Homemade Cinnamon Ornaments

I think this is the first time I’ve posted a non-edible recipe on my blog. Yep, these cinnamon ornaments are not for eating. But I have been waiting for months to bake these ever since I found the inspiration on Pinterest. And now that we have stuffed ourselves with turkey and pie and Thanksgiving is behind us, we can move on to Christmas (yay!).

Some years we’ve gone in to the mountains and chopped a Christmas tree down, and other years we’ve just purchased one from a lot down the street. Either way, we’re real tree people. And we trim the tree while sipping spiked egg nog, with “Love Actually” playing in the background. It’s tradition.

Christmas tree hunting. #dailyjohn

Homemade Cinnamon Ornaments

And I think we have a new tradition with these homemade ornaments. They are super easy and require only two ingredients, applesauce and cinnamon. Plus, they smell incredible. Combined with a fresh pine tree, it’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas in my house.

Homemade Cinnamon Ornaments

Even though they are made with edible ingredients, these ornaments are definitely not for eating. Do not mistake them for cookies. I had to keep reminding myself of this fact while rolling and cutting them out, as I am an avid dough snitcher.

All of the ornaments are now hung on my tree and they look great. I’m ready for the holidays!

Homemade Cinnamon Ornaments

Homemade Cinnamon Ornaments
These easy homemade ornaments look great on any holiday tree and fill your house with the smell of the season.
Yield: 20-40 ornaments (depending on their size)
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1-1¼ cup (130 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground cloves (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the applesauce, cinnamon, and cloves (if using). It may take a few minutes for the mixture to come together. You want the dough to be able to form a ball without being too sticky. Add additional applesauce or cinnamon if needed. You can mix the dough by hand, it may just take longer.
  3. Sprinkle a clean surface with cinnamon (like you would with flour while rolling out pie dough). Place the dough on the surface and sprinkle with more cinnamon. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough to ¼ inch thick, sprinkling with more cinnamon to keep from sticking.
  4. Cut out into desired shapes and place on the prepared sheet pan so that they aren't touching. Use a skewer to poke a hole into each ornament (to attach string). Bake in the preheated oven for 1½ - 2 hours or until rock hard.
  5. Loop a decorative string through the ornament and hang on your tree.
Notes: Ornaments may also be dried at room temperature over several days.

Ornaments are not extremely fragile, but they can break. Handle with care.

Do not eat.

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    92 Responses to Homemade Cinnamon Ornaments

    1. Flavia says:

      What a fun project! Although they aren’t edible, I love that they are made with edible ingredients. I’m going to have to try this.

    2. With all that cinnamon they’ll have a wonderful aroma that will last throughout the holidays. Great idea. Would be a cool project for children too.

    3. Adorable! The ornaments and little John. I love that twine you tied with the ornaments as well!

    4. I remember doing these as a kid and always loved the smell of them. I am adding them to my to-do list this year!

    5. What a cute idea! And such a cute Christmas tradition. Ours used to be heading to Home Depot, hubs in his green Xmas vest, to choose the best tree. Now we just break open the box and BOOM, she’s up! No smell, but no mess.

    6. Sues says:

      These are stunning! I definitely want to try making my own!

    7. Love these! I made these 6 years ago when Hubs and I were very first married and that’s all we had to put on the tree 🙂 They still smell wonderful, we’ve only broken a few, and they are just so cute! I used some glue and super fine glitter to put dots on some of them and they are really cute too with a little sparkle! Looking forward to your cookie class this weekend too !

    8. Lynna says:

      Totally loving this idea! I definitely want to try!

    9. Erika Beth says:

      I made these this weekend and also decorated them. Just blogged about it: http://lifestooshorttoskipdessert.blogspot.com/2012/12/potpourri-baked-cinnamon-christmas.html
      Thanks for posting. My roomie and I enjoyed this project very much!

    10. Gail says:

      Such well done ornaments! You brought a modern look to a long-lived craft, too.

