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A plate with Zimtsterne (German Cinnamon Star Cookies)

Traditional Zimtsterne Recipe (German Cinnamon Star Cookies)

Zimtsterne is a delicious, traditional, German Christmas cinnamon star cookiess made with almonds, cinnamon, and merengue.
Course Dessert, Pastry
Cuisine German
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 40 minutes
Servings 50 cookies (approx.)
Calories 51kcal
Author Marita Sinden


  • Rolling Pin
  • Star Shaped Cookie Cutter
  • Non-stick silicon baking mat
  • Pastry brush or piping bag


  • 3 egg whites room temperature
  • 250 grams ground almonds with their skin on
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar or use one tsp vanilla extract
  • 250 grams icing/confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange peel see note 1
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 20 grams icing/confectioners sugar to roll


  • Using an electric hand or stand mixer, whisk the egg whites, salt, and icing /confectioners sugar with a paddle attachment until stiff. Remove about 1/3 of the stiff egg white mixture and place it into a separate bowl and set aside. You will need it to decorate the cinnamon stars later.
  • Add the orange zest, vanilla sugar, cinnamon, and almonds to the egg white and knead with your hands to an even dough. Cover the dough in cling film and leave it to rest in the fridge for at least two hours (you can also leave it to rest overnight). This will allow for the cinnamon aroma to develop.
  • The next day, preheat your oven to 160°C or 320°F top to bottom heat. Line two baking trays with baking parchment. Cover your rolling pin in cling film or icing sugar (this should help the dough from sticking). Cover your work surface with icing sugar or alternatively use a non-stick silicone mat.
  • Roll out the dough so that it is approximately 1 cm/0.5 inch thick. Cut out the stars using a star-shaped cookie cutter and place them carefully onto the baking trays (see note 2).
  • To decorate the cinnamon stars use the stiff egg white mass you set aside. You have two options on how to apply the egg whites: brush them with a pastry brush on the cookies or (my preferred way) apply them with an icing bag. First, follow the edges of the stars, then fill out the middle. This will give you a more precise icing and they will look just like in the bakeries in Germany.
  • Bake them in the oven for between 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye on them – they should stay white and soft.


  1. Make sure you use an organic orange.
  2. To prevent the dough from sticking to your cookie-cutter – intermittently dunk your cutter in a bowl of icing sugar.
I strongly recommend referring to the step-by-step photos on the main post.
Storage Instructions:
Make sure you store them in an airtight container and at room temperature. If you want to store different types of cookies in the same tin, it is best to separate them with sheets of baking parchment. This will prevent the flavors from mixing. If your cookies get too hard, simply place a couple of slices of apple pieces in the tin. This should soften them. These cookies freeze well. Freeze in an airtight container and let them defrost at room temperature. This way they can be stored for at least three months


Calories: 51kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 3mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg