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 made this recipe last night and I am very impressed!! I added some Almond extract like some others suggested and my dough did crack a little while rolling out but I noticed it stopped cracking after it was out of the fridge for a few minutes. I highly recommend this recipe if your looking for a delicious linzer cookie !
I was a little worried when the dough tasted a bit too almondy, but once baked these cookies were excellent. Held their shape nicely and were super delicious.
Can I make the dough ahead of time (about a week), refrigerate it and then cut and bake when I am ready to use it? Someone mentioned freezing them ahead of time in the comments, do they mean the baked and assembled cookies are frozen? If so how does that affect the texture, if at all? Thanks! Can't wait to make these!
You can make the dough ahead of time and either refrigerate it for up to 2 days or freeze it for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight before rolling. I hope that helps!
Does the butter need to be at room temperature?
It doesn't need to be but it is okay if it is. Room temperature butter doesn't need to be mixed as long as cold butter but that's the only difference really. I hope that helps!
Can these be made ahead and frozen?
where can I find those cute cookie cuters?
I got them from my mother, and they have been in the family for a long time. I'm so sorry!
Hi! I can't use almond flour because my kid is allergic.Can I substitute with regular flour? Thank you!
In this case, it would be better to choose a regular sugar cookie recipe and fill the cookies with jam if you like. Almond flour is an essential ingredient in those cookies. Replacing it with flour would not give satisfactory results. I'm sorry.
Perfect! I’ll try it with 1/4 tsp almond extract next time.
When do you sprinkle the powdered sugar on top so that it doesn't cover the jam?
You can sprinkle the powdered sugar on the top pieces before placing them on top of the jam. I usually sprinkle them when they're already put together as a sandwich. The sugar on the jam disappears from the moisture in the jam. I hope it helps!
You can dust powdered sugar over the tops covering the jam, after they rest a while the powdered sugar dissolves where the jam is. These have been in my family for decades and I make them every year, plus powdering them before might just cause more trouble because you might mark them up if you touch the sugar on top.
Do you use salted butter or unsalted?