Austrian National Tourist Office / Harald Eisenberger

    Lebkuchen Biscuits

    These gingerbread delights are an important part of Christmas in Austria.

    Lebkuchen biscuits are an important part of Christmas in Austria. In earlier days, these gingerbread delights were known as 'honey cakes' and were seen as having healing properties.

    How to make them:

    Mix the rye flour with the baking powder and add the butter and mix it until it turns crumble-like.
    Add the icing sugar, spices, finely ground lemon peel, honey, and eggs.
    Work the resulting dough, leave it to rest for an hour, roll it out flat, and cut it into the desired shapes. Before baking it, brush it lightly with egg and add nuts on to the top. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C / 356°F for approx. 8-10 minutes.
    Lebkuchen can either be decorated with icing sugar or candied fruits.

    Tip: In order to keep the Lebkuchen biscuits fresh, you can store them with slices of apple in the biscuit tin. These ensure that the Lebkuchen don't dry out and become hard, and at the same time lend them a special aroma.
    If you can't get your hands on Lebkuchen spices, you can make your own mixture here. One packet of Lebkuchen spices is equivalant to approximately 15 g of this fresh mixture.

    Lebkuchen spices mixture

    First remove the cardamom seeds from the green capsules. Put them in a pan alongside the cloves, allspice seeds, coriander seeds, and star anise and roast them until they are fragrant. Grind the remaining spices to a fine powder in a mortar. Mortar or mix with the remaining spices to a fine powder. Store it in an air-tight glass until use.