German Lebkuchen Recipe {Elisenlebkuchen}

This traditional lebkuchen recipe is easy to make and contains no flour. Elisenlebkuchen are one of the most famous Christmas cookies in Germany! They are made with ground nuts and a gingerbread spice mixture which gives them their unique flavor.

There are many different types of German Lebkuchen Recipes but of all the ones out there, these traditional Nuernberger Elisenlebkuchen will be your new favorite! They are definitely my favorite Christmas cookies!

Elisenlebkuchen are one of the most famous Christmas cookies in Germany! This traditional lebkuchen recipe is easy to make and contains no flour.

What makes Elisenlebkuchen so special is that they contain no flour! The primary ingredients are ground nuts, specifically a combination of almonds and hazelnuts. This keeps the Elisenlebkuchen fresh and moist for weeks!

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Nuernberg, a city in Northern Bavaria, might be the capital of Gingerbread in Germany. They are famous for their Nuernberger Elisenlebkuchen and many bakeries there pride themselves with using as little flour as possible or even no flour at all in their Elisenlebkuchen which makes them especially tasty.

You can get them everywhere at Christmas time in Bavaria. Many ice cream shops become gingerbread stores during the holidays and sell different types of Lebkuchen. Like German Stollen, German Gingerbread has a long history and is very popular as a gift. You can even find Elisenlebkuchen in some delicatessen or other specialty stores in the US but you might want to cry when you see the price tag. But don’t worry it’s pretty easy to make them at home!

German Gingerbread or Lebkuchen is a very popular sweet treat during Christmas time in Germany! These Elisenlebkuchen are made with ground nuts and a gingerbread spice mixture which gives them their special flavor.

To make this Lebkuchen recipe you need some ingredients which might be a bit harder to find in your normal supermarket like Gingerbread Spice but you can definitely order them online. Gingerbread spice is a special spice mixture similar to pumpkin spice which is essential for German gingerbread, you can’t leave it out or you won’t have the typical flavor.

You can either try to find some online or at a German store or you can make your own. See the link to the recipe below for directions!

Lebkuchen keep fresh for several weeks when they’re stored in airtight containers, so November is the perfect time to start baking them. I use cookie tins (like these) to store all my Christmas cookies. They keep the cookies fresh and look cute and decorative!

German Gingerbread or Lebkuchen is a very popular sweet treat during Christmas time in Germany! These Elisenlebkuchen are made with ground nuts and a gingerbread spice mixture which gives them their special flavor.

Looking for more German Recipes?

How to make German Gingerbread Spice

You can find the easy recipe here.

This German Gingerbread Spice Mix is a spice blend which is essential for many German Christmas baking recipes! It's so easy to make your own and much cheaper than buying it.

Tools and Ingredients used for making this Lebkuchen recipe

Wafers (Oblaten): You need about 40 of these for the Lebkuchen! They keep fresh for a long time.
Ground almonds (Almond Meal): This brand is my favorite!
Ground hazelnuts (Hazelnut Meal): You’ll also need hazelnut meal. You could also make your own with a food processor.
Candied Citrus Peel: Candied Citron and Candied Orange Peel are super important for this recipe!
Gingerbread Spice: Gingerbread Spice is like the German version of Pumpkin Spice. I recommend that you make your own which is easy and much cheaper than buying a mix.

German Gingerbread or Lebkuchen is a very popular sweet treat during Christmas time in Germany! These Elisenlebkuchen are made with ground nuts and a gingerbread spice mixture which gives them their special flavor.
5 from 2 votes
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German Lebkuchen Recipe {Elisenlebkuchen}

Elisenlebkuchen are one of the most famous Christmas cookies in Germany! This traditional lebkuchen recipe is easy to make and contains no flour.

Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Servings 30
Author Julia

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar 200g
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 cups ground hazelnuts 200g
  • 2 cups ground almonds 200g
  • 1/2 cup candied citrus peel chopped finely, 100g
  • 1/2 cup candied orange peel chopped finely, 100g
  • 3 tbsp German gingerbread spice 15g (Recipe link above)
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 30-40 wafers link above (Note 1)

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the eggs and sugar. Beat for about 15 minutes at medium speed until white and fluffy.
  2. Add the ground hazelnuts, ground almonds, finely chopped candied orange peel, finely chopped citrus peel, gingerbread spice and lemon zest. Whisk until combined then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the batter rest in the fridge overnight or for at least 10 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 320° F (160° C), line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  4. Scoop the mixture with a spoon or an ice cream scoop onto the wafers (Oblaten) and smooth down the top until the very edge of the wafer with a wet knife. The dough should be thicker in the center and thinner on the edges. Set them on the lined sheet.