    11. Sherri says:

      Just be careful when making a lot of these put on a mask or damp dishtowel over your nose and mouth if you have asthma, etc. I made 200 big heart ones with my pampered chef mold (which also calls for glue in the recipe so you can keep it much longer) and gave myself pneumonia from breathing in the cinnamon. I love them though

    12. martha says:

      Can you roll out the dough and keep until the next day? Would love to make these at school with my kids but need to make the dough at home.

    13. Jessica says:

      What is the best way to store these?

    14. Annelie says:

      Where do i get, or what is the Applesauce?


    15. Sharene says:

      I don’t want to sound ignorant but what are cloves? I have heard of garlic cloves, but not just cloves by itself. Where in the store do we get them?

      • Annalise says:

        Cloves are a spice commonly used in fall and holiday baking. You can find ground and whole cloves in the baking aisle next to the cinnamon and similar spices.

    16. Jan says:

      you preheat the oven to 200…is the temperature you bake them at for the whole cooking time as well?

    17. Jan says:

      thankyou so very much! GREAT idea! Love it! Just a great way to use my new 18 piece cookie cutters and give them to my great niece and nephew for their tree. Nice indeed!

    18. Heather Hunt says:

      Would these make okay gifts? Do they last from year to year? Thanks!

      • CS says:

        Yes, Heather. I made some with my mom about 20 years ago. They’ve finally “had it,” though, with all the moves (countless), and now my current location moisture is a problem for these old things.
        You’ll want to store them in an air-tight container, perhaps even a vacuum bag type and then put that into a hard-shell container to keep the cookies from breaking.
        I know it’s nearly a year late, but I hope this helps you (and others).

    19. True Bias says:

      Just made these with my daughter and they turned out great. Thanks so much for the post!

    20. Kata says:

      Your very pretty photo is here: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/463167142899059790/
      Did you know about it?

    21. Love these! I’m so sharing in my DIY Christmas series on Facebook and Pinterest!

    22. Tanya says:

      I tried these today and followed the recipe including cloves. Mine rolls out okay, but seems really wet and once have pressed the cookie cutter into the dough I can’t get them off the counter without them breaking apart. What am I doing wrong ? I used unsweetened apple sauce and I have granite counters, is that an issue?

      • Annalise says:

        Are you “flouring” your work surface and dough with cinnamon? Use cinnamon like you would flour when rolling out a pie crust or sugar cookies. The cinnamon keeps the dough from sticking. Add as much as you need! I hope this helps!

    23. Megan Jones says:

      Thank you so much, they turned out great! A tip for making the holes, we used a straw and it made perfect holes for the ornaments

    24. Sarah P says:

      First, I stirred this dough up on December 31st, but had time TODAY to make them…they turned out fine, so I’d say the dough keeps well. I made these to put in baskets as a potpourri, but my husband had the amazing idea of using them as accents to gift jars! I will be making these again and again!!!! Thank you for posting this recipe!

      • Annalise says:

        Glad to hear the recipe still worked after such a long break! And I love the idea of using them with gift tags!

    25. pat moyers says:

      I found that I did not need as much cinnamon if I poured the applesauce into a fine mesh sieve and let it drain overnight.

    26. CS says:

      Thank you for posting the recipe. Got here by way of Pinterest.
      I made some w/ my mom about 20 years ago, and they are. . . well, it’s time for them to be replaced. But I never knew what the recipe was! Now I can do this with my daughter! Very exciting. And I’m glad I read all the comments, to get some of the “tips” to use, too. 🙂

      • Annalise says:

        Welcome! 🙂 I’m so happy to hear that the ones you made with your Mom lasted 20 years. The ones I made for this post are still intact and make an appearance on our tree every year!

    27. Claire says:

      My house smelled wonderful when I made these this past weekend. Question: How do you keep them from cracking? Mine did fine, but some of the surfaces are not completely smooth. I may have just handled them too much when piercing the holes.

      • Annalise says:

        I think a few of mine had a little cracking as well. Might just be those parts are a little drier? Or yes, maybe it’s just that they were handled too much. Hopefully you have enough pretty ones to hang on the tree!

    28. Suzanne Holt says:

      Very fun way to make handmade ornaments and also deodorize your house. Pinned to my “Natural Christmas” board.

