is a little more bitter and it is cheaper than Ceylon cinnamon. But it also contains coumarin (cumarin).
Coumarin, if overdosed, can damage your liver and I, unfortunately, had that happen in my family. My Mother in Law wanted to use the health benefits of cinnamon but didn’t know the difference and had too much coumarin. Her liver got damaged and she died two years later. My recommendation is: Whenever you need to use cinnamon in a larger amount in a recipe, use the Ceylon cinnamon, which is usually not available at the grocery but can be ordered easily.

Learn more about the concerning side effects of cassia cinnamon here: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/side-effects-of-cinnamon

Recipe for Perfect Cinnamon Stars

perfect cinnamon stars

Perfect Cinnamon Stars

Barbara
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Waiting times on baking day 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine German
Servings 40 cookies

Ingredients
 
 

For the Dough

  • 400 g ground Almonds
  • 390 g Sugar
  • 3 Egg Whites
  • 12 g Cinnamon (Ceylon Cinnamon preferred)
  • some Lemon zest (optional)

For the Icing

  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 250 g confectioners sugar or: 5 times the weight of the egg whites for a perfect result

Instructions
 

Making the Dough

  • Put all dough ingredients into a large bowl.
    400 g ground Almonds, 390 g Sugar, 12 g Cinnamon (Ceylon Cinnamon preferred), some Lemon zest (optional), 3 Egg Whites
  • Mix the ingredients by hand or mixer until you have a nice dough.
  • Shape the dough into a somewhat flat rectangular shape, cover it (i.e. with beeswax cloth in silicone bag or container) and put it into the fridge.
  • Let the dough rest for at least 6 hours or overnight, then continue with making the icing.

Make the Icing

  • Prepare the icing: For a perfect icing, weigh the egg whites and use 5 times this weight for the confectioner's sugar.
    2 Egg Whites, 250 g confectioners sugar or: 5 times the weight of the egg whites for a perfect result
  • Start by mixing the egg whites.
  • When the egg whites are fluffy and shiny, add ⅓ of the confectioner's sugar and mix.
  • Repeat until the entire sugar is in the icing.

Making the Cookies

  • Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out on a board that will fit into your freezer.
  • Spread the icing onto the rolled dough, make sure it is even and not too thick.
  • Put the remaining icing aside, you will need it later.
  • Put the iced dough into the freezer for two hours.
  • After two hours, take it out and start cutting the cookies as described next.
  • Use a medium size star cookie cutter and dip it into a small bowl of water. Then make sure excess water is absorbed by a kitchen towel (see video if that's unclear).
  • Cut a star out of the frozen dough and place it onto the baking sheet by carefully tapping the cutter onto the sheet until the cookie falls off.
  • The remaining dough (leftover from the cuttings) can be kneaded and rolled again, then spread the remaining icing on it and repeat as before.
  • Let the cookies dry for two hours.

Baking

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F (a little lower than in the video) and bake for about 8 minutes.
  • You know that the cinnamon stars are ready when you can lift them from the baking sheet.
  • Don't let the frosting bake to a tan.
  • Let the cookies cool, then store them in an airtight container.
Keyword Christmas, cookies
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About The Author

14 thoughts on “Perfect Cinnamon Stars (Zimtsterne) for Christmas”

  1. Hello! How far in advance can these be made? I’m hoping to bake them a few days before Christmas and save them, so just wondering if that’ll be ok as long as they’re in an airtight container.

    Thanks for your recipes and thorough videos! Planning to make the Black Forest cake next week as well. :)

    1. Hi Meredith,
      you can definitely bake them some days before and store them airtight until Christmas! It’s just really important to put them into the container as soon as possible (when the glaze has dried).
      Best wishes,
      Barbara

  2. The recipe says to put the remaining icing aside, you will need it later. Whem would that be ??

    1. That is a legit question, sorry that I didn’t follow up on that note in the recipe. I have now added this:
      “The remaining dough (leftover from the cuttings) can be kneaded and rolled again, then spread the remaining icing on it and repeat as before.”
      So, if you use the leftover dough, you can also use the leftover icing.
      Thank you for letting me know that this was missing. Happy Christmastime!
      Barbara

  3. Thank you for this recipe and excellent video. My dough is chilling and i am making the icing. You say that for 3 egg whites, you se 5 times the weight in powdered sugar. That worked out to less than 1/2 a cup of sugar and a very runny icing. Is this a mistake in the recipe? Other recipes for royal icing call for 2 cups of powdered sugar to 3 lg. egg whites.

    1. Hi Nancy,
      It seems that you didn’t measure your egg whites right or something with your calculation went wrong. An egg white weighs about 30g so three of them make 90g if you have a standard-sized egg. 90g times 5 comes to 450g which is according to an internet converter 3 +3/5 cups. If your eggs were larger or smaller, there would have to be adjustments but this is somewhere the right measure. I hope you added more sugar and could still successfully make your cookies.
      Best,
      Barbara

  4. 5 stars
    Hi there , for the sugar in the cookie dough recipe is that just granulated ? Some recipes for cinnamon stars online had confectioners sugar in the dough and icing . Just making sure !

  5. 5 stars
    oh my
    oh my
    oh my… I LOVE this recipe and your explanations and recommendations <3
    i never tasted these beauties but to watch you making them really inspired me and guess what ? I made some …twice ! and i am very happy with the result even though I do not have the right star cutter. The resting and freezing time does help a lot. I would love to show you mine and will post on instagram and tag you.
    These are truly fantastic cookies , the cinnamon and lemon zest combo is just amazing.
    THANK YOU soooooooooooooo much

    1. Hi,
      I’m glad you love this recipe and thank you for the Instagram post! Keep up the good baking :-)
      Best,
      Barbara

  6. 5 stars
    I know you probably gave instructions before for grinding the almonds, but for this recipe do you leave the skins on or not.

    I remember these cookies from when I was a little girl in Germany and am now diabetic and gluten free but still looking forward to trying this recipe.

    Thank you so much for this and all of your recipes,

    1. Hi Peggy,
      you can leave the skin on or remove them – either way will be working. In the recipe for Vanille Crescent Cookies I describe how to remove the skin if that’s what you want to do. I baked these cookies for a neighbor who is also gluten free and she loved them. Maybe you can substitute the sugar with something that a diabetic can have? These cookies are very sweet, so be careful and watch your blood sugar.
      All the best and have a wonderful holiday season!
      Barbara

  7. I have Saigon cinnamon , I bought at Costco here in Canada ,do you know if that is a good kind?
    Danke
    Elke Fischer

    1. I checked online and found this:
      “Saigon cinnamon is generally safe when used in amounts commonly found in foods, according to MedlinePlus. Cassia varieties of cinnamon — including Saigon cinnamon — contain significant amounts of coumarin, which is linked to potential liver damage.”
      So, in moderate amounts it’s ok but if you want to be on the safe side, use Ceylon. I just reordered mine at amazon for a little over $4.
      Enjoy baking! I am making currently making more cinnamon stars since the others are already gone … ;-)

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