Austrian Crescent Shaped Delight – Vanillakipfernl

Europe can offer many desserts to locals and tourists with a sweet tooth. The cookie variety presents a treasure trove of delights to be explored. One of these is the Austrian Vanillakipfernl.

What Is Vanillakipfernl?

Vanillakipfernl is a crescent-shaped biscuit that is very popular in European countries like Germany, Austria, Hungary, Czech, and Slovakia. They are traditionally made with nuts like almonds or ground hazelnuts. The Vanillakipfernl can leave you wanting more as the cookies are sprinkled generously with an ample dose of vanilla sugar.


They are traditionally made as a Christmas treat, but a lot of Austrians make them year-round since they are very easy to make and perfect cookies for light snacking in the afternoon or evening desserts. What makes them distinctive from the other sugar cookie varieties is their crescent shape. Due to their popularity, these cookies are also known by various names such as Vanilla Kipferl, Wiener Vanilla Kipferl, and Viennese crescent cookies. Some even speculate that these Austrian biscuits are the predecessors of the croissant because of its crescent shape.

What Is The Origin Of The Vanillakipferl?

These cookies were originally developed in Vienna, Austria and became the specialty of Nördlingen, a Bavarian town. Some legends state that the biscuit came into existence as a way of celebrating the triumphs of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. According to the stories, the bakers of the city created the cookies after the empire defeated the Turks in 1683. They made the crescent shape of the cookies to imitate the crescent moon in the Turkish flag. This was when the name ‘Kipferl’ originated. The stories coincide with the early stories detailing the rise of coffeehouses in Vienna.

How Are Vanillakipfernl Made?

How Are Vanillakipfernl Made?

Vanillakipfernl can be made like any other sugar cookie. However, many proclaim that professional baking skills are needed to create their signature crescent shape as the cookie can break easily. The ingredients for the cookies are eggs as the primary leavening agent, sugar, flour, butter, and vanilla. Grounded nuts are added to the dough for extra flavor and the most common nuts are almonds and hazelnuts. Traditionally, the baked cookies are garnished with a dusting of vanilla powder. However, other bakers finish the crescent-shaped cookies by dipping them in chocolate.

Interesting Facts About Vanillakipfernl

-The Vanillakipfernl were initially made in Vienna, Austria but they are popular in Germany as a result many people are mistaken them as German cookies.

-Germans have a tradition to bake Vanillakipfernl for Christmas and give them away as advent offerings or as gifts to friends and family.

-In Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace, the cookies are treated specially and served with mulled wine.

– Vanilla powder decoration is still more popular over the chocolate.  

-The popular manufactured brand of this vanilla crescent-shaped cookies are known as the Wirklein Vanillekipfernl Biscuits. They are specially baked with bourbon, vanilla and are decoreated by vanilla powder.

-Another well-known brand is Keksues that export these cookies worldwide along with other German Christmas-themed pastries and sweets.