How to make Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

by Kristen on December 10, 2012 · 45 comments

in Crafts

When I was a kid, a friend of mine gave me a cinnamon heart, and I remember keeping it as one of my special treasures for quite some time. I think I kept it in one of my dresser drawers, and I remember that it smelled good for ages.

I’d kind of forgotten about that until recently, when I saw a couple of cinnamon ornament recipes circulating around the web. So, I though it would be fun to make a batch of them with my kids.

Fortunately, they’re really simple and they require only a few inexpensive ingredients: applesauce, cinnamon, and glue.

I used cheap unsweetened commercial applesauce because heaven knows I’m not going to waste my precious homemade applesauce on inedible ornaments.

And you can get cinnamon for $1 or less…it’s $0.99 at Aldi, and I think you can sometimes get it for $0.50 a bottle at dollar stores.

The glue showed up in some recipes I saw and not in others, so we made a batch with glue and a batch without, and I have to say, there was no appreciable difference. So, I’d label that as an optional ingredient.

To make the dough for these, just mix 2 cups of applesauce and two cups of cinnamon (and a tablespoon of glue if you like.)

The dough should be fairly stiff, or it’ll be too sticky to roll out. So if it seems too wet, just mix in a bit more cinnamon.

Dust your countertop with cinnamon, and roll the dough out, just like you would if you were making real cookies.

Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out shapes. I wouldn’t choose anything too large because the possibility of breakage is higher with a large ornament.

Incidentally, I’m so used to snitching small bits of cookie dough, I very nearly ate this dough several times because it looks like a delicious sort of ginger cookie. Fortunately, I caught myself in time.

Place the ornaments on a cookie sheet, and reroll the scraps to make more ornaments.

Use a toothpick to make a hole at the top of the ornaments. Make the hole bigger than you think it should be, since the ornaments will shrink some as they dry. I just wiggled the toothpick around until the hole was large enough.

Now, several of the recipes I came across suggested baking these at 200° F for 2.5 hours, but on the day we made these, we didn’t have time for that.

So, we just left ours on the baking sheets to dry at room temperature (which does take longer, but you don’t have to actually be involved in the process!)

This took a few days, but of course, that can vary a lot depending on how dry the air in your house is. I didn’t find it necessary to put ours on racks, and I didn’t turn them until the very end, when they were quite firm and there was just a small wet spot on the bottom.

If the edges of your ornaments are a little ragged (ours were!), you can use a small piece of sandpaper to clean them up, and then they’ll look all lovely and neat.

Sanded on the left, not sanded on the right:

You can use a variety of things to make the hanger for these ornaments. I just rummaged around in my jar of spare ribbons and came up these.

Hey, did you know that if your ribbon is polyester, you can melt the ends so that they don’t fray? I just light a match, and hold the ribbon above it until the ends melt.

(Please do be careful since matches are fire and all. ;) )

Hang your ornaments on your tree. Or attach them to a package. Or make a garland with them (I think stars would be perfect for that!)

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

2 cups applesauce
2 cups cinnamon

Mix applesauce and cinnamon together, adding more cinnamon if dough seems too wet, and more applesauce if dough is too dry.

Sprinkle countertop with cinnamon, and then roll dough out to 1/4 inch thick. Cut with cookie cutters, and place ornaments on a baking sheet. Reroll scraps to make more ornaments.

Let ornaments dry on baking sheets for several days, or until completely dry. Alternatively, bake in a 200° F oven for 2.5 hours.


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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amy Dunn December 10, 2012 at 7:13 am

Hey Kristen,
Love the simplicity of these.
Do you recall how many one batch makes?


2 Kristen December 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Hmm. That really depends on the size of your cookie cutter! I think we got about 15-20 from each batch, though.


3 Joy December 10, 2012 at 7:51 am

It’s a wonderful idea but would be terribly expensive in this country where cinnamon is expensive.


4 Kristen December 10, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Oh, what a bummer! Cinnamon is very affordable here in the U.S., unless you’re buying a super fancy brand.


5 Economies of Kale December 10, 2012 at 7:56 am

These look great and easy to make :) I would also have tried to eat pieces of it, but I guess it wouldn’t be bad for you, just have a strong cinnamon taste.


6 Kristen December 10, 2012 at 2:48 pm

The glue made me hesitate!


