Nut Free Linzer Cookies

Nut Free Linzer Cookies are jam filled crispy shortbread sandwich cookies dusted with powdered sugar. Nut and egg allergy safe cookies that are great for Christmas or Valentine’s Day!

Nut Free Linzer Cookies

Many Linzer Cookie recipes have almond flour. Years ago when I was searching for a recipe without nuts, I discovered that Ina Garten’s recipe was a basic shortbread cookie made with all purpose flour. We all love these cookies! Please note that because they are not made with almond flour, the cookies are crispy rather than soft. We prefer them this way. If you prefer a softer egg/nut free cookie, try this Vanilla Shortbread Cookies recipe and cut with the Linzer cutters, omit the icing step, then continue with this Linzer recipe for dusting with powdered sugar and filling with jam.

Nut Free Linzer Cookies

I have made these Linzer Cookies for both Christmas and Valentine’s Day Tea Parties for Kids. The red jam is so festive, and the powdered sugar looks like snow on top of the cookies. I’m including a sample Valentine’s Tea Party menu below with links to recipes.

kids tea party valentine cookies
Nut Free Linzer Cookies with Chewy Oatmeal Cookies and Dark Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

I like using a 3 tiered serving platter for tea parties, like this pink 3 tiered serving platter with little butterfly cut outs.

3 tiered server with Valentine's Cookies
Nut Free Linzer Cookies on a 3 tiered server

Recipe Details

The dough is a simple shortbread dough that come together quickly and is chilled before rolling.

Rolling the Dough

Ina’s recipe calls for rolling the cookies to 1/4-inch thick. The first time I made them, I followed that instruction and the cookies ended up way too thick. Since these are sandwich cookies, that’s 1/2-inch thick before jam! Since then, I’ve rolled my cookies to 1/8-inch, and the result is much better!

My favorite way to roll out cookies to an even thickness is to use wooden dowel rods as rolling pin guides. I take 2 dowel rods and space them on my floured workspace just smaller than the width of my rolling pin. Then I put the dough in the middle and roll it in each direction, until the rolling pin hits the dowel rods. This prevents uneven rolling. You can also use rolling pin guide rings that slip onto the ends of your rolling pin.

Cutting the Linzer Cookies

Although not required, I use a Linzer Cookie Cutter set to make these cookies.

Linzer Cookie cutters

This set comes with 6 interchangeable inner cookie cutter shapes. I use the heart and the star for Christmas or Valentine’s Day.

heart and star shaped cookie cutters

These little cookie cutters twist into place in the outer cutter so that you are cutting both the outer round fluted shape and the inner shape at the same time with half of the cookies. The other half are just cut with the round shape because serve as the bottom of the sandwich cookie.

round fluted cutter

Here’s what the cutter looks like with the heart shape locked into place. If you want, you can bake the dough cut with the inner shape to make some cute tiny cookies! They can be sprinkled with colored sugar or sprinkles.

Mini heart cookies in a square dish
up close of Linzer cookie cutters

Because you are making a sandwich cookie, you’ll cut half of cookies with just the outer cutter and half with the outer and inner cutters. I like to bake all of the bottom cookies together and all of the top cookies together, just in case they need slightly different baking times.

Do I Need a Linzer Cookie Cutter Set to Make Linzer Cookies?

You do not need to use a Linzer Cookie Cutter set to make these cookies. You can use a small round or fluted biscuit cutter or cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Then just use a very small shaped cookie cutter to cut a shape out of the center of half of the cookies before baking.

Assembling the Cookies

After the cookies are baked, you’ll separate them based on whether they are a top cookie or a bottom cookie.

unfilled cookies on a cooling rack

The top cookies (the ones with the small cut out) can be laid in a single layer on a work surface with the side of the cookie that had been facing the baking sheet facing down. The tops are sprinkled with powdered sugar.

The bottom cookies (the ones without a cut out), are spread with preserves on the side of the cookie that faced the baking sheet. I like to use seedless raspberry jam. My kids prefer seedless, and I like how red raspberry jam is a brighter red than just raspberry jam. Once the jam is spread, the powdered sugar dusted top cookies can be placed on top so the jam shows through the cut out.

Nut Free Linzer Cookies

How to Store Linzer Cookies

You can store the cookies assembled with the jam, but the shortbread may not stay crispy. Alternatively, only assemble as many as you’ll need and keep the rest of the cookies in an airtight container to be assembled at a later date.

