Desserts,  Cookies

German Vanilla Crescent Cookies Recipe – Vanillekipferl (VIDEO)

This German Vanilla Crescent Cookies Recipe (aka Vanillekipferl) gives you little cookies that are crumbly, buttery and full of melt-in-your mouth, vanilla goodness. The cookies are easy to make and are totally irresistible. This is a traditional cookie, most often made at Christmastime, though it can be eaten any time of the year.

I was first introduced to these cookies at my in-laws’ house and fell in love with them. The crumbly, buttery texture really makes these addicting. I normally can’t eat one or two and have to tell myself to stop so I don’t go overboard:)

Video for German Vanilla Crescent Cookies

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What does Vanilla Kipferl mean?

Vanilla Kipferl basically means “Vanilla Crescent” or “Vanilla half-moon”, which refers to the shape of the cookies.

What are the origins of Vanilla Kipferl?

It is said the cookies originated in Vienna, Austria and were created in the shape of the Turkish half-moon to symbolize the victory celebration over the Turks in 1683 (Wikipedia).

What is Vanilla Sugar?

Vanilla sugar is sugar infused with vanilla flavor. It is mostly sold as powdered sugar and is widely available in Germany and Europe, but not in the US as far as I know. You can get it from Amazon here (affiliate link), or here is a great post from another blogger, Willamette Transplant on how to make Vanilla Sugar yourself. She lists 3 ways to make Vanilla Sugar.

German Vanilla Crescent Cookies in a tin.

German Vanilla Crescent Cookies Recipe

To start off, sift the flour into a medium-sized bowl using a fine mesh sieve. Then, cut the butter into small pieces. Make sure the butter is really cold. Add the butter pieces to the flour and work the flour into butter until you have a flaky/sandy dough.

Add the sugar and ground almonds or almond flour and work the dough into a ball pressing everything well together. Note that the dough will be crumbly and might be a bit hard to work with.

Preheat the oven to 345° F (175° C). You can preheat it earlier, but generally the time needed to shape the cookies is enough for the oven to warm up.

Take a good handful of the dough and roll it out into a log or sausage. Then, cut the sausage into about 1/2 inch pieces (the larger or smaller the pieces, the larger or smaller will the final cookie be).

Roll out each little piece into a small sausage and then bend it into a crescent shape.

Place the cookies on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Once the whole sheet is full, bake for 15-20 Minutes.

In the meantime, sift powdered sugar (or confectioners sugar) and vanilla sugar through a sieve into a bowl or plate and mix well. Once the cookies are done baking, place them while they are still hot into the sugar and cover completely. You can also use a sieve and sprinkle them with the sugar instead. I like to dip them in the sugar so that all sides are completely covered. Set the vanilla crescent cookies aside to cool and then pack into a nice cookie tin.

How to store German Vanilla Crescent Cookies?

To store these Vanilla cookies, keep them in an air tight container and they will last for a few weeks. I love using pretty colorful tins for storing these cookies. Pack them into smaller tins and these make cute, homemade gifts.

German Vanilla Kipferl cookies in a tin.

Lastly, if you make these German Vanilla Crescent Cookies, make sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating here! I’d love to hear back from you and will do my best to answer and respond to every comment. And of course, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram if you make this recipe. I’d love to see the photos of the recipes you have made!

German Vanilla Crescent Cookies Recipe

Prep Time40 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: German
Keyword: Cookies, German Cookies, Vanilla Cookies, Vanilla crescent cookies, Vanillekipferl
Servings: 100 cookies (appx.)


  • 10 oz. Flour (280g)
  • 7.4 oz. Cold butter (210g)
  • 2.4 oz. Sugar (70g)
  • 3.5 oz. Ground almonds (100g)
  • 10 Tbsp Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Vanilla Sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 345° F (175° C).
  • Sift the flour into a medium-sized bowl through a sieve. Set aside.
  • Cut the cold butter into smaller pieces and add the the flour. Massage the flour into the butter until the dough reaches a flaky and crumbly consistency.
  • Add ground almonds and sugar to the dough. Mix well forming the dough into one big chunk.
  • Take a handful of the dough and roll it out into a long sausage. Cut the sausage into small, 1/2in-long pieces. Roll each piece into a small ball, the ball into a small log, and shape the log into a crescent shaped cookie.
  • Bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine the powdered sugar and vanilla sugar together and mix well (they can also be sifted together through a sieve).
  • Once the cookies are done baking, roll the still-hot cookies in the powdered sugar mixture until they are well covered. Set onto a plate to cool.
  • Enjoy!


– Store the cookies in an air-tight container (like a cookie tin) in a cool, dry place and they will keep for up to four weeks.
– The number of cookies will vary depending on how big you make the individual cookie.
– Use hulled ground almonds if you want them to be fully white in color. Ground almonds with skins (as seen above) work well too.

Looking for more German recipes? Here are some I highly recommend trying:

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