    29. Teresa says:

      Can’t wait to make these but I was wondering if it would work if I put glitter in the dough while mixing! Do you think it would make them brittle?

    30. Candace says:

      Can you paint these??? Will it mask the scent???

    31. Sandra says:

      Could you use a dehumidifier instead of an oven? Its baking season so my oven is usually filled with cookies.

      • Annalise says:

        What a great question! I’m sure you can, but I imagine it will a bit longer. I’m sorry, I don’t have much experience with humidifiers.

    32. When do you poke the hole for the twine? It seems like if I wait until it is hard, it would crack. So excited to make these!!!

    33. Chariness Rivera says:

      Do they ever rot??

    34. Kelly says:

      These turned out great and my house smells amazing! Thanks so much for the recipe.
      I was wondering where you found that adorable twine?

    35. This is such a cute idea! I really wanna try these out this year. And I love that it’s only 3 ingredients! 🙂

    36. Amanda says:

      did you mean dry these out on the counter for days instead of baking them??

    37. Carin Huber says:

      I made these a few years ago and learned two very important things:

      1) Be very certain you put these in a DRY place to dry. They can mold if they don’t dry quickly enough, which will happen if there’s the least bit of humidity around them.

      2) If they do start to mold before they dry, DO NOT PUT THEM IN THE OVEN TO DRY, NOT EVEN ON “WARM.” Your eyes and lungs will hate you for hours if you heat that amount of cinnamon.

      • Annalise says:

        Thanks so much for the tips Carin! I live in a very dry climate, so this never was an issue for me, but I’m sure this will be helpful to other readers!

    38. I’m curious – how would these be as far as attracting pests? My only concern would be ants or something that might be attracted to the sugar in the applesauce. (Although I imagine the cinnamon would prevent bugs from actually eating them.)

      Lastly, do I understand that these would be used only for the year & discarded at the end of the season?

      Lovely & a great idea for time with my son!!

    39. Terri says:

      Was wondering about putting a little cinnamon oil like you use for candy in the mix or after they loose some of their scent. Has anyone ever done this?

    40. Kat says:

      Adorable! I made these back in elementary and will be making them with my daycare class in a few weeks. Could these be baked on newspaper instead of parchment paper?

    41. Janna says:

      I have these in my oven right now. My house smells wonderful. 🙂

    42. Florence says:

      just tried to make these…after over an hour trying to get the mixture to form a not too sticky ball by beating in my stand mixer and using measured ingredients as specified and adding more cinnamon…it never got manageable, very wet and sticky…had to give up and toss it all….how long is a few minutes and at what speed should it be mixed at and what went wrong…. 🙁

    43. susie says:

      Thank you…I foolishly began with another recipe and worked for over TWO HOURS trying to figure out how to keep them from sticking to everything I tried-CINNAMON! Worked like a jewel and they are baking right now.

      How do you store them in-between seasons?

      Thank you, again, Annalise 😉

    44. sireesha says:

      Instead of applesauce what I can use bec it is not available in India

      • Adrianne says:

        Can you get apples? If so you can just make your own. Applesauce is just pureed apples. I cannot get applesauce in Italy either so I just make my own when I need it. Probably should strain or cook out some of the liquid for this recipe.

    45. Marie says:

      We made cinnamon ornaments about 20 years ago. They are just now wearing out. We used white liquid glue instead of applesauce. After baking and cooling, my children painted and decorated them. The gingerbread people look really cute with rickrack sewing trim glued on them.

    46. Candace says:

      Just wondering can you refrigerat any leftovers if you don’t use all

    47. mallory says:

      what am i doing wrong?!!! i measured it all what you wrote.. and its not forming in a ball, and i used a mixer… HELP- I’m a teacher of the deaf so this is perfect for my kiddos on monday but i can’t get it into a ball.. what am i doing wrong?!!

