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25 German Cookies: From Springerles to Spritzgebäck, Lebkuchen & More

From rich and nutty Pfeffernüsse to crisp, warm spices of lebkuchen, this recipe list of delightful German cookies will become your next favorite resource for sweet treats!

German baking, like many cultures, has a rich history. 

Christmas confections date back to the Middle Ages when monks baked specialities in honor of the birth of Jesus. 

Not until the late 19th century were ingredients widely available for everyone to purchase and bake German cookies for themselves. 

There are many types of base doughs that the cookies start with that have a certain spice flavor like cinnamon, cardamom, orange and lemon or run and vanilla. 

Traditional German cookies can take a while to make which is why many families are proud to serve them if they have invested the time and energy. 

The Lebkuchen, or gingerbread cookie, is the country’s favorite cookie! 

The shortbread style cookie with jam is often referred to as traditional German biscuits. 

Popular German cookies have a variety of toppings from sprinkles, to nuts to icing. 

The scents of cinnamon, ginger, anise and chocolate from German cookie recipes will fill the home! 

I collected 25 German cookie recipes here, some more authentic than others, but good recipes nonetheless. 

I hope one or many make it into your collection for regular baking. 

From the anise-scented springerles to heavy warm spice of authentic lebkuchen to walnut shortbread, you’ll find your new faves here.

I will certainly be sure to have a couple favorites from this list of delicious German cookies. 

Spitzbuben are German cookie recipes also commonly called Linzer cookies! 

Rolling and cutting, baking and cooling, filling with jam (that’s not too sweet) and sugar dusting. 

Definitely recognizable!

Perhaps the most traditional German cookies are the gingerbread ones! 

This recipe is a bit different as it is a cross between a spice cake and gingerbread dough. 

I love the nostalgia of the recipe being handed down and the practical tips to make a chewy textured cookie!

Another wonderful traditional entry here of types of German cookies, the Pfeffernusse. 

These use no butter but do have wonderful warm spices of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, black pepper, allspice and ginger! 

Some areas claim they should have a glaze icing, others say powdered sugar dusting. 

Either way, they are fantastic!

Gotta love German holiday cookies that have a smaller ingredients list. 

These buttery cookies are made from four, sugar, butter, egg yolks, vanilla and lemon extract. 

It is kneaded into a dough, chilled, rolled out and cut into shapes. 

Heavenly and simple!

Can you even believe how many popular German cookies there are? 

The Lebkuchen is a soft gingerbread-like cookie with honey, almonds, and marmalade. 

This recipe too, was passed down through a family. 

These have the traditional lemon icing. 

There’s a recipe later that has a chocolate flair!

Being traditional German biscuits does not even touch the history of these amazing Elisenlebkuchen. 

They have no flour and use a high amount of nuts, almonds and hazelnuts to be exact. 

The spices and homemade candied orange and lemon peel are important here, so give the recipe a good read through before you begin.

For light sweet German cookies that can be formed into various sizes and shapes, these spritz cookies are the ones you want! 

They are also called the German “S” cookies and can be made with a piping bag or a cookie press. 

Dipping them into chocolate after baking is fun! 

Shortbread German cookie recipes have no leavening agent like baking soda or baking powder, so they come out of the oven the same size as they went in! 

The topping is sugar which the cookies are dipped in before baking.

The traditional German cookie Mandelhoernchen is a dense, chewy, almond flavored and covered cookie dipped in chocolate. 

It does need almond paste which can be bought or made from scratch. 

Several modification options are given and great pictures guide you step by step!

These cookies are from a cross-section of France, Switzerland and Germany roots. 

Thick, soft and a touch chewy, these springerles (springer-lees) are either lightly or strongly flavored with anise, depending on your preference.

A gorgeous, uniform alabaster color even after baking, springerle cookie dough takes on the design of the cookie mold you choose. 

Lots of good steps for resting the dough, pressing into cookie molds and even how to make them into tree ornaments.

Marzipan cookies are types of German cookies as well, with a poppy seed shortbread cookie and a piped marzipan cookie sandwiched together with jam! 

Lots of steps, but worth the effort. 

Rum is mixed into the jam and after assembling, they are extra good one week later!

Moving along to other popular German cookies, these ginger flavored cookies are not gingerbread or ginger nut cookies! 

This ginger flavored creme colored cookie has only eight ingredients and a chocolate glaze for decorating. 

They could be made year round. 

Just sayin’.

These traditional German biscuits, hazelnut meringue kisses or toasted hazelnut meringue cookies, have only 3 ingredients: egg whites, sugar, and toasted hazelnuts, some whole and some ground. 

