Lebkuchen are one of my favourite festive biscuits; German Christmas-time cookies redolent with ginger and mixed spices. This recipe from Mark Diacono’s Spice: A Cook’s Companion is a delight, easy to follow and so good it needs to be enjoyed throughout the year!

Lebkuchen on a plate

Read our full review of Spice: A Cook’s Companion by Mark Diacono and you may also like our review of Mark’s Diacono’s Herb: A Cook’s Companion.

Lebkuchen on wire cooling rack

Mark provides his own recipe for lebkuchengewürz (German gingerbread spice mix) in his book but we used a ready-made Hungarian Gingerbread spice mix instead, as the blend is pretty much the same. 

Lebkuchen on a plate
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5 from 1 vote


There are many things I would do for the offer of a well-timed biscuit. Festive as they are, lebkuchen are never not welcome out of season. There is – thank heavens – a fine tradition of spiced biscuits round the world, including biscochitos of New Mexico, Germany’s lebkuchen and Finland’s spiced gingerbread, which share a common thread of celebration; I salute them all, and encourage you to go forth in greedy inquisitiveness. For the gluten intolerant, or if you fancy, the plain flour can be substituted with oat flour and/or ground almonds. Some lebkuchen have dried peel in; I’m not interested. They can be iced; I can’t be arsed.
Author Mark Diacono


  • 150 g 5oz honey
  • 60 g (2¼ oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 450 g (1 lb) plain (allpurpose) flour (see intro), plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tbsp lebkuchengewürz (German gingerbread spice mix)
  • 3 good pinches of salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 170 g (6oz) soft dark brown sugar
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 large eggs, briefly whisked


  • Pour the honey and butter into a small pan and warm over a low heat, stirring to combine.
  • Put all the remaining ingredients except the eggs in a bowl and stir in the honey butter. Slowly add the eggs while stirring: a tacky dough should come together. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 and line 2 or 3 baking sheets with baking parchment.
  • Lightly flour the work surface and roll the dough out to around 7–8mm (¼–½in) thick. Use a cookie cutter to make biscuits of whatever shape you favour. Place on the baking sheets and bake in the centre of the oven for about 12 minutes until very slightly risen; catch them before they darken too much. Cool on a wire rack.
  • They will store for 4–5 days in an airtight container.

We enjoyed these plain, dipped into hot chocolate sauce, and with vanilla ice cream.

Lebkuchen on wire cooling rack

Ours kept well for over a week in an airtight container.

Lebkuchen on a plate

Made the recipe? Leave a comment below to let us know how you got on!


Kavey Eats received a review copy of Spice: A Cook’s Companion from publishers Quadrille. Photos by Kavita Favelle.

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2 Comments to "Lebkuchen"

  1. Chloe

    “They will store for 4–5 days in an airtight container” Oh how wrong you were – these didn’t last 24 hours in my house! I always knock down the cinnamon and up the ginger in my spice mix and these were just beautiful with the honey in them too.


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