German lebkuchen

German lebkuchen


57 people made this

About this recipe: This is an old recipe for delightful German biscuits that are generally served around Christmas time. They call for treacle, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, honey and brown sugar.


Serves: 72 

  • 100g (4 oz) honey
  • 100g (4 oz) treacle
  • 175g (6 oz) dark brown soft sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 350g (12 oz) plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 oz diced candied citron
  • 30g (1 oz) chopped hazelnuts
  • For the icing
  • 200g (7 oz) caster sugar
  • 100ml (4 fl oz) water
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar

Prep:20min  ›  Cook:10min  ›  Ready in:30min 

  1. In a medium saucepan, stir together the honey and treacle. Bring the mixture to a boil, remove from heat and stir in the brown sugar, egg, lemon juice and lemon zest. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg. Add the treacle mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in the citron and hazelnuts. Cover dough and chill overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas mark 4. Grease baking trays. Using a small amount of dough at a time, roll out on a lightly floured surface to .5cm (1/4 in) thickness. Cut into small rectangles and place them 2cm (3/4 in) apart on the prepared baking tray.
  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until no imprint remains when touched lightly. Brush the icing over the biscuits while they are still hot and quickly remove them to wire cooling racks. Store in airtight container for a few days to mellow.
  4. To make the icing: Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Heat to between 110 to 115 C, or until a small amount dropped into cold water forms a soft ball that flattens when removed from the water and placed on a flat surface. Remove from heat and stir in the icing sugar. If icing becomes grainy while brushing biscuits, re-heat slightly, adding a little water until crystals dissolve.

Recently viewed

Reviews (4)


Do not be put off by the long list of ingredients - it takes seconds to meaure them out. I made these and wrapped them nicely in clear cellowrap then placed into baskets for christmas presents. Everyone loved them and I have ended up making many more! Don't make half the recipe - 72 may ound a lot but believe me they'll get eaten! - 03 Jan 2010


I LOVE lebkuchen so went Googling for a recipe, this one is just delicious. My wife found it too heavy on the cloves, but to me it worked perfectly. Christmassy! - 01 Dec 2012


Lovely. Heavy on the cloves, though, which I don't mind but some of the others who tried it found too overpowering, so I'm going to make it again with half the cloves but adding some crystallised ginger. Maybe cover half of them in chocolate instead of icing. - 14 Dec 2012

Write a review

Click on stars to rate