Shortbread Linzer Cookies with Raspberry Jam

Buttery, lemony, and nut-free shortbread linzer cookies filled with a slightly tart raspberry jam. These cookies are a huge crowd pleaser and happen to be one of my most popular recipes!

Many linzer cookies with a heart-shaped center and raspberry jam, covered with powdered sugar, on a grey speckled background.
Salt and pepper diamond, pear-shaped ring with rose gold band on a grey surface with linzer cookies in the background.
Man and woman standing in front of a green tree kissing. Woman is holding up hand with engagement ring.

So far, 2020 has brought me three of the best, most exciting things in the whole world: 1. a finally-perfected recipe for nut-free shortbread linzer cookies. 2. the announcement of a new Tame Impala album. and 3. the future title of Mrs. Hunt-Broka. (Or does Broka-Hunt sound better? Ahhhh so many things to decide!)

So yeah, I’m pretty much stoked out of my damn mind! I’ve been looking down at my ring finger every few seconds since it was slipped on my finger late Saturday night. It’s so pretty!!!

The night of our engagement included perfect Bolognese, lots of laughs at a local comedy club, a parking lot engagement, celebration bourbon shots, a first rough draft of our ultimate wedding playlist, and of course, Marc asking, “You said yes, right?” approximately one hundred times before we went to sleep that night. I can’t wait to get all crotchety and senile with this dude.

And now that we’ve officially called/texted/social media-ed every person we know to tell them the news, I’m ready to create the *official* Hunt-Broka (Broka-Hunt?) Wedding Pinterest board. Marc, you’re the ketchup to my french fries, and I love you! 😛

A side shot of a plate of shortbread, covered in powdered sugar, placed on a grey background.

A little about these Shortbread linzer cookies

The day after the aforementioned engagement situation, I made these shortbread linzer cookies! Linzer cookies originally originate from Austria but eventually made their way over to Germany at some point. Linzers are a tart-turned-cookie filled with fruit preserves and topped with a cute, decorative lid. They’re surprisingly simple-to-make, lightly sweet, and soooo buttery. A.k.a. my cookie perfection.

I have been wanting to try out some nut-free linzer cookies for a while but wasn’t sure how to replace the traditional almond flour (seed flour, extra AP flour, magic?) But, Marc’s German grandmother apparently used to make traditional raspberry linzer cookies without nuts all the time! He described them as “shortbread-ish” so I figured I could make that work in the name of simplicity. (Let’s be real, no one wants to make pumpkin/sesame/sunflower seed flour if they don’t have to).

I started by trying out my most favorite, perfect shortbread recipe as the base, and it worked! It’s the easiest shortbread ever and doesn’t even require chilling time even though I still give it a little rest in the fridge. I enhance the shortbread a bit with some lemon zest + vanilla (duh). And then we fill the center with a good-quality, store-bought raspberry jam. The red peeks through the little heart cut-out, and it’s the cutest for Valentine’s Day!

A white plate of raspberry heart cookies on a speckled background.

Shortbread Linzer Flavor Combos

Of course, if you don’t like the lemon + raspberry combo (who are you?) there are a bunch of others you can try! Just replace the lemon zest in the shortbread with another spice/herb/zest and replace the raspberry preserves with a different flavor. A few on my to-test list include:

  • Orange zest + strawberry jam
  • Ginger + blueberry jam
  • Thyme + lemon curd
A close-up of a cookie with a heart-shaped cut-out in the center and a raspberry filling.

Ingredients in shortbread linzer cookies

There’s really no crazy ingredients in linzer cookies, especially of the shortbread variety. You’ll need:

  • Unsalted Butter: Since butter is a main flavor here, I would really recommend springing for a higher-quality brand. But, any unsalted butter will do!
  • Powdered Sugar: The powdered sugar gives the cookies a softer, smoother texture than granulated.
  • Vanilla Extract: Go for the real deal here. Trust.
  • Lemon Zest: Or whatever zest you’d like.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Just regular, every day flour.
  • Salt: Table salt is perfect.
  • Seedless Raspberry Jam: Or whatever jam/filling you’d like! Just go for something better-quality like a locally-made jam or Bonne Maman!

