vegan Vanilla Kipferl

This post is also available in: Deutsch

This blog post is also available in German.

Not only do these vanilla kipferl taste great for coffee dates during the Advent time, they are also the perfect zero waste gift from the kitchen. You are not only guaranteed to make vegans happy. These kipferl are egg, dairy and of course butter free. Nevertheless, they melt wonderfully on the tongue and are really buttery. That’s why these vegan vanilla kipferl definitely shouldn’t be missing in your Christmas bakery. Old or young, it doesn`t matter, nobody will be able resist.

traditional German Vanilla Kipferl - vegan Version

vegan vanilla crescent rolls

Christmas cookies are part of the Advent season, just like the Advent wreath, the Christmas tree and the Advent calendar. Since I can remember, every Christmas during Advent there has been a standard selection of cookies at out house. When I changed to a vegan diet, I decided that I would not want to do without certain traditions. This includes baking our favourite cookies. That’s why I made it my mission to veganize our favourite Christmas cookie recipes and to add a few recipes to the collection here on the blog every year. This year there is a recipe for vegan vanilla croissants.

Already on the blog is a vegan jam cookie recipe and a recipe for Matcha shortbread.

vegan vanilla kipferl

Cookies are the easiest baking goods to veganize. And with these vanilla kipferl it’s even easier. Traditionally, they consist of only a few ingredients. These are already 90% vegan per se. For classic vanilla kipferl you need flour, ground almonds, butter, vanilla and some icing sugar for dusting. That’s it! You can see the recipe becomes vegan by exchanging the butter for margarine or a vegan butter alternative.

More sustainable alternative to almonds

I have already written about the sustainability problem of almonds in the article on almond milk. The fact is that almonds are neither regional nor particularly sustainable, as the almond trees require relatively large amounts of water. Though they are very healthy. If you are interested in this topic you can find more information under the above mentioned article.

Traditionally, vanilla kipferl are baked with almonds. Since I wanted to reproduce the recipe as authentically as possible for you, I used almonds. When I bought it, I paid attention to Spanish origin and organic quality. I also buy my almonds in the bulk shop. However, if you prefer a regional and seasonal option for sustainability reasons, you can use walnuts. I tested the recipe with hazelnuts and walnuts. It tastes just as delicious and works perfectly.

how to make perfectly shaped vanilla kipferl

Vanillin, or “real vanilla.”

In many baking books you stumble across the ingredient vanillin or vanillin sugar. Don’t confuse both with vanilla sugar, bourbon vanilla, vanilla extract or vanilla beans. Here is a brief explanation of the terms for clarity.

  • Vanilla pod is the fruit of the vanilla plant. It is sold dried. By cutting it lengthwise, you get to its pulp with the characteristic vanilla taste.
  • Vanilla extract is the essence of vanilla. By soaking the sliced vanilla beans in alcohol, the aroma of the beans passes into the alcohol. The vanilla aroma is extracted, so to speak.
  • Vanilla sugar is a mixture of sugar and vanilla extract.
  • Bourbon Vanilla is the name of a vanilla variety that originates from the Bourbon Islands (Madagascar, La Réunion, Seychelles). You can find it as powder or also in the sugar variant (see vanilla sugar).
  • Vanillin is nothing other than the chemical compound that gives vanilla its typical aroma. The so called aroma substance. Vanillin can be produced both artificially and naturally. The latter can be achieved, for example, by using microorganisms and sugar beets. Accordingly – depending on the production process – vanillin is significantly cheaper than vanilla products.
  • Vanillin sugar is a mixture of sugar and the aromatic substance vanillin.

In the kitchen I mainly use bourbon vanilla, vanilla beans or vanilla extract. All products that come from the real vanilla plant. Vanillin has always been a little suspect to me – since I did my research a year ago – because I find it to be an artificial aroma. Whenever possible, I prefer natural substances from real plants, hence my preference for “real vanilla” products. In addition, these products are also packaged more sustainably, i.e. in jars.
On the other hand, vanilla is of course not a regional plant, but sugar beet is. And the extraction of the vanilla aroma from the sugar beet by means of microorganisms is per se a natural process. Therefore everyone must decide for itself which fits best.

Since I had however still 2 bags vanillin left, which I had bought a long time ago, I used these for the vegan vanilla kipferl. You can simply replace 1 packet of vanillin/vanillin sugar with 1/2-1 tsp vanilla powder/extract and 1-2 tbsp sugar.

Grind nuts yourself – Low Waste

Most ingredients for this recipe can be bought unpacked or at least in plastic-free packaging.

Another low / zero waste tip is to grind the nuts or almonds yourself. I always do it this way. I buy nuts in the unpacked shop or on the weekly market and process them into ground nuts. So I always have a glass of ground nuts ready to hand for granola, porridge or baking. All you need is a food processor or a good blender that can grind the nuts.

