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Linzer Cookies are traditional Austrian Cookies that are so tender and buttery! An easy recipe for jam-filled almond shortbread cookies with lots of tips.

Linzer cookies on parchment paper

These little jam-filled sandwich cookies are always are hit and have been a favorite of mine since I was a child! These cookies are a Christmas favorite in our house, but they also make a cute Valentine’s Day treat, and let’s be honest I love to eat them all year round.

Linzer Cookies are SO tender and will melt in your mouth similar to shortbread. But my favorite part is the sweet filling in the middle! You could use any jam or spread you like, traditionally they are made with blackcurrant or raspberry jam.

Chilling the dough twice and adding ground nuts is the secret behind the tender and crumbly shortbread-like texture that these Austrian cookies are famous for! You have to give this classic Linzer cookie recipe a try!

Ingredient Notes

Here is an overview of the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe.

Ingredients needed for this recipe
  • Butter – I use unsalted butter to control the amount of salt in the recipe. The butter needs to be soft, take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before starting this recipe.
  • Flour – All-purpose flour works best! Make sure to measure the flour using the spoon and level method. Don’t just scoop it out of the container. 
  • Egg yolks – Using only egg yolks gives the cookies a richer flavor and makes them more tender. Use the leftover egg whites to make Coconut Macaroons
  • Almonds – Traditionally these cookies are made with ground blanched almonds. Blanched means that the almond peel has been removed prior to grinding them. You can find ground, blanched almonds in the baking aisle.  
  • Lemon zest – The lemon zest needs to be finely grated. This zester (affiliate link) works best in my experience. Make sure to only use the yellow rind, the white pith is bitter.
  • Jam – Traditionally Linzer cookies are sandwiched with blackcurrant or raspberry jam, but there are also many other delicious options!

Fillings for Linzer Cookies

  • Jam or preserves: These cookies taste delicious with raspberry, strawberry, blackcurrant, or any other jam, jelly, or preserve. I recommend using a seedless and smooth jam without any fruit pieces because you can pipe it easier onto the cookies.
  • (Homemade) Lemon Curd: Goes so well with the flavor of the cookies. Lime curd works too!
  • Spreads: Nutella, cookie butter, or any other spread would also make a tasty filling.

How to make this recipe

Detailed measurements and instructions can be found at the bottom of the page on the printable recipe card.

Steps for making Linzer cookies from scratch
  1. Combine Sugar and Butter: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using a hand mixer, combine sugar and softened butter. You want it to be well mixed, scrape the bowl as needed.
  2. Remaining Ingredients: Add the remaining ingredients and keep mixing. The dough will look dry and crumbly. This is normal! Keep kneading the dough for a little while longer.
  3. Dough forms: After a while, the dough will look like moister and the crumbly pieces will get bigger. Test with your fingers if the dough is ready by pressing a handful of crumbs together, if they stick together continue with the next step otherwise mix longer and add 1 Tbsp of cold water.
  4. Press together and refrigerate: Use your hands to press all the crumbs into a flat ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill it in the fridge for at least an hour.
  5. Knead and Roll: Take the dough out of the fridge, divide into two portions and shortly knead portions by hand. The dough will be slightly crumbly. Roll out the dough on a floured work surface and cut out cookies with a Linzer cookie cutter.
  6. Chill cookies: Chill cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 30 minutes in the fridge.
  7. Preheat and Bake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
  8. Sprinkle and Fill: Sprinkle the cookies with the cut-out with powdered sugar (Image below). Pipe jam on top of the other cookies and put one of the cookies with a cut-out on top.
Sandwich Cookies dusted with powdered sugar

Expert Tips

  • Spoon and level the flour, instead of scooping it out of the container. Using too much flour will make the dough crumbly and difficult to handle!
  • Instead of ground blanched almonds, you can also use the same amount of ground hazelnuts, walnuts, or pecans. Almond flour works too!
  • After chilling the dough divide it into smaller portions to make kneading easier. Because of the butter, this dough will get hard when chilled, but kneading it makes it easy to roll out.
  • If the dough gets too warm after rolling it out several times, chill it for a few minutes.
  • While traditionally a round cookie cutter is used, you could also use a heart-shaped cookie cutter or any cookie cutter you like. But the easiest way to make these cookies is to use a Linzer Cookie Cutter (affiliate link) that comes with little shapes that can be inserted into the round cookie cutter.
  • If the cookie dough sticks to the work surface instead of the cookie-cutter, use a thin spatula to lift the dough a little bit and sprinkle some flour under it.
  • Chill the cut-out cookies on the baking sheet in the fridge until the dough is cold. This way, the cookies get tender and crisp!
  • Don’t bake these cookies for too long! They should NOT brown, take them out of the oven when the edges start to get lightly golden. They might look soft, but they will firm up while they cool.
  • I recommend only using a small amount of filling! The thicker the layer of filling, the softer the cookies will become when they are stored for a few days. You can use a piping bag (my preferred way) or a knife to put it on the cookie.
  • These cookies taste best after a day! The jam will infuse the cookies, and they will get a little bit softer.

Recipe FAQs

What is a Linzer cookie?

