Grain-free Linzer Cookies (Spitzbuben)

These Linzer cookies are fun to make, delicious, beautiful to look at, simple, gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo. You can use the same recipe for cut-out cookies as well.

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Grain-free Linzer Cookies (Spitzbuben)

Making Holiday cookies must be the ultimate holiday activity. I have always loved it since I am a little child and I have such fond memories of baking cookies with my family. I still really love it. Especially on a snowy day with some Christmas tunes in the background.

This Linzer cookie recipe is a traditional German recipe that we call Spitzbuben, and you can find it on every corner around Christmas. The cookie itself is pretty much a simple sugar cookie, so you can use this recipe for cut-out cookies as well. But the best part about Linzer cookies is the jam filling. It not only creates a rich flavor of sweet, tart and fruity, but they also look very decorative. Your whole family can join in the fun of making them.

It took me a lot of tries to figure out a good grain-free and dairy-free version. Since cookies pretty much mainly consist of flour it was hard to get the right consistency. And since I am German and Germans take their Christmas cookies very seriously I am very picky with it too. 🙂 But I am happy to report that the taste and consistency is incredible and all without regular flour. Hence these bad boys are gluten and dairy free and Paleo.

This recipe is a sneak peek of my cookbook “ENJOY – healthy festive meals for you and your loved ones”. Filled with more than 50 recipes, ENJOY teaches others how to make delicious gluten and dairy-free, soy-free, paleo, and autoimmune protocol (AIP) friendly versions of favorite festive dishes, like stuffing and pumpkin pie. It’s also filled with tips and tricks to help you navigate social situations with dietary restrictions and live (and eat!) more sustainably. If you haven’t already, grab a copy here. 

Wanna get more holiday and special occasion recipes? Get my AIP/Paleo holiday cookbook, including a full Thanksgiving spread and many holiday desserts.

Ingredients

  • arrowroot flower
  • tapioca flour
  • coconut flour
  • sea salt
  • baking lard
  • coconut oil
  • honey
  • vanilla extract
  • egg 
  • cranberry jam or other fruit jam
  • powdered sugar
Linzer cookies

Ingredient Notes

Baking lard: It gives a great texture to the cookies. It is also called leaf lard and has a milder flavor than regular lard. If you cannot find baking lard aka leaf lard you can use regular lard if you don’t mind the flavor. You can also substitute it with coconut oil. Butter and ghee should work as well if you tolerate dairy

Fruit jam: it is best to get a fruit variety that is tart to balance out the sweetness of the cookies. Cranberries and red currants are great and so are raspberries. When looking for a good brand of jam check the ingredients label. Watch out for long lists of ingredients and things like high fructose corn syrup. The best brands are simply sweetened with apple juice.

Honey: The type of honey will affect the sweetness and color of the cookies. I like to pick light-colored honey that is less sweet but this is a personal preference.

Powdered sugar: Opt for a variety without cornstarch or make your own by grinding for example maple sugar in your high-speed blender with a bit of arrowroot starch.

How to Make Linzer Cookies

  1. Combine the arrowroot flour, tapioca flour, coconut flour, and salt and mix well.
  2. In a separate bowl combine the lard, coconut oil, honey, vanilla, and the egg. Add the flour mix and combine to form a dough, using your hands. Make sure that all lard or coconut oil bits are mixed by squeezing the dough through your hands.
  3. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Cut the dough in half and make 2 balls. Roll out one of the dough balls between 2 sheets of parchment paper to a thickness of ¹/8 inch. Cut out the cookies using one round 2.5 inch cookie cutter. Make a ball out of the leftover dough and repeat. Place cookies on a baking sheet. With a small cookie cutter cut out the middle of half of the cookies. You will have to make two batches so while the first baking sheet is in the oven you can cut out the rest of the cookies.
  6. Bake the cookies for 8 – 10 minutes or until slightly golden.
  7. Place on a cooling rack and let cool off.
  8. In a small saucepan, gently warm up the jam so it will distribute easily onto the cookies. Add 1 tsp jam to each cookie without the hole in the middle and then add a cookie with a hole in the middle on top.
  9. Place approximately 1 tsp powdered sugar in a small sieve and distribute the powdered sugar evenly onto the cookie. Enjoy!

