Sunday, December 21, 2014

Cinnamon Salt Dough Ornaments

Over the years, I have made more salt dough ornaments than I can count. I have collections that go back to when our oldest kids were very small. Salt dough is a wonderful inexpensive way to make ornaments, and you can use the salt dough in so many ways, from shaping and sculpting, to rustic cookie cutter gingerbread type ornaments.  The kids have always enjoyed making them, and I have too.   I tweaked the dough a little, this time around, by adding  ground cinnamon and essential oils to it, it is simple, smells heavenly and comes out with that old fashioned "ginger bread", "Little House on the Prairie" primitive look.The aroma begins while mixing the dough, continues through the baking and is still heavenly while hanging on the tree… the only negative is that you can't eat them when you take them out of the oven… and you will wish you could.

        I have created a video on Skillshare for          
this class. Click here for the video.
 Click the link to try Chocolate Salt Dough

Gather together ingredients.  You will need:

3 Cups All Purpose Flour

1 cup Cinnamon

1 Cup Salt

1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups water

Essentail Oils of choice

Make the dough as follows:
Measure dry ingredients together into a mixing bowl.

Stir well….

…..until completely blended.

Reserve a 1/2 cup of the mixture to dust the bottom of your work space with, and set aside.

This will prevent sticking when rolling out the dough; you could also dust with powdered cinnamon.

Drip several drops of Essential Oil into the water and stir well.

Pour water into the mixture gradually, stirring as you pour.

Continue to add and stir until mixture becomes a nice ball of dough; 

You don't want a sticky consistency, but a smooth consistency.
Place dough onto the floured surface.

Pat down.

Roll out like cookie dough to about 1/4 an inch thick.

Cut out the shapes and move them quickly to a greased cookie sheet.

Left over dough from the cutouts can be worked into another ball of dough and rolled out again.

It re-rolls very  nicely.  Keep the dough in the refrigerator while not using, or allow to sit in the refrigerator for a few minutes, if the dough gets too soft.

This one's for you  "Shorty".

Cut holes where you desire them, using a toothpick, or a straw.  If you use a tooth pick, work the hole with the toothpick, until it is the desired size. You can allow the toothpick to remain while baking, to keep the hole from closing (I did this for the smaller ornaments that I wanted smaller holes… but didn't want them to close up).  A straw makes a nice clean opening, but is a little large for the smaller ornaments.

Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes to an hour or more, until the ornaments are dry.

Tie up with string, ribbon or strips of "Homespun" type material.

You can use peppercorns or cloves for eyes if you like (put them into the dough before baking).

If you want to try Chocolate Salt Dough, click  here

Cinnamon Salt Dough Ornaments

3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup ground Cinnamon powder
1 cup salt
1 /1/2 to 1 3/4 cup water
Essential Oils

Extra Ingredients:
Pepper Corns, cloves or beads for eyes
Straws or Toothpicks to make holes to hang the ornaments
Ribbon, twine or strips of "Homespun" type material

1.   Mix together Flour, Cinnamon and Salt.
2.   Stir well and until completely blended
3.   Add desired amount of Essential oils to water and stir well.
4.   Pour water into flour and salt mixture, stirring as you pour.  Mix until well blended, using just
      enough water to make a workable dough.
5.   Form, shape or cut out ornaments.  Place on greased cookie sheet (you can also use parchment             paper, or sprinkle flour or Cinnamon on the Cookie Sheet to prevent the ornaments from sticking).
6.  Bake at 300 degrees 30 minutes to an hour, until the ornaments are hard.

Decorate however it suits you.  I have sometimes finished these ornaments with lacquer, lacquer spray and paraffin wax (melt the wax and dip the ornament).  This year they are rustic and unfinished… they look like cookies this way. Store in a dry environment, and they will last for many years.

Little glitter fingers…. scrumptious!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!


  1. These look beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I think I need to make time for me and the boys to make some of these in the next day or two!

  2. I was thinking about googling a recipe for these very things the other day. :) Thanks for sharing your recipe they turned out adorable.I LOVE the cinnamon smell idea too.

  3. Winston and I are enjoying this post all over again this morning. He loved the one with the sparkly hands the most :) This was so much fun and I am so glad you documented it!

    I love you!!

  4. these are lovely!
    thinking of trying to make some with brownie guides

    did one batch of that dough make all the ornaments pictured? trying to work out quantities

    1. Thank you Rebecca. They really were fun to make, and smelled so wonderful. I am trying to remember how much dough I made for this project; I think I must have I made two batches, but I'm not completely sure; It may have been only one batch... I'm sorry that I can;t tell you for certain. It stores nicely in a ziplock in the refrigerator for several days, so you can make it up a day or two before you need it, Hope it goes well for you and thank you for your comments and for stopping by.

  5. Hi, I am keen to try this project with my grandchildren, the gingerbread men look wonderful, I am just wondering wether you mean a cup as in tea cup or a mug for quantities?
    thanks in advance
    Angela x

  6. Hi Angela,
    A cup as in a 1 cup measurement (This is a standard American cooking measurement). If you use a large tea cup or medium sized mug, that hold 8 ounces of water, they would work, as long as you measure everything with the same standard of measure, you'll be fine, even if it is a bit off of what I'm measuring with.

