Lebkuchen (German Christmas Honey Cookies)

Total Time
1hr 10mins
Prep 40 mins
Cook 30 mins

This recipe is from an OLD betty crocker cookbook and is my absolute favorite Christmas cookie. My MIL sends a batch every year and is one of my favorite things of the season. DO NOT overbake these or they will become so hard that you might need to have dental work done (lol) If the cookies are too hard she suggests placing them in an airtight container with an apple slice. I did not include chilling time in the recipe.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Mix honey and molasses and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cool completely.
  2. Stir in brown sugar, egg, lemon juice and lemon rind.
  3. Sift together flour, baking soda and spices, then stir into the honey-molasses mix.
  4. Mix in the citron and chopped nuts, place the dough in the refrigerator and chill overnight.
  5. Roll out a small amount of dough at a time to 1/4 inch thick, keeping the rest in the fridge. You can either cut out oblong shapes about 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" or just cut out circle shapes about 2" in diameter.
  6. Place on a GREASED baking sheet about 1" apart.
  7. Place 3 almonds on top of each cookie in a flower shape, and place in a 400 deg oven for 10-12 min or until no imprint remains when touched lightly.
  8. While cookies bake, make glaze by boiling the water and sugar to 230 degrees - until it just barely begins to thread.
  9. Remove from heat and stir in confectioners sugar.
  10. Brush the hot glaze lightly over the cookies (if it gets grainy reheat slightly with a little water to thin again).


Most Helpful

Thank you so much for posting! I inherited a very similar recipe from my late MIL, and I've been trying to figure it out with the vague instructions. Here are some things I've discovered. I used the cookie scoop (75% full) then lightly pounded each dollop with a sugared glass. No rolling necessary! Bake at 400F for 6 min. (Even larger cookies needed only 6 min.) Each cookie needs about 3/4t icing. I use a one teaspoon measuring spoon to put it on. But I love the idea of a brush! For me, the icing is so fussy that next year I'll plan to ice the cookies the day after I bake them so I don't get sick of the kitchen. These cookies are highly time-consuming and fussy, and if my husband didn't love them, they'd be off my list. (I think the flavor is ok but not stunning.) Hopefully these tricks will help things go more smoothly next year.

amy.cleaveland November 30, 2013

This is an excellent recipe. These may be made a month in advance and stored in an air tight container, and they will improve as they age. My family has been making this recipe for decades and it is the one Christmas cookie we MUST have, even if we make many or no other Christmas cookies.

Ciara Hughes December 14, 2008

I've been making this recipe for years, but had lost the cookbook. I'm very happy to find it here. My parents and siblings expect these at Christmas and even the nieces and nephews like them

boanderey November 22, 2008

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