Lebkuchen Christmas Cookies - an Austrian/German Gingerbread type

Lebkuchen Christmas Cookies – an Austrian German Gingerbread type

by Helene Dsouza on December 22, 2012

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Lebkuchen are some of the most popular and known Christmas cookies in the world. You know them better as Gingerbread cookies. In Austria and Germany you will find them being decorated and sold in the all famous charming Christmas markets. Also, most of the households preparing for the merry season, usually bake Lebkuchen in all different shapes and sizes. Often these Gingerbread cookie type is mentioned in one go together with Christmas and they are literally ingrained in our Food culture.

There are uncountable different Lebkuchen types and variations. Some are harder some are softer, some include a different Lebkuchen spice mixture and some include secrete ingredients. An ingredient that has to always be included is honey. History tells us that the Lebkuchen first appeared in the medieval period around Ulm, Bavaria, South Germany. Later on in the 1500, The old city of Nürnberg made the, at that time better known as Honey cake, Lebkuchens popular. Nürnberg is also popular for making some of the best candied fruits in Central Europe, so that explain how the fruits ended up to be part of the traditional decoration on the Lebkuchen, together with nuts such as Almonds.

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Now, this is my first Lebkuchen recipe here and I certainly will come up with more and different versions in the future. This recipe is better used for smaller shapes and shouldn’t be made if you are planning to build a Gingerbread house or if you want to make your own Lebkuchen heart. For that, I ll share with you all a different recipe!

In my opinion, this is the easiest recipe that I know off and a quick one also. I leave the cookie shape choice and decoration up to you. As you can see I made a couple of different ones, so that you get my idea. They are not fully loaded, but if you like them more busy, then feel free to add more deco. The Icing can be colored as well with a couple of food coloring drops added at the end while making the icing. You might recall the Grimm brother’s tale of Hänsel and Gretel and the house of the witch, and if you are able to envision all that, then you might come up with some gorgeous colorful extensive decoration ideas for your own home made Lebkuchens.

Lebkuchen Christmas Cookies
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: Austrian
Serves: makes about 40 cookies
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
For the dough:
  • 150 grams Honey
  • 80 grams brown Sugar
  • 50 grams Butter
  • 270 grams White Flour
  • 1½ Tsp Baking powder
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • dash ground Lemon zest
  • 130 grams ground Walnuts
  • 2 Tablespoons Lebkuchen spice mixture prepacked or 4 Teaspoons [Home made Lebkuchen spice mixture|www.masalaherb.com/blog/2012/12/lebkuchen-spice-mixture-gingerbread-masala.html]
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon or ½ Tablespoon only if you are using the home made Lebkuchen mixture
For the Icing:
  • 1 Eggwhite
  • 200 grams Powdered Sugar
  • colorful Sugar decoration such as pearls etc (as shown)
  • Candied fruits such as Cherries
  • Nuts such as Almonds
  1. Place the Honey, brown Sugar and Butter together into a bowl and melt and mix the ingredients to a smooth sticky paste.
  2. Once the sticky mixture has cooled a bit add the white flour and baking powder and make a mold to add in your egg yolk. Keep on adding the Lemon zest, the ground Walnuts, the Lebkuchen spice mix and the Cinnamon powder.
  3. Mix it all first with a spoon or something and then work it out for 10 minutes into a smooth dough.
  4. Preheat your oven to a 180 Celsius!
  5. Flour your working space and roll your dough to a 0.3 millimeter thickness out and cut out your shapes with your cookie cutters.
  6. Place them on a baking tray. At this point you can decorate them with Nuts and Candied fruits by pressing the sweets lightly into the dough.
  7. Bake them for about 10 minutes and then let them cool.
  8. In the mean while, beat your egg white to a stiff snow. Once stiff continue to mix in the powdered sugar batch by batch. The Icing should be very tough and shiny sticky. (For colored batches just add a couple of Food coloring drops)
  9. Once the cookies have cooled, you can decorate them with the icing and top them with colorful and pretty looking sugar decorations. Either you pipe a thine line with the icing onto the cookies or you add a thin layer of icing onto the whole cookies surface. Just be creative and have fun!

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I am Helene, the author behind Masala Herb! My aim is to show you an incredible world full of surprises. Food, Culture and Travel are my forte and that's what I enjoy. Follow my Food and Travel adventures and learn some incredible things! Now in the beautifull Indian coastline state, Goa.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }


Hi Helene,
I love Lebkuchen. They are sold here for special occasions. I loved the history you gave and didn’t know so much of it. Thanks for sharing & Merry Christmas!


Ganga Sreekanth

ookies looks crispy, crunchy, yummy and fabulous. Feel like having it now.



Love the flavors. We make gingerbread cookies, but don’t use honey – I really like the idea of this. Such good stuff. I hope you have a happy holiday!



Those of us originally from Europe but now long time citizens of Down Under always retain two things for Christmas: black pudding and lebkuchen! Up north we must be very ‘dour’ and ‘boring’ people because we don’t decorate them, just have lots of shapes! May I add my best wishes for ‘Fröhliche Weinachten und alles, alles gute in Neuem Jahr’!


Lyn @LovelyPantry

I absolutely liked reading the history behind these cookies. It makes me wonder if I’ve ever had an authentic Lebkuchen. But you’re right, this is very easy to make and look like fun to decorate too :-)



Wow, I am so behind on your beautiful blog, I am soooooo sorry! I promise to catch up this weekend! I finally made homemade gingerbread cake this year, now I need to make gingerbread cookies! Your recipe looks wonderful, I am looking forward to your other versions of this lovely recipe:-) Hugs, Terra


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