Traditional German Christmas Biscuits: “Butterplätzchen”

One of my favourite Christmas activities is – of course – baking Christmas biscuits! Here in Southern Germany, we have a tradition of baking a whole range of different varieties throughout December, putting them all into little plastic bags (usually dotted with golden stars), and giving them to friends and family during Christmas gatherings. It’s like an unwritten law. You just have to participate.

Baking the perfect Christmas biscuits is not as easy as it might seem. It needs time, love and – above all – patience. Rolling out the dough, transferring the delicate biscuits to baking sheets, decorating them, watching them while they bake…it’s almost ceremonial.

My all-time favourite Christmas biscuits are “Butterplätzchen”. Yes I know, German sounds intimidating. But don’t be spooked, “Butterplätzchen” simply translates to “butter biscuits” :). They are relatively easy to make and taste deliciously sweet and buttery. And oh the smell of them baking in the oven, evoking fond childhood memories of baking with my grandmother in her small kitchen…

“Butterplätzchen” have always been my favourite Christmas biscuits, so I wanted to share our family recipe with you. I hope you’ll love them as much as I do!

What you need

For the dough
  • 250g / 1.10 cup butter
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 packages vanilla sugar
  • 500g / 4 cups flour
  • 200g / 0.9 cups sugar
  • cutters in all kinds of festive forms
For decoration:
  • 2 egg yolks
  • dash of milk
  • decorative sprinkles (chocolate sprinkles, sugar sprinkles, sugar hearts, etc.)


  1. Cream the butter, sugar, vanilla sugar, the whole egg and the 4 egg yolks.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and knead the dough well.
  3. Put the dough in the fridge and let it cool for a couple of hours (or overnight).
  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400 F.
  5. Line two baking trays with baking parchment (it’s quicker to prepare two baking trays and use them alternately, as the dough will produce about 4 trays of biscuits, depending on the size of your cutters).
  6. Push the remaining 2 egg yolks through a sieve. Add a dash of milk and stir until smooth.

  1. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a thickness of about 2-3mm (I usually divide the dough into at least 4 parts and process them one after the other).
  2. Use your cutters to cut out stars, Christmas trees, cats, dogs, etc.
  3. Transfer the biscuits to one of the baking trays.
  4. Thinly coat the biscuits with the sieved egg yolk. Quickly add the sprinkles.

  1. Bake for about 10 minutes (careful, they burn quickly!).
  2. Let them cool for about 10 minutes.
  3. Enjoy!

See you soon 🙂

Other posts you might like

Cinnamon Vanilla Hot Chocolate

How to Make Your House Smell Like Christmas

DIY: Washi Tape Christmas Garland

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