With the vegan vanilla kipferl recipe you should make sure that the nuts are finely ground. If you have too coarse pieces of nuts in the dough, the dough will not hold together too well and will fall apart.

make your own traditional vanilla kipferl

Gluten-free vegan vanilla kipferl?

Unfortunately – as always – I did not test this recipe for a gluten-free version.

However, the recipe should also work well with a gluten-free flour mixture. Maybe you need some “glue” to hold the kipferl together, because the gluten is missing. Ground linseed and some water might be an option, but as I said, I didn’t test it.

This is how you shape beautiful kipferl

Beautiful and uniform vegan vanilla kipferl are a little bit tricky. Some can do it easily, others need a few tricks. If you belong – like me – to the second group, I have the absolute success technique for you, how you can form the perfect kipferl.

In principle, I recommend that you cool the dough again for about 1 hour before processing. By the way, this is recommended for most Christmas cookie doughs that I know. So the cookies can be formed better and the dough isn`t too soft.

From the dough you then form balls with a weight between 11 – 13g. No joke I actually used the kitchen scale! But you can also go by your gut. You then place the individual balls in the hollow of your palm and roll your croissant out of it. The croissants should automatically take on the typical shape of thick in the middle and thin on the outside. Then you only need to bend them a little and place them on a baking tray. This is the secret of the perfect vegan vanilla kipferl.

preparation in advance

Cookie dough is generally very suitable for meal prep, respectively for preparation in advance. A vegan cookie dough that is well wrapped can be kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 days without any problems in most cases. This is also the case with this vegan vanilla kipferl dough. If we have planned some Christmas baking activities on the weekend, I often prepare the dough the evening before. Then I cool it overnight. So the dough has the perfect consistency the next day and we can start baking right away.

The dough is also suitable for freezing. Just mix it into the dough, pack it airtight, freeze it and defrost it overnight in the fridge.

After baking, it is very important that you allow the vegan vanilla kipferl to cool completely on a baking tray or cake rack before placing them in the jar. Otherwise the kipferl can become damp and muddy due to the steam. After cooling down, it is best to put them in a cookie jar immediately and close it tightly. So you can store the kipferl for several days without any problems. In the air, they will dry quickly, so be sure to pack them in a jar.

vegan vanilla kipferl the best Christmas cookies

That’s why these vegan vanilla kipferl shouldn’t be missing for your Christmas:

They are…

  • vegan
  • really buttery tender
  • low waste
  • just as tasty as the original
  • perfect for the Advent season
  • quickly prepared
  • simply prepared
  • the perfect zero waste Christmas present
  • suitable for preparation in advance

more vegan recipes for the advent season:

If you are baking these vegan Vanilla Kipferl, I would love your feedback here in the comments. If you share your creation of this recipe on Instagram, please don’t forget to link @velvetandvinegar and use the hashtag #velvetandvinegar. So my community and I won’t miss your contribution.

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Vegan Vanilla Kipferl

Not only do these vanilla kipferl taste great for coffee dates during the Advent time, they are also the perfect zero waste gift from the kitchen. You are not only guaranteed to make vegans happy. These kipferl are egg, dairy and of course butter free. Nevertheless, they melt wonderfully on the tongue and are really buttery. That's why these vegan vanilla kipferl definitely shouldn't be missing in your Christmas bakery. Old or young, it doesn`t matter, nobody will be able resist.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 37 minutes
Course baking goods, Dessert, Dessert
Cuisine German, Swiss
Servings 36 pieces


  • 150 g light spelt flour organic
  • 100 g ground almonds organic
  • 60 g xylitol or regular sugar organic
  • 1 package vanilla sugar*
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 pinch salt organic
  • 125 vegan margarine organic
  • 1 package vanilla sugar*
  • icing sugar organic


  • Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.
  • Cut the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape out the pulp. Add to the dry mixture.
  • Add the vegan margarine and knead briefly with a food processor or kitchen machine. As soon as the dough sticks together, it is ready. Place the dough in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.
  • Cover the baking sheet with baking foil or baking paper and preheat the oven to 180° degrees.
  • Divide the dough into portions of 11 to 13g and form them into balls. Roll the balls into Kipferl in the hollow of the palm of your hand and place on the baking tray.
  • Bake in the middle of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Take out the baking tray and let the croissants cool down.
  • Mix icing sugar with vanilla sugar. Sprinkle with a sieve over the cooled vanilla croissants.
  • Keep airtight in a biscuit tin.


*you can use vanilla extract and 1 to 2 tbsp sugar instead of vanillin sugar.
Tried this recipe?Mention @velvetandvinegar or tag #velvetandvinegar!

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vegan vanilla kipferl pin

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