Cinnamon Star Cookies (Zimtsterne)

Cinnamon Star Cookies

I make these delicious cookies every year and they are always a hit at my Christmas Cookie Exchange.  My mother is German and gave me this recipe years ago and it is now a staple over the holidays, she had to translate the recipe (Zimt = Cinnamon, Sterne = Stars) hence the name of the cookies Zimtsterne = Cinnamon Stars! Making these cookies always puts me in the holiday mood, and the end result is just so gorgeous, hope you enjoy making them.

Cinnamon Star Cookies (Zimtsterne)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 36
  • 2¼ cups confectioners' sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 15 ounces sliced almonds, with skin (about 4 cups)
  • 1¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
  • Directions
  1. Sift the confectioners' sugar. And set aside in a bowl.
  2. Put ½ cup of the sifted confectioners' sugar, (3 heaping cups) of the almonds and all the cinnamon in a food processor. Process until the nuts are finely ground, with just a few larger pieces (will resemble a coarse powdery looking mixture.)
  3. Whip the egg whites in a large, clean bowl (bowl must be clean or else this will not work) with an electric mixer on high speed until they hold soft peaks, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the remaining confectioners' sugar while whipping, until the whites are thick, creamy and somewhat stiff, about 2 minutes more. Set aside ⅔ cup of this meringue for topping the cookies.
  4. Fold the ground almond mixture and the lemon zest into the remaining meringue to make a stiff dough.
  5. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Lay a sheet of parchment or waxed paper on the work surface and lightly dust with confectioners' sugar. Turn the dough out onto the dusted paper, flatten and dust with more sugar as needed, and then lay another sheet of parchment or waxed paper on top. Roll the dough between the papers until it is about ¼-inch thick. Flip the dough over and gently peel off a sheet of the paper. For ease when cutting, lay the paper back on the dough, flip again and gently pull off the other side of the paper so that the dough is fully released from it.
  7. Cut cookies with a 1-inch star cutter (or whatever size cutter you have that is star or snowflake shaped) and place about 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets (the cookies don't expand too much). Excess dough can be rerolled. Use a small spoon, to spread the reserved meringue over the top of each cookie, taking care not to let the meringue drip over the sides (this part takes a while- I ended up using a butter knife to frost them.)
  8. Bake cookies until bottoms are light golden brown and meringue is set and crisp, about 20-30 minutes. Turn off the oven and open the oven door to release heat and dry cookies out in the oven for 10 more minutes. These cookies get softer as the days go by! Ok to store in an airtight container or tin for up to 2 weeks!
All the ingredients for the cookies:

zimtsterne cookies recipe ingredients








And another picture of the cookies…they’re just SO adorable!

Zimtsterne Cookies Recipe

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Showing 16 comments
  • Diana

    I am going to have to try these. They look cute and delicious– but I also <3 the German heritage.

  • Lindsay

    These are such pretty cookies! My family loves cinnamon so I’m sure they’ll be a big hit!

    • Sweetphi

      Thanks for the comment Lindsay, these have such a great flavor and are really beautiful to present. Hope your family loves them!

  • md kennedy

    So unique, and I love cinnamon. And with the bonus no flower, they are gluten-free. Perfect! Thanks.

    • Sweetphi

      They are gluten-free, and I only realized that after making them which makes me love the cookie even more! This is honestly such an amazing little cookie and one that just looks so festive!

  • Jessica Adams

    sound amazing. im going to try to make these <3

    • Sweetphi

      Thanks for the comment Jessica, I think you’ll really love these little delicious cookies after making them

  • Sherry Compton

    These look really good. Love that they get softer over time. I prefer a good soft cookie and can’t wait to try.

    • Sweetphi

      Thanks for the comment Sherry, I think you’ll really love these cookies!

  • Victoria Cortinas

    I am going to send this to my mom. She loves cinnamon.

    • Sweetphi

      I think your mom is going to love these!!

  • Jennifer Johansen

    I bet these make the house smell amazing!

    • Sweetphi

      You are so right Jennifer, the house smells amazing after making these cookies!

  • DogsMom

    These look delicious and I know they would make the house smell wonderful. It will bring back childhood memories of my dad’s aunts and cousins!

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  • […] like mad, and now you have a chance to win one!  One of my favorite cookies to make every year is Cinnamon Star Cookies (Zimtsterne) and having a mixer makes making the meringue so […]

  • […]  My side of the family is German, and we always make little cinnamon star cookies called Zimtsterne around the holidays, so adding another difficult to pronounce cookie to the mix shouldn’t be a […]

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