Authentic German Gingerbread


Image by ksyfffka07 from Pixabay


Serves : Varies
Recipe: German Pulse

By Francine McKenna


  • 3/4 cup softened, but not warm, unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (cane sugar adds extra flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 medium eggs, beaten
  • 3 to 4 cups flour (All purpose or 2/3 wheat 1/3 rye)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Place butter and sugar into a large bowl and cream the mixture until it becomes light and fluffy. Add spices and zests, beating until they are incorporated.
  • Heat molasses and honey until boiling and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Add molasses mixture to butter stirring constantly, then beat in the eggs and combine thoroughly.
  • Sift 3 cups flour, soda and salt together and stir into mixture. Stirring, add as much of the remaining flour as needed to get a soft but not sticky dough.
  • Shape into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Chill at least overnight so the flavors can develop, as well as making it easier to handle. Can be left for three days.
  • Roll out the dough about 1/3-inch thick. Using cutters or freehand, cut the dough into whatever shapes you have in mind. Brush with the lightly beaten white of an egg.
  • Bake at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes well-spaced out on a greased sheet or baking paper, they will spread; take care not to allow the edges to brown.

Lebkuchen are a sheet cookie which are often served just as they are without any decoration, but they are also decorated with frosting, melted chocolate or slivered almonds.