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20 Best German Christmas Cookies – Old Fashioned & Traditional

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Here’s a collection of the 20 best German Christmas Cookies. Old fashioned authentic German holiday cookie recipes that are tried and tested and work every time!

picture collage of traditional German Christmas cookie recipes

Christmas without Linzer cookies, vanillekipferl and German hazelnut cookies? Impossible!  I’ve put together my family recipes for the best  German Christmas Cookie recipes. Classic German holiday cookies that are easy to make and that the whole family will love.

Here you find simple, old-fashioned German cookie recipes that come together with little effort and most of them, like German Coconut Macaroons are staples I make every year.

However, I also added a few new recipes that I requested from friends and family after having tried them on their cookie platters and that I am baking for the first time this year. I have already put them on the list for next year because they are just so delicious.

a plate with traditional German Christmas Cookies

The 20 Best Traditional German Christmas Cookies – Authentic & Old Fashioned

German Christmas is all about sharing your cookie platters ( bunte teller) with friends, neighbors and family. Trying, testing, sharing and bonding over Christmas recipes is a quintessential part of the German holiday season.

It’s no secret that Germans love Christmas and especially their holiday cookies! 

There are so many different types of German Christmas cookies that you can make in the weeks leading up to Christmas and German holiday cookies differ by region or tradition.

Some cookie recipes, like Lebkuchen, go back hundreds of years and every family has secret tricks and hacks to make them truly “their” recipe.

Most German cookies obviously include traditional Christmas spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground star anise, but not all of them. In this collection you can even find gluten-free and vegan German Christmas cookies if you need to create some!

A colorfully filled cookie plate (Bunter Teller) is a quintessential part of the Christmas season.

At home, the cookie jar was always well hidden before the first Advent – so that there would still be something left on Christmas. In my house, half of the cookies were usually already gone before Christmas. Obviously.

traditional authentic German Christmas cookies on a black plate

Tips for German Christmas Baking 

The selection of the ingredients is very, very important, since the cookies are kept longer than other cookies and pastries. And after a few weeks they should still taste good.

Good butter is very important for taste. Invest in the best butter, and do not take margarine unless you bake vegan.

When to start making German Christmas cookies

If you want a colorful bunte teller with at least 10 kinds,  it is generally advisable to start baking just before the first of Advent.

Unless I make gingerbread. The end of November is already too late for a few types of baked goods such as German gingerbread. These cookies need to be stored for a while so that they can develop their full aroma.

Lebkuchen, Printen and Springerle cookies take weeks to develop flavor. Gingerbread in particular not only keeps much longer than many other Christmas cookies, it also tastes better the more time it has to rest.

The perfect baking temperature

Preheat the oven to 175 °C – 375F top and bottom heat – that’s the classic recommendation. You should definitely make sure that the oven is preheated. In general, but especially when baking cookies, it is super important that the cookies brown evenly.

So preheat the oven in good time and pay attention to whether the temperature specifications are for top and bottom heat or for convection. Convection warms the dough faster, the temperatures are always a little lower.

Also, check on which position the baking sheet is to be placed. The middle rack is usually recommended. You can also bake a maximum of two trays at the same time.

But then you have to keep an eye on the top baking tray, which usually cooks faster.

German christmas cookies like linzer and crescent cookies on a wooden tray

Correct baking time

If you bake several trays of cookies one after the other, then expect that the first batch will take the longest and the second batch will be ready a little faster. The oven is warmer at the end.

Good to know: every oven is different. Since the baking time for cookies is very short, it is best to stay in the kitchen with an eye on the oven and check the cookies more often than you normally would.

To prevent cookies from burning, you should remove the cookies from the baking tray immediately after baking and let them cool on a cake rack.

This is particularly easy if you bake the cookies on parchment paper or a silicone mat. You can just slide them off the sheet metal.

