German Lebkuchen Biscuits

    30 mins

    Spiced with nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and lemon, this is a popular recipe for beloved German biscuits that are generally served around Christmas time.

    52 people made this

    Serves: 72 

    • 100g honey
    • 100g treacle (can use molasses or honey)
    • 175g dark brown soft sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
    • 350g plain flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 85 gms diced candied citron (can use candied orange peel)
    • 30g chopped hazelnuts
    • For the icing
    • 200g caster sugar
    • 100ml water
    • 2 tablespoons icing sugar

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:10min  ›  Ready in:30min 

    1. In a medium pan, stir together the honey and treacle. Bring the mixture to a boil, remove from heat and stir in the brown sugar, egg, lemon juice and lemon zest. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg. Add the treacle mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in the citron and hazelnuts. Cover dough and chill overnight.
    2. Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease baking trays. Using a small amount of dough at a time, roll out on a lightly floured surface to .5cm (1/4 in) thickness. Cut into small rectangles and place them 2cm (3/4 in) apart on the prepared baking tray.
    3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until no imprint remains when touched lightly. Brush the icing over the biscuits while they are still hot and quickly remove them to wire cooling racks. Store in airtight container for a few days to mellow.
    4. To make the icing: Combine the sugar and water in a small pan. Heat to between 110 to 115 C, or until a small amount dropped into cold water forms a soft ball that flattens when removed from the water and placed on a flat surface. Remove from heat and stir in the icing sugar. If icing becomes grainy while brushing biscuits, re-heat slightly, adding a little water until crystals dissolve.

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    Reviews in English (46)


    All my German friends want this recipe--that's how authentic it tastes. The only changes I made were: 1) instead of boiling the honey and molasses, I just warmed them up in the microwave (which made the dough stiffer and less sticky); and 2) I used a simpler glaze by just whisking together a little powdered sugar with some milk (no cooking necessary). Also, be sure to seal the baked and glazed cookies in a container with a wedge of orange or apple for several hours, then take the fruit out. It softens them up to exactly the right texture.  -  10 Dec 2007  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    You need to use a lot of flour when rolling them out. Don't work the flour into the dough, just coat the outside of the dough & rolling pin with flour. And work with small amounts at a time. They are worth the extra trouble. Make sure they are rolled out to 1/4 inch, any less and they will be too crisp.  -  26 Dec 2002  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I made these cookies on the request of my husband who is a German national living in the US since 1996. He told me they taste exactly like he remembers his mothers' cookies. The dough was not sticky at all, but as the previous reviewers complained about the stickiness, I did add about 1/4-1/2 more flour and used plenty when rolling them out. I think the key was making sure they stayed in the fridge overnight.  -  20 Dec 2004  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)