7 Ellen S December 10, 2012 at 9:13 am

Very cute!n Might have to try these..(but maybe not this year….) We have done Salt oraments in the past… that come out cute.
Also If you want to make a bigger whole, use a straw. (that I what we use! )


8 Kristen December 10, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Oh, duh! What a good idea.


9 Diane December 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm

I was thinking I’d try a juice box straw, LOL! Not that I buy juice boxes, but there’s a straw still in the wrapper in the junk drawer. Came from a box lunch at some event or other. Win-win as I see it because it gets something out of the junk drawer, too. Going to try these today! I know I won’t be able to resist a bite of dough, so I’ll skip the glue.


10 Melissa December 10, 2012 at 9:13 am

Love this! I am going to try it with my kids this week.


11 Stacey December 10, 2012 at 9:38 am

These sound really easy to make.
Can I just query the instructions. You say “adding more cinnamon if dough seems too dry, and more applesauce if dough is too wet.” Should that not be the other way round, “more cinnamon if dough seems too wet, and more applesauce if dough is too dry.”


12 Cindy December 10, 2012 at 9:55 am

You can also use markers to decorate these after they are dry. We have some from at least 10 years ago and they still smell good.


13 Kristen December 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Thank you-I must have been having a brain cramp.


14 Renata December 10, 2012 at 9:48 am

They seem really simple and I bet they smell amazing. Cool way to make attractive air freshener? I think I will have to try these. Thank you


15 Sarah December 10, 2012 at 9:58 am

Thank you so much for posting this today! I’ve been contemplating making these and spending the time searching the web for the recipe was tempting me to give up on the idea.


16 Kristen December 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm

You know, I almost wonder if my cinnamon heart was from you! Does that ring a bell?


17 Sarah December 11, 2012 at 8:32 pm

It does! I wondered the same thing :)


18 Rebecca December 10, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Make these with the bulk, cheap spices, not the super good stuff. I have also added cloves or nutmeg, and a little flour to make them not so wet.

When they dry you can paint them with white puffy paint, they look like gingerbread men.


19 Diane December 10, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Love this idea. Thanks!


20 Inga December 10, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Funny enough, we just made these last night. The house smells awesome and it was so hard not to eat the dough!


21 Randi December 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Our 6yr old water cooler( bottom loading) stopped sucking up water ( we live in California, and have hard water so its a necessity for us to drink bottled water). My partner wanted to buy a new one( 100.00+) and I said No, lets see if the part is availble. I called the company and they have a new part( 12.50, plus 10.00 shipping) . Hopefully, that will work. You inspired me to call and get a new part.


22 Nell December 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm

These look great! Thanks for your blog – I love it! Xx


23 Rochelle December 10, 2012 at 5:08 pm

We made these last year for my daughter to give as gifts to her friends and family. They are great to hang in the car as an air freshener as well. You can also add a handful of glitter to the dough for a little sparkle. I love making these, so easy. and you are so right the smell is amazing.


24 Mary Hart December 10, 2012 at 8:01 pm

These also look very pretty decorated with glitter. I have several that an aunt made that are at least 20 years old -they are treasures!


25 Amanda December 10, 2012 at 8:15 pm

I’ve made these and decorated them with glitter glue. They make the house smell wonderful!


26 Farmer Kim December 10, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Since my kids love to roll out dough this would be a great craft for them. I like Rochelle’s idea to use these for a car air freshener and Mary Hart’s idea to add glitter. Maybe my car would not smell like we basically lived in it. The glitter would add some glam to my life too.


27 SarahD December 10, 2012 at 10:34 pm

We made these 6 years ago and they’re still smelling pretty nice. It was a really fun project!! After they were dry, the kids used fabric paints to decorate them.


28 Becky December 14, 2012 at 8:05 pm

These are an all time favorite, I have made them with friends’ children many times. We have added red, gold, and green glitter in the “batter” as well!


29 Meredith December 18, 2012 at 9:11 am

I just made these with my almost 3 year-old, and he loved it! My aunt asked for “something homemade” and “some ornaments for the tree” the day before you posted this, and these are going to be perfect. Thanks!


