German Christmas Cardamom Cookies (Kardamon Plaetzchen)

German Christmas cookies cardamom recipe

The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 36 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
77 Calories
6g Fat
6g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 36
Amount per serving
Calories 77
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 7%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 59mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 1g
Calcium 15mg 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.)

Cardamom has been used in Christmas baking in Germany since the middle ages. It was an important medicinal herb and was used to help the stomach and was often chewed to hide alcohol breath after drinking. These cardamom cookies have a distinct floral-perfume and are a bit salty, which pairs well with the chocolate couverture decoration.


  • 3/4 cup/175 g butter
  • 1/2 cup/85 g sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 2 teaspoons rum (or water or brandy)
  • 2 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder (either German or American double acting)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 ounces/100 g chocolate coating (or couverture)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for German Christmas cookies
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  2. Beat together the butter and sugars. Mix in rum and if using, vanilla extract.

    Butter beating
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  3. Sift or mix flour with cardamom, baking powder, and salt and mix it into the creamed butter to make a stiff dough.

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  4. Form this dough into two or three rolls that are 1 inch in diameter.

    Roll dough
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  5. Wrap the rolls in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 2 or more hours.

    Plastic wrap dough
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  6. Heat oven to 390 F.

  7. Remove roll of dough from the refrigerator and place it on a cutting board. Slice the dough 1/4 inch thick and place the cookies on a cookie sheet.

    Roll out dough
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  8. Use a fork to create a crosshatch pattern on the cookies, flattening them somewhat.

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  9. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until set and starting to brown slightly.

    Bake cookies
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  10. Remove cookies to rack to cool.

    Cool cookies
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska 
  11. Melt chocolate couverture according to package directions. Dip cookies halfway in melted chocolate, place on wax paper, and allow to harden.

    Melt chocolate
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska


  • These cookies can be eaten right away or keep cookies in a sealed tin in a cool spot for up to several weeks.