Lebkuchen – German Christmas Cookies
Back at the beginning of the week I put up a poll about holiday baking, asking what types of recipes you all would like to see featured here on Brown Eyed Baker leading up to the holiday season. (If you haven’t thrown in your two cents yet, head on over and vote!) In the comments section, Heather of Squirrel Bread asked about Lebkuchen and said that she had a couple of recipes but had yet to make them. I emailed her and told her I hadn’t heard of them but would do some research and plan on making them. Less than a day later I was browsing through some of my cookbooks just looking for ideas and inspiration and wouldn’t you know, I ran across a recipe for Lebkuchen. I considered it fate and set out to make a batch right then and there. I did some reading and research and looked at other recipes and came up with this gem.
Lebkuchen is a traditional German cookie that is usually baked for Christmas. It is most like a soft gingerbread cookie, made with molasses and full of warm spices. The glaze provides the perfect complement, a little sweet and with a hint of lemon. All of the flavors blend together so nicely and taste like the holidays; one bite and you will want to crank up the holiday music and trim the tree. You could roll these a little thinner and use cookie cutters to cut out shapes and decorate them. No matter how you make them, you will be glad you did!
For the Cookies:
- 3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
- 1¼ teaspoons (1.25 teaspoons) ground nutmeg
- 1¼ teaspoons (1.25 teaspoons) ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) ground allspice
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup (165 g) light brown sugar
- ½ cup (169.5 ml) honey
- ½ cup (168.5 ml) molasses
For the Glaze:
- 1 cup (120 g) confectioner's sugar
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two baking sheets or line them with parchment paper.
- 2. Sift together the flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Set aside.
- 3. Beat the egg and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl.
- 4. Beat in the honey and molasses until thoroughly combined.
- 5. On low speed, stir in the flour mixture until just combined.
- 6. Turn the dough out from the bowl onto a well-floured surface. Knead the dough, adding more flour as kneaded, until a stiff dough is formed.
- 7. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 2 hours or overnight.
- 8. On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough into a 9x12-inch rectangle. Cut the dough into 18 3x2-inch rectangles. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
- 9. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool. Whisk together the confectioner's sugar, water and lemon juice and brush or spread on top of the cookies.
- 10. Allow the glaze to firm, and then store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
My 96-year-old Dad loves Lebkuchen, coming from a 3rd generation German family. I just made these, and ate one while still warm. I think this is the ticket! Now to season them in cans with a few slices of apple, which I believe is traditional. They’ll still be a bit “young” on Christmas day, but perfectly edible, and he can enjoy them into January. Perhaps add to the recipe that they need to be seasoned properly (with apple), or they’ll be hard as cement!
I grew up next to an elderly couple whose parents were from Germany. These taste like my childhood! We didn’t know growing up that the cookies were German but they always seemed to be on hand when we would run over and ask for a cookie. After college I asked about them and were told they were an old German recipe but wasn’t able to get it from her before she passed. I’m so happy I found this! Spot on matches how I remember them when a of the recipes I found included nuts and dried fruits (so I know they weren’t right). Thank you!
I finally have a new recipe to make. I believe not only kids will enjoy this special treat but adults too. I will try to make this for sure. Thank you!
I’m hoping to make for the first time these cookies. My grandmother always made them at Christmas.
Perfect. You’re one of my favorite food bloggers.
Appreciate not having to buy cookie cutters & icing bags to decorate. Neat idea to glaze. Thank you!
We’ve been looking for my mother-in-law’s recipe but she had several and none looked quite right. I came upon this which had most of the same ingredients. The cookies turned out great! We rolled it out and cut out shapes. Ours did come out rather hard – we probably rolled the dough too thin – but that was how my family remembered them. I didn’t have molasses so I substituted maple syrup (a good darker Canadian import) and I had already bought lebkuchen spice. As for the people complaining, there are many different versions of many types of cookies. I myself like the Nurnberg lebkuchen which is thick and cakelike. My family likes their oma’s version which is harder like a ginger snap. Great recipe – next time I’ll try the molasses. Happy Holidays!