Excellent pictures show all the steps and they bake until they are firm enough to be lifted without sagging.

Caramel is the flavor that shines in these German cookies! 

If you enjoy “Werther’s Original” caramel candy, then these cookies will be among your favorites because the caramels are crushed and included in the cookie mixture. 

Additionally some are mixed with sugar and added on top before baking.

As the title of this particular entry on my German cookie recipes list indicates, this batter can be kept in the refrigerator for a week. 

Consistency in the batter seems to take some adjusting depending on the ingredients you use. 

Best to cut them a bit thicker so as they spread during baking they will still be soft and not too thin and crispy. 

Traditional German cookies are sometimes crunchy, like this recipe for cinnamon cookies. 

Butter, cream cheese, sugar, vanilla sugar, egg yolk, flour, baking powder, butter, and cinnamon are the ingredients. 

After the batter is prepared, it needs to be chilled for three hours before the cookies are sliced and baked. 

Okay, admittedly, this may be a stretch for types of German cookies, but who can resist a German chocolate macaroon if you love chocolate cake, caramel, coconut and pecan frosting? 

All the yummies and none of the silliness. 

After baking, caramel sauce and melted chocolate are drizzled on top.

German holiday cookies never cease to amaze. 

This recipe is also known as Zimtsterne Cinnamon Cookies. 

The main ingredients are egg whites, lemon juice and zest, powdered sugar, ground almonds, cinnamon and ginger. 

Several good tips included for the whole process from the cookie batter to the meringue topping.

Triangles are the shape of these popular German cookies, nussecken. 

These have a buttery shortbread base with caramelized hazelnut layer and corners dipped in chocolate. 

Simple steps to follow with pictures for explanation.

Hausfreunde are traditional German cookies with layers of pastry, apricot jam, and almond paste. 

They are also dipped in chocolate with caramelized cashews sprinkled on top to win over everyone who gets to taste one!

These German cookies will satisfy your chocolate cravings with a chewy and gooey chocolate cookie.

I know you will love them so much you will let it slide that they are not officially of German origin, but based on sweet baking chocolate invented by Sam German— German’s Chocolate. The more you know.

They also have a coconut pecan topping that is fabulous and takes the cookie to a fancy level.

Now for truly authentic German cookie recipes, I present Bethmannchen marzipan cookies. 

Firm outside, chewy inside with almonds as decoration. 

Six ingredients is all it takes to make these lovely cookies that begin as round balls with the almonds pressed in the sides, leaving them tall instead of flat. 

If you like types of German cookies but need to keep your sugar intake low, this modified recipe may meet your needs. 

Sugar alternatives that measure out one to one are best to keep the other ingredients in balance. 

But many German cookie recipes use a minimum of sugar so keep an eye out for those.

To conclude this list of popular German cookies, this recipe for a crispy butter cookie is called Butterplaetzchen.  

These are known world wide and called by many different names. 

Traditional prep includes making the batter, chilling it, rolling it out and cutting out shapes. 

Sprinkles can be added before baking. 

Cute and delicious!

The bottom line

Traditional German cookies have quite a story to tell and there are quite a wide variety from which to choose. 

For even more German Desserts, visit our list here. 

Guten Appetit!

25 German Cookies

25 German Cookies

If you’re looking for German Cookies for everyday or holidays, we have a list of 25 German Cookies for you to choose from!

Ingredients

  • Vanillekipferl - German Vanilla Crescent Cookies
  • Spitzbuben - German Christmas Cookies
  • German Spice Lebkuchen Cookies
  • Pfeffernusse Cookies
  • Butterplätzchen - German Christmas Cookies
  • Lebkuchen - German Gingerbread Christmas Cookie
  • Authentic German Lebkuchen Recipe
  • German Spritz Cookies - Spritzgebäck
  • Walnut Shortbread - German Christmas Cookies
  • Almond Paste Cookies - German Almond Horns
  • German Lebkuchen Cookies
  • German Poppy Seed Marzipan Cookies - Spritzgebäck
  • German Ginger Cookies - Ingwerplätchen
  • German Hazelnut Meringue Cookies
  • German Caramel Candy Cookies
  • German Almond Icebox Cookies
  • German Cinnamon Cookies
  • German Chocolate Macaroons
  • German Star Cookies
  • Nussecken - German Nut Corners
  • Hausfreunde Cookies With Caramelised Cashews
  • German Chocolate Cookies
  • German Bethmännchen Marzipan Cookies
  • Sugar Free German Chocolate Cookies
  • German Butter Cookies - Butterplätzchen

Instructions

  1. Find your favorite recipe from our German Cookies list.
  2. Gather all the ingredients needed.
  3. Start baking and make us proud!

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