Here Are Different European Christmas Cookies For You To Try!
Fact: Some of the best European cookies are European Christmas cookies. Okay, this may not be a hard fact but it’s definitely hard to argue with!
From jam-filled delights to every German spice cookies you can think of, traditional Christmas cookies in Europe come in many different shapes, sizes, and flavors.
Get inspiration from all across Europe! There are so many different European Christmas cookies – it can be hard to decide which ones to bake first!
From popular Christmas cookies recipes for German Pfeffernüsse (spice cookies) and Austrian Vanillekipferl (vanilla crescent cookies) to lesser-known Finnish Joulutorttu (cookies with prune jam), you’ll be sure to find some recipey that you want to try.
We know a lot about German Christmas cookies (Lisa being German) but there are so many other great types of European cookies out there.
It’s fascinating to see how different countries (and whole regions) celebrate the holidays with cookies specific to their history and culture.
So, with so many other authentic Christmas cookie recipes out there, we decided to round up some of the top European cookie recipes by fellow creators.
Oftentimes these recipes have been passed down by family members – a sentiment we definitely hold close, too!
Let us know which ones you like in the comments below!
German Butter Cookies (Butterplätzchen)
A classic German Christmas cookie, German Butter Cookies (Butterplätzchen) are sweet and delicious. Their golden brown color hides a perfectly crumbly texture that just melts in your mouth.
Butter cookies are topped off with a simple glaze and you can decorate them however you like – or just eat them plain!
Homemade Linzer Cookies
For those looking for a European Christmas cookie with a bit of extra sweetness, a classic Linzer cookie is a perfect choice.
This buttery cookie – hailing from Linz, Austria – sandwiches a layer of sweet jam in between two shapes of cookies. Linzer cookies are a really pretty addition to any holiday cookie plate!
Pfeffernüsse (German Spice Cookies
Pfeffernüsse – or German Spice Cookies – are another very popular German Christmas cookie. Made from classic spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and even ground pepper, these soft cookies are great bite-sized treats.
You can add on a simple glaze to give them their signature coating or you can choose to eat them plain – the sweet and spice is flavor enough! Spice cookies are definitely a top choice on the holiday cookie plate.
Krumkake Recipe (Delicious Cardamom Cookie)
For a light and crispy holiday cookie, check out these Krumkakes. This Scandinavian wafer cookie is sweet and delicate with its classic rolled-cone shape and beautifully pressed design.
Krumkakes are flavored with cardamom and vanilla for a more traditional taste – but you can try other flavors if you wish!
Vanillekipferl (Vanilla Crescent Cookies)
These Vanilla Crescent Cookies – also known as Vanillekipferl – are perfectly sweet, soft yet crumbly, and really easy to make.
Finished off with a dusting of powdered sugar, these Austrian cookies don’t stand a chance on your holiday dessert plate!
Almond Biscotti (Italian Cantucci)
An authentic Italian cookie, Almond Biscotti is the perfect holiday treat. Light and crispy, this recipe is loaded with tastes and aromas like toasted almond and orange!
Biscotti are a great holiday gift cookie because they are long-lasting – lasting up to two weeks!
German Cinnamon Stars (Zimtsterne)
Looking for some star cookies? German Cinnamon stars – called Zimtsterne – are a delightfully chewy cookie. Made from ground almonds, these holiday treats are gluten-free.
Topped with a delicious glaze, cinnamon stars never last too long when company arrives. You can also just eat them all yourself. No judgement!
Vegan Vanillekipferl Crescent Cookies
If you are looking for a vegan twist on the classic Vanillekipferl (vanilla crescent cookies), you’re in luck!
This vegan recipe allows you to make delicious crescent cookies by substituting for organic almonds, vegan butter, and sugar that is certified to be vegan!
Vegan Kolaczki (Polish Cookies)
For another jam-filled European delight, check out these Polish Kolaczki! The traditional folded cookie is simple to make and is usually heavy on dairy ingredients.
Luckily, with this vegan Kolaczki recipe you can make a dough that is just as flakey as the original.
Stamped Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies
For a simple Christmas cookie that is universally loved, you have to try these brown sugar shortbread cookies.
A nod to Scottish roots, these Christmas cookies are buttery and crispy with a texture that crumbles in your mouth. The stamped design – a Scottish thistle – makes these cookies look quite elegant!
For another Italian Christmas cookie on this list, the Pignoli is certainly different from the Biscotti.
Made from almond paste for just the right amount of sweetness, these cookies are perfectly chewy and packed full of pine nuts!
German Spritz Cookies (Spritzgebäck)
These delicious German Spritz Cookies are a holiday classic!
Made from an easy-to-make dough, these fun cookies can be made into any shape and are dipped in chocolate for a little added sweetness.
Spritz cookies are perfect for the holiday dessert spread or for making with creative kids!