Was hoping this was the one, followed to a T, I don’t bake, so I don’t know where this is wrong… the molasses is almost to much! The dough was not playable even after 4 hrs in the fridge.. rolling it out, it wouldn’t form anything because it just kept breaking.. baked it.. and tough, hard… no soft or chewy … weird perfume taste .. yuck
My Grandma Zimmer always made these every year. As a young child way into my adulthood, my mom and I got together with Grandma, every weekend right after Thanksgiving to start baking cookies, fruit cakes and pies. There seems to be an ingredient missing. It was a fruit similar to what you would find in fruit cake. I believe she called it citron. It had a lemony flavor. I never made these for my picky family, but I loved them, even as a child. Is this traditional or was that an extra my grandma did? She lived to be almost 101 yrs old. Not may people have their grandma’s up until they’re in their 50’s. She was a very special woman in my life and had all of her mental faculties all the way to the end. That was just 6 yrs ago and I’m 58 now.
My grandmother’s recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of chopped lemon peel and 6 tablespoons of chopped orange peel (I had to ask my Aunt if it was the kind of candied fruit that goes in fruitcake-she said yes). I have followed my grandma’s recipe and have not yet rolled or baked them. I’m hoping for the best!
If this is like the old recipe I came looking to replace, these cookies will come out too hard to eat unless they are well dunked in a hot beverage. Age them in a well-sealed metal container for a couple of weeks if you want them pleasing to bite.
My old recipe used bitter orange marmalade in the glaze instead of lemon juice.
This has been my gingerbread cookie recipe for the past 4 years! All the kids love them! It’s not so overwhelming with the ginger that the kids really enjoy them :-) thank you so much for sharing this recipe
Are the calories for 1 cookie?
I am chomping at the bit to make your Lebkuchen, however, I see not ground nuts or candied orange peel. Both of those are in the Trader Joe brand. Those are so good, it it is just that there are very many things in there (i.e. additives) that I don’t want in my cookies. I would like to add these particular ingredients to my cookies, I will even go as for as to make my own candied orange peel. I would like to add the nuts and orange peel to my cookies and don’t see why I can’t. I just hesitate to ruin a batch.
Sounds like you are looking for a recipe for elisen lebkuchen, that’s the kind with ground nuts and candied fruit.
Where to begin…
Firstly, your ingredients were (how do I put this nicely) terrible. I mean, molasses and honey? What even…?
Secondly, your instructions were not explicit. “Thouroughly combined? Just combined? Stiff dough?” How do you expect people to just know when the dough is partly or thouroughly combined!!??
Thirdly, the whole thing was a mess, which is your fault, because you did not mention to take any precautions. The ingredients were everywhere! In addition your ratios were out of this world. A cup of molasses and honey! Are you trying to give everyone diabetes?
Fourthly, the end result was a disaster. The cookies turned out to be nothing like yours in the picture. And you said that “No matter how you make them, you will be glad you did!” You know what I call that? A big fat lie. I have nothing more to say to you. Please reflect on what you have done.
With mutual dislike,
Actually, YOU didn’t put anything NICELY.
🤣🤣🤣 sounds like a personal failure and a tendency to avoid responsibility!
Karen… is that you?!?! Lol
If you didn’t like the sound of the ingredients (which you point out twice) why even attempt to make them in the first place? Maybe you ought to sign up for some baking classes to learn what “thoroughly combined” means. Untwist your panties andtry be nicer next time you fail at a recipe.
