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Lebkuchen recipe

Lebkuchen recipe

41 ratings

These soft and chewy German Christmas biscuits are the perfect festive bake to try at home. Full of Christmas spices, citrus zest and honey, these biscuits are gluten-free so everyone can enjoy them. See method

  • Serves 24
  • 30 mins to prepare and 15 mins to cook, plus cooling and setting
  • 85 calories / serving
  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten-free


  • 250g gluten-free self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp finely grated orange zest, plus extra to decorate
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 125g clear honey

To decorate

  • 100g royal icing sugar
  • 25g dark chocolate, broken into pieces, plus extra to decorate
No self-raising flour? Add 2 tsp baking powder for every 150g plain flour

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    1g 1%
  • Saturates

    0g 2%
  • Sugars

    9g 10%
  • Salt

    0g 0%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 18.4g Protein 1.3g Fibre 0.2g


  1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Line a large baking tray with nonstick baking paper. Sift the flour and mixed spice into a bowl with ¼ tsp finely ground black pepper, then stir in the orange and lemon zest. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs and honey. Mix well until a soft dough forms.
  2. Dust a work surface with flour and roll the dough out to about 1cm thick. Use a 4cm round cookie cutter to stamp out 24 rounds, re-rolling the dough as necessary. Space the rounds a little apart on the baking tray and bake for 12-15 mins until crisp, slightly risen and cracked.
  3. Meanwhile, sift the sugar into a bowl and mix with 4 tsp cold water to form a smooth glaze. As soon as the biscuits are cooked, transfer to a wire rack over a tray, brush with the glaze and leave to cool. As the biscuits cool, the glaze will set to give a thin, glossy coating.
  4. To decorate, put the chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl and melt over a saucepan of just-simmering water. Remove the bowl and leave the chocolate to cool for 5 mins. Spoon into a small disposable piping bag, snip off the end and pipe zigzags over the biscuits (or drizzle the chocolate with a teaspoon). Sprinkle with orange zest and grated chocolate, then leave to set. Best eaten 24 hrs after baking, when the texture has softened. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Tip: The un-iced biscuits can be frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost thoroughly before icing and decorating as above.

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