I'm going to preface this post with a disclaimer... I'm not a baker. It's not a talent of mine... I can make a dirndl fit someone in Canada without ever seeing them, but making cupcakes from a box is about as far as my baking skills go. However, I do believe that baking Christmas cookies is a tradition not to be lost. Luckily for me, my soon to be husband likes baking traditional german cookies too!

Here is a video from a while back of me attempting a classic German Cookie recipe (start at about :45)

My grandfather was a baker, but not just your run of the mill baker of cookies and cakes here and there. He was a master at his craft! His recent passing has my entire family wishing we learned more about baking from him, but he was pretty protective of his recipes, often changing things based on the weather, which makes his cookies very hard to replicate. My uncle is working on it and he makes a wicked good rye bread, so I'm hopeful that Grandpa's cookies will come back to life through Uncle Art!
Anywhooo, traditional german cookies and baking them with family during Christmas is a tradition that I think children and adults alike will always remember.

Here is a great list of traditional german Christmas cookies from germany-insider-facts.com perfect for your  sweet tooth. 


These classic german Christmas cookies are made with hazelnuts and are quick and easy to make.

german christmas cookies Macaroons



These shortcrust pastry Christmas cookies are created in several patterns by adding cocoa powder to one part of the dough. They're great for the holiday season! 

german gingerbread cookies Schwarz-Weiß-Gebäck


Also known as German gingerbread is slightly different to British gingerbread. The harder version of Lebkuchen is used to make gingerbread houses and gingerbread hearts sold at fairs and carnivals. Nuremberg Lebkuchen are well-known around the world. They are soft, and often baked on Oblaten (a thin wafer base). The finest variety is the Elisenlebkuchen that contains almost no flour.

german christmas cookies Lebkuchen


A spiced shortcrust cookie from Belgium and the Netherlands where it is eaten all around the year. In German regions that border these countries Spekulatius is a favourite Christmas cookie.

classic german christmas cookies  Spekulatius


Some sources claim the Spitzbuben to be an original Swiss recipe, however, the biscuits filled with red currant jam are very common in Germany during the holiday season as well. 

a jam filled sandwich cookies with powdered sugar


These are little pieces of art. You need a mould plate or roller to make the sweets with the pictures on top.

christmas cookies german butter cookies


Butter cookies

Although you can buy butter cookies all year round, these are not exactly the same as the Butterplätzchen made for Christmas.

christmas cookies Butter Cookies

Aachener Printen 

These are a type of Lebkuchen sweetened with sugar beet syrup instead of honey. Aachener Printen is a protected regional term, you’ll find Printen bakeries only in Aachen and its surroundings.

christmas cookies  Aachener Printen

Almond Crescents – Vanillekipferl 

These are another well-loved German Christmas cookie. Vanillekipferl are a must on every cookie plate in December.*


german vanilla crescent cookies


There are so many recipes out on the Internet these days, so how can you tell which ones are the good ones? 

I asked some of the members of our Rare Dirndl community and here are their responses when we asked what were their favorite cookie recipe recommendations. 

"Here is a great quick list of my all time favorites! https://dirndlkitchen.com/my-5-favorite-german-christmas-cookies/"

- Sophie Sadler


"Snickerdoodles are always a hit and easy to make! Here's a good recipe: https://lilluna.com/snickerdoodles/"

- Cat Boucher


"These are a big favorite at our house at Christmas. This is a recipe that my Großmama clipped out of a German American newspaper around 1910. There is so much chocolate in this recipe that no other fat is called for. I always bake them in a 9x13 pan and cut them into bars. 

Berliner Brot


1/2 lb unsweetened chocolate (8 ozs.) 

3 eggs

1 lb brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cloves

1/2 lb cut nut meats (I use slivered almonds)

1 large cup sifted flour

Melt chocolate and set aside. Beat eggs until foamy and add sugar, spices, nuts and flour and mix. Stir in melted chocolate. Drop from spoon onto a well-greased pan (I use parchment paper and no grease...works beautifully.) Bake at 300° for 15 minutes. (The first batch may need the full 15 minutes...subsequent batches will need less.)

A couple of tips:

In Großmama's original recipe you have the option of turning all the batter into a jelly roll pan and baking them as bars, which is how I bake them now.  Cut them into bars while still warm.

The batter should be thick but not too stiff, like brownie batter.  If the chocolate starts to cool too much while spooning out the batter, put it in the microwave for a few seconds to re-melt the chocolate."

- Bonnie Hiller Fullerton


"Hands down, my favorite Christmas cookie! Bonus that it’s German. https://flouronmyface.com/german-spritz-cookies/"

- Kathy Miertz


"Vanillekipferl are my absolute favorite of the multitude of German Christmas cookies my Oma used to make. 

This is the closest I have found to her recipe (which I only have on a recipe card difficult to read in german cursive)

https://platedcravings.com/german-christmas-baking-vanillekipferl/ "

- Brittany S.


"These are my fiancé’s favorites! Spitzbuben (German Jam Cookies) Best, Veronica Trapani"


"Here’s my dad’s favorite cookie, I found it years ago and he requests me to make it every Christmas.  There are similar recipes out there, but the difference is that I use sliced sweetened dried orange slices. Trader Joe’s have it, but candied orange slices work too.

Cranberry Orange Cookies


2 ¼ cups (319g) all-purpose flour (scoop and level method)

½ teaspoon salt

16 tablespoons (227g) unsalted butter, softened

¾ cup (149g) granulated sugar

½ cup (57g) confectioners' sugar

2 large egg yolks

2 teaspoons vanilla paste

½ cup dried cranberries packed

1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest from 1 orange

½ cup sweetened dried orange slices or candied orange peel 

½ cup sugar for sprinkling on cookies optional

Extra orange zest for sprinkling on cookies optional


  1. Whisk flour and salt together in a bowl.
  2. Cream the butter, sugars, and zest together in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer) for 1 ½ minutes.
  3. Mix in the egg yolks and vanilla until combined.
  4. Mix in the flour and salt just until combined.
  5. Place cranberries and orange slices in a food processor, and pulse until all pieces are finely chopped. Then mix dried fruit into the dough.
  6. Roll the dough into 2 equally sized logs, about 8 inches long and 1 ¾ inch in diameter. Wrap it up tightly in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours and up to 3-4 days.
  7. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325° F and put the rack in the middle.
  8. When the oven is ready, slice the cookie dough into about 1/3-inch circles. Use a sharp, serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to slice through the dough cleanly.
  9. Put the cookies about 1 inch apart (they won’t really spread) on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle them with a little sugar.
  10. For best results, bake one sheet at a time until the bottom edges are just turning golden for a crisper cookie, about 13 minutes.
  11. For a softer cookie, pull them out when the cookies are set but not yet turning golden on the bottom edges, about 12 minutes.
  12. Sprinkle the cookies with a little sugar again as soon as they come from the oven for extra sparkle.
  13. Let the cookies cool for 3 minutes on the baking sheet, then carefully move them to a cooling rack."
- Steph Kalota


Now it’s your turn. If you have any other cookie recommendations for us, feel free to add them, and the links in the comments below!

* above information from from http://www.germany-insider-facts.com/german-christmas-cookies.html

December 09, 2022 — Erika Neumayer


Monica Reed said:

Love the family history associated with your cookie baking. My uncle was a Meisterkonditor in Vienna. Our family owned a Konditorei in Niederösterreich. We made Apfelstrudel today (and I adjusted the recipe due to look/feel…it’s a thing). Fröhliche Weinachten!

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