My mother used to make these for us when I was a kid, back in the ’60s. I loved them – fresh they were hard as rocks, but the longer one could bear to leave them sit the softer and yummier they became. Leave them too long, though, and my sisters would swipe them! :) There were never enough of these wonderful treats – once put out, the plate was bare in minutes. :) To me they are inseparably entwined with the wonderful Christmases of my childhood. I have searched for this recipe for some years, now, without success until today. Of course, the holidays are behind us now, but for a great cookie the season hardly matters – as soon as I can get my hands on the ingredients I will amaze my wife and children by actually using the stove. :)
Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you! for posting this recipe. :)
I love this recipe. I’ve made it every year for Christmas since 2012. I find they aren’t best the day they’re made, as the cookies tend to be hardest, but if left out on the cookie rack or a tray overnight, they are really good. I keep them in tupperware or cookie tins at room temp for up to two weeks and they soften a bit in the containers, which I like. Of all the cookies I make every year (usually 8 different kinds), this is always my favorite. I also love that they’re so easy to make!!
I remember anise being in my grandmother’s recipe. My cousins and I used to come when she was baking them and decorate them with icing and sprinkles.
no baking powder or baking soda? hmmm
You knew it was Christmas when my mom and grandmas made lebkuchen and springerle. Our lebkuchen was made only with honey, but had ground almonds and citron chopped finely in them with an almond on top. Huge batches were made that kept for months.
Just curious, the lack of baking soda, that some recipes call for, is this more of a traditional cookie? I believe you could build a gingerbread house out of this.
It’s flatter, not as “cake” like as a molasses cookie we get from Colonial Williamsburg, Va which is based on a very old recipe they modernized the ingredients.
These are a nice change of pace. Strange they don’t taste overwhelming sweet even with the icing.
PS, didn’t see all the comments before I posted….
Anywho, these came out find for us even without baking soda, looked just like the picture and very eatable, not hard. The icing had to be thickened a bit.
Here you go, had to relook these up, we can never get these to come out exactly like CW’s.
You used to be able to get the Raleigh Tavern recipe book, its rather thin, but would listed the original recipes on the left odd page, with rather disgusting ingredients at times and the modern recipes on the even page.
These are a bit more puffy, sweeter, with a very heavy coase open texture.
thanks so much for this recipe.
I have looked for one without citrus and finally found it.
I bought lebkuchen at a World Market and it had the same glaze like yours and had a thin layer of chocolate on the bottom. Can’t wait to make these..
I made Mexican wedding cookies and ameritti cookies (used ameritta in batter and in glaze on top, OMG were they good) yesterday.
Happy Baking and Merry Christmas Jackie
Through the 70’s and 80’s my sister-in-law and her family made lubkuchen every Thanksgiving and put the cooled cookies in a pillow case, tied a knot in the top, and stored them in the back of a dark closet till Christmas. They were hard as rock when first baked. By Christmas, they were soft and chewy and delicious!!
Why is there no ginger in this recipe or baking powder?
Because it’s not gingerbread and it doesn’t need baking powder. The cookie is supposed to be thin and flat.
The Lebkuchen recipe is missing 3 things
The baking soda
The chopped citron
The lemon zest in the glaze
Found a better recipe on allrecipes.com
Remember my grandmother and mother making these through my childhood and adulthood. Now it’s my turn but I could find her recipe. I’ll use all recipe.com
Yes missing from this recipe is :
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup slivered almonds
½ cup chopped mixed candied fruits and peels (use Citron)
I will try your suggestion of using 2 to 3 T whole milk in the lebkuchen…instead
of the egg.
Thanks for answering me so quickly…..I was totally surprised…..If this
works out….Whoopie, I’ll be thrilled and Grace Marie will have a different
treat to enjoy…Happy, Healthy New Year…..:))…Jerseygirl
Can these be made without an egg….My grand-daughter is highly allergic to eggs and also peanuts…..Do you have any recipes for cookies with out egg?
I get vegan muffins (no egg, no nuts) from Whole Foods…..and they are
actually very good…not gooey…..What is the secret?
I have never tried making these without an egg, but you could try substituting 2-3 tablespoons of whole milk and see how that works.
I just made lebkucken from an old Austrian cookbook. They came out great. Nice and soft and puffed up. The missing ingredient in this recipe is baking soda. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of baking soda and 2 more eggs. Also the Austrian recipe does not have molasses. It uses fine sugar (icing sugar) and honey only.
