Recipe: Gingerbread Lebkuchen

Giving is good for you and these wonderful German gingerbreads improve as they age, so are perfect for gifting


Gingerbread Wonderland book

Makes 24

Prep time: 45 minutes, plus cooling and setting

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Lebkuchen is a German gingerbread that has become synonymous with Christmas baking. A cross between a biscuit and cake with a delicious mixture of honey, almond, ginger and cocoa, it is a frontrunner for edible gifts


160g clear runny honey

110g unsalted butter

50g ground almonds

260g plain flour

½ tsp baking powder

¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tbsp ground ginger

2 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground nutmeg

¼ tsp ground cloves

2 tsp cocoa powder

¼ tsp salt

To decorate:

150g icing sugar

1 medium egg white

2-3 tbsp cold water

100g dark chocolate, melted

You will need:

A 4cm heart cutter


  1. Melt the honey and butter in a small saucepan over a low heat. Stir occasionally until combined. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat the oven to 160°/fan-assisted 140°C/gas mark 3. Line 2 large baking trays with silicone baking sheets or greaseproof paper.
  3. Place the ground almonds in a large bowl and sieve over the remaining ingredients. Pour over the cooled honey mixture and stir until it comes together to make a dough.
  4. Divide the dough and set one half aside. Roll the other half into small equal balls, place on a lined baking sheet and press each one down slightly with the palm of your hand to approx. 2cm thick.
  5. Roll out the remaining dough to 2cm thick, and, using a 4cm heart cutter, cut into biscuits. Soften the edges of the hearts with your fingers. Place on the other lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes, until just golden brown at the edges. Leave to cool for 5 minutes on the trays then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
  6. Meanwhile, mix the icing sugar, egg white ad water together to make a thick runny icing. Place a baking sheet under the wire rack and thinly brush the lebkuchen with the icing using a pastry brush. Leave for 15 minutes to set, then repeat with the remaining icing. Leave to set.
  7. Dip half of the lebkuchen into the melted chocolate to coat the base and a few millimetres up the side. Then drizzle the remaining half with a zig-zag of chocolate.

Tip: These biscuits really do improve with age, that’s if you can bear to wait and you must!

Taken from Gingerbread Wonderland by Mima Sinclair. Published by Kyle Books, priced £8.99. Photography by Tara Fisher

related news & articles