Masklenki (Bulgarian Christmas Jam-Filled Cookie) Recipe

Bulgarian Christmas jam filled cookie recipe

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 90 mins
Servings: 48 servings
Yield: 48 cookies
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
115 Calories
5g Fat
16g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 48
Amount per serving
Calories 115
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 16mg 5%
Sodium 17mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 10mg 1%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 21mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Bulgarian jam-filled cookies known as maslenki are popular for Christmas. These jam-filled cookies go well with Turkish delight sweets.

Many cultures and traditions make jam or jelly cookies for Christmas that looks like this—think kolache or linzer cookies, for example. Even jam-filled thumbprint cookies are a simplified version of a cookie like this. The process involves rolling out dough, cutting them into circles, and then cutting out smaller holes in half the dough. Sweet and buttery, these jam-filled cookies are a treat to make and eat. Raspberry and apricot are traditional, along with rosehip or plum jam.

They are traditionally made with lard, but unsalted butter will also work.


  • 3 large eggs

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1 cup lard, or unsalted butter

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 (12-ounce) jar tart jam, such as rose hip, plum, raspberry, or apricot

  • Confectioners' sugar, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat oven to 375 F.

    Ingredients for Bulgarian Christmas cookies
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with a hand mixer until light and foamy, about 5 minutes.

    Beat the eggs and sugar until light and foamy
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  3. Melt the lard or butter and let cool slightly. When cooled to room temperature, add it slowly to the egg-sugar mixture with the vanilla, mixing constantly.

    Melt the lard
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  4. Whisk together flour and baking powder; slowly add it to the egg mixture to create a firm dough.

    Masklenki cookie dough in a bowl
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  5. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thick on parchment-lined baking pans and cut with a round cutter.

    Roll out dough
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  6. Cut out a hole in the center of half of the cookies and remove scraps.

    Cut a hole in center of cookies
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  7. Bake about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.

    Baked maslenki cookies and holed-out tops of cookies on a wooden cutting board
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  8. Re-roll scraps and repeat.

  9. Sprinkle the cookies with holes with confectioners' sugar. Spread cookies without holes with a jam of choice. Press together jam-filled cookie with holed-out cookies to form a sandwich.

    Jam filled maslenki cookies and tops dusted with confectioners' sugar
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  10. Serve and enjoy!

    Bulgarian jam filled cookies (maslenki) on a cutting board
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga


You can cut any kind of shape into the top cookie that you like. Circles are easy and pretty, but it's not uncommon to use small star cutters or other specialty or festive cookie designs.

How to Store and Freeze Bulgarian Maslenki

These cookies will keep for up to 5 days or so in an airtight container at room temperature.

You can also freeze them in a single layer in an airtight container for 3 months.

If you are planning on freezing some cookies, set them aside and leave them undusted. Wait to dust them with confectioners' sugar until they're defrosted at room temperature and you're about to serve. Otherwise, the cookies will just absorb the sugar.