Friday, December 7, 2012

Authentic LEBKUCHEN, Gingerbread recipe from scratch. Wonderfully simple.

Here we go, as promised, my Mom's recipe for home made gingerbread.  Mom is German and in Germany, or Deutschland, gingerbread is called Lebkuchen.  I found a recipe for Lebkuchen in an cook book called, "My Favorite Cookies from the old Country."  They called for allowing the dough to sit in a covered bowl for 10 days before using it.  That's more time than I'm willing to wait for cookies, I'd just head right back to the store and get the refrigerated kind.  Well, I really wanted to know an easy recipe for gingerbread, so I called Mom.  As always, she came through with flying colors.  I believe I will make some homemade gingerbread cookies this week.  Let me know how yours turn out, ok? (P.S. The picture is not one of Mom's gingerbread houses, it's one we did with the baby a couple years ago.)
A little note on the cookbook I was reading, they did suggest to leave the cookies out over night to harden and then bake them.  Of course, cover them up first.  I'm not sure why, but it was an interesting step to take.  Well, if you've waited 10 days to make cookies, what's one more night?  Ahhh, but there's nothing better than a house filled with the warm scents of freshly made, freshly baked and decorated, Lebkuchen cookies. 

Note: I didn't have dark corn syrup, so I used molasses. Delicious!

LEBKUCHEN (Gingerbread)

½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup dark corn syrup
1 egg
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. salt

Combine butter and brown sugar in a large bowl; beat until well blended. Add corn syrup and egg; beat until smooth. Combine remaining ingredients in another bowl; stir to mix well then add to butter mixture, a third at a time, mixing after each addition until smooth. Divide dough into thirds; wrap each third in foil and chill at least one hour to make rolling easier. On a well-floured surface roll out one-third of the dough to 1/8-inch thickness, cut out cookie shapes, placing them on ungreased baking sheets, 1 inch apart. Bake at 400 deg. F, for 8 minutes or until lightly browned; remove from baking sheet at once onto a cooling rack. While still warm brush with LEMON GLAZE.

LEMON GLAZE: In a small bowl 2 cups confectionery sugar add 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, stirring with a fork to combine. If too thick add a little at a time more lemon juice until glaze is of spreading consistency. Immediately decorate with sprinkles etc. (I use this same dough and glaze to make gingerbread houses)


  1. Good question Sean, I'll get back to you! Gotta' call Mom! :)

  2. Sean, it's 1/3 cup corn syrup. Thanks for asking!

  3. How many cookies does this recipe yield? I have been looking for a simple Lebkuchen recipe that I can help my daughter make for a school project. Thanks.

    1. I do not know exactly how many cookies this will yield, it depends on the size you cut them out. Probably a dozen or better if you don't make them too big. Gingerbread/Lebkuchen only gets better as time goes on, just make sure to keep them sealed. I apologize for the delay in answering. Hope it's not too late for your daughters project. Thanks for your question! Oh, if you make this recipe, I'd love to see pix and hear how it went!

    2. Hazel, I was just googling in hopes of finding this recipe again. Thanks for your reply! The lebkuchen turned out wonderful! My daughter and I had such fun making it together and it went over great as part of her German Christmas Traditions project. We have said several times since March that we plan to make them again this Christmas. We don't have pictures, but we kept them simple and they were delicious. Thanks so much for sharing!

    3. Stacey I'm glad to hear it. Just a suggestion, you can make these and before you bake them, take a straw and use it to make a small hole in the top of the cookie. After they bake, decorate with an icing that will set (mix lemon juice and powdered sugar until it's kinda thick but can be piped. That is my Mom's recipe for the "glue" to hold her gingerbread houses together. It hardens like rock!). Then thread a piece of yarn through the hole to decorate a Kitchen Christmas Cookie tree!

    4. Wow, that is a great suggestion! I was just looking over the recipe again, planning to make them with my daughter now that she is out of school. We used the lemon juice and powdered sugar glaze before when we made them for her class and that was wonderful. Thanks for the ornament suggestion, that is a really neat idea!

    5. I'm so glad you are enjoying these cookies as much as we do! I could eat the entire bowl of the lemon icing!! YUM!