How to Bake Traditional Lebkuchen Biscuits
Lebkuchen is a tradition German baked Christmas treat that is similar to gingerbread but slightly softer. These biscuits would make a delicious gift, or look stunning as a personalised place setting on the Christmas dinner table.
90g unsalted butter
70ml runny honey
100ml black treacle
30g dark muscovado sugar
Zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
250g self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
2tsp ground ginger
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
60g ground almonds
1 egg yolk
1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/Gas 4
2. Put the butter and honey in a saucepan with the treacle, sugar and zest. Place over a low heat, stirring occasionally until melted. Cool for 10 minutes.
3. While still warm, sift in the flour, cocoa, spices, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Stir in the almonds and egg yolk and mix to form a dough.
4. Gently knead the dough until smooth – it should be warm, soft and greasy. Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Roll out the dough approximately 5mm thick and stamp out star shapes with the cutters. Bake for 10-12 minutes until firm and lightly browned
Top tip! Traditionally Lebkuchen are quite soft – bake them a little longer if you prefer them crisper.
5. Leave the Lebkuchen on the trays for 10 minutes to firm up before transferring them to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before decorating.
6. Fit a piping bag with a No.2 piping tip and spoon in some royal icing
Top tip! If using ready-made royal icing you may need to thin it a little to achieve the correct consistency for piping – put a few spoons of royal icing in a bowl and mix in ½ tsp of cooled boiled water at a time until the icing is smooth and thick.
7. Find the centre point of each biscuit and pipe 5 straight lines from the centre to the end of each star point. Pipe shorter lines, swirls and dots to decorate them like snowflakes.