Nut Free Linzer Cookies

Valentine Tea Party Menu Ideas

Valentine Tea Party

Fancy Hot Chocolate
Pink Citrus Punch

Classic Cream Scones
Dark Chocolate Chip Scones
Skinny Chocolate Chip Scones
Red Lobster Copycat Cheddar Bay Biscuits
Cheddar Dill Scones

Turkey Cranberry Tea Party Sandwiches
Simple Tomato Tart

Mini Red Velvet Cheesecakes
Mini New York Cheesecakes
Bailey’s Irish Cream Mini Cheesecakes
Mini Hot Chocolate Cheesecakes
Mini Mocha Cheesecakes
Valentine’s Day Oreo Truffles
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Strawberry Pretzel Jello Salad
Cranberry Christmas Cake
Thick and Chewy Double Chocolate Cookies
Triple Chocolate Biscotti
Easy Homemade Cream Puffs
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream or Easy Vanilla Buttercream and Valentine’s Sprinkles
Santa’s Whiskers Cookies made with all red cherries for Valentine’s Day
Dark Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies
Chewy Oatmeal Cookies with Valentine Sprinkles
Butter Cookies with Valentine’s Sprinkles or pressed into hearts
Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake Bundt Cake

Gluten Free Linzer Cookies

I have not tried it myself with this recipe, but I have had good luck using a measure for measure flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour, in place of all purpose flour in cookie recipes. I find gluten free flour to require more moisture than all purpose flour. As shortbread doughs tend to be a bit drier to begin with, I recommend starting with less flour (perhaps 3 cups) and adding small amounts at a time to get to the correct consistency.

Nut Free Linzer Cookies Pin
Nut Free Linzer Cookies square picture

Nut Free Linzer Cookies

Nut Free Linzer Cookies are jam filled crispy shortbread sandwich cookies dusted with powdered sugar and great for Christmas or Valentine's Day. Nut and egg allergy safe.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Chill Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 3 dozen


  • 1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature (3 sticks)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup seedless raspberry preserves
  • powdered sugar (for dusting)


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Prepare the Dough:

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla.
  • Sift together the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add this mixture to the butter mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together.
  • Turn out dough onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll and Bake the Cookies:

  • Roll the dough 1/8-inch thick and cut 2-inch rounds with a plain or fluted biscuit cutter or cookie cutter. With half of the rounds, cut a hole from the middle of each round with a small shaped cookie cutter, such as a heart or star, or use a Linzer Cookie Cutter set to cut the shapes. Place all the cookies on an ungreased or parchment lined baking sheet and chill for 15 minutes.
  • Bake the cookies for 10 to 20 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Assemble the Cookies:

  • Dust the top of the cookies with the cut-outs with powdered sugar.
  • Spread the preserves on the flat side of each solid cookie (the side that faced the cookie sheet).
  • Press the flat sides (pan facing) of each cookie together, with the preserves in the middle and the powdered sugar on the top.
  • Store the unfilled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.


These cookies are crispy shortbread cookies. If you prefer a softer egg/nut free cookie, please use the Vanilla Shortbread Cookie recipe and cut with Linzer cutters, omit the icing step and continuing with this recipe for the powdered sugar and jam steps.
Source: Adapted from Ina Garten
You’re Gonna Bake It After All
Keyword cookies, dessert, holiday, nut free

5 thoughts on “Nut Free Linzer Cookies”

  • Made these cookies today and was disappointed. I don’t think 3 stickes of butter was enough. My dough was very dry and hard to roll out I followed the recipe exactly. 20 to 25 minutes was way too much. At 16 minutes my cookies were burning. I’m a very busy baker and have made these linzers for years. I never used this recipe before and will not use it again. Sorry it didn’t work out.

    • Hi there, I’m so sorry it didn’t work for you! The original recipe is from Ina Garten, so I went back to see if others had similar problems. The consensus seemed to be people who live in drier/cooler climates may have a harder time with this dough. I understand you don’t want to spend more time with this recipe, but for anyone else reading this, I would make sure the butter is at room temperature and that the flour is measured with a dip and sweep method to avoid overpacking. The original recipe calls for “3/4 pound” butter and many of the reviewers accidentally used 3/4 cup, which is not the same. I have changed this in the recipe to avoid confusion. Three sticks (or 1.5 cups) is the correct amount. The cookies should be chilled on the tray before being baked. I do think mine baked faster as well, so I have adjusted the recipe to reflect that. I appreciate the feedback!

  • 5 stars
    While the dough is a little finicky, it’s WELL worth the hassle. I dream about these delicious cookies and I will make them again and again! They’re really good with Bonne Maman preserves, especially the pineapple passion fruit! Yum!

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