Linzer Cookies

These Linzer Cookies Are Perfect For The Holiday Season!

Searching for the perfect Linzer cookie recipe? You’re not alone! Traditional Linzer cookies – those cute little jam-filled sandwich cookies made into shapes – are always a hit around Christmas time.

A descendent of the famous Linzertorte, it’s hard to go wrong with a shortbread-like dough that melts in your mouth and a sweet, jam filling that glues it all together.

Don’t forget about a generous dusting of powdered sugar!

jam filled linzer cookies shaped like stars and flowers cooling on black wire cooking rack on white counter.
Our Linzer cookies cooling off – awaiting the holiday cookie plate!

Popular in Germany, Austria, and parts of Hungary, Switzerland, and beyond, these popular European holiday cookies go by many other names.

Eric’s Hungarian grandmother used to make Linzer cookies with apricot jam. She grew up in a small town near the Austrian border and came to Canada many decades ago.

He remembers her baking these buttery, soft sandwich cookies and them always having a bright orange circle in the middle.

Sometimes, the cookie bears the name of the delicious jam/fruit preserve filling. This is why you’ll sometimes find Linzer cookies called “raspberry Linzer cookies”. Apricot jam or a more traditional red currant are also popular choices.

Did You Know?

A version of these cookies is the Linzer Augen (Linzer Eyes). It’s made with three dots in the middle of the upper cookie.

Depending on the region or the family recipe, you might also find them referred to Linzer Kekse or as Spitzbuben.

However, a small difference is that Spitzbuben cookies are often made with only egg whites and not egg yolks. The cookies themselves look almost identical though.

Ingredients

jam filled cookies in different shapes cooling on black cookie cooling rack.
Look at these delicious linzer cookies!

To make this recipe for Linzer cookies, here are the ingredients you’ll need for both the cookies and the filling:

The Dough

  • Butter – Make sure to use a good quality butter. It should be cold.
  • Flour – Classic all-purpose flour works well.
  • Ground almonds – To make the dough.
  • Vanilla extract – To give the cookies a slight vanilla flavor. You can also use vanilla sugar instead (one packet) if you can find it.
  • Granulated sugar – To add sweetness to the cookies.
  • Egg – Use a medium-sized egg.
  • Pinch of salt – To enhance the flavors.

The Filling/Topping

  • Jam – Use any jam you have on hand. Apricot, black/red currant, raspberry, etc. are classic choices. It shouldn’t contain any fruit chunks though.
  • Powdered sugar – To dust the cookies and give them their signature look.

Recipe Tips

Before you dive into this Linzer cookie recipe, here are some recipe tips that you’ll want to know about!

  • Make sure that the butter is cold, but cut it into small pieces so it is easier to work with.
  • Let the dough rest in the fridge before rolling it out. This will make it easier to work with.
  • You can make any shape you like for your Linzer cookies – stars, circles, flowers, hearts, etc. Just remember to always make a bottom and a top cookie using the same shape! Otherwise, you’ll have mismatched top and bottom cookies.
  • You can use whatever jam you like to fill the cookies. We like apricot and raspberry but any jam works! Just be sure it doesn’t have any seeds or large chunks of fruit – these make the cookies sit weird on top of one another.
  • Allow the baked cookies to cool fully before spread on jam or assembling them. They can be a bit crumbly out of the oven so be careful.

How to Make Linzer Cookies – Step by Step Instructions

If you want to make this Linzer cookies recipe and like visuals when you bake, stay in this section for step-by-step process photos!

This way, you’ll have an idea of whether or not you’re the right track with your Linzer cookies.

butter and egg with linzer cookie ingredients in metallic mixing bowl
Add your ingredients to a mixing bowl.

First, cut up the cold butter into smaller pieces. That will make it easier to knead the dough.

Then add the flour, ground almonds, butter, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and egg into a large bowl.

FYI: The Linzer cookie dough is very similar to our German butter cookie dough – but with the addition of ground almonds.