Wanna get a demo on how to make these Linzer cookies? Get my holiday baking class and learn how to make my gingerbread squares and how to make these cookies AIP, plus baking tips and more.

Tips to Make the Best Linzer Cookies

  • Make sure the coconut oil is not in its liquid form, but not too hard either. Somewhere in between, so when you whip it with the honey you have a nice creamy texture. This process is important to make sure the cookies have tiny air pockets and don’t get too hard.
  • The egg should be at room temperature otherwise the coconut oil will get too hard and lump up. I usually take out the egg first and then mix together the flours and the coconut oil and honey. That is usually enough so the egg isn’t too cold.
  • Grain free dough behaves very differently commpared to traditional cookie dough. For the best way to handle the dough use 2 layers of parchment paper to roll it out. One for underneath and one on top (see picture below). That way the dough won’t stick. I always use 100% compostable parchment paper available at whole foods market.
  • You will need one larger cookie cutter and one smaller one. The shapes don’t really matter, but a round cookie cutter is easier to work with.
cookie dough with cookie cutters

Tips and Adjustments

  • If the dough is too crumbly use more coconut oil.
  • Depending on how you like your cookies you can achieve different textures. I like these cookies crunchy and therefore roll them out thinly. If you like softer cookies, roll them out a little thicker and only bake them for about 8 minutes. The longer you bake them, the crispier they will get.
  • Wash the parchment paper and store it for the next time.

How to store Linzer cookies

Store them in an airtight container for a couple of days. If you store them at room temperature they will become soft because of the jelly. If you store them in the fridge they will stay crispier.

More Holiday Treats

Do you crave sweets a lot? Desserts on occasion are great, but frequent cravings are a sign of blood sugar dysregulation. This can easily be fixed without deprivation and restriction. If you need help with this schedule a free discovery call to work together.

Now I would love to hear from you. Try the recipe and let me know what you think in the comment section below. And as always don’t forget to tag me in your food pictures on Instagram.

Happy baking

~ Annika

Grain-free Linzer cookies (Spitzbuben)

These Linzer cookies are fun to make, delicious, beautiful to look at, simple, gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo. You can use the same recipe for cut-out cookies as well.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Servings 14 cookies

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup arrowroot flower
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1/4 cup baking lard (leaf lard)
  • 5 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg pasture raised (large)
  • 1/3 cup cranberry jam or other fruit jam (aprox. 1 tsp for each cookie)
  • powdered sugar (cornstarch free)

Instructions
 

  • Combine the arrowroot flour, tapioca flour, coconut flour, and salt and mix well.
  • In a separate bowl combine the lard, coconut oil, honey, vanilla, and the egg. Add the flour mix and combine to form a dough, using your hands. Make sure that all lard or coconut oil bits are mixed by squeezing the dough through your hands.
  • Let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cut the dough in half and make 2 balls. Roll out one of the dough balls between 2 sheets of parchment paper to a thickness of ¹/8 inch. Cut out the cookies using one round 2.5 inch cookie cutter. Make a ball out of the leftover dough and repeat. Place cookies on a baking sheet. With a small cookie cutter cut out the middle of half of the cookies. You will have to make two batches so while the first baking sheet is in the oven you can cut out the rest of the cookies.
  • Bake the cookies for 8 – 10 minutes or until slightly golden.
  • Place on a cooling rack and let cool off.
  • In a small saucepan, gently warm up the jam so it will distribute easily onto the cookies. Add 1 tsp jam to each cookie without the hole in the middle and then add a cookie with a hole in the middle on top.
  • Place approximately 1 tsp powdered sugar in a small sieve and distribute the powdered sugar evenly onto the cookie. Enjoy!
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