Austrian Vanilla Crescents (Vanillekipferl)

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Prep 40min (+ 30min cooling time)Bake 25-30minMakes about 24

Originating in Vienna in Austria these vanilla sugar-coated biscuits are always made in a ‘kipfler’ or horse-shoe shape. Traditionally made at Christmas, they’re also popular in many other eastern European countries, including Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and the Czech Republic. These buttery almond biscuits make a wonderful gift.


185g unsalted butter
60g (½ cup) icing sugar mixture, plus 60g (½ cup) extra to coat
1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract
2 egg yolks
225g (1½ cups) plain flour
50g (½ cup) almond meal
1 vanilla bean


  1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Line two large oven trays with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, icing sugar mixture and vanilla essence or extract until pale and creamy. Add the egg yolks and beat until well combined.
  3. Combine the flour and almond meal, add to the butter mixture and beat on lowest possible speed until just combined.
  4. Shape level tablespoonfuls of the mixture into small logs about 6cm long and then taper the ends and shape into a crescent shape. Place on the lined trays about 2cm apart. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until pale golden and cooked through.
  5. Meanwhile, halve the vanilla bean lengthways, use a small sharp knife to scrape the seeds out and add to the extra icing sugar mixture in a medium bowl. Use your fingertips to rub the vanilla seeds through the icing sugar evenly.
  6. When the biscuits are cooked, remove from the oven and then toss while still warm, one at a time, through the vanilla icing sugar to coat (see Baker’s tips). Cool completely on a wire rack.

Baker's Tips

  • These biscuits will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
  • Reserve any remaining vanilla sugar and use to sprinkle over the biscuits before serving if you wish.

This recipe is from Anneka's SBS Food online column, Bakeproof: Traditional Christmas Baking.

CLICK HERE for more Bakeproof recipes.

Photography by Alan Benson.