  7. I made these today exactly as recipe said and they ended up with a white finish instead of the brown. What did I do wrong and can it be fixed by using polyurethane on them?

    1. Hi Risky,
      The white finish may be the result of rolling it out in flour... which has happened to me before. Here are a few things you can do: you can spray or paint the polyurethane on them as you said, and that will work fine, although, it may interfere with the scent. You can also try Mod Podge over them, or you can do what I have often done, which is to add a little essential oil to some cooking oil, and rub it lightly all over the cooked gingerbread men. It will look very pretty, and is a quick and lovely smelling solution. Rub it in with your finger, and dab any excess off with a cotton cloth.

    2. I didn't roll the dough out in flour. I used parchment paper to roll it out.

    3. Mine also have a white appearance. I am going to try Mod Podge and see what happens.

  8. Can you give an estimate of approximately how many "medium" sized ornaments this recipe will make?

    1. Megan, I couldn't say in absolutes, not knowing the true size of your cookie cutters, but I believe I can say it may make about 1 1/2 to 2 dozen medium sized ornaments (according to my own idea of what I would consider medium sized). Hope that helps a little.

  9. I made these. Super easy! The only thing wrong is some came out discoloured. I wish I could upload a pic to show you what I mean. Most of the face was whitish with spots that were darker. Why would that be?

    1. Hi Judy, I love to hear that you gave these a try. Love the clove idea that you mentioned. The blotching could could happen if:
      1). If they weren't thoroughly stirred together, when mixing the flour and cinnamon,
      2). If they weren't thoroughly mixed and kneaded after adding water,
      3). If you got water or flour on them after they were rolled and cut.

      If you look closely in my pictures you can see that mine also had a bit of color variation, blotchiness, and even a bit of white. They will lighten. somewhat, after baking, and what I do is rub essential oils over them or an essential oil and cooking oil mixture; it brings back the beautiful color and enhances that delicious cinnamon scent. I would try it for any blotchiness you might have. I believe that will even the color out. I have rubbed the essential oil on them before cooking, and it looks nice that way too, but will create a slight variation in the texture. I hope it goes well for you, and I'm glad you like them and yes, they do make lovely gifts.

  10. Mine turned out whitish, too, though some of them were blotched with dark parts. Lovely to make and give as gifts. I used whole cloves as the buttons and eyes.

  11. Are they supposed to puff up while baking?

    1. Some of them will puff. If you look closely at some of my pictures, you will see that some of them are puffy, some are flat. To me it is just part of the home baked look, but I have tried a few things such as variation in temperature, to stop them from puffing... but haven't gotten a solution. You can try using a commercial aluminum baking Sheet, I get my best results when I cook them on that.

  12. I'm going to try these this year. Last year I made real ones and during rainy weather, they got soft and fell off the ribbons. I think these would work better! Thanks for posting!

    1. Thanks for the comment Joy, I hope you have great success. These will definitely hold up better than the real cookies, and will smell so wonderful as well. Have fun.

  13. What is the purpose of the Essential Oils? Could regular flavorings be substituted?

    1. Hi Marcee, the essential oils make the dough ornaments smell wonderful... the smell reminds me of fresh baked cookies and cakes. You could use flavorings, but the smell will not be nearly as strong.

  14. Hi Pam,

    Have you saved any of these for next years use? If so how do they hold onto their scent.

    Thank you for your time. I'm thinking about trying and adding YL Christmas spirit. Just wondering if I should save them for another year or toss after this Christmas.

  15. Thanks for the recipe! Any chance this could be used to make a somewhat large gingerbread house?

    1. Marya, I haven't tried it for gingerbread houses, but I don't see why it wouldn't work. Play around with it and if you do, let me know I would love to hear if it worked. Thanks for the comment.

  16. So cute! How long does the smell last?!

  17. Just made a batch for gifts this year. Super easy and smell good. A little puffy. I baked them for 50 mins. Still a little soft in the middle but hopefully will harden

  18. Going to try these, for our yearly Christmas gift ornament. I'm going to make a flour and cinnamon mixture without the salt, to see if I can avoid the white spots.

    1. I hope it goes well for you; If you leave out the salt, they may not last as long from year to year, as the salt helps to preserve them... but you never know until you try, so good luck. Just as a note, if you do get any white spots, just rub with essential oil, or even cooking oil will take care of it.

  19. I used a recipe similar to this. The ratio was a little different. 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup cinnamon, 1/2 cup salt, 3/4 cup of very warm water. I also crushed some clove and star anise into a powder- not much, maybe a tsp. Also, I did not bake. I let them sit for at least 24hr's. Instead of using flour to keep dough from sticking when rolling out, I used cinnamon. This is my first time ever making these, and they came out great! The kids loved decorating them!

    1. Thank you for the comment. I loved hearing about the things you have tried. Great tips.