Skip to Content

Dutch Christmas Cookies (Kerstkransjes)

Dutch Christmas Cookies (Kerstkransjes)

Dutch Christmas Cookies (or Kerstkransjes)

This is a recipe for Dutch Christmas Cookies, or Kerstkransjes as they are known in the Netherlands.

I lived in the Netherlands for about 30 years. One of the busiest times of the year was, of course, at Christmas time. This was when my favourite ‘Kerstkransjes’ were sold in Albert Hein and the other shops.

For some reason, these delicious Dutch Christmas Cookies are only sold there around Christmas. But I think they are so good they should really be available all year-round.

biscuit dough
Biscuit dough ready for the fridge

So for those of you who cannot live without them, here is a tasty Dutch cookie recipe for ‘Kerstkransjes’ so you can make them yourself at home.

What are Kerstkransjes?

A Kerstkransje in Dutch means a little (je) Christmas (Kerst) wreath (krans). These Dutch biscuits are supposed to look like a Christmas wreath of holly, say, that you would hang on your front door at Christmas time. They are a very typical Dutch Christmas snack.

Cookies ready for the oven

Traditionally these Xmas biscuits hang in the tree at Christmas time, but beware if you do this as they will go stale quite quickly, so only hang them on the day when you intend to eat them. This is nice for the kids – I bet they do not last very long!

Otherwise, just keep them fresh in an airtight box.

Try and use a flower-shaped cookie cutter like the one shown below to get the proper shape (mine was more clover shaped!)

dutch christmas cookies


Typical Sinterklaas Food

If you are in the Netherlands at the end of the year it normally feels a bit like one long party from November through to the New Year.

First of all, you have Sinterklaas with his blacked faced workers (the Zwarte Pieten) who arrive in NL from Spain around the middle of November until the 5th December.

Sinterklaas is obviously another version of Santa Claus, just the tradition is a bit different.

dutch xmas biscuits

The kids are often given gifts of chocolate letters (where the child gets a chocolate letter denoting the first letter of their Christian name).

The Black Piets (Zwarte Pieten) also have kruidnoten (small ginger cookies) and pepernoten (pepper nuts) for the kids in bags. They love throwing them around so the kids can pick them up off the floor.

It is a bit of a weird tradition but good luck trying to persuade the Dutch that it may be a bit outdated! Most Dutch people find it very important to maintain the tradition for their kids (as I suppose it is obviously a good money spinner).

Dutch Christmas Cookies (Kerstkransjes)

On the 5th December, presents are handed out between family and friends in the evening when Sinterklaas is celebrated and self-written poems are read out. This tends to be a bigger celebration in many families in NL than Christmas. (Many prefer to celebrate Sinterklaas instead of Christmas.) Otherwise, the kids tend to get spoilt too much!

In my family, we tended to just celebrate at Christmas time to prevent the end of the year from becoming too overwhelming for the kids.

Typical Dutch Christmas Food

Kerstkransjes are not to be confused with a Kerstkrans, which is another Dutch Christmas delicacy of a circular shape.

The Kerstkrans is in fact a flaky puff pastry that contains almond paste (or amandelspijs). They are also available in a straight shape and are known then as a banketstaaf. These are really tasty and well worth trying if you like almonds.

Then around Christmas time, there are other special foods like a Kerststol. This is a type of bread with currents and raisins and is filled again with almond paste. This is certainly another Dutch favourite and they are also delicious. Almonds obviously play a big role at Christmas time in the Netherlands!

Dutch Christmas Cookies (Kerstkransjes)

At New Year everyone makes their own oliebollen, which are balls of deep-fried dough sprinkled with icing sugar and served warm. Absolutely delicious! I need to get a home-made recipe for these on my site at some point!

dutch christmas cookies

I hope you get to try this Dutch cookie recipe yourself. If you do, please let me know how you get on in the comments section below!


How to make Kerstkransjes

Save time producing tasty food for your family with Gav’s Weekly Meal Plan!

Just 19 US $!!

weekly meal plans, gav's kitchen products, meal prep

christmas cookies

Dutch Christmas Cookies (Kerstkransjes)

Yield: 12 Biscuits
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

An easy recipe for some traditional Dutch Christmas cookies (Kerstkransjes) that you can hang in your Xmas tree. Super delicious at any time of the year!


For the dough

  • 250g plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • The zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • 150g salted butter, cut into small squares

To Coat

  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 4 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp sliced almonds


  1. Put the all dough ingredients into a bowl and mix well with your hands, using your fingers and thumbs to combine the flour and sugar with the butter, until you have a firm dough.
  2. Wrap the dough in baking parchment and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Then remove from the fridge and roll out the dough with a rolling pin until about 5 mm thick.
  4. Prepare a baking tray with some baking parchment. Then, using a suitable cookie cutter, cut out your cookies and place them on the baking tray, leaving some space between them. The cookies should have a hole in the middle - I used an icing bag nozzle to cut out the holes in mine.
  5. Then brush the cookies with some beaten egg and sprinkle them with sugar and the sliced almonds.
  6. Place in the oven at 180C for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned. If your oven has an uneven temperature, like mine, you may need to turn the tray 180 degrees halfway through.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool.


Store in an airtight container. Only hang them in the Xmas tree the day you wish to eat them. See how long they last when the kids get up!

The above quantities will make about 24 biscuits.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 236Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 103mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 11gProtein: 4g

This nutrition information was automatically calculated by Nutritionix, but may not be 100% accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Some other recipes to try at Xmas:
Almond Macaroon Cookies
Irish Shortbread Cookies
Chewy Chocolate Cookies
English Ginger Biscuits - Cornish Fairings
Fruity Flapjacks (cereal bars)
Kletskoppen - Crunchy Dutch Almond Cookies
Brie and Cranberry Toastie
Chewy Coconut Macaroons
Old Fashioned Fudge Recipe
Cheese Sables Recipe

Sharing is caring!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Tuesday 26th of July 2022

I LOVED reading the story behind the biscuits. Thank you for sharing that with us. What would happen if I made these biscuits without the almonds and almond extract?


Monday 29th of August 2022

Obviously, they would not taste the same. But if you have a nut allergy then of course you would need to. Why not try it with some other flavouring (lemon or orange maybe) and let us know how it turns out?


Monday 29th of August 2022

Obviously, they would not taste the same. But if you have a nut allergy then, of course, you would need to. Why not try it with some other flavouring (lemon or orange maybe) and let us know how it turns out?


Saturday 14th of August 2021

Will try this out 🔜 😍 But for how long can it be stored in an airtight container?


Saturday 14th of August 2021

Let me know how they work out. You can store for a few days in an airtight container

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe