Making Springerles and Other Molded Cookies



So the other day, I posted a few pictures of my springerle cookie mold on our Facebook fan page. (Come join us!) Here it is. It’s an impressively heavy thing.


A lot of folks were interested, so I figured I’d write a little about cookie molds, their history, and include a shopping guide so you can get one (or three) for your very own.

‘Tis the season, right?

I preface this by saying: I am not a springerle expert. I do however, have a ton of fun playing with my cookie mold, as you can see by the untraditional chocolate shortbread cookies in these pictures.

For this post, I was messing around with leftover chocolate shortbread dough from the tarts I brought to Bon Appetit’s Holiday Bake-Off Party.

What are springerle cookies and where did they come from?

Springerle are pretty German cookies that are usually made around Christmas. Some of the oldest springerle molds are actually traced back to the 14th century.


In Old German, “springerle” means “little jumper” or “little knight”, which refers to how the cookies poof up in the oven. (Some folks hold that many of the early molds depicted a springing horse.)


Through history, springerle molds have been carved with all sorts of images—from animals to biblical scenes to everyday life. They’ve been used to celebrate weddings and births, served as decorations, and were even exchanged like holiday cards.


Raw dough



What do they taste like?

Traditional springerle cookies are flavored with anise oil and anise seeds.

They’re hard when they come out of the oven, but soften up if you keep them covered. They’re a little like biscotti and are great for dunking.


Wait. How the heck do you pronounce “springerle”?

Ha! Excellent question. OK. Put on your best German accent, and repeat after me: SHPRING-uhr-lee.

(Say that three times fast and try not to giggle.)

How to make springerle cookies

To make springerle cookies, a simple, stiff cookie dough is embossed using ornate molds and rolling pins that are carved out of wood or resin.


To do this, roll out your cookie dough, firmly press the mold (facing down) onto the dough, then carefully remove it.


And…presto! Your dough should have an impressive, raised picture on it. (Sorry, that’s much more exciting when I do it in person, with a flourish of flour, after a glass or two of wine.)

Cut the cookies apart carefully (or not so carefully, as you see in my example below).


Alternately, you can also roll the dough onto the mold, then peel the dough off. You stand a better chance of ripping the dough this way, though.

Connie Meisinger from House on the Hill gives a really good overview of how to make them here:


My springerle mold

Springerle molds are like little works of folk art. And like good cast iron, they’re the kind of thing that you pass down to your favorite family members and friends. (Don’t believe me? Check out the stories behind these fabulous, antique molds.)

I bought my mold at Sur La Table years ago, on sale.

They actually still sell the same one (the Vignette Springerle Mold below), plus a handful of other beautiful molds.

Vignette Springerle Mold

This is the springerle mold I have

For traditional, anise-scented springerle cookies, you let the dough dry overnight to cure a little and help preserve the details on the image.

It’s probably not proper, but I use my cookie molds with a lot of different kinds of dough, and just omit the over-night drying period. Any relatively stiff dough usually works well.

That’s chocolate shortbread dough in the pictures, which was a little on the sticky side, but still worked out just fine.

A recipe for springerle cookies

Springerele cookies are easy to make.

They only have a handful of ingredients: flour, sugar, eggs, some kind of leavener (hartshorn is traditional, but baking powder is commonly used), flavored oil (anise is traditional), and anise seeds.

I’ll track down my mom’s recipe and will do a step-by-step walk through for you. For now, Martha Stewart has a great recipe here.

Springerle Cookie Mold Shopping Guide

A word of warning: Springerle molds aren’t the cheapest things in the world, especially as far as baking implements are concerned.

The great thing about springerle molds is that they’re so pretty, you can use them as decorations. When I’m not using my big cookie mold, I display it in my china cabinet (along with my growing collection of wishbones, but that’s a story for another day).

Here are some of the prettiest molds I’ve seen lately.

House on the Hill Tannenbaum Springerle Mold

House on the Hill Tannenbaum Springerle Mold Menagerie Rolling Pin

Menagerie Rolling Pin

Winter Sleigh Springerle Cookie Mold

Winter Sleigh Springerle Cookie MoldBritish Isles Springerle Kit

British Isles Springerle Kit

Floral-Motif Springerle Cookie Mold

Floral-Motif Springerle Cookie Mold

Springerle Rolling Pin

Springerle Rolling Pin

Pine Cone Springerle Mold


Pine Cone Springerle Mold

Other springerle resources

Four other ways to make picture cookies

There’s more than one way to put a picture on a cookie. Take a peek!

1. Shortbread molds
Shortbread molds are different than springerle molds in that the cookies are typically baked in the mold, then cut apart afterwards.

This Nordic Ware Snowflake Shortbread Pan is pretty.

Nordic Ware Snowflake Shortbread Pan

Nordic Ware also makes a non-snowflake version.

Shortbread Pan

This Chicago Metallic 12 Days of Christmas Cookie Mold is also kinda cool, especially if you have kids.

12 Days of Christmas Mold

2. Cookie Stamps
You can also achieve the same embossed effect with cookie stamps, which work just like a regular ink stamp to press an image onto the dough.

Cookie stamp set

3. Chinese moon cookie molds
Traditionally used to make cookies to celebrate the harvest moon festival, moon cookie molds work well for a variety of stiff doughs.

Moon Cookie Molds

4. Gingerbread molds

I don’t have one of these pans, but they’re definitely on my list of things to pick up before the holidays.

Cast Iron Gingerbread Snowman Cookie Mold

Gingerbread Snowman Cookie Mold

Cast Iron Gingerbread Boy & Girl Mold

Cast Iron Gingerbread Boy & Girl Mold

Small Gingerbread Cookie Mold from Taste of Home

Gingerbread Man MoldHappy baking!

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie serves as an Associate Creative Director at PARTNERS+simons, a boutique ad agency in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.


  1. I don’t have any molds, but I do have two antique cookie stamps. I’ve never actually used them because I don’t know what they’re made out of and glazed with. Since they are old, they could contain lead. But they’re pretty next to my antique glazed ceramic pie dish that I also am afraid to use. 😀

    Thanks for the sources for molds. Did I tell you that we’re making prime rib for Christmas Eve using all of the tips from The Hungry Mouse Presents A Holiday Feast? I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season!

    • Ack, I know what you mean. I have a lot of stuff from my grandmother, and I wonder the same thing.

      Hope you like the prime rib! Send me pictures, lady! 😀


    • Thanks! Yeah, they’re kind of hard to find unless you’re specifically looking for them. The only store I’ve ever seen them in in person is Sur La Table, if you have one of those near you.


  2. Thanks for posting this. I’ve made Springerle for years, and have some beautiful molds from House on the Hill. They are fairly close to me in the Chicagoland area, and their selection is excellent. Love to make them with a spicy, gingery, cinnamony dough (like windmill cookies). Also have a windmill mold from them too. These are a little more labor intensive, so just take your time, enjoy the process, and give to someone who will appreciate it. Now, I need to watch the video.

  3. I have my grandmother’s old wooden molds and one Springerle rolling pin, but I have seen similar ones in antique stores in the midwest.

  4. Hi! I am very interested in the molds and rolling pins, but am having a hard time finding them. Can you tell me whereI can find them now? The links you mention are no longer connected to a product page (out of stock, deleted item, etc) Do you have any other places to share?

    Thank you!

  5. Jesse, Thank you for posting a picture of your mold. It is exactly what I am looking for. I went to the Sur La Table site, but was not able to find the mold, as this is 7 years after your post. Do you have any suggestions for me? I live in Massachusetts as well, only on the western side.
    All the best, Deborah