Manalas recipeManalas recipe
©Manalas recipe|Bénédicte Wirth

Traditional Christmas recipe ideas

We share with you 2 recipes traditionally made in Alsace during the Christmas period: manalas and butterbredalas.

Recipe for manalas

Alsatians celebrate St. Nicholas Day on December 6. On this occasion, they gather with their families in the evening to drink hot chocolate and enjoy delicious manalas. Even if you can find them in bakeries, making them yourself is not really complicated. To make them, we suggest a recipe from Laurène, from the blog Mon week-end en Alsace.


  • 500 g flour
  • 15 cl warm milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 packet baker’s yeast
  • 150 g soft butter
  • 80 g fine sugar
  • 1 packet vanilla sugar
  • 1 egg yolk + a little milk for gilding

The recipe

Combine the warm milk and yeast to activate it while mixing for 5 minutes. Then add all the other ingredients.
Knead until the dough becomes elastic. Once the dough has risen, divide it into small pieces and roll them into large balls. Form the head with your fingers then cut the bottom of the sausage in 2 to make the legs and then a little higher to make the arms.
Once all the manalas shaped, let them rest another hour. Preheat your oven to 180°. Coat the manalas with gilding (egg yolk + milk) then put them in the oven for 20 minutes (more or less depending on your oven).

The Butterbredalas

There are a huge number of recipes for Christmas cupcakes in Alsace. This recipe is from the book Bredele de Noël d’hier et d’aujourd’hui by I.D.L’Editions (usually on sale at the Boutique aux Etoffes at the end of the year).


  • 250 g flour
  • 125 g tempered butter
  • 125 g sugar
  • 3 egg yolks + 1 yolk for gilding
  • 1 packet vanilla sugar
  • 1 pinch salt

The recipe

Combine the butter, sugars, salt and sifted flour. Knead it all together to make a shortbread dough. Form a ball and wrap it in cling film. Let it rest in the cold for about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 180°. Roll out the dough to 4mm thick and cut it out with cookie cutters. Arrange the cakes on a baking sheet and brush them with the remaining yolk for gilding.
Bake them for about 10-15 minutes (depending on your oven).

Discover other experiences at Christmas!