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Holiday baking should look as good as it tastes, and these Linzer tart cookies do just that! They blend buttery, nutty shortbread goodness perfectly with vibrant but sweet jam and are dusted with powdered sugar!  The perfect simple, beautiful, and classic cookie.

Growing up, I remember these delicious cookies served every Christmas at my German Grandmother’s. So, when I had my children, I added them to my list of must-bake cookies (like this iced gingerbread cookie recipe) for the holidays, too. We don’t reserve these for the Christmas season only, though; I love to make these beautiful cookies for Valentine’s Day, Easter, and all year round, to be honest. I hope you love this recipe as much as we do.

Why We Love These Shortbread Sandwich Cookies

Linzer Tart cookies have a special place in our hearts for many reasons.

  • Linzer cookies are simple and easy to make, and the blend of buttery shortbread mixed with the sweet jam-filled center tastes absolutely delicious. Even my 11-year-old daughter has perfected making these cookies each year.
  • They are as beautiful as they are tasty.
  • These timeless tart cookies are so nostalgic and are the perfect way to bring the feel of classic Christmas into your home during the holidays.
  • Requires no eggs for this recipe.
  • Versatile! You can customize these cookies by experimenting with different extract flavors and filling options to create exactly the taste you desire!

What Is A Linzer Tart Cookie

I have always loved these cookies, but I never knew the meaning behind the name of the Linzer Tart cookie. After taking to Google, Linzer Cookies derived their name from the famed Linzer Torte, a pastry with roots in Linz, Austria. Traditionally, the torte is filled with black currant preserves and adorned with a lattice crust. In the case of the cookies, the concept and flavors of the torte remain intact, but the dough is cut into individual cookies, embracing a delightful sandwiching of jam and preserves. The cut-out shapes on the top cookies mirror the lattice crust of the original torte!

Ingredient Substitutes and Variations 

Although I always recommend trying the recipe as written the first time around, these little sandwich cookies are versatile or can be changed to accommodate dietary preferences.

Nut Alternatives

  • If allergies are a concern, substitute the traditional almonds or hazelnuts with alternatives like pecans, walnuts, or even sunflower seeds to maintain a nutty flavor profile. I have even made this nut-free by removing the nuts or almond flour and adding an almond extract for taste. If you do this, make sure to substitute with flour or try ground oats, coconut, or crushed graham crackers for a different texture and flavor. 

Flavorful Extracts

  • Customize the cookie dough by using various extracts. Try almond extract for an intense nutty flavor, or add a splash of citrus with orange or lemon extract.

Jam and Preserves

  • While raspberry and apricot are classic choices, try using various fruit preserves and jams such as black currant, cherry, or even fig for a distinctive twist. My homemade strawberry jam recipe is easy to make and tastes great, too.

Filling Variations

  • Perhaps you try these Linzer sandwich cookies with an unconventional filling like chocolate ganache, lemon curd, or a spread of your favorite nut butter for something a bit different from the traditional fruit preserves.

Cookie Cutouts and Shape

Use cookie cutters with various shapes for the top cookies. Traditional Linzer Tart cookies often feature a round cookie with a round central cutout, revealing the vibrant jam beneath. Ensure the cutouts are large enough to showcase the filling. Biscuit cutters work great as a round cookie cutter.

Linzer Tart Cookie Cutters

Making Linzer Cookies

The true joy in making these delicious sandwich cookies is taking such simple ingredients and having them become tiny pieces of art. There is something so satisfying when you produce a cookie that not only tastes amazing but is also a beautiful, nostalgic, and timeless treat.

What to Use For the Cookie Dough

  • High-Quality Butter: Unsalted, high-quality butter is fundamental for its rich flavor and contributes to the cookie’s melt-in-your-mouth texture. The buttery base sets the stage for the layers of taste in every bite.
  • Fine Ground Almonds or Hazelnuts: Ground nuts, such as almonds or hazelnuts, add a unique nuttiness to the cookie dough. They not only provide a distinctive texture but also enhance the overall flavor, creating a delicious blend with the butter. You can make your own almond meal by grinding whole almonds in a food processor if necessary.
  • Granulated Sugar: Granulated sugar sweetens the dough, balancing the richness of the butter and complementing the fruity filling. Its fine texture ensures even distribution throughout the dough.
  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract adds a subtle and aromatic note, rounding out the sweetness and contributing to the complexity of flavors in the cookies.
  • All-Purpose Flour: All-purpose flour is the structural component, ensuring the cookies have the right texture. Its versatility allows for a tender and crumbly consistency.
  • Cinnamon: A touch of cinnamon introduces warmth and depth to the cookies, enhancing the overall flavor profile. It pairs exceptionally well with the nutty and fruity elements.
  • Powdered Sugar: Dusting the assembled cookies with powdered sugar adds a finishing touch of sweetness and contributes to their beautiful appearance.

What to Use For the Filling

Fruit Preserves: High-quality preserves like raspberry and apricot jam are classic choices for their bright, fruity flavors that complement the richness of the dough. 

