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German Gingerbread Cookies aka Lebkuchen

plate of German gingerbread cookies (Lebkuchen), some iced with dark chocolate and the rest with a white icing and topped with walnuts

These German gingerbread cookies, or Lebkuchen, are such a traditional cookie to have for Christmas. They're very easy to make, there's no reason to buy them. The usual ingredients for these are not usually easily available outside of Germany. Yes, one can buy Lebkuchen spice, etc., online, but my recipe below uses regularly available ingredients in Canada and USA.

These are a basic Lebkuchen cookie. Nothing fancy. No nuts or candied fruit inside. Just plain Lebkuchen. Delicious. Iced and topped with nuts. Wunderbar. Quintessentially Christmas.

German Gingerbread Cookies aka Lebkuchen


  • 1 cup minus 2 Tbsp butter (7 oz)
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • ⅓ cup light corn syrup
  • 2¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1⅓ cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • ½ package Lebkuchen spice or make your own by mixing ½ Tbsp cinnamon, ½ tsp cloves,  ⅛ tsp each of mace, coriander, cardamon, ginger, and nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • nuts to decorate (walnuts or halved almonds)


  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare 2 cookie sheets by lining them with parchment paper.
  • Put butter, molasses, and corn syrup into a small pot and heat just until butter has melted.
  • Into a large bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, spices, baking powder, and salt. 
  • Stir butter mixture into dry ingredients, mixing well.
  • Add eggs one at a time, stirring until well mixed.
  • Using a tablespoon, drop spoonfuls onto cookie sheets, leaving space between the cookies since they will spread slightly.
  • Bake 15 - 20 minutes. Remove to wire rack and let cool.
  • To make the icings, into a small bowl, melt chocolate and coconut oil (about 2 minutes in a microwave), stirring until smooth. Into another bowl, mix powdered sugar with about 3 Tbsp water and stir until smooth.
  • Dip half the cookies into the chocolate and half into the white icing. Top with nuts to decorate.
  • Makes about 30 cookies.
Just like Oma's Christmas Baking eCookbook

Use Oblaten?

Traditionally, these are baked on 'oblaten' ... white tasteless wafers. It's actually the only way I know them because that's the way my Mutti made them, and the way that they are bought. However, oblaten are not easily available ... and for the recipe below, I don't bother to use them. Personally, I really don't miss them and prefer the cookie without them :)

How to store these cookies ...

Store cookies in a sealable container, with waxed paper between layers of cookies. Place an apple half into the container to keep the cookies moist. 

Some more German Cookies

Why not make a batch of each of these cookies for your holiday platter. The different textures and flavours look so pretty, especially when arranged together on a tray. They also make great 'hostess gifts.' Just be ready to pass on the recipes!

Take a look at Oma's eCookbooks ...

Easter Feast
Quick Fix Soup ECookbook
Top 10 Oktoberfest Recipes eCookbook
Just Like Oma's Christmas Baking eCookbook
Top 10 German Recipes eCookbook

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Lebkuchen cookies

Words to the Wise

"The prudent understand where they are going, but fools deceive themselves."

Proverbs 14:8 (NLT)