These mouth-watering almond crescent biscuits perfectly pair with a hot drink and crisp winter air.

One of Austria’s most famous holiday desserts, vanillekipferl, are a well-loved treat among the countries of the Danube River, including Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. Stop by one of Europe’s festive Christmas Markets to taste this delightful local delicacy on our Christmas Markets on the Danube, Magna on the Danube (Christmas), or Iconic Christmas Markets itineraries.

A Declaration of Victory 

The vanillekipferl cookie was created around 400 years ago in Vienna, Austria in celebration of a victory over the Ottoman Turks. Locals took inspiration from the crescent moon found on the Turkish banner. These were not the only moon-shaped treat to come from Austria’s warring history with the Turks. Believe it or not, the croissant was an Austrian invention before it made its way to France! 

A Debate of Origins  

Although this dessert can undeniably be attributed to Austria, it has long been a part of the German Christmas tradition. In fact, vanillekipferl have become so linked with Germany that they are now considered a specialty of the Bavarian town Nördlingden, located approximately 70 miles from our port in Nuremberg, Germany. 

Finding Vanillekipferl 

While these melt-in-your-mouth almond crescent cookies are traditionally a Christmas specialty, you can pop into any Viennese café at any time of the year to enjoy one of these biscuits with a hot cup of coffee. The Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna is a guest favorite for finding some of the tastiest vanillekipferl. At Christmastime, you can find these delicious treats in any Christmas Market while sailing with us on the Danube River throughout Austria or Germany. Get a “sneak taste” by trying out our recipe!



» 1 cup soft butter 

» 1 pinch of salt 

» 2 tbsp vanilla sugar 

» 1 egg yolk 

» 2 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted 

» 1/2 cup ground almonds 

» 2 tbsp powdered sugar 


Mix the butter, salt, vanilla sugar and egg yolk in a bowl using a hand mixer. Add ground almonds and flour and knead into a dough, then divide into quarters.  

Form four rolls, cover with cling wrap and cool for an hour. On a floured surface, cut the rolls into slices and form crescents. Put cookies on a greased or parchment-lined sheet.  

Bake at 320° F for 12-15 minutes. Carefully remove and dip each cookie in powdered sugar while still warm. Cool completely on a rack. 

Makes 25-30 cookies. 

Taste these delicious Christmas cookies on our Christmas Markets on the Danube, Magna on the Danube (Christmas) and Iconic Christmas Markets itineraries in 2024 and beyond!


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