German Christmas Cookies (Weihnachtsplätzchen)

Fun and simple, and essential to every Christmas baking schedule

By Jen Curcio


German Christmas Cookies are a wonderful addition to your baking plans over the festive season. They are like a cookie canvas with countless variations. You can glaze them, sandwich them together with a little bit of melted jam, dust them with powdered sugar, dip them in chocolate – it’s really a choose your own adventure.

The recipe to make German Christmas Cookies is incredibly simple and makes a reasonably sized batch (about 35 biscuits) that’s perfect for homemade Christmas gifting or to offer visitors during the festive period.

You can cut the dough into any cookie shape you like, and it’s a fun little project with kids, or even friends if you want to turn it into a bit of a crafternoon.

Enjoy making German Christmas Cookies (Weihnachtsplätzchen).



German Christmas Cookies Weihnachtsplätzchen portrait


German Christmas Cookies (Weihnachtsplätzchen)

Makes roughly 35 cookies (depending on the size of your cookie cutters)


100g butter, softened to room temperature

100g powdered sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tbsp finely grated lemon peel

250g plain flour, plus extra for kneading


Topping ideas (optional)

Powdered sugar

Lemon flavoured icing/glaze with sugar pearls and lemon peel

Coated/dipped even drizzled in melted chocolate

Sandwiching two of the same shaped cookies with some melted jam and dusting with powdered sugar


Specialty Equipment

Christmas cookie cutters of your preference



In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar and egg, and mix together


Add the lemon peel, flour and baking powder and mix together with the butter, sugar and egg mixture


After all the ingredients have been mixed thoroughly together to form a dough, roll the dough into a ball, place it in a clean bowl and refrigerate it (covered with a plate or cling film/beeswax wrap) for 15 minutes


At this point, preheat your oven to 180°


Prepare an oven tray by lining it with baking paper and set aside. After 15 minutes have passed, remove the dough from the fridge and on a lightly floured counter space, roll out the dough to a height of about half a centimetre. Once the dough has been rolled out smoothly, start pressing and cutting out your festive themed shapes using your cookie cutters. Delicately place the cut out shapes onto the lined oven tray leaving a few centimetres between each cookie


Combine the left over cut out pieces of dough, reshape and roll out and repeat pressing and cutting out your cookie cutter shapes until you’ve used all the dough


Place the tray in the oven (bake in batches or use a second tray if your cookies fill more than one tray), and bake for about 15 minutes until the German Christmas Cookies become golden


Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool down


Once the cookies have completely cooled down you can start topping them to your liking with melted cooking chocolate, glaze/icing or simply a dusting of icing sugar. In the images taken here I’ve glazed my German Christmas cookies with a lemon icing, some silver sugar pearls and some lemon peel.


Stored in an air-tight container (unglazed), the German Christmas cookies will keep for at least three weeks.