German Christmas Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Linzer Cake

Rating: Unrated
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.

German Apple Pancake

Rating: Unrated
2
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.

Sauerbraten

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.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Cake

Rating: Unrated
3
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.

Warm Potato Salad with Bacon-Mustard Dressing

Rating: Unrated
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.

Almond Linzer Cookies

Rating: Unrated
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.

Linzer Cookies

Rating: Unrated
1
Inspired by the Linzertorte, a buttery Austrian confection, these raspberry-filled cookies are a pretty addition to your holiday cookie platter.

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.

Quick Cinnamon Rolls

Rating: Unrated
2
A biscuitlike pastry, based on a traditional German recipe, makes these much faster than yeast-raised cinnamon rolls.

Pear & Dried Cranberry Strudel

Rating: Unrated
2
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.

Stollen

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

Raspberry Linzer Bars

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

Inspiration and Ideas

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.

Warm Red Cabbage Salad

Rating: Unrated
5
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.