German Spritz Cookies (Spritzgebäck)

Searching for a traditional German Christmas cookie to make? German spritz cookies – known as Spritzgebäck – are always a holiday hit!

With this Spritzgebäck recipe – using simple ingredients – you can make light, sweet cookies that can be formed into all different shapes and sizes.

Because of the unique texture and design, these piped spritz cookies look great on any holiday dessert table.

In fact, you’ll find other spritz cookies across Europe such as in Italy and Norway!

german spritz cookies dipped in chocolate on blue plate with green branches behind
German spritz cookies – preferably dipped in delicious chocolate!

Spritz cookies – sometimes also known as German “S” cookies – are a popular cookie to make in the family home because they are so easy and fun to make with kids. And you get to dip them in chocolate!

Another reason these cookies are popular to make with kids is that they can spell their own names. This is something Lisa (and her sister) did growing up.

letters written in raw spritz cookie dough in parchment paper
We still like making “name cookies” even as adults.

Recipe Tips

Before you head off to the kitchen to make authentic German spritz cookies, have a read through these recipe tips so that you know what to expect!

  • Make sure that the butter is very soft – otherwise it will be difficult to work with. Either let the butter sit on the counter for a few hours to soften or cut it up and place it in the microwave for a few seconds until it has softened but not melted (this is important!).
  • Use eggs that are at room temperature. Again, either take them out of the fridge and let them sit on the counter for a while. Alternatively, place the cold eggs into a small bowl of warm – not hot – water and let them warm up for around 20 minutes.
  • To shape the spritz cookies, you can use a piping bag or cookie press (or a meat grinder if you want to be quite traditional). Ideally you use a star-shaped tip with a large opening as this makes it easier to squeeze the dough out than through a small tip.
  • Bake the spritz cookies one baking sheet at a time. If you have multiple baking sheets full of cookies in a conventional oven at the same time, the cookies might bake unevenly.

How to Make German Spritz Cookies – Step by Step Instructions

For the complete instructions on how to make German spritz cookies, you can follow the recipe process photos with instructions in this section.

This way, you can see exactly how we make our spritz cookies each step of the way!

butter and sugar in white mixing bowl on white counter top
Add butter, vanilla extract, and sugar to a bowl.

Add the very soft (but not melted) butter, sugar, and vanilla extract to a large bowl.

metal beaters mixing cookie dough in white mixing bowl on counter
Mix everything with your hand or stand mixer.

Using your hand or stand mixer with the normal beaters, mix everything for around 4 minutes until creamy.

eggs in cookie dough in white mixing bowl on counter
Add the egg and egg yolk to the bowl.

Now, add the large egg and egg yolk to the bowl and keep beating for 2-3 minutes until they are mixed in.

Make sure to not accidentally add two eggs. You want to add one whole egg and just the egg yolk of another egg.

mixed spritz cookie dough in white mixing bowl on counter
The egg-butter-mixture should look “creamy”.

This is what the butter-egg mixture should look like.

That’s why it is so important that the butter and eggs were at room temperature. Otherwise, the consistency might not be as “creamy”.

dry ingredients like flour in white mixing bowl on counter top
Mix your dry ingredients together in another bowl.

In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Give everything a quick stir.

pouring dry ingredients from bowl into cookie dough with beaters in bowl
Make sure to switch the beaters since the normal ones likely won’t work.

Now, switch your mixer attachment to the spiral dough hooks.

Then add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in small increments while beating.

mixed spritz cookie dough in mixing bowl on counter top
Your dough should slightly crumbly but soft.

Keep mixing until the flour is fully mixed in.

Next, cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 30 minutes. If you are using a piping bag or a cookie press, let the dough rest at room temperature.

If you’re using a meat grinder for this recipe, place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes so it can chill.

Once the time is up, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line your baking sheet(s) with parchment paper.

piping spritz cookie dough onto pan with parchment paper
Shape your spritz cookies.

Now, prepare your piping bag, cookie press, or meat grinder – we usually use a piping bag. You’ll want to use a large star tip with your piping bag or a cookie press.

The larger the opening, the easier the dough will be to push through. Also, the softer the dough, the easier it’ll come out of the piping bag.

Shape the spritz cookies. You can make whichever shapes you want. Circles with an open hole in the middle, S-shapes, or straight lines are classic choices for Spritz cookie shapes.

raw spritz cookies on baking sheet with parchment paper underneath
Circles, S, and straight lines are classic spirtz cookie shapes.

Some people also like to write their names with the cookie dough. Just make sure to create the letters large enough (and leave enough space in between) since the cookies will rise/expand a bit in the oven.

Place the cookies on the parchment paper and bake them one baking sheet at a time in the oven for 12-16 minutes until the ends are slightly brown.

It takes exactly 13 minutes in our oven but since every oven cooks differently, your baking time might vary slightly.

baked german spritz cookies on parchment paper on baking sheet
The tops of the cookies don’t need to be golden brown!

When taking the cookies out of the oven they might still feel a tiny bit soft – that’s fine (as long as the bottom is lightly browned). They’ll harden once cooled.

cooked spritz cookies on cooling rack on white counter top
Place the cookies on a cooling rack.

Remove the cookies from the baking sheet and place them on a cooling rack.

bowl of melted chocolate with cookies on cooling rack behind
Melt the chocolate chips.

Once the cookies have cooled, you can prepare the chocolate glaze by melting chocolate chips either in the microwave, in a pot on the stove, or in a hot water bath. Keep in mind that this step is optional!