This recipe is perfect as is. Doesn’t need baking soda.
no offence but this recipe is not worth the ingredients needed to make it. they came out like hockey pucks…and not tasty ones.
I remember my grandmother’s had chopped nuts in them. We kids always made fun of how hard they were. But by Valentine’s day, they were chewy and so good!
I make my Lebkuchen’s every year. I have my Great Grandmothers recipe.
There are few things that she did differently and I think is makes a difference.
1. we use a cup of sorghum molasses in lieu of 1/2 molasses and 1/2 honey.
2. after the cookies are finished place them in an container with 1/2 of an apple and store for two weeks in a cool place. This allows them to mellow and become soft, not to mention a hint of apple flavor.
Any Lebkuchen recipe with molasses has been modernized or Americanized. According to Mimi Sheraton’s excellent book on Christmas baking, Visions of Sugarplums Lebkuchen go back to 12th century Nuremburg. They were/are made there using all honey. I recommend the recipe in the King Arthur Flour Cookie Cookbook, which substitutes crystallized ginger for the candied citron. Excellent and not hard. Also King Arthur and Visions recipes both use brandy as the liquid in the glaze, I think. Aging the batter before you bake improve the flavor complexity also. These keep forever in a closed tin.
I dunno if i did it wrong or something, but i suggest leaving it in longer or if not, maybe theyre supposed to be soft, though i doubt it
Yes, they should be soft.
I’ve made this two years in a row and they’re always rock hard! :(
I just made these cookies using your recipe, and I just wanted to say they were not hard whatsoever, they were soft and chewy and delicious. Thanks for the recipe
Greetings — I do a weekly food blog called Feed the Spirit and am planning to do a piece in December on Lebkuchen. I would like to use your recipe. I will link to your blog — but if you could give me any more info about where the recipe came from, that would be helpful.
These were called ‘lepe’ cookies in my family. I’m including the recipe as it came from my great grandmother, an emigrant from Ettenheimweiler, Baden, Germany:
6 pounds sorghum
3 – 3 oz pkg. citron, diced
1 pound raisins, cut up
3 – 7 oz pkg. currants
½ pound English walnut meats – finely ground
½ pound pecan meats – finely ground
3 Tbsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp cloves
1 Tbsp nutmeg
1-pound lard, softened
1-pound butter, softened
3 Tbsp fresh baking soda
21 cups flour
Mix the 1st 11ingredients in the order listed.
Then add, alternating, the buttermilk and baking soda mixture and the flour cup by cup.
The next day, using a softball sized amount of dough, roll into a rectangle on a floured surface, about 1/4″ thick and approximately 12″ x 18″ in shape. With a sharp knife, cut into bars about 2″ x 3″.
Cook on ungreased baking sheet at 350 degrees 10-12 minutes.
Cook cookies overnight.
The following day, ice with the following:
1 pound powdered sugar
1 stick melted butter
enough half and half cream to make spreading consistency.
Ice the flat bottom of the cookie and let dry.
You will need more than one batch of the icing.
When icing is dry, store in air tight stone crocks for several weeks.
This recipe makes hundreds of cookies. You can cut the recipe in 1/3 with good results.
We made the cookies the first week of December so they would be properly aged by Christmas. The cookies freeze very well.
From my research, different areas of Germany had slightly different recipes. And some places made these cookies as tree decorations.
Nothing says Christmas cookie to me like lepe cookie does.
Why is the recipe lacking baking soda? They taste great but were inedible due to the consistency.
Ron, There are actually a number of different Lebkuchen recipes; some of them include a leavening agent, while others do not. It sounds like you either rolled the dough too thin or over baked them, as they are definitely a thick and chewy cookie.
I have just finished my second lot of your cookies. The first batch I did a few weeks ago to test run for the Christmas, and like Maria they just about broke my tooth. A couple of days later though they softened up a little and they all got eaten.
Today I didn’t cook them for as long and they are perfect.
