Swiss Spitzbuben Cookies

Here in Switzerland, if you only bake one cookie around Christmas, this is likely to be the one!  Its name – Spitzbuben – roughly translated, means “Cheeky Boy”, and is taken from the word that originated in the 16th century meaning “trickster” or “con-man”.

My husband and I had a baking time together today, and this is one of three traditional cookies we made; I’ll share the others with you over the next two weeks.

Spitzbuben cuttersSpitzbuben dough needs to be rolled out fairly thin, because the final product will be double-layered; we rolled it out to 3mm.  Half of the cookies are then cut out whole, and half are cut out with a hole in the centre – a “window” to see the filling through.  There are special cutters for this procedure here, but you can simply use a larger and a smaller cutter, well-centred, if you don’t have such cutters available or on-hand.


250 gr. butter (9 oz)Spitzbuben
125 gr. sugar or powdered sugar (5 oz.)
2 tsp. vanilla sugar, or vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt
1 egg white
350 gr. flour (12 oz.)


~ 200 gr. Clear jelly or jam (7 oz.)

Whip the butter until smooth, then add the sugar, vanilla & salt, & whip until the mixture is light. Beat the egg, & add to the mixture, & then slowly add the flour while stirring, until the mixture is light & smooth. Cover, & chill 1 hour.  About 10 minutes before rolling, remove from fridge. On a lightly-floured surface, roll dough flat (3 mm).  Cut with forms of Ø 4–5 cm. Half of the cookies should have a design cut out of their centres (for the top half of the cookies). Lay the cookies on a papered–tray. Bake @ 200°C ~ 6 – 8 minutes, cool for 15 minutes. (They should be fairly pale; it doesn’t take much for them to become too dark, as this dough doesn’t tend to go “golden brown”.)

The dough will rise slightly; turn the bottom halves over once they’re cooled, and they have created natural little “bowls ” to hold the jelly!  Spread a bit of the jelly (make sure it’s clear, without chunks of fruit in it) on the bottom half (~1 tsp.), and set aside.  When the top halves are ready, dust them with powdered sugar, and then place one top on each prepared base.

Serve with a glass of cold milk!

En Guete!




4 thoughts on “Swiss Spitzbuben Cookies

  1. […] Swiss Zitronenmöndli is one of the traditional Christmas cookies here (along with Spitzbuben and Mailänderli).  In High German they are called “Zitronenmöndchen” ; both the -li […]

  2. […] ‘my-land-er-lee”) are one of the traditional Swiss Christmas cookies (along with Spitzbuben and Zitronmöndli), and are very similar to English and American sugar cookies, though they are less […]

  3. […] tin embossed Christmas ornaments, a bowl full of surprise gift bags, and three kinds of cookies (Spitzbuben, Bretzeli, and savoury cheese cookies). The crafts also required props – tags, packaging cards, a […]

  4. […] annual advent market, and I was present with tables full of crafts, as well as marble-iced cookies, Spitzbuben, cheese cookies & apple chips (dehydrated). Before it took off, I was preparing, baking, […]

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