8 Traditional German Cookies You Must Try At Least Once

Bethmännchen | © RMKasper / Pixabay
Anwesha Ray

Sticky sweet, spicy with a kick, soft and crumbly and with intricate patterns – Germany’s traditional cookies are as much a feast for the eyes as they are for the taste buds. Many of these are Christmas specials, but, of course, there is no law against enjoying them all year round! Let’s take you on a tour of the yummiest, most scrumptious cookies from the various regions of Germany.


Lebkuchen are an integral part of the German Christmas, and all Christmas markets in the country bask in the irresistible aroma of Germany’s favorite cookie. Lebkuchen are very similar to gingerbread, though perhaps less crispy. They come in varied shapes and sizes, with various icings and glazes, and are sometimes sprinkled with nuts. Many of them have messages scrawled on them in icing.


Vanillekipferln (vanilla crescents)

These crescent-shaped cookies are the pride of the Bavarian town of Nördlingen, though they are extremely popular across Germany and several other European countries. They are traditionally made of walnuts, but variations made of hazelnuts or almonds are equally yummy. They come blanketed in vanilla sugar. If you are not careful, you can polish off an entire plate of these without even realizing it!



These cookies have a history dating back to the 15th century, and originally baked in Bavaria and Swabia. The uniqueness of this cookie lies in the intricate designs embossed on them, which is achieved by skillfully pressing a rolling pin or mold with a design onto the dough. The bottom layer of the cookie consists of anise seeds.


Pfeffernüsse (pepper nuts)

Pfeffernuss is just what you need to take a break from all the sweetness. These tiny cookies combine several spices, most commonly cinnamon, cloves, mace, nutmeg, cardamom, and anise. Some bakers add powdered sugar, honey, or molasses to add a dash of sweetness to the taste, while some like to add nuts. There is no way you can stop at one!



Bethmännchen are a specialty of Frankfurt and the star of Frankfurt’s Christmas markets. These small, ball-shaped cookies are made of marzipan, rosewater, flour, sugar, and eggs. Each cookie is garnished with three slices of almond.


Heidesand (heather sand)

These delightful cookies from Lower Saxony have a rich buttery flavor. They are so named as the cookie dough is light beige in color, much like sand. Traditionally they are plain and crumbly, but some bakeries add chocolate to them for variation.


Zimtsterne (cinnamon stars)

These egg white and almond concoctions are as tasty as they are cute to behold. Generous helpings of cinnamon are added to the dough, resulting in a tempting aroma and a sweet-spicy flavor.



These flavourful cookies are practically festive cheer on a plate. Flour, vanilla sugar, cinnamon, hazelnuts, and a generous dose of Glühwein and red wine go into these, lending the cookies a heady, intoxicating aroma.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.