Thanks Michelle and Merilyn for the comments. We put them in an airtight container and will see if they are softer today. We also have another dough batch in the fridge and will try tweaking things before we bake it. Many of the cookies were still raw on the inside when I baked them for the prescribed amount of time, but maybe they weren’t rolled out thin enough.
Will give it another try though, since the flavor was great!
Merilyn, I bake them every year and I have to place the in a container with 1/2 of an apple and store them for a week or two in a cool place. That should make them soft.
Not sure what went wrong. We followed the recipe exactly. They are rock hard! We made these last night to gift to coworkers this morning and they are so hard, I didn’t want to risk breaking someone’s tooth! The flavor is fine, but what went wrong??
Pictures are great though. :)
Hi Maria, It sounds like either too much flour was used when rolling it out, or that the cookies were overbaked.
Thank you for posting this. I have old recipe books that I used to make them, but alas over the years they have been falling apart. Being raised in Germany, these cookies are a tradition for me and my new family. I thought that I would have to miss out on them this year, but thanks to you, it will be a wonderful season to remember.
Hi Tammylou, I hope you and your family enjoy these!
Mine came out very hard….don’t know why. I noticed that I needed to bake them for a longer time because they didn’t look like they were baked through when the timer went off at ten minutes. I Was very disappointed with this recipe. Thought the flavor was rather bland too. I was expecting a more chewy cookie not hard.
Hello! Usually we use grounded nuts and sugar beet molasses for Lebkuchen. Also we sometimes use potash, candied lemon and orange peel (“Zitronat, Orangeat”). That´s what makes it very traditional. I suggest to try it, it´s so yummy! I love candle light and the smell of winter baking all over my house, when it´s really uncomfortable outside. Oh du fröhliche… :)
My family has made Lebkuchen for years! Though our recipe is a little different, I’m SO happy to see you sharing the recipe and giving this great cookie some love!
Me and my 4 year old are about to make these cookies. They do bring back childhood memories but my mother always bought them from the German deli. I’m looking forward to trying the homemade version.
I have my grandmothers recipe and none of them I’ve seen online are close to her’s. She was first generation in the US so her recipe had to of come over from Germany with her mother. She was born in 1895 so mine has to be at least a 130 year old recipe. Many things are differen. Three big ones are grandma’s does not contain brown sugar, molasses or honey. Alone with different ingredians one of the most important parts of grandma’s recipe was that once they were cut out they dried over night on the ironing board.
There was a German bakery in my town when I was a child. Year round they sold a cookie that had a molasses flavor, it was chewy, not to sweet, it had some small amount of candied fruit, some nuts and a glaze. It looked like they baked it in a long rectangle the width of a single cookie then they cut it into individual cookies after it was baked.
I have looked for a recipe, I have tried many, none come close to what I remember.
Do you have any idea what cookie it might be?
Hi Angie, I haven’t heard of this type of cookie and did some Googling but haven’t had much luck. I’ll keep looking and let you know if I find anything!
Try Leckerli – that maybe what Angle Moore was thinking about. The recipe I have has lots of spice and dried fruit.
I made these last year and they turned out great. I personally don’t have a taste for them, but my husband said they were better than his mother’s attempt at them and that’s saying something! My lebkuchen turned out soft, so maybe those of you who have tough cookies are rolling them out too thinly or are putting in too much flour while kneading.
The recipe I was looking for had citron in it and a thin chocolate glaze…can you help?
I made these as a child with my grandmother a recipe her mother had brought from Germany. I made this recipe today and the whole time I was putting the dry ingredients together I was thinking something had been left out. I baked the cookies and found them to be a little hard and came to believe the missing ingredient is baking soda. Will follow grandmothers recipe next time since I have found it.
your cookies look yummy i cooked them and my german teacher said they tasted just like the ones he had in germany
I LOVE lebkuchen !! I would always beg my mother to make several batches early in the holiday period so we’d have them til after New Year’s (ya right , haha ). After she made them , we’d store them in tins and hide them in the bottom of the china cabinet until holiday company came over and then we’d retrieve them . Several times , we missed a tin or two tucked way in the back and didn’t find them until the following year and guess what ??? they were even better ! They were a little hard , but absolutely perfect for coffee/tea dunking. Thanks for the memories and now I’ll have to try my hand at making them .
