You will love every bite of these chewy, buttery, and delicious German cinnamon roll cookies (Zimtschnecken Kekse). These cookies only need a handful of ingredients, and require no special skills to make.
why you will love these cookies
- buttery and delicious.
- perfect for the holidays and your weekend baking.
- easy and straightforward recipe.
what are Zimtschnecken Kekse?
Zimtschnecken Kekse ( or Plätzchen) are German cinnamon rolled cookies, whose name literally translates to cinnamon snails. They are made to capture the flavors of cinnamon rolls, but, in a cookie form.
They typically include flour, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, butter, eggs and cinnamon as ingredients. Unlike their American counterparts they tend not to have a sweet glaze or icing on top, similar to the frosting on a cinnamon roll.
how to make the cookies
This recipe can be made in one session, but I find making it the day before and chilling the dough overnight easiest.
We start by combining flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. We then add the egg yolk, vanilla extract, butter, and soft cheese. Use your hands to knead the dough until its well combined, taking care not to overwork it.
So you don't incorporate too much flour and affect the taste and texture of the cookies, roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper.
We then want to gently and evenly roll from the center towards the edges. This technique helps maintain the dough's integrity and helps avoid getting cracks in the dough when rolling.
Brush the dough with melted butter. Combine cinnamon and sugar in a bowl, and evenly distribute this on top of the dough.
Next comes the fun part! Tightly roll the dough along the long side to a log. Wrap it in plastic wrap (clingfilm) and chill it in the fridge for at least 3 hours. Chilling helps the dough keep its shape and makes cutting it easier.
Next, preheat your oven. Cut dough into small slices, (each about ½ cm or ¼ inch thick). You are then going to line your baking sheet, and place the cookies on top, leaving enough space between them as they will expand as they bake.
Bake until done then cool on a wirerack. Serve or store the cookies for later.
Related recipes: For other delicious cookie recipes, how about trying this chocolate chip sugar cookies next!
tips to help you nail this recipe
- Make sure your butter and soft cheese are at room temperature. This ensures a smoother and more consistent dough texture.
- Evenly spread the filling over the dough so each cookie gets the cinnamon flavor.
- When cracks appear in your dough while rolling it out, gently press the cracked edges of the dough back together with your fingers. Alternatively, carefully smooth over the cracked area using your palm or a rolling pin to seal it.
refrigeration and freezing
Store your Zimtschnecken cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-4 weeks. The taste does, however, may deteriorate, as the cookies age.
For longer freshness, you can freeze them in a sealed container for up to 2 months. Thaw the cookies at room temperature before serving.
If you need to store the cookie dough before baking, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw frozen dough in the refrigerator before using.
more cookie recipes
Try our other delicious cookie recipes!
- Keto Crescent Cookies
- Engelsaugen - German Thumbprint Cookies
- Air fryer peanut butter cookies
- Keto Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Keto Coconut Macaroons
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Zimtschnecken Kekse - German Cinnamon Roll Cookies
To make the dough
- 200 g all-purpose flour (or 1⅔ cups) plus some more flour, for kneading
- 100 g sugar (or ½ cup)
- pinch of salt
- an egg yolk (use a medium-sized egg)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 60 g room-temperature butter (¼ cup)
- 60 g soft cheese (¼ cup)
For the filling
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add the egg yolk, vanilla extract, butter, and soft cheese. Use your hands to knead, until the dough is well soft and well combined.
- Place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper and roll it into a rectangle, about 18cm in width x 30 cm for the longest side. This is approximately 7x11 inches.
- Make the filling by mixing cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Brush the dough with melted butter and spread the cinnamon sugar on top.
- Tightly roll the dough along the long side into a log. Wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- Preheat the oven at 180°C (356°F). Remove the plastic wrap, and slice the dough into small pieces (each about ½ cm or ¼ inch thick).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the cookies on the baking sheet. Leave enough space (about 2.5 cm or 1 inch) between them.
- Bake for 10-11 minutes, remove from the oven, and allow to cool on the sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool further.
- Serve or keep in airtight cookie jars for later.