A step-by-step guide on how to make shortbread linzer cookies

First, you’ll cream the butter and sugar until it’s pale yellow and fluffy. Since we’re using powdered sugar, it will look a little buttercream-y. Nothing to worry about. Add the vanilla extract and lemon zest.

A white bowl filled with butter and sugar sitting on a speckled table.

Next you’ll add the flour and salt until the dough comes together and is crumbly. At this point, it’s easiest to just knead the dough into a ball with clean hands.

A white bowl filled with crumbly dough, surrounded by lemons, flour, and a jar of vanilla extract.

Divide the dough in two, and flatten each portion into half-inch discs. Wrap it in plastic, and freeze the dough for about 15 minutes. Alternatively, refrigerate the dough until you’re ready to use it. This part isn’t totally necessary, I just think it makes it a little easier to roll out the dough. If you’re in a hurry, just roll it out right after mixing!

Two discs of dough wrapped with plastic sitting on a speckled table.

Roll out the dough to 1/4” thickness on a lightly-floured surface. Cut out an even number of cookies with a 2.5-3” cookie cutter. Use a smaller, decorative cutter to cut a shape out of the center of half of the cookies. Then you’ll bake them at 350° F for about 12 minutes, until they are lightly browned on the bottom.

Rolled-out dough on a wooden board, surrounded by cookie cutters, flour, and a rolling pin.

Let the cookies cool, and spread about one teaspoon of jam onto the bottom cookies, and sandwich the cut-out cookie on top. Then, dust with lots powdered sugar!

Shortbread placed on a cooling rack, with some of the cookies filled covered with raspberry jam.

How do I store shortbread Linzer Cookies?

After the cookies are completely cooled, place them in a single layer in an airtight container. They can sit at room-temp, but I personally like them straight out of the fridge. They will keep for about a week, but they may get a little softer after a few days. Or, you can freeze shortbread linzer cookies in an airtight container for up to three months!

A few tips and resources for shortbread linzer cookies

I used this cookie cutter set for my linzers! Tbh, I didn’t love the “double cookie cutter” thing, so I just used my own three-inch cookie cutter for the “main cookie”, and the Wilton minis for the center. But, I think I may have just been too impatient. So I might try again another time!

The bottom cookies may puff up in the oven a little. Nothing to worry about! You could probably poke each cookie with the tines of a fork if you want them to be completely flat, but the jam may seep through!

You want to bake the cookies until they are juuuust lightly browned on the bottom and edges. In my oven, they were perfect at 12 minutes.

Marc claims these are best eaten right out of the fridge, and I agree! Perfect with a cup of coffee or tea.

Other Valentine’s Day treats you might want to try!

Heart-Shaped Seedy Soft Pretzels
Chocolate Peanut Butter Lava Cake Skillets
Rose Cardamom Buns
Reverse-Seared Chuck Steak
Prickly Pear Vodka Sour

A woman's hand with an engagement ring grabbing a cookie.

Shortbread Linzer Cookies with Raspberry Jam

An overhead photo of linzer cookies on a white plate set on a grey table.

Shortbread Linzer Cookies with Raspberry Jam

Vanilla-y, lemony, and nut-free shortbread linzer cookies filled with a tart raspberry jam. A classic cookie that everyone will love!
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Cookies
Cuisine Austrian, German
Servings 32


  • 3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter (3 sticks), softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup seedless raspberry jam