You can use any type of chocolate chips (depending on how sweet you want it to taste). We like using semi-sweet chocolate chips.

dipping S shaped spritz cookie in melted chocolate with cookies behind
Dip the ends of the spritz cookies into the melted chocolate.

Once the chocolate chips are fully melted, carefully dip parts of the cookies into the melted chocolate.

Then place the dipped cookies back onto the cooling rack (place some of the parchment paper underneath for easier clean-up).

german spritz cookies dipped in chocolate on black cooling rack on counter top
Let the chocolate harden.

Let the chocolate glaze fully harden before consuming or storing the cookies. Enjoy!

blue plate with spritz cookies on white counter with Christmas branches behind
These spritz cookies won’t last long!

Storage Tips

Once these German Spritzgebäck cookies have cooled fully, you can store them in a container with a lid – e.g. a cookie tin – in a cool and dry place. A cold bedroom, the basement or garage are usually good options.

Properly stored, they’ll last for around 3 weeks – but you probably won’t have them for that long anyway.

FAQ

Have question about German spritz cookies? We have some answers about these popular holiday cookies!

What nationality are Spritz cookies?

Spritz cookies are German in origin. However, they are enjoyed in many places across Europe like Italy and in Scandinavian countries like Norway.

Why are they called Spritz cookies?

German spritz cookies – or Spritzgebäck – get their name from the German verb spritzen which means “to squirt” since the soft, buttery dough is piped through a bag or through a cookie press!

Are Spritz cookies the same as shortbread?

No, holiday spritz cookies are not the same as shortbread. While both doughs include a lot of butter, the biggest difference is that Scottish shortbread cookies do not include egg.

Can you bake Spritz cookies on parchment paper?

Yes, you can bake spritz cookies on parchment paper.

Related Recipes

If you loved these spritz cookies, check out these other popular German holiday cookie recipes:

german spritz cookies on blue plate on counter top with green branch behind

German Spritz Cookies (Spritzgebäck)

Yield: 45
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

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!

Ingredients

The Dough

  • 3/4 cup butter, very soft (but not melted!)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

The Chocolate Glaze (optional)

  • 1 cup chocolate chips (possibly more)

Instructions

  1. Add the very soft (but not melted) butter, sugar, and vanilla extract to a large bowl. Using your hand or stand mixer with the normal beaters, mix everything for around 4 minutes until creamy.
  2. Add the egg and egg yolk to the bowl and keep beating for 2-3 minutes until they are mixed in.
  3. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Give everything a quick stir.
  4. Switch your mixer attachment to the spiral dough hooks. Then add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in small increments while beating. Keep mixing until the flour is fully mixed in.
  5. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 30 minutes. If you are using a piping bag (the same kind of bag also used for cake/cupcake decorating) or a cookie press, let the dough rest at room temperature. If you're using a meat grinder for this recipe, place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes so it can chill.
  6. Once the time is up, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line your baking sheet(s) with parchment paper.
  7. Now, prepare your piping bag, cookie press, or meat grinder - we usually use a piping bag. You'll want to use a large star tip with your piping bag or cookie press. The larger the opening, the easier the dough will be to push through. Also, the softer the dough, the easier it'll come out of the piping bag.
  8. Now shape the spritz cookies. You can make whichever shapes you want. Circles with an open hole in the middle, S-shapes, or straight lines are classic choices for Spritz cookie shapes. Some people also like to write their names with the cookie dough. Just make sure to create the letters large enough (and leave enough space in between) since the cookies will rise/expand a bit in the oven.
  9. Place the cookies on the parchment paper and bake them one baking sheet at a time in the oven for 12-16 minutes until the ends are slightly brown. It takes exactly 13 minutes in our oven but since every oven cooks differently, your baking time might vary slightly. When taking the cookies out of the oven they might still feel a tiny bit soft - that's fine (as long as the bottom is lightly browned). They'll harden once cooled.
  10. Remove the cookies from the baking sheet and place them on a cooling rack.
  11. OPTIONAL: Once the cookies have cooled, you can prepare the chocolate glaze by melting chocolate chips either in the microwave, in a pot on the stove, or in a hot water bath. You can use any type of chocolate chips (depending on how sweet you want it to taste). We like using semi-sweet chocolate chips. Once the chocolate chips are fully melted, carefully dip parts of the cookies into the melted chocolate and then place them back onto the cooling rack (place some of the parchment paper underneath for easier clean-up). Let the chocolate glaze fully harden before consuming or storing them. Enjoy!

Notes

  • It's important that the butter is quite soft but not melted. This will make it so much easier to work with. Leave it out on the counter for a couple of hours or cut it up and place it in the microwave for a few seconds until it is soft - but has not melted!
  • At the same time, it's important that the eggs are at room temperature. If you use them straight out of the fridge, they will harden the butter again - making it more difficult to work with the dough. If you forgot to take out the eggs from the fridge early enough, you can place them in a bowl of warm (not hot!) water and let them sit for around 20 minutes.
  • We found that it can be a bit difficult to find tips for piping bags with a very big opening in North America. This is probably because it is less common to use piping bags and tips for cookie dough. So, just try piping the dough with the biggest tip with a jagged/star edge that you can find. If it is too difficult, you can try adding a little bit of milk.
  • We'd recommend only baking one baking sheet full of cookies at a time. If you're trying to bake two or more baking sheets of cookies in a conventional oven at a time, they might cook unevenly. So it's best to just bake them one after the other.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 45 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 78Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 35mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 4gProtein: 1g

This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice.

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