      • Margie says:

        I had to mash mine in to a ball with my hands and add a tad more applesauce because it was too dry… it is also taking over the 2 hours to cook in the oven. I added two tablespoons of glue to them as well to make them harder (recommended in another similar recipe)

    48. Anna says:

      I made these last year with glue and apple sauce and they turned out wonderful, the smell is still awesome. My kids and I used glitter glue on them and they turned out great. Thank you for posting the recipe . I’m making them again tomorrow for the teachers 12 days of Christmas baskets.

    49. Jacquie says:

      I followed the measurements exactly and had them mixing in my stand mixer with the paddle attachment. I have been adding a ton of extra cinnamon to try to get it to become a ball but it’s more like whipped cream. Help!!!

    50. Kayla says:

      Love this recipe! Mine turned out great, except they sort of warped in the oven. This is my second batch. I made them a little thinner so maybe that’s why.

      BUT with my first batch, I think the parchment paper absorbed too much moisture from the cookies, which caused the paper to warp in the oven and created small perpendicular lines across one side of the cookie. Any thoughts? Perhaps air drying them might fix that…

    51. Tami says:

      I made these tonight! I followed the recipe but I doubled the ingredients. The dough was wet & sticky so I added more cinnamon & then decided to use my mixer wondering if it would thicken. I don’t have a paddle so I used my beaters which made it bigger & airy & kinda like a whipped frostine (whoops!). I didn’t know how to salvage them so I took my 11 year olds advise to spread them on the cookie sheet w parchment paper. We let them dry for 5 or 10 minutes in the oven (they began to dry out fairly quickly). When they became more solid, we cut the shapes & ribbon holes & put them back in to dry. I think they should turn out well! Although, they make break easier & probably aren’t as smooth as if we had been able to roll them out. *Thanks for sharing! It made 30+ medium sized shapes. If we could’ve rolled the dough, less would’ve been wasted & it would’ve made a few more.

    52. diane says:

      this is the best sight. so simple. yet so beautiful. thankyou!

    53. Kathy says:

      I also made these cinnamon ornaments 20 years ago with my kids, now Its Feb 21, 2015 and I will make them with my grandson. I did use glue 2 tab. After baking them we used fabric and craft paint, put dots of paint on xmas tree ornaments then put small rhinestones in the center of the large dot dried in about 24 hours. they are beautiful, also used Tulip colorpoint paintstitching to decorate, any fabric paint will work. Kept them in a plastic container in the attic with my Christmas decorations for 20 plus years, and still to this day when I open them they look and smell great. Its a fun thing to do any time of the year.

    54. Ashley says:

      I absolutely love this! My mom made these about 22 years ago when my eldest sister was a baby. We still have them, and they still smell amazing!

    55. Rebecca says:

      These look awesome! Have you tried painting designs on them? I’m just wondering how well the paint stays on.

    56. Dawn says:

      I made these years ago when my daughters were little. Every year we took them out to put on our tree, we rubbed sandpaper across the back to freshen them up.
      Enjoy the memories,

    57. Melissa says:

      Any tips for someone who doesn’t have a stand up mixer?

    58. Shannon says:

      My kids and I loved making these. I think we will have to do another batch before Christmas! I gave them to my yoga students this week and then had to get the recipe up on my site to share! Check it out and thanks for the inspiration. http://www.shannoncrow.com/cinnamon-christmas-tree-ornaments/

    59. Patricia says:

      I must share a funny tale about these ‘cookies’… I had made a batch of them to use a ‘bowl fillers’ and they were sitting on a plate on my kitchen counter. My father came for a visit. Soon after he arrived, we went out shopping and while we were in the car, he remarked “Daughter, you are usually an excellent baker, but those cookies you made were terrible. I almost broke a tooth they were so hard!” Oh my word, it took a few seconds to remember what cookies I had baked (I hadn’t!) and then it dawned on me they were the applesauce cinnamon bowl fillers!! He was not amused.

    60. Autumn says:

      I was wondering if I could use ginger instead of cloves ?

    61. Debbie says:

      Thank you for sharing your recipe. I have never seen these in the U.K before and decided to have a go at making them. They looked fantastic on our tree and the Christmas smell they created was very nostalgic. I made my own apple sauce using old apples puréed with a little water as I could not find any applesauce. I will definitely be making some more next year. Thank you!

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