20 Best Traditional German Christmas Cookies 

German Coconut Christmas Cookies with Jam
These German Coconut Cookies with Jam are a traditional German holiday cookie recipe that is like a Coconut Macaroon and a Jam Filled Cookie in one.
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saftige kokosecken mit marzipan wie vom bäcker
German Hazelnut Cookies
Easy Soft German Hazelnut Cookies made from toasted, ground hazelnuts! An easy traditional German cookie recipe with hazelnut flour.
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German Hazelnut Cookies and whole hazelnuts in a wooden bowl
German Almond Horn Cookies
German Almond Horn Cookies are a traditional German nut pastry or Christmas Cookie that is quick and easy to make at home using simple ingredients. Soft and chewy on the inside, crispy on the outside, and dipped into melted dark chocolate.
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German Almond Horn Cookies dipped in dark chocolate on a cooling rack
Authentic Austrian Linzer Cookies
Try my authentic recipe for the famous Austrian Christmas cookies! In my easy Linzer Cookies recipe, the cookie dough is enriched with ground hazelnuts and almonds and flavored with a mix of Christmas spices.
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three Austrian Linzer cookies on a cookie stand
Soft Chewy Almond Paste Cookies - Traditional German Christmas Cookie Recipe
These Soft and Chewy Almond Paste Cookies ( Marzipan Cookies)  are a traditional German Christmas Cookie recipe you will love. Quick and easy to make! 
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soft chewy German Marzipan Cookies stacked on a cooking rack
Easy Coconut Macaroons Recipe
Learn how to make coconut macaroons that are moist and soft and stay that way for days thanks to my secret ingredient! This easy recipe for coconut macaroons will be a holiday favorite!
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easy coconut macaroons with dark chocolate stacked on a blue plate
German Poppy Seed Marzipan Cookies with Jam Filling
These pretty German marzipan cookies consist of a poppy seed shortbread cookie and a piped marzipan cookie sandwiched together with spiked jam! A German Christmas cookie recipe to impress everyone with! 
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German poppy seed marzipan cookies with jam on a white plate
Walnut Marzipan Sandwich Cookies | German Christmas Cookies
This traditional German cookie is a family favourite! Marzipan lovers got to try this for Christmas or any other occasion!
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Eggless Dark Chocolate Coconut Macaroons
These Eggless Dark Chocolate Coconut Macaroons with chocolate drizzle are soft and chewy and so easy to make with few ingredients. No eggs, no refined sugar and gluten-free. 
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eggless dark chocolate coconut macaroons with chocolate drizzle on a blue plate
Coconut Ginger Linzer Cookies with Pumpkin Jam Filling
Try these Ginger Pumpkin Linzer Cookies filled with homemade coconut pumpkin jam and glazed with a quick lime icing! A modern twist on an authentic Linzer cookie and such special cookies for your Christmas cookie exchange! 
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coconut ginger shortbread cookies with pumpkin jam
Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies with Nutella Filling
Celebrate Christmas with a batch of these German Hazelnut Cookies with Nutella Filling! They are easy to make and taste divine! 
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Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies with Nutella Filling in a small white bowl
German Almond Cookies with Marzipan
These German Almond Cookies are perfect for Christmas! Tender shortcrust pastry meets marzipan and meringue. No cookie cutters needed for making this traditional German Christmas Cookie recipe!
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German almond cookie recipe with almonds and marzipan
German Hazelnut Meringue Cookies
These elegant German Hazelnut Cookies filled with hazelnut meringue and chocolate chips are a traditional German Christmas cookie that is served all through the holiday season. 
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German Hazelnut Cookies filled with hazelnut meringue
German Poppy Seed & Marzipan Sandwich Cookies with Plum Jam
These pretty Poppy Seed & Marzipan Sandwich Cookies are filled with marzipan and plum jam.  Try this traditional German Christmas Cookie recipe this winter! 
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Poppy Seed Marzipan Sandwich Cookies filled with marzipan and plum jam
Macadamia Kirsch Spitzbuben
Diese Spitzbuben sind etwas ganz besonderes! Buttrige Macadamia Plätzchen gefüllt mit fein fruchtiger Kirschmarmelade! Mit meinen Tricks für die perfekten Spitzbuben gelingen euch diese raffinierten Plätzchen garantiert! 
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Macadamia Kirsch Spitzbuben Plätzchen
German Vanillekipferl Recipe - Vanilla Crescent Cookies
Vegan German Vanillekipferl Recipe - learn how to make the best German Vanilla Crescent Cookies with ground almonds! A vegan spin on a traditional German Christmas cookie recipe. Delicately crumbly with a melt-in-your-mouth texture these are perfect for the holidays. 
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Vegan German Vanillekipferl being dusted with vanilla sugar
Walnut Snowball Cookies
These Walnut snowball cookies are an all-time favorite Christmas cookie. Super easy to make and they melt in your mouth. Great for sending and gifting. 
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walnut snowball cookies dusted with icing sugar
Stuffed German Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies (Nougat Balls)
These melt-in-your-mouth Hazelnut Chocolate Cookies with a creamy hazelnut centre are one of my favourite German Christmas Cookies. The secret ingredient is nougat, an easy-to-make hazelnut-chocolate-paste. 
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German Hazelnut Chocolate Christmas Cookies Nougat Balls
German Apple Cake Cookies
My German Apple Cake Cookies are like little miniature versions of my Granny's German Apple Cake. The batter is spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg and the soft cookies are studded with toasted almonds and plump rum raisins! 
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German Apple Cake Cookies with almonds and raisins on a cookie plate
Soft Gingerbread Cookies - German Honey Gingerbread
These cute Soft Gingerbread Cookies are not only adorable but also extremely delicious! My bunny shaped German gingerbread cookies include a generous amount of honey, which gives them a pale golden color and a mildly sweet flavor. 
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Bunny-shaped Soft Gingerbread Cookies

For more traditional German recipes for the holidays, check out my book German Christmas Recipes : It’s ON SALE right now on Amazon! 

Tips for storing German Christmas cookies

How do German cookies stay crispy?

If you want to store your cookies properly, always make sure that they are completely cool before you put them in the cookie jars.

Store the cooled cookies in the tin, dry and cool. Do not store classic German shortcrust cookies in plastic containers, as they will quickly turn soft.

When storing cookies, I recommend storing each type of cookie in separate jars. If you only have a large tin on hand, separate the cookies with layers of parchment paper.

Jars with a tight lid are also suitable. Just like tin cookie jars, airtight jars keep your cookies crisp, fresh, and delicious.

Storing soft cookies

Soft cookies such as coconut macaroons, honey gingerbread or sandwich cookies filled with jam, on the other hand, can be stored in plastic containers without any problems.

Which Christmas cookies keep the longest?

How long Christmas cookies keep depends on the variety. Dry biscuits made from shortcrust pastry, such as butter cookies, black and white biscuits, or vanilla crescent cookies, stay crisp and fresh for up to four weeks.

Gingerbread cookies, which are the best to start with, keep even longer! If stored properly, they can be stored for up to three months.

A note about affiliate links in this post: some of these links will take you to Amazon where I may receive a small percentage of sales, at no extra cost to you

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