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Chewy German Spice Lebkuchen Cookies

Here is a recipe to make Lebkuchen cookies. Traditional German gingerbread cookies from my grandmother who made them every year. Now I am sharing her authentic old fashioned method and how to make them easier too.


Lebkuchen cookies or German gingerbread cookies as some people may call them, were my favorite cookie growing up! My grandmother always made it during Christmas time and put them in a little tin with other cookies. (affiliate links present)

Lebkuchen Recipe

This reminds me of her every time I make them, and I continue the tradition, making this special German spice cookie recipe with my 3 girls now. I think it is important to have traditions especially during the holidays. Of course you may have had our cake mix gingerbread cookies but this is the real deal!!

Yes I could definitely make lebkuchen throughout the year and would enjoy them immensely then too. However, it’s a special German Christmas making these just once a year too. I had to take a picture of this recipe because it is so well loved. It still gets the point across on this little 3×5 card right?

lebkuchen recipe

Lebkuchen Ingredients

This year I blogged about it so I could never forget this special recipe and here we are today. You just combine all the dry ingredients above and then add the egg and honey last.

  1. Baking sheets
  2. Honey
  3. Brown sugar
  4. All purpose flour
  5. Baking soda
  6. Egg
  7. Lemon juice
  8. Powdered sugar
  9. Sugar
  10. Parchment paper
    1. important while cooling completely so they don’t stick

Or use this silicone baking mat which rocks so it doesn’t stick to the pan because it will if not.

Lebkuchen Cookie recipe

German Gingerbread Cookies

It does take a bit more patience than traditional cookies just because the honey is a bit challenging to really mix it in properly, and this time I even got in there with my hands and needed it together to get it to all mix through.

Spice cookie sugar glaze:  Make the glaze for your lebkuchen recipe. Do so while your first batch is in the oven so you can spoon some over each one when they come out and are still warm.

  • I boil the sugar, confectioner sugar, and water in a small pan until it boils and then turn it off.
  • Use a tablespoon to spoon over cooked cookies
  • Make sure to put them on parchment paper or no stick foil before spooning glaze over because they WILL stick!!

If you love this Lebkuchen German cookie recipe you will love our other recipes like Christmas tree sugar cookies on The Typical Mom too!

german Lebkuchen Cookies

I also make 2 batches and freeze half of them because I make them only once a year and it is nice to bring a few out later to enjoy too (family members always ask for a few too).

  • Preheat the oven to 400. Make sure you spray the pan before putting the cookies on, dough is sticky!

The dough will be very thick and sticky. I don’t bother making them into a long roll, wrapping with saran wrap, cooling, and cutting into a traditional squares.

There’s just no time for that. Using my hands, I just make them into equal size balls, flatten the ball a bit and bake for about 9 min. or so.

  • You want them to be chewy (they have a chewy texture you won’t find in any other cookie you will ever eat), and you do NOT want to overbake them.

Baking them a bit shorter than a bit too long is better, I just take them out when it has barely browned on the top and is brown on the bottom…they will harden a bit when they sit.

Lebkuchen Cookies

What does Lebkuchen taste like?

I compare them to a cross between a dense spice cake and gingerbread dough. If you like nutmeg and allspice you’ll love these.

  • They are usually soft with a slight crunch from chopped nuts on top if you choose to add those.
  • Lebkuchen is a traditional Christmas cookie which is often enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee.

These German cookies are either rectangular or round. I find it is easier to just make balls instead of trying to shape them. They have a sweet, nutty taste, and their aroma is spicy.

Is Lebkuchen the same as gingerbread?

One is typically cut into human shapes or built into houses called gingerbread houses while lebkuchen is a traditional german christmas biscuit form of gingerbread.

If you’re making these for a Christmas market, Grandmas fruitcake is always a hit too. Then make our cake mix crinkle cookies recipe and snowball cookies too!

Crinkle Cookies Recipe 2

How long do Lebkuchen keep?

These are so special to me that I make a double batch and freeze half of them in small freezer bags. That way I can take out a few weeks later and savor them.

However, if you store them on the counter I would eat them within a few weeks for optimal texture and taste. As long as you store your lebkuchen in an airtight container and in a cool, dry place, you can continue to enjoy it for more than 3 months.

Can you freeze Lebkuchen?

Yes Lebkuchen cookies can be frozen in appropriate freezer bags. It is important that they are defrosted gently and slowly though when you’re ready to enjoy them.

The more gently this is done the softer and more succulent they will be once defrosted.

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5 from 2 votes

Lebkuchen Cookies

How to make Lebkuchen cookies. Traditional German gingerbread cookies recipe from my grandmother who made them every year.
Course Dessert
Cuisine german
Keyword cookies, german, lebkuchen, spice
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 114kcal
Author The Typical Mom



  • Combine dry ingredients in one bowl and mix well
  • Combine wet ingredients in another bowl, mix well, and then slowly add dry ingredients in.  It will be REALLY sticky and thick! 
  • Spoon about a large tbsp. full of batter on to a WELL sprayed cookie sheet. If you want the traditional look you can use a piece of parchment paper and create a long roll of dough, roll it up and put it in the fridge, then cut when dough is harder to make slices.
  • Line baking sheet with parchment, a silpat mat or spray with non stick spray. Spoon or place slices on top with space in between. Ensure all are the same size so they bake at the same rate.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes or until the outer edges are firmer but the very middle is still a bit undercooked. This will create a really chewy german spice cookie. 
  • If you want a glaze on your lebkuchen, heat on the stovetop sugar, powdered sugar and enough water to make the consistency you want. Thin is okay, it will still create a sweet glaze on top. 
  • Put cookies on parchment paper or a cooling rack with paper underneath and spoon glaze on so it won’t stick to plate.


Nutrition Facts
Lebkuchen Cookies
Amount Per Serving (3 oz)
Calories 114
% Daily Value*
Cholesterol 6mg2%
Sodium 31mg1%
Potassium 19mg1%
Carbohydrates 29g10%
Sugar 29g32%
Vitamin A 10IU0%
Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
Calcium 9mg1%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
german christmas cookies
Recipe Rating

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Thursday 4th of November 2021

My Grandmother was from Germany and we always made these together. She always warmed the honey before mixing it in. Just warm it until it is thin and runny. It will make it much easier to stir and mix of you do that!

She also always put a sliced almond on top after icing.

The Typical Mom

Thursday 4th of November 2021

Yes the almond, I remember that too


Thursday 24th of June 2021

I’ve made your recipe 4x since I discovered it a month ago. Absolutely delicious. Only thing that didn’t work for me was the 400 degree temperature for the oven. First batch came out brown and hard. After trial and error, I changed the temp to 375 degrees and I bake them for 11 minutes. They are just perfect. Love the texture.

The Typical Mom

Thursday 24th of June 2021

Glad you love it


Friday 16th of October 2020

When I was 8 there was a cafe at the local mall, it was called Vienna Cafe and I remember the font was this curly 1960s/70s continental asthetic, and when my Mum took me there I would always order the gingerbread man. It was so special because it was Al Denté, well I didnt know that word then, but all ginerbread men since were carboard jawbreakers compared to this very special gingerbread. And when the mall upgraded and the cafe closed, I never tasted this flavour and texture until yesterday I made this cookie. Thanks to return me to a childhood memory. I love that the handwritten recipe is jotted down like that. I have copied it onto my own recipe card. Much appreciated you share it.

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