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Viennese Whirls Recipe

Viennese whirls are delicate, buttery cookies made with soft butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, flour and starch. Enjoy them plain or sandwiched together with a creamy filling and jam.

Cookies with lightly golden edges in a pink glass bowl.


Rich buttery flavor, delicate texture and elegant appearance is what makes Viennese Whirls a popular choice for parties, special occasions, holidays and they make for the cutest edible gifts.


Despite the name, these delicately attractive cookies were created in England, inspired by famous Austrian pastries: Spritzgebäck. Growing up, my mom and I made cookies every Christmas using a simple cookie press attached to a meat grinder. And these cookies largely remind me of Linzer Stangerl Cookies – cookie fingers filled with jam, end dipped in chocolate.


  • Mixing Bowl
  • Handheld Mixer
  • Large Star Piping Tip
  • Piping Bag
  • Baking Sheet
  • Parchment Paper
A close of up baked cookies.


  • Unsalted Soft Butter – use soft not melted butter, butter that is partly melted and greasy will cause cookies to spread too much
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Room Temperature Egg White
  • Flour
  • Corn Starch
  • Sal
Bowls with cookie dough ingredients.


First, trace the circle template (1.5-inch circles) onto parchment. Turn the paper over so you don’t transfer pencil marks onto cookies. Place it onto the baking sheet.

A hand holding a round metal cap, tracing the round onto a parchment with a pencil.


Add flour, corn starch, and salt into a small bowl. Whisk until combined (steps 1-3).

Small blue mixing bowl with flour and starch.

The butter must be very soft but not melted. Cream butter for 30 seconds (steps 1-2). Add sifted powdered sugar and cream until smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Then add Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Bean Paste. Beat until well combined (steps 5-6). Now you can beat in room temperature egg white (steps 7-8).

Butter mixed with sugar and egg whites in a mixing bowl.

And lastly, on low speed or by hand, fold in the sifted flour mixture. Mix just until flour is mixed in and the dough is homogeneous. Don’t overmix your cookie dough. Overmixing can cause excessively crumbly cookies (steps 7-8).

A teal mixing bowl with cookie dough.


To pipe the Viennese whirls use a large star piping tip. I used an open star piping tip #1M. Fit the piping bag with a piping tip. Fill the piping bag with the cookie dough. (steps 1-5).

Piping bag fitted with a large star tip and filled with cookie dough.

Hold the piping bag perpendicular to the surface you’re piping on. Lightly touch the surface with the tip of the piping tip. Squeeze the piping bag and pipe a swirl. Release the pressure as you pull away (steps 1-4).

A hand holding a piping bag, piping swirls of cookie dough onto a baking sheet.

Don’t be limited by swirls, you can pipe other shapes. This dough is wonderful to work with.

Unbaked swirls of cookie dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment.


Bake cookies at 320F/160C for 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown around the edges.

Baked cookies on a baking sheet.
Hands holding two baked cookies.


To make wreath cookies, trace circle template onto the parchment. Turn the parchment over so the pencil marks don’t bake into the cookies. Pipe the circles. Sprinkle with festive sprinkles and bake (steps 1-6).

Piping wreath cookies onto a baking sheet.


If you are looking for a delicious chocolate variation of this simple vanilla cookie recipe, look no further. You can find all the details on how to make the chocolate cookie dough for Viennese whirls in the recipe card notes.

  • These are the measurements for the chocolate version:
  • 14 tablespoons soft butter
  • 3/4 cup to 1 cup (95 grams to 120 grams) Powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg whites
  • 1 cup and 1/8 cup (160 grams) Flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (38 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons Corn Starch
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Almond Extract
  • Whisk together flour, starch and cocoa powder.
  • Follow the instructions in the recipe card.

But what cocoa powder to use? For the best results, I highly suggest you use Dutch-processed cocoa powder in this recipe.

Chocolate cookie dough in a teal mixing bowl.

I used a large star piping tip #1M to pipe swirls onto the baking sheet lined with parchment.

Hand holding a piping bag filled with chocolate cookie dough.
Unbaked piped chocolate cookie on a baking sheet.

Bake cookies at 320F for 13-15 minutes.

Baked chocolate cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment.


Are you craving both flavors? Use a simple technique to make marbled vanilla chocolate cookies.

Piping bag filled with chocolate and vanilla cookie dough.

I used a piping tip #1M to pipe these gorgeous swirls onto a baking sheet. Bake as stated in the instructions in the recipe card.

Baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat, with piped cookies.


  • Why are my cookies flat? Cookies tend to spread if the butter is too soft, almost runny. Butter needs to be very soft but not melted.
  • Why are my cookies too crumbly? Excess flour will cause the cookies become dry and they will be too crumbly. Overmixing can cause cookies to be overly crumbly, too. When adding flour, mix on low speed or fold the flour in by hand, just until combined.
  • Overbrowning– bake cookie just until pale in color and very lightly golden around the edges.
  • What kind of filling do you use to sandwich cookies together? I like whipped ganache and raspberry jam. You can also use American Buttercream and jam (strawberry or raspberry). Use the nicest looking cookies for the tops and don’t overfill cookies with jam.
  • Cookie dough is too stiff to pipe, what can I do? Add 1 to 1.5 tablespoon of room temperature of milk.
  • Can you freeze Viennese Whirls? Yes, certainly. Freeze cookies up to 3 months.
  • For how long do cookie keep? Unfilled cookies keep for up to 2 weeks.
Baked, lightly golden brown cookies on a crumpled piece of parchment.


Viennese Whirls Recipe

This recipe makes delicious tender cookies. For the chocolate version, check the recipe notes.
Bake with the fan off.
Course Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine American, English
Keyword piped cookies, viennese swirls, viennese whirls
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Author Hani


  • 14 tbsp soft butter (190grams)
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon powdered sugar (75grams)
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 1 room temperature egg whites (30 grams)
  • 1⅜ cup all-purpose flour (200 grams)
  • 3 tbsp corn starch (25grams)
  • ½ tsp salt


  • Into a mixing bowl, sift flour (1 ⅜ cup, 200 grams), corn starch (3 tablespoons, 25 grams), and salt (1/2 teaspoon), and set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, on medium-high speed, cream soft butter (14 tablespoons, 190 grams) with powdered sugar (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon, 75 grams). Beat until pale in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in one room temperature egg white (30 grams egg white), Beat until combined, then add 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
  • On low-speed beat in the flour and mix in 2 additions, just until combined.
  • Spoon soft cookie dough into a piping fitted with a large star tip 1M.
  • Pipe shapes onto the baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake at 320F/160C for 13-15 minutes, until lightly golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for a minute, then transfer onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
  • If desired, dip cooled cookies in the melted chocolate or fill them with raspberry jam, buttercream or whipped ganache.


  • How to make Chocolate Viennese Whirls? Follow the recipe instructions for the Vanilla version and use these ingredients and measurements for the chocolate version.
  • 14 tbsp soft butter
  • 3/4 cup to 1 cup (95 grams to 120 grams) Powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 cup and 1/8 cup (160 grams) Flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (38 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons Corn Starch
  • 2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Almond Extract
  • Whisk together flour, starch and cocoa powder.
  • Follow the rest of the recipe as listed in the instructions.

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  1. The recipe for the chocolate cookie dough has two different listings for eggs. One says 1 egg white, and the the other says two. Which one? Please and thank you.

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