German Christmas Recipes

Find healthy, delicious German Christmas recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Linzer Cake

Rating: 4.5 stars 2
Linzer Tart (or Linzer Torte) is an Austrian specialty: an almond pastry topped with raspberry jam. Here it is reinvented as an American cake: almond-rich layers divided by raspberry jam. It's even better when prepared a day in advance, giving the jam time to soak into the cake. If you like, buck tradition by using strawberry jam and garnishing with fresh strawberries.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen


Sauerbraten, a classic German recipe, is the ultimate make-ahead entree. First you brine it, then you braise it, then it marinates for a day before you serve it--sauerbraten literally means “pickled roast beef.” Serve this sauerbraten with the traditional German dumplings called spaetzle, or mashed potatoes or buttered noodles, and roasted green beans.
By Ivy Manning

Warm Red Cabbage Salad

Rating: 4.5 stars 7
In this quick German-inspired side dish, red cabbage is cooked until just tender and combined with sweet apples, caraway and a tangy vinaigrette. Serve with roasted pork loin or turkey kielbasa.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Warm Potato Salad with Bacon-Mustard Dressing

Rating: 3.5 stars 3
This updated take on German potato salad is a sophisticated addition to any holiday spread. Granny Smith apples are a good choice, as they hold their shape when roasted.
By Carolyn Malcoun

German Apple Pancake

Rating: 4 stars 4
A judicious use of butter and sugar gives this classic German apple pancake--also known as a Dutch baby--less than a third of the fat and considerably fewer calories than the original breakfast treat. The topping--sautéed apples glazed with apple-cider syrup--is wonderful on oatmeal, waffles and frozen yogurt too.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Chocolate-Hazelnut Cake

Rating: 4 stars 5
Turn this moist, dense and truly chocolaty cake into an elegant dessert by garnishing each serving with a dollop of whipped cream, some fresh raspberries and a light dusting of cocoa. Note that this cake does not contain any leavening: beaten egg whites alone are used to lighten it.
By Patsy Jamieson

Peppered Lebkuchen

An interpretation of a classic German holiday wafer cookie, these richly spiced cookies are terrific right from the oven when the spices permeate the kitchen, but are even better after a few days as they “age” to a wonderful deep flavor.
By Melanie Barnard


Hailing from Germany, this fruit-filled bread is traditionally served at Christmastime.
By Patsy Jamieson

Linzer Cookies

Rating: 5 stars 2
Inspired by the Linzertorte, a buttery Austrian confection, these raspberry-filled cookies are a pretty addition to your holiday cookie platter.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Raspberry Linzer Bars

The crust for these raspberry bars has plenty of spices and walnuts--the perfect foil for tangy-sweet raspberry preserves.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Almond Linzer Cookies

Rating: 3 stars 2
In this almond cookie recipe, star-shaped cutters give these classic jam-filled sandwich Linzer cookies holiday sparkle, but you can also use a more traditional round or scalloped cookie cutter. Almond flour adds crunchy texture and nutty flavor. Look for it near other specialty flours in natural-foods markets.
By Virginia Willis

Quick Cinnamon Rolls

Rating: 4.5 stars 3
A biscuitlike pastry, based on a traditional German recipe, makes these much faster than yeast-raised cinnamon rolls.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Inspiration and Ideas

Pear & Dried Cranberry Strudel
Rating: Unrated 3
All across Wisconsin, Scandinavian and German bakeries start firing up with the onset of crisp, cool autumn days; the lines soon grow long for fresh fall-fruit pastries. For most of us, rich strudel wouldn't be an everyday affair. But with walnut oil (instead of copious amounts of butter) and fresh pears, it can, nevertheless, become a decadence-free indulgence, perfect for your next dinner party. Serve it with frozen nonfat vanilla yogurt or vanilla crème anglaise.
Quick-Bread Stollen
Rating: Unrated 1
Traditional stollens are leavened with yeast, but using baking powder speeds up preparation time. Pureed cottage cheese is a wonderful stand-in for most of the butter in the traditional recipe.