Learn how to bake original Austrian Linzer Cookies like I learned from my mother in Austria! This recipe has been passed down through generations and I'm excited to share it with you. These sandwich cookies are soft, buttery, and filled with jam. It has been a family favorite for many decades. By the way, have you tried my Vanillekipferl (vanilla crescent cookies) yet?
Step-by-step video tutorial
Linzer cookies are soft, buttery and filled with jam. These are traditional Christmas sandwich cookies from Austria, which are usually filled with apricot or strawberry jam. They're so popular that you can buy them in stores all year round, not just during the holiday season, even though they're considered Christmas cookies.
I got mine from my mother when I was still living in Austria. After some research I found that Wilton sells Linzer Cookie cutters that look similar to mine. Their cookie cutter set is available on Amazon. My cookie cutters are 2 inches (5cm) in diameter and so are theirs. However, any 2-inch cookie cutters will work.
Making the dough is as easy as making regular sugar cookie dough. Start mixing the butter until creamy. Then add powdered sugar followed by egg yolks. Stir in the vanilla, salt, lemon juice and cinnamon. Finally add flour and almond flour. Divide the dough in half and shape it into discs. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 2 days.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough, ¼-inch (0.6cm) thick. Then cut out cookies and place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. You can space them 1-inch (2.6cm) apart as they don't spread at all.
Then bake, cool completely, and fill with jam.
Expert tips for success
- The dough contains a lot of butter, so it will become soft if rolled too long. Work in batches, roll out one sheet of dough at a time and keep the second refrigerated until the entire first sheet of dough is cut and ready to bake. If the dough gets too soft, put it back in the fridge. You can also work in smaller batches and quarter the dough if that's easier for you.
- Avoid counteracting the increased softness and stickiness of the dough as you roll it out with too much flour. Use enough flour to roll and cut the dough, but don't work too much flour into the dough or the Linzer cookies will become dry and crumbly.
- Gently roll out the dough with increasing pressure but avoid pressing too hard on the dough or it will tear.
- When it comes to apricot jam, it is popular in Austria to add a bit of rum to the jam. If you want that too, add 1-2 tablespoons of dark rum to your jam, depending on your preference.
- I highly recommend using a kitchen scale and weighing the ingredients. Cups vary in size and too much (almond) flour would dry the cookies out. If using cups instead of a kitchen scale, fluff up the flour, spoon it into the cups, and level with the back of a knife.
- Whenever possible, use real Bourbon vanilla beans, as this is the type of vanilla originally used in these sandwich cookies.
How long do they last?
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Make ahead and freezing instructions
- Cookie dough - Place wrapped dough discs in freezer bags or containers and freeze for up to 3 months. Place the wrapped dough in the refrigerator overnight to thaw.
- Baked cookies - You can either freeze filled cookie sandwiches or just the cookies and fill them after thawing. Individually wrap each cookie tightly in plastic wrap, place in freezer bags or containers, and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, unwrap and let sit on the counter for 1 hour.
More cookie recipes to try
- Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti
- Christmas Thumbprint Cookies
- Buckeye Cookies
- Gingerbread Men Cookies
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies
- Brown Butter Cookies
The softest and best Linzer Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 large egg yolks
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 vanilla bean* (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 1 cup almond flour, spooned and leveled
- ½ cup apricot or strawberry jam
- Optional powdered sugar for decoration
- In a large mixing bowl, using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, mix the butter on medium speed until creamy for about 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar and mix to combine. Stir in the egg yolks until combined. Add the salt, cinnamon, vanilla*, and lemon juice and mix just until incorporated. On low speed, stir in flour and almond flour just to combine.
- Divide the dough in half and shape into 1-inch (2.6cm) thick discs. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C and line 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out one dough disc at a time ¼ inch (0.6cm) thick. Using a 2-inch (5cm) cookie cutter of your choice, cut out cookies and place about 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheets. You should end up with about 64 cookies.
- Bake one sheet at a time for 9-10 minutes until they look dry. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Fill cooled cookies with jam by spreading jam on the bottom of one cookie and placing another on top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if you like. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
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I bake a lot and I LOVED these. I did orange juice instead of lemon, just a personal preference. I made them with different types of jam, I also treated them like sugar cookies and dipped them in chocolate, then topped with sprinkles…. So many options! I got so many compliments!
The absolute BEST linzers
Soft sandy delicious cookies. I used. ground macadamia nuts instead of almond flour and they were perfect. Making more today!
These are amazing and remind me of thumbprint cookies that were rolled in nuts and filled with jam that my family used to make. Delicious!
Wonderful recipe. Second time I’ve made it. Bullet proof and absolutely delicious. Made Linzers using multiple different recipes but this one will stick forever. Highly recommend.
These were spectacular and a huge hit! Thanks for this delicious recipe.
Cooking for Christmas
Super easy, if you're having doubts just go for it- the dough is forgiving. If you're using fresh lemons I actually recommend adding a little extra if you like a little brightness in your cookies. It goes great with the almond flavor since these cookies aren't too sweet. I did a raspberry jam but next time I'll definitely mix them up, if you have options don't be afraid to try lemon curd, orange, chocolate, or caramel - all would work great. Take your cookie tops and dust them with powdered sugar before pressing them on top of the jammed cookie, I was dumb and did it after for my first round haha and my jam was white.
Sabine... This is a great recipe.. I have absolutely nothing to tweak.. 0 I loved the tip of adding a little bit of rum to the jelly... I wish I could post a picture they turned out so pretty.. really tasty perfect texture and density.. just a great recipe! The only tip I have is to make sure the dough is rolled evenly at just the right thickness.. when I got it to a scant quarter inch it was perfect.
Thank you Sabine. Cheers!
Too much lemon. It overpowered. I prefer the almond flavor.
I got such high praises for these cookies. My family thought that I went out and bought them from a bakery. Thank you for sharing the recipe.