Maslenki (Bulgarian Christmas Jam-Filled Cookie) Recipe

Bulgarian Christmas jam filled cookie recipe

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 45 hrs
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 12 to 16 servings
Yield: 3 to 4 dozen cookies
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
344 Calories
14g Fat
49g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 to 16
Amount per serving
Calories 344
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 5g 27%
Cholesterol 47mg 16%
Sodium 51mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 49g 18%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 21g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 2mg 9%
Calcium 31mg 2%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 64mg 1%
*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.

"These delicious cookies were easy to make and roll out. I finished them with a dusting of confectioners' sugar and a dab of apricot jam. The maslenki could easily be made ahead, frozen, then dusted and filled just before serving." —Diana Rattray

Maslenki Cookies (Bulgarian Christmas Jam Cookies)/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 3 large eggs

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 cup melted lard, or unsalted butter, cooled to room temperature

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 4 cups (510 grams) all-purpose flour, more for rolling

  • 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.

    Position a rack in the upper and lower third of the oven and heat to 350 F.

    Ingredients for Bulgarian Christmas cookies
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. With an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until light and foamy, about 5 minutes. Alternatively, use a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.

    Beat the eggs and sugar until light and foamy
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  3. Slowly add the cooled lard to the egg-sugar mixture, whisking continuously. Whisk in the vanilla until combined.

    Melt the lard
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the 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. Separate the dough into thirds. On a parchment-lined cookie sheet, roll out one portion of the dough to 1/8-inch thick, flouring the surface of the dough lightly to prevent sticking. Cut with a 2 to 2 1/2-inch round cutter.

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

    Cut a hole in center of cookies
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  7. Bake until the edges are golden, 7 to 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. Repeat with the remaining portions of dough. Re-roll scraps to cut more cookies.

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

    Jam filled maslenki cookies and tops dusted with confectioners' sugar
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga


They spread very little even when made with butter, so there's no need to leave more than 1/2-inch between the cookies.


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.
  • To freeze the unfilled cookies, place them in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature. Dust with confectioners' sugar and fill them just before serving.
  • You can also freeze the filled cookies in a single layer in an airtight container for 3 months.
  • If you are planning on freezing some filled 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.