​Tips and Tricks

  • Use high-quality ingredients, especially for the nuts, butter, and preserves. Fresh, premium ingredients will give these linzer tarts the best flavor and texture.
  • I strongly recommend utilizing a kitchen scale to measure the ingredients accurately. Cup sizes can differ, and excess (almond) flour could result in overly dry cookies.
  • Refrigerate the cookie dough before rolling it out. Chilled dough is easier to work with and helps the cookies maintain shape during baking. 
  • If the dough gets too warm after rolling it out several times, chill it for a few minutes.
  • Strain the preserves before using them as a filling to remove any large pieces of fruit. This creates a smoother texture and makes the cookies easier to assemble.
  • Dust the assembled Linzer Tart cookies with confectioners’ sugar before adding the jam preserve. Otherwise, the icing sugar will show.
  • If making Linzer Tarts with different-shaped cutouts, stagger the baking times. Thicker or larger cookies may require a bit more time in the oven, while smaller ones might be ready sooner.

Storing Linzer Tart Cookies

Place the cookies in metal tins or airtight containers, separating layers with parchment paper. Stored in a cool, dry place, these cookies maintain freshness for up to three weeks. Linzer tart cookies do not require refrigeration. Additionally, you can make these ahead and freeze the raw cookie dough for up to 3 months.

Heart-Shaped Linzer Tart Cookies

We love this recipe all year round, but making these adorable cookies in the shape of hearts for Valentine’s Day is so much fun! The steps are the same, just with heart-shaped cookie cutters.

Use a biscuit cutter to make the outside shape of the cookies, and add a red jam to make these adorable cookies even more festive.

​More Holiday Recipes

Frequently Asked

How do you store jam filled cookies?

Place cooled Linzer Cookies in an airtight container to maintain their freshness and store them at room temperature for up to several days. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months. Wrap individual cookies or layers of cookies tightly in plastic wrap, then place them in a freezer-safe container or a zip-top bag. Label with the date for easy reference.

Can The Linzer Cookie Dough Be Prepared Ahead of Time?

Certainly! This dough is suitable for preparation up to 2 days in advance, making it convenient for advanced planning. After preparation, be sure to wrap it securely in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Store it separately from pungent foods like onions to prevent the absorption of strong odors.

Jam filled Linzer tart cookies in different shapes for Christmas

Linzer Tart Cookie Recipe

Linzer tart cookies blend buttery, nutty shortbread goodness perfectly with vibrant but sweet jam and are dusted with powdered sugar.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
20 minutes
Total Time: 52 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: german
Keyword: Linzer Tart Cookie
Servings: 40 cookies
Calories: 94kcal
Cost: $15


For the Dough

  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup ground almonds or hazelnuts
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pinch salt
  • -1 teaspoon lemon zest optional

For the Filling

  • 3/4 cup Raspberry jam or apricot preserves.
  • 1/4 cup Confectioners sugar for dusting


  • In a large bowl or mixer, cream the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.  If using, add the lemon zest for extra flavor.
  • Combine the ground nuts, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a separate bowl.
    Adding the almond flour to the Linzer tart cookie dough.
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, blending until a soft dough forms.
    Adding the dry ingredients to make the shortbread dough for Linzer tart cookies.
  • Divide the dough in half, shape each portion into a disk, and wrap them in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until firm.
    Prepared dough for Linzer cookies to be chilled before using them.
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).  
  • Using a rolling pin (I prefer French style rolling pin) on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to about 1/8 inch thickness.
    Rolling out the dough to make Linzer tart cookies for Christmas.
  • Cut out the dough using a round 2- inch round biscuit cutter or cookie cutter. Cut out a circle (or shape) in the centers in half of the rounds. You can use a small cookie cutter like a heart or star. These cookies with the cut-outs will serve as the "tops" of your Linzer cookies. The remaining complete rounds will serve as the "bottoms."
    Cutting the shapes out of the dough to make Linzer tart cookies for Christmas.
  • Place the cookies on parchment paper lined on a prepared baking sheet. 
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden brown. Be cautious not to overbake.
    Baked shortbread sandwich cookies on a cooking rack in the shape of Christmas trees.
  • Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once the cookies are completely cooled, dust all the tops of the cookies with powdered sugar.
    Dusting confectionary sugar on to Linzer cookies.
  • Spoon a small amount (about one teaspoon) of preserves onto each base.
    Adding fruit preserves to the base of the cookie to make a sandwich Linzer cookie.
  • Gently press the cutout tops onto the preserves, creating a sandwich effect.
    Adding the sugared top to the Linzer cookie shaped like a star for Christmas.
  • Enjoy your hard work and the most beautiful Linzer cookie.


  • I strongly recommend utilizing a kitchen scale to measure the ingredients accurately. Cup sizes can differ, and excess (almond) flour could result in overly dry cookies.
  • Refrigerate the cookie dough before rolling it out. Chilled dough is easier to work with and helps the cookies maintain shape during baking. 
  • If the dough gets too warm after rolling it out several times, chill it for a few minutes.
  • Apply the confectionary sugar before filling the sandwich cookies with jam preserves to avoid dusting the center hole as well.


Serving: 1piece | Calories: 94kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 13mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 142IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.3mg
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