german gingerbread cookies

German Gingerbread Cookies (Lebkuchen)

These German gingerbread cookies take two days to prepare, but are well worth the effort. The dough as prepared is fairly sticky, so be sure to use a well-floured board in rolling it out. You can vary the baking time depending on whether you like a harder or softer final texture. If you don’t have all the spices in hand, you can use cinnamon alone, or if you plan to make the recipe again, you can make a batch of mixed spice and store the extra in your pantry. For flavour variations, substitute other nuts and dried fruit, or try lime or orange glaze instead of lemon. A few ideas: pistachios, hazelnuts, dried cherries, dates, citrus peel or crystallized ginger.


1 egg
1 egg yolk
180 g brown sugar
125 g honey
125 g golden syrup
350 g plain flour
50 g almond meal
50 g hazelnut meal
½ tsp baking soda
1 tbl ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground aniseed
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
70 g slivered almonds
90 g currants

Lemon Glaze

1 egg white
1 tbl lemon juice
½ tsp lemon zest
230 g icing sugar

Mix to give a smooth syrup.


Beat egg and egg yolk with brown sugar, honey and golden syrup until smooth. Add flour, almond and hazelnut meal, baking soda, spices, slivered almonds and currants and mix well. The dough will be quite soft at this point. Let rest in fridge overnight. Next day, roll dough to 6 mm thickness on a well-floured board. Cut 6 cm circles with a cookie cutter and bake 10-12 min at 200 °C (fan-forced) on greased, paper-lined trays. While still warm, brush cookies with lemon glaze. Makes about 40.