Use the spiral dough hooks of your electric mixer or your hands to knead the dough until you can easily form a ball without it crumbling apart again.

ball of linzer cookie dough in cling wrap on counter
Wrap the ball in cling film.

Wrap the ball of dough in cling film and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes. This will make it easier to roll out the dough later.

linzer cookie dough rolled out flat on kitchen top
Rolling out the dough…

When the 30 minutes are almost over, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove the ball of dough from the fridge and unwrap it.

Sprinkle some flour onto your countertop, then roll out the dough using a rolling pin. Make sure it is equally thick everywhere so the cookies will be done at the same time.

flower cookie cutter cutting through linzer cookie dough on counter top
Cut out the cookies.

Use your cookie cutters to cut out the cookies. Remember that for each Linzer cookie you’ll need a set of two cookies (one bottom cookie and one top cookie).

So, cut two cookies of the same shape and then cut out the middle of one of them using a smaller cookie cutter.

Place the cookies on the parchment paper with a little bit of space between them.

When you’ve used up all of the rolled up dough, gather the leftovers and form another ball. Then roll the dough out again, and cut more cookies.

Repeat these steps until you have used up all of the dough.

baked linzer cookies on black cooling rack on counter
Freshly baked cookies on the cooling rack.

Bake your cookies on the middle rack of your oven for around 10-12 minutes until the cookies are lightly golden brown around the edges.

Depending on your oven and how thick your cookies are, the baking time might vary slightly.

When the cookies are done baking, remove them from the oven and place them on a cooling rack. Let them cool fully.

butter knife spreading red jam on linzer cookie
Spreading the bottom cookie with jam.

Once the cookies are fully cooled, spread the bottom cookie of each set with jam. This works well with a butter knife.

Popular choices for jam are raspberry, apricot, and black or red currant. We like using a few different flavors when making our Linzer cookies.

bottom of linzer cookies covered in red or orange jam on parchment paper
Spread all the bottom cookies with jam.

Keep going until all the bottom cookies (those without holes) have jam on them.

dusting powdered sugar through sifter onto baked linzer cookies on tray
Dust the top cookies with powdered sugar.

Then gather all the top cookies (those with the hole) and dust them with powdered sugar.

flower linzer jam cookie held in hand with other jam cookies beside
Place the cookie on top of the jam.

Then it’s time to match up the sets of cookies by placing a powdered sugar dusted top cookie on top of a matching bottom cookie.

Press down slightly. Make sure to only touch the cookie on the sides and not the part that is covered in powdered sugar to avoid fingerprints.

colorful linzer cookies on white parchment paper
Delicious Linzer cookies.

Keep going until you have matched up all the cookies. Let them sit for a bit to allow the jam to harden slightly. Then enjoy – these cookies probably won’t last long!

close up shot of star linzer cookie with red jam on cookie rack
One star Linzer cookie filled with raspberry jam, please!

Storage Tips

We recommend storing the Linzer cookies in a cookie tin with a lid in a cool and dry place (such as your basement or garage). You can add some parchment paper in between layers to keep them fresh for longer.

However keep in mind that due to the jam they will get slightly softer over time and won’t stay as crispy as they are on the first day.

Properly stored, they will last for a few weeks.

FAQ

Here are a few answers to common questions about Linzer cookies!

What are Linzer cookies?

Linzer cookies are a jam-filled sandwich cookie of Austrian origin. The top cookie has the center punched out and they are cut into shapes and filled with sweet preserves like apricot or raspberry. These butter cookies are a descendent of the Austrian dessert Linzertorte. They are popular in Central and Eastern Europe.

Where are Linzer cookies from?

