Easy German Gingerbread Cookies – Oma's Lebkuchen Kekse

Oma Gerhild

by: Gerhild Fulson  /  Cookbook Author, Blogger, German Oma!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.

Get Cooking Just Like Oma Cookbook Now

These German gingerbread cookies, or Lebkuchen, are such a traditional cookie to have for Christmas. They're so very easy to make, that there's no reason to buy them.

However, the usual ingredients for these are not readily available outside of Germany, unless, of course, you have a German deli close by. It is possible to buy Lebkuchen spice online, but my recipe below uses regularly available ingredients that are easy to buy in Canada and USA.

You've got to try these German Gingerbread Cookies, aka Lebkuchen for Christmas-time. What a treat!

There are many varieties of Lebkuchen cookies. Traditionally, you'll find the Nuremberg Lebkuchen, the Elisenlebkuchen, the  Lebkuchenherzen, the chocolate filled ones, the ones with candied citron, the ones with nuts, and the list goes on. 

The recipe below is a basic Lebkuchen cookie. Nothing fancy. No nuts or candied fruit inside.

Just plain Lebkuchen. Delicious. Iced and topped with nuts. Wunderbar.

Quintessentially Christmas.

What are Oblaten and do I need to use them?

Traditionally, these lebkuchen cookies are baked on oblaten ... white, tasteless wafers that look communion wafers. It's actually the only way I know them because that's the way my Mutti made them. 

In fact, there are several traditional cookies that must be made on these wafers. 'Must' is traditional. However, just because some say 'must' doesn't mean it can't be done without.

You can easily get oblaten online if you wish and use them for this recipe. However, for the recipe below, I did not use them, because I wanted to see how they would turn out. Personally, I really didn't miss them :) In fact, I think I like them better this way.

A different kind of Lebkuchen

For another Lebkuchen treat, check out my Lebkuchen bars. They are so easy to make and so much fun to decorate. 

A bit of Lebkuchen History

There are many possible origins of the name of these. Leb could come from leben, meaning life. Leb could come from lieben, meaning love. Leb could come from lebbe, meaning sweet. 

Actually, all together, these make sense. A sweet ~ loving ~ life ... a cake that's perfect to celebrate Christmas!

For a bit more Lebkuchen history, check out this post.

Get ready for Christmas! Grab your copy of Oma's collection of her favorites in Christmas Cookies e-Cookbook.

Take a look at Oma’s Christmas Cookies eCookbook and enjoy the traditional taste of German cuisine this Christmas.

Take a peek at all Oma's eCookbooks. They make sharing your German heritage a delicious adventure!

How to store Lebkuchen ...

Store these Lebkuchen cookies in a sealable container, with waxed paper between the layers of the cookies. Place half an apple on a piece of waxed paper on the top of the cookies. This will keep the cookies moist and actually impart a very light fruity aroma that makes these cookies so yummy. 

As with many of the German cookies that are traditional for Christmas, these do taste better if they are allowed to 'age' ... the spices mellow and the texture is amazing. Mind you, it's difficult to wait to enjoy these!

Make sure to wait until the glaze has hardened totally before storing the cookies. Even waiting a day before putting them into the cookie tins is a good idea. 

Ready to make some Lebkuchen cookies?

Get Cooking Just Like Oma Cookbook Now

Easy German Gingerbread Cookies – Oma's Lebkuchen Kekse

These German gingerbread cookies, or Lebkuchen, are such a traditional cookie to have for Christmas. They're so very easy to make, that there's no reason to buy them.

You don't need to buy the Lebkuchen spice mix, since we'll make our own here.

Prep Time

30 minutes

Bake Time

20 minutes

Total Time

50 minutes


Makes about 30 cookies


  • ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons (200 grams) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons (42 grams) molasses
  • ⅓ cup (80 milliliter) light corn syrup
  • 2¾ cup (358 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1⅓ cup (267 grams) packed brown sugar
  • ½ package Lebkuchen spice or make your own by mixing ½ tablespoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon cloves,  ⅛ teaspoon each of mace, coriander, cardamom, ginger, and nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.5 grams) salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 ounces (114 grams) bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) coconut oil
  • 1 cup (125 grams) powdered sugar
  • nuts to decorate, such as walnuts or halved almonds


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two 11x17-inch cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Put butter, molasses, and corn syrup into a small pot and heat just until butter melts.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, spice mix, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Stir butter mixture into dry ingredients, mixing well.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, stirring until well mixed.
  6. Using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon, drop spoonfuls onto cookie sheets, leaving 2 inches between the cookies. Press lightly with your fingers to form each into a disc.
  7. Bake 15 to 20 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let cool.
  8. To make the glazes, melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a small bowl (about 2 minutes in a microwave) and stir until smooth. In another bowl, mix powdered sugar with about 3 tablespoons water and stir until smooth.
  9. Dip half the cookies into the chocolate and half into the white icing. Top with nuts to decorate.

*  *  *  *  *

Unless otherwise noted recipe, images and content © Just like Oma |

11.17.2021 revision update

You might like these

Follow Oma on Social Media:

Buy me a coffee?

Leave a comment about this recipe or ask a question?

Pop right over to my private Facebook group, the Kaffeeklatschers. You'll find thousands of German foodies, all eager to help and to talk about all things German, especially these yummy foods. 

Meet with us around Oma's table, pull up a chair, grab a coffee and a piece of Apfelstrudel, and enjoy the visit.

Newest Recipes

  1. Oma's Authentic Beef Rouladen Recipe – German Beef Rolls.

    beef rouladen 2 600 2020
    This traditional German beef rouladen recipe served with potato dumplings and red cabbage is my most cherished German food from my childhood and still our very favorite.

    Go to Recipe

  2. Oma's Frankfurter Kranz Recipe – German Crown Cake (Wreath Cake).

    Frankfurter Kranz Cake
    Frankfurter Kranz, aka Frankfurt Crown Cake or German Crown Cake, is a ring-shaped, three-layered cake filled with red jam and delicious German buttercream.

    Go to Recipe

  3. Mutti's Rote Grütze Rezept – German Fruit Pudding Recipe.

    This fruit pudding recipe, the original Rote Grütze, is one of Schleswig-Holstein's traditional desserts. Now it's found throughout Germany. And at our house in Canada!

    Go to Recipe

*  *  *  *  *

PIN to SAVE this recipe to your Pinterest board!

And let’s be friends on Pinterest!

You've got to try these German Gingerbread Cookies, aka Lebkuchen for Christmas-time. What a treat!

Lebkuchen ~ Easy German Gingerbread Cookies made Just like Oma

Lebkuchen ~ Easy German Gingerbread Cookies made Just like Oma
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.

Ingredients: molasses, butter, light corn syrup, all-purpose flour, spices, baking powder, eggs, bittersweet chocolate, coconut oil, powdered sugar, nuts,

For the full recipe, scroll up ...

Words to the Wise

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

Proverbs 14:8 (NLT)

Copyright © | Quick German Recipes (Just like Oma) | All Rights Reserved

Powered by: Make Your Knowledge Sell!

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: Quick German Recipes participates in various affiliate advertising to provide a means to earn advertising fees by linking to retail websites. This website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to and affiliated sites. I will not promote products I do not own or would not buy myself. My goal is to provide you with product information and my own personal opinions or ideas.  At times, I will showcase services, programs, and products. I aim to highlight ones that you might find interesting, and if you buy future items from those companies, I may get a small share of the revenue from the sale. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

copyscape image