  5. Bake for about 22 minutes, or until the Lebkuchen are set but still soft in the middle and have barely started to brown around the edges. Leave them on the tray to cool down completely.
  6. Once the Lebkuchen are cooled, place a wire rack over a baking sheet (to catch the drippings). Dip the Lebkuchen in the chocolate glaze and let the excess drip back into the bowl. Then place the Lebkuchen on the wire rack. Let them dry completely and store them in an airtight container.

Recipe Notes

  1. If you can't find the wafers or can't consume flour (the wafers contain flour) you can make these cookies without wafers. Use a silicone baking mat instead of parchment paper and place the batter with an ice cream scoop directly onto the mat. Use a wet knife or bottom of a glass dipped in water to flatten the batter. 

German Gingerbread or Lebkuchen is a very popular sweet treat during Christmas time in Germany! These Elisenlebkuchen are made with ground nuts and a gingerbread spice mixture which gives them their special flavor.

13 Comments

    • Julia

      I use about 3 ounces quality dark chocolate and 1 tbsp coconut oil to make my glaze. Melt the chocolate and oil together in a small bowl in the microwave (or use a double boiler)
      while stirring occasionally, until melted. Happy Holidays!

  • Lily

    Hey Julia,
    I wonder, where did you add the flour?
    On the ingredients list you don’t have it, nor on the instructions, so, why when a click on the link for getting the ingredients the flour appears as part of one of the ingredients…I’m confused!
    Thanks

    • Julia

      I’m so sorry for the confusion but there really is no flour in this recipe! I don’t know why Chicory shows flour as an ingredient, sometimes these plugins make mistakes and confuse ingredients. The only ingredients used in this recipes are the ones listed on the ingredients list. Have a great weekend! – Julia

      • Peg

        FLOUR – The oblaten wafers that you form the cookies on are made of wheat flour and starch. They become part of the cookie when you bake them. My niece cannot eat wheat so I’ll make a few for her without the wafers. The recipe looks yummy. Looking forward to baking them. I have had authentic lebkuchen from Nuremberg and they do have the wafers on the bottom and chocolate coating. I have most of the spices but will need to order the missing few and the wafers online. Thanks!

  • Sue

    I just got back from a week in Germany, including a visit to Nuremberg…and their outdoor market, where I bought the BEST Elisenlebkuchen! I just got the wafers from Amazon today and got all of the spices at our local food co-op to make the gingerbread spice. I’m excited to make the cookies this weekend…and will save them for Thanksgiving. Thanks for the authentic recipe!

  • Michelle

    If I make my own homemade wafers (Oblaten), can you give me a weight of how much I would need to use in the recipe since I can’t go by number of wafers any longer?

    • Julia

      100 2.75-inch (7cm) wafers weigh 71g. I’ve never tried making my own wafers so I don’t have any tips but I’ve tested this recipe without wafers and the lebkuchen turned out great. – Julia

  • Dita

    Hi, I made your Elisenlebkuchen today because my kids love the store bought from Germany. But, my batter, even after resting over night in the fridge, was not holding its shape on the silicone mat. It was not runny but it was not a stable texture. I tried to flatten them with wet knife but they still didn’t look like yours. Any advice? Thanks.

    • Julia

      I’m sorry the recipe didn’t work for you, Dita! I’ve never had this problem before but if the batter is too runny even after resting in the fridge I would recommend adding about 1/4 cup (or more) ground nuts (or flour) to thicken the texture until you have the right consistency. – Julia

  • Jenxteacher

    I love this recipe! It worked so well for me and I covered them in dark chocolate. They taste better the more they age too!
    I have to ask, where did you get (or who makes) the cute little Swiss chalet mug in the background of your first pic? So cute!

  • Rebecca Kitzmann

    Mine are turning out great! Batter sat overnight and was thicken enough to spread on the oblaten. They smell delicious. I’m going ice with chocolate and white glaze. Thanks for the recipe!

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