Linzer cookies are originally from Austria. They are a descendant of the Linzertorte, the pie-like, fruit preserve-filled tart which was named after the Austrian city of Linz (for reasons that aren’t exactly clear). Either, the torte was produced in Linz in the 1820s and/or the baker was named Linzer. Linzer cookies were apparently made from the left over Linzertorte dough which got made into smaller cookies. The middles of some cookies would get punched out with small circles – usually three – which led to the alternative cookie name Linzer Augen or “Linzer eyes”. Extra fruit preserves – usually red or black currant – was spread onto a whole base cookie and the top cookie with the eyes would get covered in powdered sugar. Place them together to form a small sandwich cookie. The backstory of the cookie is the reason why some people call Linzer cookies “Linzer tart cookies”.

What do Linzer cookies taste like?

Due to their use of butter and ground almond, Linzer cookies have a crumbly yet soft consistency and buttery yet subtly sweet taste similar to a shortbread cookie, a Vanillakipferl, and a classic German butter cookie.

How to make Linzer cookies?

To make Linzer cookies, combine the dough ingredients – including the cold butter – into a bowl and knead until you have a soft dough. Place the dough ball in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes and then roll flat and punch out the cookie shapes – accounting for tops and bottoms. Bake the cookies in the oven and allow to cool before spreading jam on the bottoms and sprinkling powdered sugar on the tops. Assemble the tops and bottoms and enjoy!

Related Recipes

If you enjoyed these classic Linzer cookies, be sure to check out these German holiday cookies if you’re feeling like baking up a storm this season!

jam filled cookies in different shapes cooling on black cookie cooling rack.

Linzer Cookies

Cute and tasty Linzer Cookies are a great holiday delight. Perfectly sweet, crumbly, and filled with a layer of fruit jam, these buttery cookies are finished off with a dusting of powdered sugar.
4.50 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 18 cookies

Ingredients

The Dough

  • 3/4 cup butter, cold
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 medium-sized egg
  • a pinch of salt

The Filling/Topping

  • jam
  • powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Cut the cold butter into small pieces. Then add the flour, ground almonds, butter, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and egg into a large bowl. Use the spiral dough hooks of your electric mixer or your hands to knead the dough until it easily forms a ball.
  • Wrap the ball of dough in cling film and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge. Sprinkle flour onto a smooth surface and roll out the dough with a rolling pin. Make sure it is equally thin/thick everywhere. Use your cookie cutters to cut out the cookies. Remember that you have to make a set of two cookies for each whole Linzer cookie (one bottom piece and one top piece). Cut out the middle of the top piece using a small cookie cutter. Place the cookies on the parchment paper leaving a little bit of space between them.
  • Once you’ve used up the rolled out dough, gather the leftovers, form another ball, roll it out again, and cut more cookies. Repeat the process until you have used up all the dough.
  • Bake your cookies in the middle rack of your oven for around 10-12 minutes until the cookies are lightly golden brown along the edges. Depending on your oven and how thick your cookies are, your baking time might vary slightly.
  • Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer them to a cooling rack. Let them cool fully.
  • Once the cookies have fully cooled, spread jam onto the bottom cookie (the one without the hole) using a butter knife or small spoon.
  • Dust the top cookie (the one with the hole) in powdered sugar, then place it on top of the jam covered "bottom cookie" and press down slightly. Be careful to only touch the top cookie on the sides and not the part that is covered in powdered sugar. Repeat the step with all pairs of cookies.
  • Let the cookies sit for a bit until the jam has hardened slightly.

Notes

  • You can make any shape you like for your Linzer cookies – stars, circles, flowers, hearts, etc. Just remember to always make a bottom and a top cookie using the same shape! Otherwise, you’ll have mismatched top and bottom cookies.
  • You can use whatever jam you like to fill the cookies. We like apricot and raspberry but really any jam or jelly goes! Just be sure it doesn’t have any seeds or large chunks of fruit – these make the cookies sit weird on top of one another.
  • This Linzer cookie dough is very similar to our German butter cookies. These Linzer cookies have a tad more almonds but the rest of the dough is very similar. Make both and tell us which one you prefer!

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 113kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 40mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g

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.

Course Desserts
Cuisine Austrian
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