German Spice Cookies (Lebkuchenplaetzchen)

By Angelika Hanna

This is a traditional German Lebkuchen recipe. The cookies are soft and chewy, full of nutty and fruity flavors with the classic German Lebkuchen spice mixture. This cookie is naturally gluten free.


Prep Time: 20 min (plus refrigerating time overnight)

Bake Time: 22 min

Yield: Approx. 20 cookies

Cuisine: German

Author: Angelika Hanna / Zest4Food


  • 1 3/4 cups ground almonds
  • 1 3/4 cups ground hazelnuts (if you can’t get them, use ground almonds instead)
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp dried lemon peel
  • 1 tbsp dried orange peel
  • 3 tbsp German Lebkuchen spice mixture *
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon zest


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs and sugar. Using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer whisk the two ingredients at medium speed for approx. 10 min, or until a light yellow creamy mixture forms.
  2. Add the Lebkuchen spice mixture, the lemon zest, the dried lemon and orange peel, and whisk until combined.
  3. Add gradually the ground almonds and hazelnuts and continue mixing until the ingredients combine to a sticky dough.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest in the fridge overnight.
  5. Preheat the oven to 320 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Using two spoons or a cookie scoop, spoon approx. 1 tbsp of dough onto the baking sheet. Repeat the process until the dough is used up. (The dough should be thicker in the center and thinner on the edges.)
  8. Decorate your cookies with almond slices.
  9. Bake for approx. 22 min, or until the cookies are crispy on the edges and soft in the center.
  10. Once out of the oven, let the cookies sit for a few min. on the baking sheet, then transfer them to a rack to let cool completely.
  11. Store your cookies in an airtight container or tin.

* How to make your own German Lebkuchen spice mixture:

  • 5 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cardamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground mace

Combine the spices. Makes 1/2 cup spice mixture.

Happy Holidays!

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