Traditional Pepparkakor (Swedish Spice Cookies)

"Traditional Swedish spice cookie; traditionally served on St. Lucia Day (Dec. 13). These are my sisters favorite cookie.:) (Note: you need to mix up the dough a day in advance, cover and let rest overnight). Cardamom & finely chopped candied ginger would make nice additions to these Pepparkakor. The molasses is an essential ingredient in this recipe, you get crispy yet chewy cookies with a lovely rich subtle depth of flavor. Don't skip!"
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Ready In:
3 1/2 dozen cookies




  • Sift together dry ingredients; set aside.
  • Cream sugar and butter.
  • Add egg and molasses.
  • Blend in dry ingredients thoroughly. Let dough stand overnight for easy rolling.
  • On a well-floured board, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness.
  • Cut into shapes (we usually make gingerbread people) and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
  • NOTE: Prep time does not include time to let dough rest overnight.

Questions & Replies

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  1. kla1783
    Let rest overnight IN refrigerator. Before putting in fridge, divide in 1/2, make "patties" and wrap in plastic, otherwise it is too hard to roll. If you don't already have one, invest in a Bethany Pastry Cloth/Disk and rolling pin cover, or it is difficult to roll. Use LOTS of flour on pastry cloth and pin cover. Can re-roll scraps once. I used 1 1/2 t each of: nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, in substitute for called spice. Very good. Next to impossible to do this recipe without the pastry cloth though - too sticky. Baked in convection at 400 degrees, 10 minutes, and came out just the way my Foster Signe made 'em - crisp and thin. (Roll as thin as possible).
  2. lapared9
    Out of the many cookies I baked for the holidays, this was the absolute favorite.
  3. Anonymous
    It's not traditional with out cardamom. Omit the molasses. I have never used it and dough is not so hard to work with.
  4. celtmate
    My great-grandparents came from Sweden in 1876 - these cookies were a staple item for Christmas. I thought the recipe was lost but found it in my mother's papers. This one is identical and tastes just as good. The real secret is getting the dough temperature right and even rolling with lots of flour - my wife makes her own noodles and her maple rolling board works great.
  5. SONJA1924
    I have lived in Sweden for 10 years and moved to New Zealand recently.I couldn't find my old Pepparkakor recipe so found this one online.For me it was most unsucessful and very crumbly.Near impossible to roll the dough and work it.The cookies look like playdough gone west but never mind I will never use it again.Thanks for posting it but maybe NZ ingredients have something to do with it.Merry Xmas.


  1. dir1957
    I used the suggested change to add Cardamom. I also substituted: 1. Brown sugar for white 2. Unsweetened applesauce for the butter 3. A pastry-ground whole wheat flour (Bronze chief) from Wheat Montana for the all purpose flour Result? Amazing taste and relatively low calories. When dough is portioned out to make 42 cookies, they are only 47 calories each!


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