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3 Swiss Christmas cookie recipes with air time

Swiss Christmas Cookies

We are in the midst of Advent and many have already set up their Christmas trees (Weihnachtsbäume). And if all goes well, a great many of you will hit the kitchen this weekend to bake our favorite Christmas cookies.

Here is a selection of Switzerland’s favorite cookies (Guetzli, Guetsli, or Chrömli) recipes. The one thing that you will realize in all of the recipes is that these cookies need air time.

That is, time for the dough to rest before baking.

Zimtsterne (Cinnamon Stars)

Zimtsterne Cookies

Not only a skateboard fashion company, but the best Christmas cookie there is. Interestingly, this is also a very common cookie in German Jewish culture and is called Erste Sternen and served at the meal following Yom Kippur.

Ingredients for approximately 50 cookies:
• 3 fresh white of egg (about 100 g (3.5 ounces))
• 1 pinch of salt
• 250 g (9 ounces) confectioner's sugar
• 1½ tablespoons of cinnamon
• ½ tablespoon of kirsch or lemon juice
• 350 g (12 ounces) ground almonds

1. Stir white of egg and salt in a bowl until it is really stiff.

2. Add confectioner's sugar, stir until ingredients are evenly distributed. Put 1 dl (0.4 cups) aside for the frosting.

3. Add cinnamon, kirsch (or lemon juice) and almonds, knead to a soft dough.

4. Roll out dough on a flat surface (it may be slightly covered with sugar), approximately 7 mm (0.3 inches) thick. Put out stars or other shapes and put them on a baking sheet covered with baking paper.

5. Let them rest for about 5 to 6 hours or over night in a dry place.

6. Carefully sweep the cookies with the frosting set aside in step 2.

7. Bake for about 3 to 5 minutes in the center of the pre-heated oven at 250 °C (480 °F).

8. Let cool completely before serving.


Brunsli a.k.a. Basler Brunsli

Brunsli Cookies

Right behind Zimtsterne are Brunsli for my favourite Christmas cookies. One thing you’ll notice with all of these recipes is that in Switzerland, we let our cookies rest over night before we bake them.

This just makes them better.

One thing to watch out for is people eating them before they’re baked. My dad is infamous for making these unbaked cookies disappear!

Ingredients for approximately 50 cookies:
• 150 g (5 ounces) sugar
• 1 pinch of salt
• 250 g (9 ounces) ground almonds
• ¼ tea spoon cinnamon
• 1 pinch of powdered clove
• 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
• 2 tablespoons of flour
• 2 fresh white of egg (about 70 g (2.5 ounces))
• 100 g (3.5 ounces) bitter chocolate (Fechlin if you can get it)
• 2 tea spoons of kirsch

1. Mix sugar, salt, almonds, cinnamon, powdered clove, cocoa powder and flour in a bowl.

2. Add white of egg and stir until ingredients are evenly distributed.

3. Cut chocolate in real small pieces, pour hot water over the chocolate, let rest for about 5 minutes, then pour off all water except about half a tablespoon, stir until even. Now immediately proceed with the next step.

4. Add melted chocolate from the previous step and the kirsch, knead to a soft dough.

5. Roll out dough on a flat surface (it may be slightly covered with sugar), approximately 10 mm (0.4 inches) thick. Put out different shapes and put them on a baking sheet covered with baking paper.

6. Let them rest for about 5 to 6 hours or over night in a dry place.

7. Bake for about 4 to 6 minutes in the center of the pre-heated oven at 250 °C (480 °F).

8. Let cool completely before serving.


Chraebeli Cookies

For those of you not so much into nuts, but who love Absinthe, Sambuca and Ouzo. These are special cookies in terms of their shape, but they go especially well with coffee! If they lift slightly on the bottom when you bake them, it is said that they are growing feet. This is really good, don't worry!

