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Melania's Vanillekipferl ~ Almond Cookie

White plate with Vanillekipfel (German Almond Cookies) with Christmas decorations

Vanillekipferl are an almond cookie which is very similar to a shortbread cookie, but made with ground almonds. This is one of the many German Christmas traditions that are so delicious, but taste great all year long. WUNDERBAR!

This almond cookie is one that I had at my friend Melania's house at Christmas. Her recipe starts with one from her old Dr. Oetker cookbook. However, Melania loves to adapt recipes to her own liking, often making them easier than the original

Holiday cookies these may be, but there's no reason not to enjoy them throughout the year!

Kaffeeklatsch Trivia with a cup of coffee and steam rising

  • Vanillekipferl originated in Austria but are now traditional in Germany, Czech, Slovakia, Romania, and Hungary as well
  • They have a unique flavor combination of almonds and vanilla
  • They are traditional for Christmas and often served with coffee, hot fruit tea, or mulled wine
  • This is normally considered difficult cookie to make! The dough can be very fragile and can be difficult to form into the crescent shape

Melania's Vanillekipferl - Almond Cookie 


  • 1¾ cups flour, all-purpose
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla sugar
  • 1 cup butter, cold
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 6 tsp vanilla sugar


  • Preheat oven to 300° F.
  • Mix flour, ground almonds, sugar and 2 tsp vanilla sugar together in a large bowl.
  • Cut in cold butter. 
  • Quickly mix all ingredients together to make a smooth dough.
  • Roll a small amount of dough into a thin roll. Cut into 2" rolls.
  • Place onto greased baking sheet and form into crescents.
  • Bake for 10 - 15 minutes or until lightly golden.
  • Remove from oven and roll warm cookies in the powdered sugar that has been mixed with 6 tsp vanilla sugar.
  • Makes about 4 dozen.


  • These cookies store very well, actually getting better the longer they stand.
Just like Oma's Christmas Baking eCookbook

Melania's Christmas Cookies ... 

White plate with two sugar-dusted Vanillekipferl (German Almond Cookies)

Originally from Austria, these cookies are now a specialty of the Bavaria. It's assumed these are hard to make because the dough is quite fragile. However, it just takes a bit of practice ... and you'll do fine.

You can make these in two basic varieties. One uses almonds and the other hazelnuts. Melania's here use almonds ... 

Almond cookie ... vanillekipferl

For another version of these Vanillekipferln check out this Vanilla Shortbread Cookie that is a translation of a German recipe sent in by one of our readers.

She's altered the recipe to make it simple and fast.

The recipe, above, and this other one are actually similar, yet different. Why not try them both and you judge which is best!

Some more German Cookies

Why not make a batch of each of these cookies for your holiday platter. The different textures and flavours look so pretty, especially when arranged together on a tray. They also make great 'hostess gifts.' Just be ready to pass on the recipes!

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Words to the Wise

"The prudent understand where they are going, but fools deceive themselves."

Proverbs 14:8 (NLT)