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Zimtsterne (Cinnamon Stars)

Zimtsterne (Cinnamon Stars)

Zimtsterne (Cinnamon Stars)

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Zimtsterne (Cinnamon Stars)
4.6 rating based on 12,345 ratings
4.6/5 (6)
Course: Cutout CookiesCuisine: German, Swiss, AustrianDifficulty: Medium



Zimtsterne, or Cinnamon stars, are a traditional German recipe. They’re made nearly entirely of ground nuts, with enough egg whites to hold them together and powdered sugar for sweetness. And of course, cinnamon! These are one of the most beloved Christmas cookies in Germany, also very popular in Switzerland and Austria. With no flour at all, they are naturally grain- and gluten-free.


  • 2 cups finely ground unblanched almonds, plus 1/2 cup more as needed

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons cinnamon

  • 4 large egg whites

  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • granulated sugar (for rolling out)


  • Grease and flour several baking sheets and set aside.
  • Combine the 2 cups of almonds with the cinnamon in a mixing bowl; set aside.
  • In another large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until frothy and slightly thickened. Beat the powdered sugar into egg whites, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well between each addition. When all the powdered sugar has been added, beat the mixture 5 more minutes.
  • Remove approximately two thirds of the egg white mixture and blend it together with the almonds.
  • Cover the remaining egg white mixture with a damp cloth.
  • Add the lemon juice and zest to the almond mixture and use your hand to blend all the ingredients together to form a cohesive mass. Allow the mixture to rest for 10 minutes. To test the consistency, try rolling out a small piece on a board dusted with granulated sugar. If it is too sticky to handle, add more ground almonds, by the tablespoon, until it is manageable. If the dough crumbles or falls apart, add a few drops of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of the reserved egg whites.
  • When the dough has reached the proper consistency, dust a pastry board lightly with granulated sugar. Shape the dough into a flat round and dust the surface lightly with sugar. Pat the dough out into a rectangle 3/8 inch thick.
  • Remove the cloth from the reserved egg whites. Use a metal spatula to smooth an even coating of the glaze over the entire surface of the rectangle, just enough to cover it completely with white. To smooth the surface further, dip the spatula in hot water and run it across the glaze. Make sure you have not used up all the egg whites, as you will need a small amount to glaze the scraps after they have been re-rolled after you make your first cuts. Cover the egg whites again with the damp towel to prevent them from drying out.
  • Fill a cup with hot water. Cut using a star-shaped cookie cutter dipped into the hot water each time you cut, leaving as little space between stars as possible. Place the stars on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 3/4 inch between each. Knead the scraps together; adding additional ground almonds so that the dough can be rolled out. Roll out, glaze, and cut as before.
  • Allow to dry at room temperature, on the baking sheets, overnight.
  • The next day, preheat the oven to 275F. Bake one sheet at a time in the middle of the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the stars are firm and the glaze has dried. Do not allow them to color. If they are browning, prop the oven door open with the handle of a wooden spoon.
  • Remove the stars to a wire rack to cool completely before storing, at least 1 month, in airtight tins.


Name & Location
(example: Sue in LA)
We weren't too impressed with them. Too soft and I had problems making the sugar glaze.
- A Baker
Really fun.. time consuming.. but fun :) really tasty too!
- baker
Loved the cookie and our German houseguest said it was much better than what she buys in Germany, however, its very difficult to make and quite time-consuming for a non-baker like myself.
- A Baker
I love these!
- CCFox
These were WONDERFUL. You need lots of extra almonds on hand, as achieving the proper consistency for the dough is a little tricky. Also, I just put the reserved meringue in a bag and piped it onto the cookies afterwards. They turned out very cute!
- Sammy
What a magnificent cookie! The flavor balance between the cinnamon, lemon, and almonds is perfect. I was afraid this would be another of those horrid dry, lifeless baked meringue things, but I couldn't have been more wrong. The cookie is not exactly moist, but tender -a great counterbalance to the crisp icing. They store very well. I've made four batches since discovering this recipe last week. I've delivered them to dozens of people and received nothing but raves. Several people have asked for the recipe. This is also a great cookie for heart patients, since the only fat comes from almonds and cardiologists like for their patients to eat nuts.
- A Baker
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