Linzer cookies are little shortbread sandwich cookies filled with jam. They are a cookie-sized version of the famous Linzer Torte. The top cookie has a cut-out, traditionally three holes, and is dusted with powdered sugar. In Germany, they are also known as Hildabroetchen, Spitzbuben, Linzer sablés, or Linzer Augen (German for eyes).

Are these cookies german?

Linzer cookies (and the famous Linzer Torte, they are modeled after) originate from the Austrian city, Linz. But they’re also very popular in Germany where you can find them on every cookie platter.

How do you use a Linzer cookie cutter?

Insert one of the smaller cutters into the large round cookie cutter by twisting it into the base. Cut out half of the dough using the round cutter with the insert and push the plunger to release the cookie on the baking sheet. Remove the smaller shape from the cookie cutter. Cut out an equal number of rounds using the cutter without the insert.

Linzer Cookies stacked on a plate

Storing

Store cookies in metal tins or airtight containers with layers of parchment paper between them. Cookies keep for up to 3 weeks stored in a cool and dry place. Linzer cookies don’t need to be refrigerated. The raw cookie dough can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.

Freezing

These cookies don’t freeze well because of the jam filling, but you can freeze the raw cookie dough wrapped in plastic foil. Let it defrost overnight in the fridge before continuing with the recipe.

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5 from 8 votes

Linzer Cookies

Linzer Cookies are traditional Austrian Cookies that are so tender and buttery! An easy recipe for jam-filled almond shortbread cookies with lots of tips.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 12 minutes
Servings: 30 cookies

Equipment

  • Linzer Cookie Cutter

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar, or vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup ground blanched almonds, or other ground nuts or almond flour
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp lemon zest, finely grated

To decorate:

  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup (seedless) jam, e.g., raspberry, strawberry

Instructions 

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar. Add flour, salt, vanilla sugar, egg yolks, ground almonds, cinnamon, and lemon peel. Mix until a crumbly dough forms. Press dough together with your hands and flatten into a disk. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
  • Take the dough out of the fridge, divide into two portions, and shortly knead portions by hand.
  • On a floured work surface, roll out the dough. It should be 1/5 inches (5mm) high. Cut half of the dough using a round cutter with your chosen insert and an equal number of rounds without the insert. Transfer cut out cookies to a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Chill cookies on the baking sheet for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350F (177C). Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes in the middle of the oven until edges are very lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
  • To decorate the cookies, sprinkle the cookies with the cut-out with powdered sugar. Pipe jam on top of the cookies that don’t have a hole and put one of the other cookies on top. Let the cookies dry on the cooling rack for about 2 hours then transfer to cookie tins with parchment paper in between. Store in a dry and cool place.

Notes

  • IMPORTANT: Spoon and level the flour, instead of scooping it out of the container. Using too much flour will make the dough crumbly and difficult to handle!
  • Instead of ground blanched almonds, you can also use the same amount of ground hazelnuts, walnuts, or pecans. Almond flour works too!
  • After chilling the dough divide it into smaller portions to make kneading easier. Because of the butter, this dough will get hard when chilled, but kneading it makes it easy to roll out.
  • If the dough gets too warm after rolling it out several times, chill it for a few minutes.
  • While traditionally a round cookie cutter is used, you could also use a heart-shaped cookie cutter or any cookie cutter you like. But the easiest way to make these cookies is to use a Linzer Cookie Cutter that comes with little shapes that can be inserted into the round cookie cutter.
  • If the cookie dough sticks to the work surface instead of the cookie-cutter, use a thin spatula to lift the dough a little bit and sprinkle some flour under it.
  • Chill the cut-out cookies on the baking sheet in the fridge until the dough is cold. This way, the cookies get tender and crisp!
  • Don’t bake these cookies for too long! They should NOT brown, take them out of the oven when the edges start to get lightly golden. They might look soft, but they will firm up while they cool.
  • I recommend only using a small amount of filling! The thicker the layer of filling, the softer the cookies will become when they are stored for a few days. You can use a piping bag (my preferred way) or a knife to put it on the cookie.
  • These cookies taste best after a day! The jam will infuse the cookies, and they will get a little bit softer.

Nutrition

Calories: 134kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 23mg | Potassium: 17mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 159IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg
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About Julia Foerster

Hi, I'm Julia! Born in Germany, I call Canada now my home and love to share my favorite dishes with you! Here you'll find hundreds of recipes, all made from scratch, with lots of tips and detailed step-by-step instructions.

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6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I finally made these from your recipe, after having memories for my whole adult life of a family friend’s contribution to the Christmas cookie swap. We all had German heritages there, but this family actually made the cookies! I have missed them forever, and I’m so glad to have your recipe with details to help me get through stages on my schedule. I’m delivering a plate of 4 cookies to my county Christmas Faire tomorrow, we taste-tested the remaining 2 from the tray, and the rest will be baked in a week or so to enjoy closer to Christmas. We love them! Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    Wonderful recipe! Beautiful cookies! I used peanut butter buttercream frosting in the middle rather than the traditional raspberry jam. (I don’t like jelly or jam in cookies. I thought they looked better with some color that’s why I chose to color the frosting red, but it definitely tastes peanut buttery. Next time
    I’m trying vanilla buttercream frosting. or maybe lemon curd. Thank you for this delicious recipe!