Ingredients for approximately 60 cookies:
• 4 eggs
• 450 g (16 ounces) confectioner's sugar
• 1 pinch of salt
• 1½ tablespoons of anise
• 1 tablespoon of kirsch
• 550 to 600 g (19..21 ounces) flour

1. Put eggs, confectioner's sugar, salt, anise and kirsch in a bowl and stir about 5 minutes until well mixed.

2. Add flour and mix into a dough.

3. Form rolls of about 1.5 cm (0.6 inches) diameter and cut in pieces of about 5 cm (2 inches) length. Cut in each piece about 3 times slightly angular and bend them slightly.

4. Slightly grease baking sheets and put the rolls onto it to dry. Do not use baking paper sheets. Do not move the pieces. Let them dry for 24 to 48 hours at room temperature. Make sure there is no draft.

5. Bake them for about 25 minutes in the lower part of the pre-heated stove at 140°C (285°F). Keep the door of the stove a bit open. Let the cookies cool down and remove them from the baking sheet using a spatula.

So there you have it – three types of very Swiss Christmas cookies to get working on. If you prepare the dough on Friday evening after work, you’ll be able to bake them by Saturday afternoon and enjoy them on Sunday!

Yes, good things come to those who wait, as even these cookie recipes prove.


Check out more Swiss Christmas cookie recipes:


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  • Thank you so much for writing these recipes in English! Now I can attempt to surprise my mother-in-law with some of the cookies she normally bakes! Triple Yummm!!!

    • Thanks so much going to try all three this weekend remember all three from my youth but lost the receipes with my mothers passing – USA citizin from Basle

    • Hi Alexa!
      That’s right. We’ll get on it. Sometimes the hands move faster than the proof-reading eye. Luckily we have great readers. Thank you!

  • I have been searching for a Swiss Christmas cookie and have been unable to
    find it anywhere. My son-in-law comes from Switzerland and he loves this
    cookie called Tirggel(?) and I would love to bake them for him as a surprise.
    Can you help me? Thank you.

  • Can you also do the one with the jelly in the middle? It is shown in the picture so I got really excited then it was not one of them haha. Love those!

    • You’re referring to Spitzbuben ;-) Let us research the recipe and we will add it in the comments… ^Dimitri

    • OK, here goes the Spitzbuben recipe (it’s in grams, sorry):

      250 g butter
      125 g confectioners sugar (or regular sugar)
      2 tea spoons of vanilla sugar
      1 pinch of salt

      -> Melt the butter a bit and mix everything in a bowl until it’s light in color.

      1 egg white

      -> Add to the bowl and keep mixing.

      350 g flour

      -> Add to the bowl little by little and until the dough is solid. Then, cool the dough for about one hour (i.e. outdoors, in the fridge). Bring it indoors about 30 minutes before the cookie cutting session.

      -> Spread some flour on your cookie cutting surface and roll out the dough about 2 mm thick. It helps to place some cellophane on top. Apparently, this keeps the rolling pin from sticking to the dough.

      -> Cut round cookies with a diameter of 4 to 5 cm. On half of the cookies, use a smaller cookie cutter to punch through the center (i.e. a small heart). Then, cool the cookies on a baking sheet for 15 minutes.

      -> Preheat your oven and bake the cookies for 6 to 8 minutes at 200 degrees.

      For the filling, use 200 g of jelly/confiture. You could pick apricot, raspberry, bitter orange, etc.

      -> Heat the jelly in a small pan, then spread it on the round cookie bottoms. Apply the top (i.e. with a heart cut out) and finally, dust them with powdered sugar.

  • […] Of course, there are even more Swiss Christmas traditions than the ones I have described in more details. Almost every Swiss family bakes cookies during the Christmas season. Some traditional Swiss cookies include Brunsli, Zimtstern or Chräbbeli. If you have enough time and like to bake, you should try baking your own Christmas cookies! You can find the recipes of Brunsli, Zimtstern and Chräbbeli here. […]


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