Lebkuchen, a popular food during the holidays and Christmas, is a traditional German cookie filled with almonds, spices, honey and candied orange peel. Lebkuchen has been around for centuries and is still enjoyed by many today. If you’re looking for a delicious and festive treat this holiday season, be sure to try some lebkuchen!
I knew I had to at least once make this traditional German cookie while I lived in Germany. Every holiday season beginning in October, these cookies begin showing up on the shelves in the grocery stores. They are so incredibly popular that the stores keep their shelves fully stocked because Germans love their Lebkuchen! And with that being said, I made traditional German Lebkuchen Day 7 of my 12 Days of Cookies!
As I was reading up on the history of Lebkuchen, I learned that they were made as far back as the 1200’s in Ulm, Germany and the 1300’s in Nurnberg, Germany. Nürnberg currently makes one of the most popular varieties of Lebkuchen made and you can get them fresh at the Christmas Markets there.
Lebkuchen comes is several varieties. Some have a wafer on the bottom, others are covered in chocolate and some even have fruit, honey or other mix-ins inside. Most traditionally, Lebkuchen is not too sweet, but is spiced with a very thin glaze on top. It’s said lebkuchen tastes a lot like gingerbread because of all the spices, but it’s not a gingerbread! The Starbucks here sells a Lebkuchen coffee and to the Americans that order it, they call it Gingerbread… but let me tell you, this cookie is far from gingerbread! Gingerbread typically has molasses in it, but these cookies don’t! Made with ground almonds, Lebkuchen is a light, crumby cookie full of delicious spiced flavor!
The version I made is a honey based Lebkuchen made with candied orange peel and almond flour. I added a basic glaze to the top that wasn’t too thick because I wanted to candied orange peel to be seen on the top through the glaze.
Since I’m allergic to nuts, I asked my German friend, Mareile, to taste test them for me and give me her honest feedback. Since she’s German, she’s had her share of these cookies her entire life and she’d know if they weren’t up to German cookie standards! Luckily for me, she said my recipe was delish and tasted exactly like they should for a sweet, candied version of the cookie! Awesome!
So, if you’ve ever been to Germany or have had Lebkuchen before and want to recreate them at home, my recipe will do the trick!