a flatlay blackboard of baking ingredients for german cinnamon stars with text

Christmas cookie heaven

This gluten-free cinnamon star recipe is of German origin – originally called “Zimtsterne” – is my absolute favorite Christmas cookie recipe. I’ll be honest, I’m not a big fan of most Christmas cookies, they are too dry for me, but these….. Oh, my! They are chewie, soft, and crispy – all at the same time. Very hard to stop eating them once you’ve started. The cookies taste like marzipan, merengue, and macaroon, all at once. Best thing; you only need 5 ingredients to make cinnamon stars.

If you’re interested in my other favorite Christmas cookie recipe – I only ever make two kinds – see my Scandinavian gingerbread cookies and -house recipe.

For the perfect drink with the cinnamon stars, I recommend this To-die-for delicious Scandinavian mulled wine recipe, called “Julegløgg”. 

collection of homemade cinnamon star after a german recipe on a cooling tray

Ingredients for gluten-free cinnamon stars

500 g almonds

250 g powdered sugar (confectioners sugar or icing sugar)

2 tsp cinnamon

3 egg whites

Some (gluten-free) flour for the rolling out



  1. Ground almonds in a food processor (with the skin).
  2. In a different bowl, whip egg whites until stiff (add a pinch of salt to have the best effect).
  3. Add the powdered sugar to the egg whites gradually and mix carefully until smooth (the mixture should feel sticky and thick). This is now meringue.
  4. Set aside 1/3 of the meringue to use for topping.
  5. Add the ground almonds + the cinnamon to the meringue (the 2/3 part) and mix till you have a sticky dough.


Roll out the dough using flour* (use a gluten-free alternative if you need it to be 100% gluten-free). Spread the flour both under and on top of the dough as it gets sticky and it is hard to handle otherwise. It also helps to dip the cookie cutter in flour once in a while, to keep the dough from sticking to it.

*Please note that most recipes say to use icing sugar for this purpose, but in my experience, this only makes the dough more sticky.

Roll out the dough to approx 5 mm and cut out stars with a cookie cutter of about 4 cm. Add them to a baking tray covered with a baking sheet.

Add the leftover meringue to the stars with a brush. This part is a bit tricky, sticky, and messy, but absolutely doable with a bit of patience. As you can see below, my daughter aged 9 at the time loves this part:) Don’t worry about the cookies looking perfect, it’s the taste that matters.

Bake at 150 degrees C on the lowest (bottom) level for about 13-15 minutes and let cool on a cooling rack. The meringue on top should stay white and not turn brown. When the cookies are cooled off, the bottom part should be soft and chewy and the meringue crispy.

Good luck! If you try this cinnamon star recipe, I’d love to know how you like them! It’s great to have some assistants to help you get the job done, as you can see below:)

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