Lebkuchen - German Gingerbread Cookies

Lebkuchen are a kind of soft German gingerbread cookie. My mom has been making this recipe every Christmas for as long as I can remember.

Course Dessert
Cuisine German
Keyword German Gingerbread Cookies
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 40 cookies
Calories 92 kcal
Author LeelaLicious


  • 1 2/3 cups brown sugar or demerara sugar
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon gingerbread spice mix or a mix of ground cinnamon, ginger and cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons liquor like brandy, rum, or vodka
  • nuts and seeds for decoration

For Brushing:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. In a saucepan heat brown sugar, milk, water and butter on medium until the butter is melted and mixture just starts to come to a boil.
  2. Take off heat and add flour, gingerbread spice mix and salt and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until combined. Return saucepan to the stove. Continue heating the dough while stirring until it thickens and starts to pull away from the sides.

  3. Set saucepan aside in a cool place (outside if you live in a cold climate) until the dough is chilled but not too hard, so it won't cook the egg white.
  4. In the meantime, beat the egg white until stiff. When the dough as cooled, stir/knead in the stiff egg white, baking soda and liquor. 

  5. Prepare several sheets of parchment paper. Divide the dough into 3-4 portions. Place each on a piece of parchment and shape into a log. Place another parchment paper sheet on top and roll the dough out with a rolling pin (thickness doesn't matter too much at this point, but about 1/4 inch works well).

  6. Place the rolled out Lebkuchen dough in the freezer or fridge until thoroughly chilled through.

  7. Preheat oven to 350 F and prepare 2 baking sheets.
  8. Flour your work surface. Then take one chilled dough sheet at a time and, adding only as much flour as needed to keep it from sticking to the work surface and rolling pin, roll to about 1/8-inch thickness.

  9. Cut out desired shapes, place on a baking sheet and decorate with nuts and seeds, if desired. Bake one sheet at a time for 15 minutes.
  10. In a small bowl combine the egg yolks and water. Take the finished cookies from the oven, and immediately brush with a thin layer of the egg wash.
  11. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
  12. Store in an airtight container. Cookies also freeze well in Ziploc bags or airtight containers.
Nutrition Facts
Lebkuchen - German Gingerbread Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 92 Calories from Fat 25
% Daily Value*
Fat 2.8g4%
Cholesterol 15.8mg5%
Sodium 61.6mg3%
Carbohydrates 14.3g5%
Fiber 0.4g2%
Sugar 6.1g7%
Protein 1.7g3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.