German Lebkuchen


Lebkuchen are traditional German Christmas ginger cookies sweetened with honey and studded with almonds and candied fruit. They are finished with a simple lemon glaze. You can coat them with melted chocolate if you prefer.

close up view of German Lebkuchen cookies on a baking sheet
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Additional Time:
8 hrs
Total Time:
8 hrs 30 mins
3 dozen

Lebkuchen are sweet and spicy German cookies that are full of festive flavor. This lebkuchen recipe will quickly become a seasonal staple in your cookie jar!

What Are Lebkuchen?

Lebkuchen are honey-sweetened German cookies that are commonly served during the Christmas season. They're similar to gingerbread cookies, but they are usually glazed and feature nuts and candied fruits.

Lebkuchen Ingredients

Here's what you'll need to make this German lebkuchen recipe:

· Sugars: You'll need brown sugar for the cookies and confectioners' sugar for the glaze.
· Honey and molasses: Honey adds a light, floral flavor and molasses lends complex sweetness.
· Eggs: A whole egg goes into the cookie dough, while an egg white goes into the glaze.
· Flour: All-purpose flour gives the cookie dough structure.
· Spices: These lebkuchen cookies are spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice.
· Baking soda: Baking soda acts as a leavener, which means it helps the cookies rise.
· Almonds: Slivered almonds lend nutty flavor and welcome crunch.
· Candied fruit: Add sweet, fruity flavor with candied mixed fruit peel.
· Lemon: The bright, citrusy glaze features both lemon peel and lemon zest.

How to Make Lebkuchen

You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below – but here's a brief overview of what you can expect when you make lebkuchen at home:

1. Make the cookie dough: Beat the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients in another. Combine the mixtures, then stir in the nuts and fruit. Cover and chill the dough.
2. Roll and cut the dough: Roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut it into even rectangles.
3. Bake the cookies: Place on a prepared baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven until golden brown.
4. Glaze the cookies: Make the glaze in a small bowl. Brush the glaze over the cookies while they're still warm.

How to Store Lebkuchen

Place the cooled lebkuchen in a shallow, airtight container. Store at room temperature for one to two weeks.

Can You Freeze Lebkuchen?

Yes, you can freeze lebkuchen! Flash freeze the cookies on a baking sheet for a few hours or up to overnight, then transfer the frozen cookies to a freezer-safe container or zip-top freezer bags. Freeze for up to six months.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"Wow, these are delicious," raves TUNISIANSWIFE. "The only additions were a few raisins and dried currants, as well as a little bit of cardamom. The spices really made this. I loved the lemon glaze. The longer they set, the better they get."

"This dough is workable, but stays chewy and smooth," according to Stacy D. "I chilled the dough and made traditional cutout hearts, half with royal icing and half with dipped chocolate. They were a huge hit."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • ¾ cup brown sugar

  • ½ cup honey

  • 1 egg

  • ½ cup dark molasses

  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons ground nutmeg

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves

  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ cup slivered almonds

  • ½ cup candied mixed fruit peel, finely chopped

Lemon Glaze:

  • 1 egg white, beaten

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest

  • 1 ½ cups sifted confectioners' sugar


  1. Beat brown sugar, honey, and egg in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth; stir in molasses. Combine flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and baking soda in a separate bowl; stir into the molasses mixture to form a sticky dough. Stir in almonds and candied fruit peel. Cover dough and chill overnight.

  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease or line cookie sheets.

  3. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Cut into 2x3-inch rectangles. Place cookies 1 1/2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets.

  4. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned, about 10 to 12 minutes.

  5. While the cookies are baking, make the glaze: Stir egg white, lemon juice, and lemon zest together in a small bowl. Mix in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Brush glaze over cookies while they are still warm.

  6. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool and set completely before storing in a single layer in airtight containers.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

120 Calories
1g Fat
27g Carbs
2g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 36
Calories 120
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 24mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 15g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 20mg 2%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 101mg 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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