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Discover the joy of baking with our vegan Zimtsterne recipe! These German cinnamon star cookies are a gluten-free delight, perfect for the holiday season. Learn how to make one of the most loved German Christmas cookies with simple ingredients and easy steps.
Baking Christmas cookies just wouldn’t be the same without a classic recipe, and our Vegan Zimtsterne Recipe (German Cinnamon Star Cookies) are a must-try! Made entirely without animal products (no eggs or butter), these treats are also gluten-free!
A holiday staple that should never be missed is Germany and Switzerland – we dare to name them in our top 10 Christmas cookie list! Today, we’re adding a special twist and bake a vegan version of this popular cookie recipe!
Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside – that’s the secret to perfect Zimtsterne. Our dough blends cinnamon, powdered sugar, and ground almonds, giving it a wonderfully nutty, cinnamon-y, and sweet flavor. The best part? A shiny, white powdered sugar icing that adds the perfect finishing touch.
Vegan & Egg-Free! The secret to our recipe is its simplicity: we replace the traditional egg whites in the dough with water and lemon juice. This keeps the dough moist and easy to work with – no special egg substitutes needed.
A big plus with this vegan Zimtsterne recipe: the raw dough is totally safe to taste, perfect for little (and big) cookie monsters during baking. 😉
Instead of the traditional egg white icing, we use a mix of powdered sugar, lemon juice, and water. It’s not just beautiful to look at, but also delicious with a light lemony twist.
To ensure the icing dries completely, it’s best to let your glazed cinnamon star cookies dry for about an hour at room temperature. Then, you can stack them worry-free in a cookie jar.
See recipe card for quantities.
Visual Step-by-Step Instructions
This visual step-by-step instruction will help you along the way – definitely recommended if you’re a baking beginner!
MAKE THE DOUGH: In a large bowl, mix ground almonds, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add water and lemon juice and mix into a slightly sticky dough using a stand mixer or hand mixer. Transfer the dough on a well-floured surface and roll out to about 0.4 inches (1 cm) thickness using a rolling pin. → If the dough is too sticky, work in a bit more flour.
SHAPE & BAKE: Cut out stars using star-shaped cookie cutters, then transfer on a with parchment paper lined baking sheet. → Knead together dough scraps, roll and cut out again. Repeat until you have no dough left. Bake for about 8 minutes in a preheated oven. → They’re done once the tips start to turn slightly brown. Remove from the oven, let them sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
ICING: Whisk powdered sugar, lemon juice, and water in a small bowl.
Glaze each cookie with the icing using a pastry brush, then let them dry for at least an hour before storing.
Floured Surface: To prevent the dough from sticking when you roll it out, you must flour your worktop generously. Have a serious sweet tooth? Use white granulated sugar or powdered sugar instead of flour!
- Other Ground Nuts: Try using ground hazelnuts or walnuts instead of almonds to give the cookies a different flavor.
- Spices: Add a pinch of ground cardamom, cloves, or nutmeg to expand the spice palette.
- Citrus Flavors: Replace lemon juice with orange juice or add some grated orange or lemon zest for a citrusy twist.
- Sweeteners: For a healthier version, replace some of the powdered sugar with erythritol or another sugar substitute.
- Chocolate Coating: For an extra festive touch, dip the baked Zimtsterne partially in melted dark chocolate.
- Gluten-Free Option: If you prefer a gluten-free variant, ensure you roll out the dough on a gluten-free surface (like gluten-free flour or sugar).
Make-Ahead & Storage Instructions
Prepare the dough ahead of time: You can store the raw cookie dough for up to 2 days in the fridge. Then shape and bake. → If the dough is hard to shape, it might be too cold. Let it sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes before continuing.
Store baked cookies in a cookie tin or airtight container at room temperature. They keep fresh for at least one week.
Freeze baked cookies for up to 3 months in a freezer bag and thaw single cookies for 1 hour at room temperature.
More Vegan Christmas Recipes
Zimtsterne | German Cinnamon Star Cookies
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- ½ cup (60 g) powdered sugar
- ½ tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tbsp water
- Preheat the oven to 355°F (180°C).
- In a large bowl, mix ground almonds, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add water and lemon juice and mix into a slightly sticky dough using a stand mixer or hand mixer.
- Transfer the dough on a well-floured surface and roll out to about 0.4 inches (1 cm) thickness using a rolling pin. → If the dough is too sticky, work in a bit more flour.
- Cut out stars using star-shaped cookie cutters, then transfer on a with parchment paper lined baking sheet. → Knead together dough scraps, roll and cut out again. Repeat until you have no dough left.
- Bake for about 8 minutes in a preheated oven. → They're done once the tips start to turn brownish.
- Bake for 8 minutes in the preheated oven. They are good as soon as the tips start to turn brownish.
- Remove from the oven, let them sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool.
- Mix powdered sugar, lemon juice, and water in a small bowl.
- Glaze each cookie with the icing, then let the icing dry for at least an hour before storing.