Spritz Cookies

HolidayBakingCookieChristmas Cookie

Spritz cookies are a classic Christmas cookie! With roots in Germany and Scandinavia, they're a simple butter cookie pressed into festive shapes and topped with all sorts of garnishes.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

This cookie is my other favorite Christmas cookie, along with walnut snowballs. I am sure my mum made all kinds of Christmas cookies over the years, but none were as memorable as these two.

Spritz, she called them, and little did I know that this was far more than a pet name she had for the cookie.

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Spritz Cookies: A Timeless Classic

Flash forward 20 years, and here I am, looking to make these cookies again. I asked mum for her recipe and she gave it to me, and I then began researching this cookie.

Wow! I had no idea spritz was one of the most popular cookies in all Cookiedom, made in thousands of variations of shape, ingredient and garnish.

I was blown away, but I needed to make mum’s version, which is a very simple butter cookie with a little vanilla added, topped with red or green colored sugar or a piece of walnut. Only thing was, mum warned, I’d need a cookie press.

Birds eye view of Spritz Cookies on White plate

The Cookie Press Difference

Huh. I remember hers, a brass thing that looked like a fancy caulking gun. I reckoned I could do the same with a piping bag and a star tip.


Epic fail.

So we went out and bought a cookie press, and then found out that using one requires practice and skill. After much fiddling, I learned to make decent enough cookies, but I’m certainly no expert.

So here it is: My mum’s spritz recipe. Simple, archaic—no mixer needed, just use your hands—but light, rich and full of memories. Surely there must be some of you out there who make spritz, right? How are yours different?


Here’s all of our Christmas Cookies—in case you want even more ideas!

Spritz Cookies Recipe

  • Prep time: 25 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about 35 cookies, depending on how big you make them

Make sure your butter has warmed to room temperature before making this recipe. It matters a lot!


For the Cookies:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour or cake flour
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into small cubes

Optional Garnishes:

  • Colored sugar
  • Sprinkles
  • Pieces of nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, etc)
  • Frosting
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Powdered sugar


1 Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2 Make the cookie dough: Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl, then sprinkle with vanilla extract.

Crack the egg into the center of the bowl and then dot the flour mixture with the pieces of butter. Mix everything together with your clean hands until you get a dough.

Try not to knead it too much, as you will then make tough cookies. You just want everything to come together cohesively.

3 Press dough through a cookie press: You will need a cookie press to make traditional spritz. Put on the die of your choice—I like a star or snowflake pattern—then load the press with the dough. Ratchet out the dough onto an un-greased cookie sheet. This takes practice, so be prepared to mess a bunch up at first.

Just return the not-so-good ones back to the dough ball and run it through again. Some people like larger cookies that require 2-3 cranks, others just one; this makes a dainty cookie. My mum sometimes twisted her wrist a little when making these to get a swirly pattern going on.

4 Bake: Bake the cookies at 350°F for 10-12 minutes. As they bake, get your garnish of choice ready, because you will need to act fast once they come out of the oven.

5 Sprinkle with toppings: As soon as the cookies are done—they will not brown, so don't wait for that to happen—take the cookies out and garnish them. My favorite toppings are colored sugar and pieces of walnut stuck in the center of a star pattern.

6 Cool: Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes, then carefully move them to a rack. Let them cool completely before putting the cookies away. They freeze well.

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Cocoa-Hazelnut Spritz Cookies - from Delicious Days

Green Tea Spritz Cookies - from Nook & Pantry

Cardamom Spritz Cookies - from Stylish Cuisine

Classic Spritz Cookies Stacked on Plate

Hank Shaw

A former restaurant cook and journalist, Hank Shaw is the author of three wild game cookbooks as well as the James Beard Award-winning wild foods website Hunter Angler Gardener Cook. His latest cookbook is Buck, Buck, Moose, a guide to working with venison. He hunts, fishes, forages and cooks near Sacramento, CA.

More from Hank

68 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Frances

    The dough worked well with the cookie press, but they fell flat in taste; may have needed a little more salt. They also took a lot longer than the stated bake time.
    I would make them again but use salted butter or more salt and more extract


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  2. Liz

    They taste good, but the dough is very difficult to work with. And who puts 1/2 lb butter?!? You put 1 cup like a normal person!


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  3. Roberta

    Thanks for the recipe. Just made these. They aren’t as sweet as my moms that I remember as a kid, but the dough worked great and held up well in the press gun.

  4. Lynn

    I would love a recipe for a savory spritz cookie, to be used as an appetizer with wine. I found two recipes online and tried the rosemary Parmesan recipe. It didn’t work all that well with the press, but I’m new at this so maybe others would be more successful. It tasted good, but not great. Does anyone have a recipe like this? Thank you.

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  5. Mitzi

    My daughter and I want to make cookies for putting in gift boxes for the neighbors and we will make cookies the day before and take them around. Is this a good recipe for that? I have never been very good at baking but these look really good and simple. I had planned on making basic sugar cookies and sprinkles as soon as they come out of oven. Thanks for any advice! :-)

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