My grandparents on both sides were German, and they, like my mother, made Lebkuchen cookies for Christmas. Their receipe calls for molasses, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, Anise oil, and Citron and candied fruit. The cookies were never soft and chewy and I can remember years when they were so hard that you had to soak them in milk to eat them. They were also brushed with honey, not frosted, and decorated with an almond sliver.
I just made these for my husband to try. The smell amazing while baking, they are a hard crunchy cookie but have a great flavor. Always fun a s a baker to try new recipes thanks
So I was really excited about these, and i followed your recipe exactly. They turned out rock hard and rather gross.
My grandmother made Lebkuchen, though not from the same recipe. The comments on the cookie’s hardness made me smile. Grandma always made them several months in advance and stored them in tins or an old ceramic crock until the holidays. They’re so much better after they mellow for a few months, or a year.
Nice recipe and yumy cookies, but the preheating and cookie sheet prep instructions shouldn’t be at the beginning if the dough has to be refrigerated! Put these instructions in the middle instead.
O.k., I did it! I made them! I think I didn’t put in enough of the liquid sugars, and so when it came time to knead the dough, I just had a bowl full of powder. So I added two more eggs, which I think made them a little rubbery. But they’re still delicious. They don’t look *anything* like in your photo, but hey, it’s my first time, afterall…
I make our family’s version of these every year. The Hebron ND cookbook has 8 different recipes for lebkuchen. All have butter and honey boiled first, then flour added along with eggs spices and ground citron and nuts. They are topped with a split almond and brushed with egg yolk wash before being baked. Wonderful!
About their hardness…when my grandparents were still alive, they sent us lebkuchen and other cookies from Germany every Christmas, and I remember that the lebkuchen would get softer over time. You couldn’t eat them right away. So don’t give up hope, Carolyn! I haven’t tried this recipe yet – it’ll be a first for me for lebkuchen – but I’m really excited to see how it goes!
I will try this and the true test will be when my husband’s Oma (age 94) will taste them. She is now in a nursing home and she could not make them last year, either. So, I hope this will be a nice Xmas present/ surprise for her.
Wow. delicious recipe. I like your foto..
these are one of my moms favorites, from germany and she hasnt been able to find good ones in the US so i will have to make these for her~ thanks!
I’ve just bumped them to the top of my bake for xmas list, thank you!
I make a version of these cookies every year, however I don’t use any molasses and I replace some of the flour with ground almonds. I also heat the honey – then add the brown sugar. When they come out of the oven I brush both sides with a thin icing. They are chewy and delicious – my whole family and neighbourhood are fans. I make them early in the season and keep them in a sealed container till around Christmas. My recipe comes the closest to the cookies I had in Germany as a child.
Wow those look amazing (both the recipe and your photographs). I’ve gotta try these.
Lovely — I’ve seen this traditional recipe in cookie books and have always been curious to try it!
These look & sound delicious! I usually buy a few packages of Lebkuchen at Trader Joe’s as my son loves them. But you have inspired me to bake some myself this year! Thanks for experimenting & sharing! :)
I haven’t tried these but love the spices. Very Christmas-y
Many years ago I worked for a German family (in Australia) & was lucky enough to join them in their Christmas celebrations. Seeing your Lebkuchen took me back to that time. Simply gorgeous cookies & photography.
These cookies look great, and I love the picture of the spices. I can smell them from here!
I love your photos! Always highlight every single detail bit!
I have never made these cookies but know of them as my family is of German descent. My new years resolution that started last week is to learn about and make (and of course blog) about real German food. This is one of the better recipes I’ve seen for lebkuchen. Usually when I try to buy them they are hard and I don’t care for them. I am saving this recipe and making for Christmas this year.