  • Preheat the oven to 350° F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and powdered sugar until the mixture is fluffy and pale yellow. Add the vanilla extract and lemon zest until it’s thoroughly mixed. Then, add the flour a cup at a time, until you have a crumbly dough that’s starting to come together.
  • Turn the dough onto a pastry or cutting board. Press the dough together with clean hands until you have a smooth ball of dough. Cut the dough into two, and flatten each portion into a 1/2” disc. Wrap with plastic/beeswax wrap, and freeze for about 15 minutes. Alternatively, refrigerate until you’re ready to use the dough. (**The chilling part is not necessary, I just think it makes rolling the dough easier**).
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll each disc of dough until it’s 1/4” thick. Cut out an even number of 3” circles with a cookie cutter. Use a small cookie cutter to cut out a shape from half of the cookies. Place the cookies 1” apart on the prepared sheets, and bake for 10-12 minutes, until the bottoms and edges are lightly browned. (You may have to bake the cookies in batches). Let cool for about 5 minutes on the pan, and then move the cookies to a wire rack to completely cool.
  • Once the cookies are cooled, spread about 1 teaspoon of jam onto the bottom cookies, and then sandwich the cut-out cookies on top. Dust with powdered sugar, and store in an airtight container for up to a week.


Serving: 1cookieSodium: 116mgSugar: 6.8gCholesterol: 23mgCalories: 158kcalSaturated Fat: 5.5gFat: 8.8gProtein: 1.5gCarbohydrates: 18.6g
Keyword butter, cookie, lemon, raspberry, vanilla
Did you make this recipe?Tag @serendipitybysaralynn on Instagram!

xo Sara Lynn

*Song of the day: Wonderful by My Morning Jacket

27 thoughts on “Shortbread Linzer Cookies with Raspberry Jam

  1. 5 stars
    They came out so amazing! Got compliments from my family saying they are the best cookies 🙂
    Such a easy recipe to follow and loved the pictures that I can refer back to while making to make sure I’m doing everything right!

    1. Thank you so much, Sofia!! I’m so glad you liked the recipe and that the photos are helpful. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    These are so cute!!! They were fun to make and they taste lovely ☺️ they are a bit softer the next day. Because there are 2 cookies in 1, you get a good bite of shortbread, I loved them and will make again for sure ❤️

  3. I made the dough yesterday and refrigerated it with the intent of using it today. My dough is rock hard today. Is that normal? Will it soften out correctly once brought to room temp?

    1. Hi Jordyn, yes it just needs to come back to room temperature for 30 mintues or so and then it’ll be ready. Cutting the dough in half will help speed things up!

  4. 3 stars
    These looked really good. I made my own raspberry jam but made the mistake of making 2 batches and refrigerated them before I baked them as suggested in the recipe. They were very difficult to cut and I wound up making very large cookies with the first batch then opted to make small bite sized cookies with the 2nd. I had higher expectations based upon your reviews. It was expensive to make these with all organic ingredients. Now I know to test in the future before doing a big batch.

    1. Sorry to hear that! The dough needs to be refrigerated so that it doesn’t stick to the cookie cutters. It helps to let the dough warm up a bit to rolling temperature, typically 20-30 minutes.

  5. 5 stars
    I didnt know how to edit my initial review. The cookies are delicious but are better cut than to use cookie cutters. They are great all alone. I did have to increase the temp tp 375f because of my conventional oven. I do not have a convection oven just yet. However, I did manage to use them for my fresh raspberry jam by putting the dough in a bag and rolling it into a long cylinder then cutting into slices. It worked out better. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, JM! I bet the fresh raspberry jam was delicious in these cookies. 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    These were the first time I’ve ever made my husband Linzer cookies (Traditional from my home country of Czech Republic) and he was blown away! I did a half and half batch of Raspberry jelly and Nutella- and honestly I was so surprised by how fast and easy this recipe was! Can’t wait to make our next batch!

    1. Hey Larissa, sorry to hear that! It could be that the flour was too compacted. I typically “fluff” the flour with a fork, spoon it into a measuring cup, and level it off. With the current dough, you can try adding water or whole milk 1 teaspoon at a time just until the dough comes together. Also be careful not to overmix or the cookies will come out tough. Hope that helps!

  7. 5 stars
    At this point, I have been making these on a nearly-weekly basis! The recipe is easy to follow. The biggest love out of these was the extra circles created by the middle hole. Bite-sized deliciousness!

    I have only made these with orange zest so far as opposed to lemon zest. I also had to bake them a little longer (14 minutes) in order to get to that little bit of brown.

    1. Ahhh you’re so sweet! I’m so glad you like them. 🙂 Orange zest sounds amazing, definitely trying that next time!

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