Plätzchen recipes

Germans love Christmas cookies so much that they designated an entire word to it: “Plätzchen.” This means if you’re looking for cookies anytime between January and October, they’re “Kekse” but as soon as the first lights are put up, they will all be replaced by the seasonal “Plätzchen.” Yes, even if the dough is technically the same all year round. No matter what you call them, I love myself some Santa-shaped, sugar-coated carbs. So let’s put on some Michael Bublé and enjoy these classic German cookie recipes.


It doesn’t get more simple or classic than this one. Prepare the dough in advance and take it out of the fridge whenever you’re ready to make sure it’s firm and doesn’t crumble when you roll it out.

Photo by Olha Afanasieva /


✹ 250 grams butter

✹ 250 grams sugar

✹ 1 packet vanilla sugar

✹ 6 egg yolks

✹ 500 grams sifted flour


Mix and knead all ingredients. Roll out thinly. Cut into any shape your cookie cutter allows. Bake at 320°F / 160°C for 15 minutes. Get creative with icing, toppings and other sorts of decoration.


Vanilla crescents were my favourite growing up. Their crumbly texture makes them a perfect fit for coffee, tea or hot chocolate.

Photo by achristopher73 /


✹ 250 grams flour

✹ ½ teaspoon baking powder

✹ 125 grams sugar

✹ 1 packet vanilla sugar

✹ Salt

✹ 3 egg yolks

✹ 200 grams cold butter or margarine

✹ 125 grams ground almonds or hazelnuts


Mix and knead all ingredients. Store in fridge for at least 45 minutes. Roll into an even snake. Cut little pieces. Roll each into a ball and form crescents. Bake at 347°F / 175°C for 15 minutes. Coat hot cookies with a mixture of powdered- and vanilla sugar.


Instead of forming crescents, use the back of a wooden spoon to make a dent in the balls and fill them with jam. Bake with the others.