“Immediately soft”- Lebkuchen (gingerbread)

Christmas time is always too sudden and like every year I forgot to prepare a gingerbread dough. Yah! A real German gingerbread dough has to “ripen” for several weeks before it is baked, so that the spices spread well.

There are Brown Gingerbreads (Braune Lebkuchen) that are baked from a dough that contains a lot of flour. Then there are the Oblaten Lebkuchen, they are made from a soft, low-flour dough and placed on Oblaten. Oblaten are like wafers in  a church. The latter are the Nürnberger Lebkuchen. You have to you bake them in Nuremberg, only then you can call them as Nürnberger Lebkuchen 😉.

In the Middle Ages, gingerbread was only available in pharmacies and monasteries. Honey was the only sweet available and with medicinal herb juices baked, the gingerbread was considered a speciality, which one did not eat frequently. The typical spices came a little later, when e.g. cinnamon and pimento came over from the Orient.

Brown gingerbreads are often hard as stone shortly after baking and only soften after about 2 weeks. If you have have follow me for a time, you already know me a little bit, you know that I am rather the pragmatic “That-have-to-go-faster” type. And so, of course, I also have a corresponding gingerbread recipe for you. I also like it so much because it always reminds me of my childhood and the fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel”. Because that’s exactly how I always imagined gingerbread.

And you can vary it. Take little flour and add many chopped walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds. You can also chop candied oranges and lemons and add to it. Or/and marzipan. If you then put the dough on wafers, then it’s almost Nürnberger Lebkuchen 😉. Especially with chocolate icing and punch glaze.

Gingerbread spices, also called nine-spice, can be bought relatively frequently. However, just as often only 5 or 7 of the spices are included. But that is also working. If you want it more like the original, then mix it yourself:

35g cinnamon

8g cloves

1 teaspoon pimento

2 teaspoons nutmeg

2 teaspoons cardamom

1 teaspoon aniseed

½ Teaspoon Ginger

½ teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon fennel

This mixture is enough for 2 kg of flour. For the following recipe, you will need half of your gingerbread spice or two package purchased (indepence how much is in there):


100g sugar

80g butter

250g honey

Rum Aroma

1 sachet vanilla sugar

1 x gingerbread spice

Around 1 kg flour (rye or rye/wheat)

2 eggs

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 tablespoon natron

Egg yolk


Candied cherry


Heat sugar, butter, honey, rum flavour, vanilla sugar and spices in a pot. Then put aside and let cool.

Put the flour with eggs and baking soda in a bowl and knead in the honey-spice mixture. The dough should resemble soft dough. So not too liquid and not too solid. Cover with foil and leave in the kitchen for 24 hours.

Day 2: Roll out the dough into portions (approx. ½ cm) and cut small rectangles. Brush with egg yolk and cover with almonds and/or candied cherry pieces.

Bake at 180 degrees top/bottom heat for approx. 10 minutes. Allow to cool. Then try to keep the gingerbread in a tin 😉 (joking).

By the way, you can also bake the parts for a gingerbread house or gingerbread men from the dough. I hope you like the recipe just as much and I would be happy if you send me pictures of your results.

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