Chocolate Cinnamon Stars (Zimtsterne)

Gluten-free Chocolate Cinnamon Stars (Zimtsterne) which are perfect at Christmas.

cinnamon chocolate star cookies zimtsterne with icing sugar

Despite the fact that I rarely bake cut-out cookies, I seem to have amassed a large cookie cutter collection over the years. And one person who seems to highly appreciate this part-time hobby of mine, is my little boy.

He loves nothing more than to stamp out shapes from Playdoh, and I despise nothing more than separating the Playdoh colours and cleaning up the sticky mess afterwards. But a good compromise for us is to bake cookies together – he gets to use as many cookie cutters as he likes, and I then have afternoon tea sorted.

The current festive period has seen us baking lots of Christmas cookies for our friends and neighbours, and my son is delighting in all of the odd cookie cutter shapes in my collection. Pigs and dinosaurs have suddenly found their place in the nativity scene, as well as various fruits and cars.

cinnamon chocolate star cookies zimtsterne on baking paper

One popular recipe at this time of the year in Switzerland are Cinnamon Stars (Zimtsterne). I posted a similar recipe a few years ago for Swiss Walnut Christmas Cookies. What I have since discovered is that various nuts can be substituted in the recipe – you could use ground almonds, ground hazelnuts, ground walnuts, or a combination of all three. You are also not limited to the traditional star or flower shapes.

cinnamon chocolate star cookies zimtsterne with cookie cutters

I recently came across another update to this recipe using chocolate, an idea which I have incorporated into the recipe below.

These cookies are traditionally covered in a simple icing but, this year, I couldn’t manage to contain the icing to the star shape – my first batch looked like my son had dolloped a big blob of icing over the top of each one, rendering the stars more like planets. But these cookies are actually rather sweet by themselves, and a simple dusting of icing sugar was all that was needed to make these stars twinkle.


Chocolate Cinnamon Stars (Zimtsterne)

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: About 30 cookies

Recipe inspired by Betty Bossi



  1. Using a stand mixer or electric beaters, whisk the eggwhites with the pinch of salt until stiff peaks form.
  2. Slowly add the sugar with the beaters on high speed.
  3. Reduce the speed and add the ground almonds, ground cinnamon, cocoa powder and liqueur of your choice (or vanilla extract). You should have a fairly sticky dough.
  4. Roll the dough out between two sheets of baking paper until it is about 1cm thick. Cut out shapes of your choice and place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. As the dough is fairly moist and sticky, you might need to use a palette knife or spatula to lift the cookie shapes.
  5. The cookie shapes need to dry at room temperature for about 6 hours or overnight.
  6. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  7. Bake the cookies for 3-5 minutes until they are dry to the touch.
  8. Remove the cookies to a cooling rack to dry completely.
  9. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
  10. The cookies keep well in a covered container for about 2 weeks.

Kitchen Notes

For the traditional non-chocolate version of Cinnamon Stars (or Zimtsterne), simply omit the cocoa powder and use Kirsch in place of the Frangelico or Baileys.

All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.

To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.


  • Serving Size: Nutritional info per cookie
  • Calories: 98
  • Sugar: 7.3g
  • Sodium: 9.1mg
  • Fat: 5.9g
  • Carbohydrates: 9.8g
  • Fiber: 1.8g
  • Protein: 2.8g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

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  1. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar 11 December 2015

    I bake quite a few cookies but rarely make shaped ones! I have a lot of cookie cutters too though and promised myself I’d try something this year. These might just be the thing!! 🙂

    • Eat, Little Bird 11 December 2015

      It’s always nice to try a new recipe, especially at this time of the year when it’s easy to stick to favourites. These are a variation of something we always make around Christmas, except this recipe is much easier! I hope you will enjoy this recipe 🙂

  2. These look wonderful and so Christmassy in a classy way! I love them. Jealous of all your cutters, I have round and crinkled cutters!

    • Eat, Little Bird 11 December 2015

      Thanks, Angela! I think round and crinkled cutters are all you probably need normally, but when you have kids (or you are a kid at heart ;-)), it’s fun to collect other shapes too 🙂

  3. Louise | Cygnet Kitchen 12 December 2015

    Just love these gorgeous little star cookies, Thanh, so Christmassy! They would make lovely gifts. x

    • Eat, Little Bird 13 December 2015

      Thanks, Louise! I think they make nice gifts also and hope our friends and neighbours will enjoy them!

  4. Julia 13 December 2015

    Should there be ground nuts in the recipe and method?

    • Eat, Little Bird 13 December 2015

      Goodness, I forgot the main ingredient! Thank you for pointing it out to me 🙂 I’ve updated the recipe. Hope you’ve been well 🙂

      • Julia 13 December 2015

        Lol glad it wasn’t just me!!

  5. Christine 14 December 2015

    I am definitely going to give these a go! Last year I made small jars of granola as gifts but I have new cookie cutters so I think this might be this years gift!

  6. Paula 18 December 2015

    I love them!!

    Well, that’s true! It took me 10 seconds to see the stars!
    While I was drooling for your pretzel cutter and your spoon!

    Perhaps we don’t see us before, so merry Christmas!!!!

  7. Natali 26 November 2017

    Do I understand correctly? Is there no butter or flour in this cookie?))

    • Eat, Little Bird 26 November 2017

      Hi Natali,
      Yes, that is correct. There is no butter or flour in this recipe. The ground nuts are using in place of flour, so the recipe is gluten-free.

  8. Rose 21 March 2018

    We always eat Zimtsterne at Christmas and this version looks delicious!

  9. Julia 13 April 2018

    Beautiful presentation! Great Christmas Idea! You make it sound so easy! Can’t wait to try this one!