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10 Delicious German Christmas Cookies [+Recipes]

Looking For Traditional German Christmas Cookies? We’ve Got Them!

For us, nothing says “the holidays are here” as a fresh batch of German Christmas cookies!

And from hard German Christmas cookies to soft cookies, classic Pfeffernüsse to Lebkuchen and butter cookies, there is definitely no shortage of great German Christmas cookie recipes!

plate of german christmas cookies on white counter
A dessert plate loaded with classic German Christmas cookies!

It’s no secret that Germans love their holiday cookies – and that we love traditional German cookies.

Not only was Lisa born and raised in Germany but we’ve been lucky enough to have traveled around Germany together around the holidays.

Experiencing the sights and smells of German Christmas Market food is awesome. Of course, tasting the delicious cookies – like Aachener Printen – that go along with the holidays is also a must!

There are so many different types of German Christmas cookies that you can make. It’s actually fascinating to see how German holiday cookies (and their recipes) differ by region or tradition.

decorative plate of german christmas cookies with cinnamon stick on counter
Pick your German Christmas cookie.

Some cookie recipes have a rich history about them because of the ingredients used. Lebkuchen comes to mind here as one of the most classic German Christmas recipes.

Some cookies obviously include traditional spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and anise, but not all of them.

Many of these traditional German Christmas cookies are relatively easy to make so you can make them in large batches and share share them with others.

Looking for more cookies for the holidays? Check out these European Christmas cookies!

German Butter Cookies (Butterplätzchen)

colorful butter cookies on plate on white counter top with cookies around
Classic butter cookies are so fun to decorate!

German Butter Cookies – or Butterplätzchen – are a classic holiday cookie. With a golden outside and deliciously buttery inside, these simple cookies crumble away in your mouth.

Butter cookies are great to make with kids because you can decorate them however you like. You can also cut them into many different festive shapes such as stars or Christmas trees.

The simple glaze is a great addition to their sweetness but they are also delicious just as is!

Pfeffernüsse (German Spice Cookies)

round spice cookies covered in icing on clear festive plate
A little bit of spice for the holidays!

Pfeffernüsse – or German Spice Cookies – are another popular German holiday cookie. These tasty cookies are packed with fragrant spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ground pepper.

The nice thing about Pfeffernüsse is that they are really easy to make. You can also choose to give them a simple glaze or leave them plain.

Either way, spice cookies don’t last long on the holiday dessert plate!

German Gingerbread Cookies (Lebkuchen)

round gingerbread cookies stacked on clear plate with cooking rack of cookies behind
Chocolate, icing, or plain? It’s up to you!

If you’re looking for authentic German gingerbread cookies, you’ve got to make Lebkuchen. This specific type of gingerbread cookie is called Elisenlebkuchen – from the Nuremberg area.

These chewy and soft cookies are packed with nuts, candied citrus (orange and lemon), and are made with a homemade gingerbread spice mix.

Lebkuchen are dipped in chocolate or icing for the perfect, sweet topping!

Linzer Cookies

shaped cookies with jam centers on black cooling rack
Linzer cookies are worth the effort!

Looking to make cute little jam-filled sandwich cookies that are in all different shapes? You’re thinking about Linzer Cookies!

Made famous by Austria but also enjoyed in Germany and beyond, these classic holiday cookies are colorful and delicious.

Their crumbly, buttery texture is just one highlight – the layer of sweet jam or fruit preserves is the other! Red currant, raspberry, or apricot are popular choices for filling.

They are then topped off with a dusting of powdered sugar. So fun to make!

German Cinnamon Stars (Zimtsterne)

stack of cinnamon star cookies on wooden board with cookie rack behind.
A bunch of tasty cinnamon stars!

These German Cinnamon Stars – called Zimtsterne in German – are another delicious holiday cookie due to their shape and taste.

Packed with ground almond and cinnamon, these holiday cookies are naturally gluten-free.

Cinnamon stars are sweet and chewy – and are perfect with or without their simple glaze! Another plus is that you don’t need many ingredients to make them.

German Spritz Cookies (Spritzgebäck)

spritz cookies with ends dipped in chocolate on blue plate with branches behind
Classic spritz cookies – some with chocolate and some without!

German Spritz Cookies – or Spritzgebäck – are another really fun German holiday cookie. With lots of different shapes, you can definitely get creative with these cookies!

Spritzgebäck is made from an easy-to-make dough and can be dipped in melted chocolate for added sweetness and creativity.

These are another great German holiday cookie to make with kids because of the different shapes and the chocolate dipping part!

Easy Coconut Macaroons (German-Style)

crispy coconut macaroons on plate with green pine branch behind
Light and airy macaroons!

Are macaroons a Christmas cookie? Not quite. However, these easy Coconut Macaroons are a classic German holiday “cookie-like” treat – so they get a mention!

Made from just four ingredients you likely have around the kitchen if you bake, these macaroons are loaded with delicious shredded coconut.

Chewy on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside, these macaroons are perfectly sweet and smell of vanilla!

Vanilla Crescent Cookies (Vanillekipferl)

vanilla crescent cookies on blue plate with red and green bracnhs above
Vanilla crescents – ready to be enjoyed!

Vanilla Crescent Cookies – also known as Vanillekipferl – are light and crumbly cookies that are easy to make and even easier to enjoy!

Even though they are technically from Austria, the classic vanilla cookie is enjoyed all over Germany during the holiday season.

Finished off with a nice dusting of icing sugar, vanilla crescent cookies are universally loved by all!

German Hazelnut Cookies (Haselnussmakronen)

round hazelnut cookies with nuts in the middle on plate with branch beside
Look at all those hazelnuts!

German Hazelnut Cookies – or Haselnussmakronen – are another German Christmas cookie that is unique in many ways.

Made from an egg-white meringue, these cookies are loaded with ground hazelnut. They end up light and airy yet chewy and nutty.

We like to make our Haselnussmakronen a little larger (so they are more like a cookie) but you can absolutely pipe them a little smaller to create more of a classic and light hazelnut macaron shape.

German Oatmeal Cookies (Haferplätzchen)

oatmeal cookies stacked on white marble board with oats and cinnamon sticks around
Oatmeal cookies have such a wholesome taste to them.

Last, but certainly not least, we have German Oatmeal Cookies. Known as Haferplätzchen in German, these delicious cookies are super easy to make and absolutely delicious.

Packed with oats and not that much sugar, these oatmeal cookies are filling and oh-so-satisfying around the holidays.

They go great with a hot beverage and are a well-loved addition to any holiday cookie plate.

These recipes don’t have any crazy fancy ingredients or tools used which means you can bake Christmas cookies without any added stress.

Have fun and let us know which holiday cookies you enjoy the most!

3 thoughts on “10 Delicious German Christmas Cookies [+Recipes]”

  1. It’s like going down memory lane with these cookies. My mother would make at least 12 assortments in November and carefully store them until Christmas. They would then be put into cute gift bags to be distributed to friends.


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