German Lebküchen

Happy Monday! I’m all about Christmas cookies right now! Today, I’m showing you how to make one type of German gingerbread cookies (German Lebküchen) , “Nurnberger Lebkuchen”. I was a little bit confused about the gingerbread spice that is typically used in these kind of cookies because it is not the normal gingerbread spice that we are used to, it has a unique flavor.

First, you have to make your own German gingerbread spice blend which includes cinnamon, cloves, allspice, coriander, green cardamom, ginger, star anise, mace and nutmeg! I know… too many spices for one cookie?? Nope, you can store this wonderful spice for other cookies and cakes (I promise to post other recipes where you can use this wonderful spice).  You can also buy this online but there is nothing better than make your own plus it’s kind of expensive for the amount you get. I went to a local Indian market and got green cardamom beans for a very good price!

Let’s talk about the cookie, you’ll need eggs, hazelnuts, almonds, citrus peel, orange peel and gingerbread spice of course!! These cookies don’t need flour, just nuts! Because of their texture, it’s preferable that you use wafers (Back Oblaten), you can get those online.

And to finish… the 2 types of glaze. You can use chocolate or a sugar glaze.

I know, there are too many things to consider, just follow all the instructions and you’ll get beautiful cookies to share or gift during this holiday season.

Let’s start with the recipe.


For the German Gingerbread Spice

Yield 4 tablespoons

2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground all spice

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground green cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground star anise

1/4 teaspoon ground mace

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the cookies

Yield about 24 cookies

1 cup white granulated sugar

5 large eggs, room temperature

2 cups ground hazelnuts (You can make your own)

2 cups ground almonds (You can make your own)

1/2 cup candied citrus peel, finely chopped

1/2 cup candied orange peel, finely chopped

3 tablespoons German gingerbread spice

1 tsp lemon zest

about 30 wafers(Back Obaten 70mm)

For the glaze

Chocolate Glaze

8  ounces milk or semisweet chocolate (I used milk chocolate)

1-2  tablespoons of oil

Sugar Glaze

2 cups sifted powdered sugar

3 tablespoons water


For The Gingerbread Spice

Combine the spices together and store in an airtight container. Set aside until you make the cookies.

For the cookies

1.- In a bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the eggs and sugar. Beat for about 15 minutes (yes, 15) at medium speed until foamy.

2.- Add the ground hazelnuts and almonds, candied orange peel, candied citrus peel, gingerbread spice and lemon zest. Mix until combined.

3.- Put the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate it overnight. If you don’t this, your dough will be too soft to work with. Overnight is the best thing to do.

4.- Next morning: Preheat the oven to 325 F, line baking sheets with parchment paper.

5.- With a spoon, scoop the mixture on wafers, smoothing down the top and leaving just a tight slight space around the edges. Set them on prepared baking sheets.

6.- Bake for about 22-24 minutes, or until the edges start to brown.

7.- Let them cook before glazing.

For the glaze

Chocolate glaze

Heat the chocolate in a bowl and microwave stirring occasionally until melted. Be careful to not burn the chocolate. Add one tablespoon of oil and whisk until smooth, if you need a bit more oil, you can add more but just one more tablespoon.

Sugar glaze

Sift powdered sugar in a bowl. Add water and mix.

To glaze:

1.-Once cooled, place cookies on a wire rack and then dip half the cookies in the chocolate glaze or the sugar glaze (I made half and a half).  Always, let the excess drip back into the bowl.

2.- Let the glaze set for about an hour.

3.- These cookies will keep for several days or weeks (specially the chocolate covered ones). Just stored them in an airtight container.


Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @Pastry_Tales . I’ll be doing a GIVEAWAY on Wednesday!