Delicious Sweet Kiflice Recipe
Hailing from the Balkan region, here’s another jam-filled cookie that is sure to please your holiday eaters.
Croatian kiflice are a jam-filled crescent that is flaky like a cookie on the outside and stuffed with goodness on the inside!
Finnish Christmas Cookies With Prune Jam (Joulutorttu)
For a traditional Christmas cookie from Finland, check out these Joulutorttu!
Made with a classic pin-wheel shape and a delicious dollop of prune jam, these beautiful holiday cookies are most festive with a light dusting of powdered sugar!
Hausfreunde Cookies With Caramelised Cashews
For another German holiday cookie, whip up a batch of Hausfreunde. These fancy-looking cookies are layer upon layer of goodness.
If you’re a fan of shortcrust pastry with apricot jam, almond paste, dark chocolate, and caramelized cashews, you’re in the right place!
Hungarian Christmas Cookies
Heading to Hungary for this traditional Christmas cookie, here’s a recipe with a bit of a roll to it!
Loaded with dates and ground walnuts, these filled cookies are rolled in powdered sugar for the perfect holiday look.
Vegan Shortbread Cookies
No Christmas cookie round-up is complete without a recipe for classic Scottish shortbread. This vegan shortbread recipe boasts a similar flavor and texture that can’t be missed!
It’s the perfect alternative for vegan friends and family… or just nibble on them yourself!
Italian Anise Cookies
Another Italian cookie? Why not a spice cookie! Italian anise cookies are similar to a German anise cookie but still noticeably different.
These anisette cookies are soft and delicious with a lovely anise glaze. You can (and should) even top them with colorful sprinkles!
Greek Cookies With Powdered Sugar (Kourabiedes)
Another crescent-shaped cookie? These Greek Kourabiedes are completely different. This almond shortbread cookie is soft, crumbly, and rolled in powdered sugar.
They make a not-too-sweet Christmas cookie but can be eaten on other occasions, too!
Easy Ricotta Cookies
Made with ricotta cheese – but not at all cheesy – Italian ricotta cookies are a delightful Christmas cookie.
These cookies have a soft and spongy texture and can be topped in different ways – from powdered sugar to a creamier glaze!
Old German Honey Cookies
As a simple German Christmas cookie, German honey cookies are easy to enjoy.
These soft and chewy spice cookies – accented by the addition of honey and a hint of ginger – go well with any occasion.
Cherry Almond Cookies – Traditional Italian Cookies
As another Italian cookie on the list, this one really stands out!
These cherry almond cookies – with their signature maraschino cherry placed in the center – are a beautiful addition to any holiday cookie platter.
This recipe drizzles the top with white chocolate but this is completely optional.
Bosnian Butter Cookies (Šape)
Another cookie from the Balkan region, the Bosnian Butter Cookies (also known as Šape) are light, buttery, and carry a hint of lemon.
These delicious little cookies are enjoyed during many holidays with – you guessed it – a hot beverage like strong Bosnian coffee!
Meyer Lemon Greek Butter Cookies (Kourabiedes)
Another Greek Christmas cookie, these Kourabiedes are soft and crumbly as well as flavored with a hint of citrus – in this case, lemon!
These butter cookies are made into balls but you can definitely shape them like crescents.
No Christmas cookie round-up is complete without a recipe for a classic gingerbread.
This spiced cookie – related to the other German spice cookies – is made from fragrant spices like allspice and nutmeg and can be shaped and decorated in a number of ways!
When it comes to Italian Christmas cookies, the Cannoli cookie is a force to be reckoned with.
With a cake-like texture and rich flavors from ricotta and chocolate chips, these delicious, simple cookies also include pistachios!
Coconut Chocolate Covered Stuffed Fig Balls
For holiday cookie popular in the Balkan region, these coconut chocolate covered stuffed fig balls are a dream.
They are no-bake so they are easy to whip together and look great on the cookie platter!
Greek Honey Spice Cookies (Melomakarona)
For another Greek Christmas cookie, this one sticks out!
These honey spice cookies – Melomakarona – are made from olive oil, plenty of spices as well as honey, and topped off with chopped walnuts and pistachios.
Homemade Butter Cookies with Hazelnuts
Coming to us from Czechia, this traditional Christmas cookie is a butter cookie that is loaded with hazelnuts.
They are relatively easy to make and their crispy, buttery texture is universally enjoyed. Don’t forget to coat them in powdered sugar!
Russian Tea Cakes Cookie
Also known as snowball cookies, these Russian Tea Cake Cookies are divine.
Made from just a handful of simple ingredients, they have a buttery texture, are filled with pecans, and finished off with icing sugar for that classic, powdered look!
Dutch Christmas Cookies (Kerstkransjes)
Last, but certainly not least, we have Kerstkransjes! These Dutch Christmas cookies are perfectly sweet and packed with almonds.
They’re often cut into a wreath shape and hung from the tree with a ribbon – so they make a great edible ornament!