I attempted to make them last year… not really succeeded. Yours look beautiful!
ohhh, these might be on my christmas cooking baking list! Thank you so much :)
I love these cookies. Lucky me, I have a friend living in Germany who mails me some every year!! Yours look divine.
BethieofVA I have been trying hard to find a way to have their festive tins sent to australia. Schmidt will send them for $277 dollars postage… way too much. However the tin does weigh five kilos when packed.
If your german friend or yourself could give me any tips i would appreciate it.
with thanks Jen from Perth Aust.
If you can give me any clues as to
oo these sound delicious with all those spices!
This reminds me of my childhood and My papa used to bring them from Basel for Christmas…thank you so much!
these sound really good. I like the glaze thats put over them
I love your shot of all the spices! These look amazing, I should make them for my Dad!
My Dad told me he would eat these as a kid, so last year I attempted to make them for Christmas. However, they turned out rock hard! I was scared for my teeth when I bit in. I did some research and found that they were often left in airtight containers with orange slices to soften them up (though this didn’t work for me either). I don’t know if you have any advice to offer – did yours come out of the oven nice and soft already? I’d love to try them again this year.
My Tante told me they made these at the first of December so they could hang them on the tree. Hers were usually Star shaped and hard as a rock.
We loved them anyway. She would always send me hunting for oplate? too put under her maccaroons and the lebkuchen she would make. I’d like to carry on a family tradition but she stored so many recipies in her head. Her cakes were wonderful.
The wafers you put the cookies on are called oblaten. They are thin, paperlike, and tasteless, and prevent the cookies from burning on your baking sheet. This way you don’t have to grease the baking sheet first. These are used often in german cookie recipes.
Try leaving apple slices in airtight containers instead. This will soften them up!
My Oma used to make these, and I think I will be making them again for Christmas! Thank you for the recipe!
Looks very tasty – I have made german cookies once before and they were to die for!
I’m not a huge fan of lebkuchen, but these look really good! I like that they are flatter.
A cookie without butter? I must try that!
Lebkuchen are also cookies baked in Alsace (North Eastern France) before Christmas :) I love them!!
Hi Neel – I just used a shiny white plate to photograph the cookies.
This sounds great!
you baked them! i remember walking around Munich… the street vendors’ stalls hung with heart-shaped Lebkuchen covered in bright colored icing. thank you for working on that for me. it’s like a pre-Christmas post-gift! they look terrific.
These look so yummy and would be wonderful for the holidays! I bet they smelled wonderful as they baked.
Wow, never heard of them before, but they sounds really delicious.
Absolutely delicious !! I agree : we can almost smell them!!
“auch du lieber”… or at least that’s what I’m imagining my mother to say about this recipe. Thanks for bringing back some childhood memories. I can almost smell them.
I like to call these stank cookies.. They came out horrible & I hated them
Well maybe that’s because you’re a bad cook.
or, you just messed up the recipe.
I made them today and think they forgot something in the recipe, they are as hard as a rock. I made lebkuchen before but with a different recipe and came out real good
i also made these, today. something is definitely missing, as they came out like hockey pucks. tried making them a little thicker, and got doughy hockey pucks. flavor was good, but some re-vamping is needed.
I think a 1/2 tsp baking soda is missing. Try adding it for a softer cookie.
I made this and added some baking soda. Also the bake time is too long. The ones I left in the oven ten minutes were too hard. The ones I took out sooner were just right.
there are different lebkuchen recipes and this one should be make a few weeks in advance of Christmas, stored in a tin with a tiny sliver of apple or orange. My mom was from Germany and she preferred the orange. The cookies soften and get more flavorful.
They have to be stored in a tin with an apple slice in order to soften up.
Love you photography. The white surface that you put the cookies on, is that a shiny white plate? or did you use mirror like reflecting plate?
Love your site, its energetic and enthusiastic as well as yummy. However…as a journalist, I’m surprised that you didn’t credit the cookbook/cook who wrote the recipe. Just noticed this on the Lebkuchen cookie site. Maybe I missed it. If so, my apologies.