30 Katie December 18, 2012 at 11:42 am

I made these with my kids and we were super excited about them! Unfortunately, I had a problem with them sticking to the pans and the backs are very unfinished looking. Is that normal? Or was my dough too wet so it should have cooked longer? I saved a few that didn’t break and I will use them as air freshener here and in our cars, but I’m not sure I can gift them this year. Any info for correcting it next year would be great. My kids had a blast! :)


31 Kristen December 18, 2012 at 11:48 am

Oh, man, that’s so sad! I didn’t grease my pans at all and I just let mine air dry. Once they were nice and dry, they weren’t difficult to remove from the pan.

Did you let them cool thoroughly after you baked them?

I wish I had something more helpful to say…but I’m clueless since I didn’t bake mine. Darn.


32 Robin B August 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm

I’ve used a window screen to dry them – you just pop one out of a window and they dry on both sides at the same time – never had them stick.


33 Jeanne Stewart November 17, 2013 at 2:07 am

This is something I used to do with my children and grand children. That was years ago and now I want to make them with my great grandchildren. I Just couldn’t remember the ratio. Thank you for putting it up……Thank you


34 Nevaeh November 27, 2013 at 7:04 pm

That is so cool and won’t it make you house like cinnamon


35 Charmaine Wolfe December 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Just what I was looking for! I needed this recipe to make keepsakes in the shape of a fleur de lis. this will go with the thank you cards from my mother’s funeral. Thank you for sharing.


36 Susan Marlatt December 2, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Thanx for the cinnamon ornament recipe! Would love T-shirt and back. Merry Christmas!!!!


37 Rakeshal Grace December 5, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Thanks for all the tips. I am a kindergarten teacher and I am always looking for cute easy ideas to help keep my kids enjoying school. I just hope my ornaments come out as nice as yours.


38 Becca Smith December 7, 2013 at 11:58 am

Thanks for the helpful information. I plan on making these with my students.


39 Sandra December 8, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Thank you for the detail steps. I did this with my 1st grade class last year and I looped to 2nd grade with most of my students and they want to do it again this year.


40 Mary December 11, 2013 at 1:17 pm

We did the mix in a big ziplock baggie – it was simple for the kids and the bag got tossed when done! We used puffy glitter paints on some which were cute with the lights. They still have their smell year after year (store them in a ziplock thru the season) – 12 yrs and counting.


41 Pallie Spadafino February 15, 2014 at 6:15 pm

These are great little ornaments but the part that no one seems to be aware of the the insect repellent properties of these. You can make small strings of these – I use nylon cord and 1 inch diamonds for mine. I then hang them around all the windows and doors and it keeps any little bugs like gnats and mosquitoes from coming in. I was taught this back in the 1950′s and and still using it today so I know it works very well.


42 Anna February 23, 2014 at 3:23 am

Thank you so much for sharing…it sounds really delightful!! God Willing i will use this recipe to make Americana stars etc. Thank you again…God In Heaven loves you all so much!!


43 Perkins September 22, 2014 at 10:45 am

I just made some of these with the glue. It was quite a mess:( But, your recipe and instructions are much better. It seems that it’s just equal parts of cinnamon and applesauce. One thing I do have, is two 1/4″ wooden dowels about 16″ long. I put them along side of whatever I’m rolling out and then roll the rolling pin over them. It keeps things the same depth:) If you don’t have dowels, you can use anything, even stacks of paper to the thickness you want. Necessity is the mother of invention. Thanks for this neat recipe and all of your input, it’s great. I’ll be making these today:) Oh, I don’t know if you have an Ollies near you, but the cinnamon was $2.49 for 12.5 oz. Oh yeah, I use a straw from the fast food drinks I get:)


44 alyse webb October 20, 2014 at 1:07 am

You have the most clever ideas and they are thrifty too. Thank you.


45 Betsy October 20, 2014 at 12:17 pm

I eliminated the glue (made some with glue and some without – same results). I used the same amounts of cinnamon and applesauce. I put the cookies in a 200 degree oven for about 3 minutes, turned the oven off and left them over night. Then I air dried them for a couple of days. Another thing I did, and it proved to be very beneficial, was I put the dough in a plastic bag and left it on the counter for a day. The dough was so much easier to use and didn’t break or crack like it does when you try and use it right after mixing. Really nice. And, I used a straw I got from a drink at a fast food place:) If the dough sticks in the straw, just blow it out. You can either reuse the hole or use it for decorations on your cookie:)


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