These easy vegan Linzer Cookies (German Spitzbuben) are delicious homemade biscuits made with simple eggless shortcrust pastry and filled with jam! They sweeten not only any coffee or tea party but make also a lovely gift idea for Valentine’s Day or Christmas!
The Best Vegan Linzer Cookies Recipe (German Spitzbuben Biscuits)
I love having yummy and pretty homemade treats at home because they taste much better than store-bought ones and make a lovely gift idea too! While store-bought cookies often contain non-vegan ingredients like eggs and butter, additives or just too much sugar, these Linzer cookies are vegan, dairy-free, and eggless! Since these German Spitzbuben biscuits are one of the most popular cookie recipes, I thought a recipe update would be great.
So I took new photos, created step-by-step instructions, filmed a recipe video, and added helpful tips and tricks for baking the best vegan Linzer cookies to this post. By using this fool-proof instruction, these fruity filled shortbread cookies are guaranteed to succeed for everyone – no matter if beginner or professional baker!
Easy Vegan Cookies with jam filling
These vegan biscuits with a heart of red jam in the center are always an eye-catcher. They are not are not only perfect for Christmas and Valentine’s Day, but all year round. Serve the sweet cookies to your next coffee or tea party; this is guaranteed to put a smile on the face of every guest. But also as a snack for in between or to grab and go the Linzer cookies are always a hit.
I find homemade cakes and cookies are one of the most beautiful ways to surprise our loved ones. So if you are still looking for a gift idea, these heart-shaped cookies are just perfect. Put the cookies in a beautiful homemade packaging box or jar and bring as a gift for your family and friends. However, you can also put them in the cleaned boots of your children for Santa Claus.
What are Linzer Cookies?
Speaking of the original: Why are they called Spitzbuben biscuits or Linzer cookies and where are they from? Quite simple: Spitzbuben was the term for informers or spies in the 19th century. Through the hole in the middle of the cookies you can spy on the jam. That’s why these treats are called Spitzbuben cookies. I think this is a very creative naming of the cookies.
The name Linzer cookies, however, comes from Austria. In the big city of Linz there is a special shortbread dough, which consists of flour, sugar, butter, eggs and almonds or other nuts. The nutty shortbread cookies are an adaptation of Linzer torte, featuring a similar dough as the cookie and filled with fruit preserves. Instead of a lattice crust, the top cookie has a hole cut out so the jam shows through. They are made in a variety of shapes and flavors, but my version is completely vegan without using dairy butter and eggs.
The secret of making perfect cookies
When it comes to the dough, there are a few tips you should keep in mind to ensure that your vegan Linzer cookies turn out perfect, don’t melt in the oven, and are worth the effort in the end.
The secret of working with shortcrust pastry is chilling. It not only prevents the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and countertop, making rolling and cutting easier, but also helps the dough to hold its shape during baking. Also, I recommend to cut the dough in half before putting it in the fridge as small pieces of dough chill faster and are much easier to handle than one large ball of dough.
I highly recommend reading the full article for more helpful tips on making perfect vegan shortbread pastry in this post. Also note, depending on whether you use blanched (peeled) or unpeeled almonds or white or brown sugar for the pastry, you end up with a light or darker cookie dough.
Ingredients and substitutes
- All-purpose flour: alternatively you can use spelt or wheat flour or substitute a gluten-free flour blend 1 to 1.
- Almond flour: or other ground nuts. You can also use whole almonds and grind them in a food processor or blender into flour.
- Sugar: you can also use raw cane sugar, xylitol or coconut sugar.
- Bourbon vanilla: alternatively you can use vanilla sugar or vanilla extract.
- Lemon zest: use an organic lemon because we do not want that the peel is not full of pesticides.
- Margarine: or vegan butter.
- Jam: use your favorite like raspberry jam, strawberry, cherry, blackberry, apricot jam or black currant preserves.
- Cookie Cutters: Just use those cookie cutters you have on hand. These look super pretty with a biscuit cutter that has a fluted edge, but regular circular biscuit or cookie cutter are fine too. As for the cut-out shape, hearts are classic (and make these a great Valentine’s Day dessert), but you can also make a little circle. You can use a mini cookie cutter or the bottom of a piping tip.
How to make Vegan Linzer Cookies
As always, I recommend checking out the recipe video and the following step-by-step instruction first. Then you’ll find the full recipe with exact measurements in the recipe card below.
