Viennese cookies, or Viennese whirls as they’re also known, are delicate buttery shortbread sandwich cookie. They are filled with buttercream and jam for a special cookie that just melts in your mouth.
I am a big fan of Mary Berry, even more when I first started watching The Great British Bake-Off. These cookies are so pretty and are so delicious, that I knew I had to make them myself and share them with you. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
If you’re a shortbread cookie fan, this Viennese cookie recipe is definitely one to try. It combines delicate shortbread cookies with a rich buttercream filling along with jam. The richness of the filling is offset by the tart jam making a wonderful flavor combination.
From the name, you might think these cookies originated in Vienna, Austria but they are actually a classic British biscuit (cookie) that was inspired by Austrian pastries, or that’s what is believed. They are sometimes called Viennese whirls because of how the shortbread cookies are piped onto the baking sheet.
All I know is that they are delicious melt-in-your-mouth shortbread sandwich cookies. I love how the buttercream and jam peek out from the edges. They really are a pretty cookie that is not difficult to make.
How to Make the Cookies
Like other shortbread, you don’t need a lot of ingredients for this Viennese cookie recipe.
- Soft butter – it is important that the butter is very soft, but not melted. You need to to be able to pipe the dough and starting with soft butter will make this easier.
- Powdered sugar – this is also called icing sugar. It gives the cookies a very tender crumb that just melts in your mouth.
- All-purpose flour
- Cornstarch – this also gives the cookies a soft texture.
- A pinch of salt – if you use unsalted butter you should add 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl for three to five minutes. It should be fluffy and pale in color.
Next, sift in the flour, cornstarch, and salt and beat well until completely combined. Spoon the dough into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
Pipe the dough onto prepared cookie sheets. Pipe it in the shape of closed swirled rounds. You should have enough dough to pipe 26 to 28 cookies.
Transfer the cookie sheets to the refrigerator and chill the dough for 30 to 45 minutes.
Once the cookies are chilled, bake them at 350F (180C) for 10 to 15 minutes. The cookies are ready when the are lightly golden around the edges and on the bottom.
Leave the cookies on the sheets for 10 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.
How to Make the Filling
While the cookies cool, you can make the filling.
Beat softened butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a bowl until the mixture is smooth. Transfer the filling to a piping bag fitted with medium-sized tip.
You will also need some jam – you can use any flavor you like. Strawberry, cherry, blueberry, or raspberry are all good choices.
How to Assemble the Cookies
Turn half of the cookies over so the flat side is facing up. Top each of them with a teaspoon of jam and then pipe some buttercream on top.
Top each one with another cookie (flat side against the filling). For serving, I like to dust them with powdered sugar but this is optional.
I have included the cups measurements for this recipe, but I recommend measuring the ingredients using a scale. This ensures you get the most accurate measurements which means you will get the best cookies.
If you use cups to measure, be sure to use the spoon and level method for measuring the flour and powdered sugar.
Viennese cookies are best enjoyed within a few days. Keep them in an airtight container at room temperature. They can also be refrigerated for up to a week.
You can freeze the cookies. If you do, just freeze the cookies and wait to make the filling and assembling them until you are ready to serve them. Frozen cookies will keep for up to three months.
These Viennese cookies are almost too pretty to eat! They are crumbly, buttery, and delicate – great for cookie platters and dessert tables. Or just make a batch to treat yourself!
More Delicious Cookies Recipes
Viennese Cookie Recipe
FOR THE COOKIES
- 1 cup +3 tablespoons butter (soft) (250 grams)
- ¼ cup +2¾ tablespoons icing/powdered sugar (50 grams)
- 1¾ cups all purpose flour (225 grams)
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch (25 grams)
- 1 pinch salt*
*If using unsalted butter add ¼ teaspoon of salt.
FOR THE FILLING
- ½ cup butter (soft) (110 grams)
- 1⅔ cup icing/powdered sugar (sifted) (200 grams)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup jam (strawberry, cherry, blueberry or your choice)
- In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy approximately 3-5 minutes, sift in the flour, cornstarch and salt, beat well until completely combined.
- Spoon the dough into a piping bag with the large star tip, pipe 26-28 closed swirled rounds on 1-2 parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Refrigerate for 30-45 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C).
- Remove the cookies from the fridge and bake for 10-15 minutes (the cookies are ready when the are lightly golden around the edges and on the bottom). Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheets 10 minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
FOR THE FILLING
- In a medium bowl beat the butter, sifted icing sugar and vanilla until smooth. Place in a pastry bag with a medium tip.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
- Spread about a teaspoon of jam on the flat side of half the cookies, pipe some filling on top and close the cooke with another cookie (flat side) to form a sandwich. Continue until all the cookies are formed. Dust with icing sugar before serving if desired. Enjoy!