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(53 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 15 mins


Makes 30

A German biscuit similar to gingerbread, lebkuchen is easy to make and a great Christmas treat

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze dough only


  • kcal102
  • fat4g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs16g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre0.5g
  • protein2g
  • salt0.16g


  • 250g plain flour
  • 85g ground almond
  • 2 tsp ground ginger



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 200ml clear honey
  • 1 lemon, finely grated zest



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 85g butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • pinch each ground cloves, grated nutmeg and black pepper
  • 1 tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

For the icing

  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1 egg white, beaten


  1. Tip the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Heat the honey and butter in a pan over a low heat until the butter melts, then pour into the flour mixture along with the lemon zest. Mix well until the dough is combined and fairly solid. Cover and leave to cool.

  2. Heat oven to 180C/fan160C/gas 4. Using your hands, roll dough into about 30 balls, each 3cm wide, then flatten each one slightly into a disk. Divide the biscuits between two baking trays lined with baking parchment, leaving room for them to expand. Bake for 15 mins, then cool on a wire rack.

  3. To ice the biscuits, mix together the icing sugar, egg white and 1-2 tbsp water to form a smooth, runny icing. Dip the top of each biscuit in the icing and spread with the back of a knife. Leave to dry out in a warm room.

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Comments, questions and tips

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12th Dec, 2018
Made these exactly to recipe and didn't taste of much even though I put more spices in. You're better off making gingerbread.
Jackie Price's picture
Jackie Price
29th Nov, 2018
Made these yesterday, following Auntie D's amendments, and they turned out well, not too sticky to roll if you put mixture in the fridge for half an hour. I must have made the balls too big as I only got 19, not 30.
Jeni Oborn's picture
Jeni Oborn
18th Nov, 2018
I'm only halfway through making these but really pleased so far (thought I'd comment before I attempt icing them, as that's where I usually go wrong with things!!) These look fab, very professional-looking with an even shape, and so very easy to make for a lazy baker like me. Looking forward to gifting them to my family at Christmas!! (Provided my decorations don't end up looking like I sneezed on them... alternatively I might add a little extra sugar to them so I can get away with not icing them altogether!!) :-)
Jeni Oborn's picture
Jeni Oborn
18th Nov, 2018
Also, what's the missing word at the end of the recipe? Room? Oven? Cat?? I am hoping it is the former, but as I am now in a different one, I imagine that, unattended, they may end up in the latter...
goodfoodteam's picture
20th Nov, 2018
Thanks for pointing this out - we have amended this to room and would recommend putting your cat in an equally warm but different room.
Auntie Depressant's picture
Auntie Depressant
24th Dec, 2017
Love Lebkuchen, but tough to find a recipe that doesn’t produce spicy Christmas stone shingles that one could use to rain-proof their roof. This recipe is great, but with the following tweaks, gleaned from 43 years of baking experience with Mom, and your comments: Bake for no longer than 10 minutes...I make mine approx 3cm or larger and use insulated, light, aluminium baking sheets for perfect biscuits every time. Almonds aren’t a staple nut in my kitchen, so I’ve subbed pecans and walnuts, and sometimes all flour and no nuts, all great, but get some almonds if you can. I use golden syrup OR honey, and add 25g or 2T of brown sugar to the honey/syrup & butter mixture, trust me, the added sweetness makes a difference. 1 ml of ground cloves and nutmeg, and WHITE pepper, the black pepper is too overwhelming in any amount. I also use my homemade quatre epices which contains all of these spices. Add an egg for the necessary “cake” texture of LebKUCHEN (cake right there in the name!) chill in fridge for easy rolling, and flour your mitts. I make double batches and freeze what I don’t use, as these go too quickly if made all at once. Use the rind of a small lemon, otherwise they’re too citrusy. These are now a Christmas staple, and I no longer purchase the preservative-laden store brands. Enjoy!
Ben Morris's picture
Ben Morris
18th Dec, 2017
These tasted OK but I don't think they tasted like any lebkuchen I've had which is supposed to be crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. I would have thought an egg would be needed to get the right texture? I believe this recipe is closer to pfeffernüsse and is very similar to Norwegian pepperkaker which are both nice but not lebkuchen.
30th Dec, 2015
Made these with added 25g of brown sugar and an egg and they turned out incredible!! I also used half wholemeal and half plain flour. The dough was a tiny bit sticky but they are soft and yummy :)
21st Dec, 2014
Made these as something nice to share over christmas but must have made them too small. Got 40 or so out of the mix and baked for 13 minutes. They turned out to hard with burnt ends. Decorated with melted milk chocolate and my daughter loved them! Will make them larger next time & divide the dough in 3 then in 10s. Does need extra sugar i think... a few tablespoons of brown sugar.
ChocoKitty79's picture
7th Dec, 2014
I have not tried or baked them yet. Does it work if I don't put the almonds in it?


3rd Nov, 2016
How long do these last once made?
goodfoodteam's picture
7th Nov, 2016
Thanks for your question. These biscuits will keep for up to two weeks in an airtight container.
Alex Vonblanc's picture
Alex Vonblanc
25th Nov, 2019
I made these with an egg and a slightly bigger quantity of the spices because I really like those flavours to come through a bit better. With the egg the dough is a bit less firm, but after 30 minutes in the fridge it's easy to handle. My tip is to use a tablespoon measure to get nice uniformly sized balls for the cookies! Really makes the process easier.
16th Feb, 2014
Bake them a day before as the flavour and texture improves over time
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