Step 1: Make the cookie dough
First, mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Next, add vegan butter and water to the flour mixture and knead everything to form a smooth dough. Then divide the dough into two equal pieces, shape into discs and wrap each in plastic wrap. Put in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Step 2: Roll and cut out dough, then bake!
Once the dough is chilled, roll out one piece of dough on a floured work surface to be about 3 mm think and cut out your favorite designs. From one half of the cookies cut out an hole in the center. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Then allow to cool on a wire rack and repeat with the other piece of dough.
Tip: You can use leftover cut-out dough to bake small mini cookies (reduce baking time) or put them on top of the cookies to create a stunning 3D effect! You can easily attach the dough motives using a bit of jam as it acts like edible glue.
Step 3: Assembling Linzer cookies
Warm the jam in a pot until liquid and brush the whole cookies with it. Then place the cut-out cookies on top and fill the hole with more jam. Allow to harden and enjoy!
It’s best to wait until the vegan cookies are completely cooled and the jam is hardened. After that, you can dust them with powdered sugar or garnish them with other decorations, such as chocolate or sugar icing and sprinkles.
How to store linzer cookies?
These homemade biscuits can be stored in a cookie jar or tin or airtight container at room temperature for at least one week and will taste even better the next day.
Can I freeze vegan Linzer cookies?
Sure! You can either freeze the filled cookie sandwiches or just the cookies and fill them after thawing. Wrap each cookie tightly in plastic wrap, then place in ziplock bags or freezer-safe containers, and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, unwrap and let sit on the counter for 1 hour.
Can you freeze the cookie dough?
Yes! Make the dough, flatten it into discs as stated in the recipe and freeze for up to 3 months! Place the wrapped dough in the refrigerator overnight to thaw because it should be chilled before making cookies.
These Vegan Linzer Cookies are:
- Easy to make
- Can be made gluten-free
- A lovely homemade gift idea
- Like grandma’s classic Spitzbuben
- Perfect for Christmas, St. Nicholas or Valentine’s Day
More Vegan Cookies Recipes:
Looking for more easy cookie recipes for Advent? Here are a few favorite recipes from my vegan Christmas bakery:
- Gingerbread Cookies
- Cinnamon Stars (Zimtsterne)
- Vanilla Crescent Cookies
- Crunchy Nut Corners
- Oatmeal Cookies
- Pecan Pie Bars
- Almond Horns
If you try this vegan linzer cookie recipe, please leave me a comment and a rating on how you liked this recipe! And if you take a picture of your yummy Christmas cookies and share it on Instagram or Facebook, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love seeing your pictures! Happy baking! 🙂
Vegan Linzer Cookies (German Spitzbuben Biscuits)Author:
You do not have a fitting cake pan at hand right now? Try my Cake Pan Conversion Calculator!
- 2 ½ cups (300 g) all-purpose flour or light spelt or wheat flour
- ½ cup (50 g) almond flour I used blanched
- ⅓ cup (80 g) sugar
- ½ tsp ground bourbon vanilla or vanilla sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- ¾ cup (175 g) vegan butter or margarine cold
- 3 tbsp cold water or plant milk
- 3.5 oz (100 g) jam I used cherry-pomegranate
- powdered sugar for dusting
*Note: Please check out the recipe video and step-by-step photos above for visual instruction!
- Whisk together the flour, almond flour, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest.
- Then add margarine or vegan butter and water or plant milk and knead until a smooth dough forms.
- Form the dough into two flat balls, wrap each tightly in cling film and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 356 °F (180 °C).
- Remove one dough ball from the fridge and roll it out with a rolling pin on a flour-dusting surface to be approx. 3 mm thick.
- Cut out round circles or other cookie shapes using a cookie cutter.
- Using a smaller cookie cutter, cut hearts out of half of the cookies in the center.
- Place the biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 8-10 minutes. Then allow to cool.
- Repeat this process with the other dough ball.
- Warm the jam in a saucepan to make it more liquid.
- Spread a bit of jam on each whole cookie with a pastry brush. Place another cookie with an heart in the middle on top and fill the hearts with jam.
- Leave to cool until the jam has become firm again. Dust with powdered sugar as desired and enjoy!
- This recipe was first published on 13/02/2018.
- More information as well as helpful tips and ingredient notes are mentioned in the blog post above!
Which cookie pictures do you find more beautiful? The old spitzbuben or the new cookies? Feel free to let me know in the comments! 🙂
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