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Don’t miss out on those deliciously vegan cinnamon star cookies! One of the most loved German vegan Christmas cookies, which are also known as Zimtsterne!
The perfect cinnamon star cookies need to have a crispy outside, but when you bite on them, the inside must be soft and moist. So let me teach you how to make such perfect Christmas star cookies at home!
The dough of this German Zimtsterne recipe is made with a lot of cinnamon, icing sugar, and ground almonds and therefore tastes nutty, sweet, with a decent cinnamon flavor.
Last but not least, they come with a shiny powdered sugar glaze!
How to make Cinnamon Star Cookies Vegan?
Actually, it’s quite simple. Just leave out the egg white, which is used in the traditional German cinnamon star recipe, and you are all set. The dough doesn’t contain any dairy you need to replace.
To ensure that the dough is moist and not dry, you need to replace the egg white with water and lemon juice. It’s that simple to bake vegan Christmas cookies!
No fancy egg replacement or any dairy substitute needed to make this recipe. And yes, they are even damn delicious made without eggs!
It’s ok to eat raw dough
Another advantage of this vegan cookie dough without raw eggs is that you don’t have to worry if the kids eat raw dough while making and cutting out star cookies. Of course, they shouldn’t eat half of the dough, but it’s totally ok if they sneak a little dough here and then – no need to watch them constantly.
Who doesn’t love to snack some raw dough while baking Christmas cookies?!
I usually can’t wait until the cookies are baked and like to have a little sneak peek beforehand! Raw dough is perfect for this.
Spoons and whisks can be safely licked off by children and adults!
Zimtsterne Powdered Sugar Glaze
The traditional German Zimtsterne are often made with a glaze out of egg white and powdered sugar. It’s a thick and white glaze. But there is an easy dairy-free substitute you most probably know: powdered sugar glaze!
Spread them with a mixture of icing sugar, lemon juice, and water. This white powdered sugar glaze not only shines beautifully, but it is also sweet and has a subtle lemon taste.
Make sure to let the glazed cinnamon stars dry completely for about an hour at room temperature before you stack them in a cookie tin. Otherwise, they stick, and the glaze looks crackled.
Zimtsterne Recipe – Visual Guide
- Mix ground almonds with powdered sugar, ground cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.
- Add water and lemon juice and mix with a stand mixer or hand mixer into a dough. The dough isn’t as smooth and a little sticky, as shown in the picture below.
- Place the dough on a well-floured surface and roll out to about 0.4 inches (1 cm) using a rolling pin. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour until it no longer sticks.
- Cut out cookies using a star cookie cutter. I used two different cookie cutter sizes, for smaller and bigger stars. You most probably have some dough leftover after your first round of cutting out star cookies. Knead the leftover dough together by hand, roll it out and cut out cookies. Repeat those steps until there is no dough left.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the Zimtsterne on it. Bake them for about 8 minutes in the preheated oven. They are good as soon as the tips start to turn brownish.
- The cookies are relatively soft and break quickly after baking. Therefore, take the baking sheet with the cookies out of the oven and leave them on the sheet for 5 minutes before you transfer them on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Recipe Tips & Variations
Ground Almonds: For the typical brown look of those German Christmas cookies, it is crucial that you use unpeeled and not peeled almonds. You can either buy almond meal or use whole almonds and pulse them a few times in a blender until you have fine ground almonds. It’s ok if there are a few coarser almonds left, they give your star cookies a crunchy note.
Sugar: It is important to use powdered sugar and not white sugar for this recipe.
Floured Surface: To prevent the dough from sticking when you roll it out, you must flour your worktop generously. Do you have a very sweet tooth? Use white sugar or powdered sugar instead of flour to roll out the dough.
Powdered Sugar Glaze: After the cookies are baked and cooled, you can brush them with the glaze. However, this step isn’t mandatory, and if you prefer them without glaze, you can leave this step out. Zimtsterne without glaze are tasty too and less sweet, but in my eyes, not as pretty as with the shiny glaze.
How to store the cookies?
Store them in a Christmas Cookie Tin or in an airtight container at room temperature.
How long does it keep fresh?
You can keep them for at least one week.
More Christmas cookies recipes you’ll love:
- Almond Crescent Cookies (German Vanillekipferl) – Vegan
- Vegan Linzer Cookies
- Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Austrian Linzer Tart Cookies
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Cinnamon Star Cookies (German Zimtsterne)
Powdered Sugar Glaze
- ½ cup (60 g) powdered sugar
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tbsp water
- Preheat the oven to 355°F/180°C.
- Mix almond meal, powdered sugar, ground cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.
- Add the water and lemon juice and mix using a stand mixer or hand mixer, until you have a smooth yet slightly sticky dough.
- Place the dough on a well-floured surface and roll out to about 0.4 inches (1 cm) using a rolling pin.
- Cut out cookies using a star cookie cutter and transfer them on a with parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 8 minutes in the preheated oven. They are good as soon as the tips start to turn brownish.
- Take the sheet with the cookies out of the oven and leave them on the sheet for 5 minutes before you transfer them on a cooling rack to completely cool. → Hot star cookies directly out of the oven are very soft and break easily!
Powdered Sugar Glaze
- Mix powdered sugar, lemon juice, and water in a small bowl.
- Glaze each cookie with it. It works best using a basting brush.
- Leave the glaze to completely dry for about one hour at room temperature before you stack the cookies in a tin for storage.
- Almonds: You can either use almond meal or pulse almonds in a blender until you have finely ground almonds. It is essential to use unpeeled almonds for this recipe.
- Roll Out Dough: You can use white or powdered sugar instead of flour to roll out the dough.
- Store them in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Keeps fresh for at least one week.