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How to Bake Traditional Lebkuchen Biscuits

Difficulty Intermediate
Budget < £10
Time 1/2 day +

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.

You will need

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How to make



90g unsalted butter

70ml runny honey

100ml black treacle

30g dark muscovado sugar

Zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange

250g self-raising flour

1tbsp cocoa

Pinch of salt

2tsp ground ginger

1tsp cinnamon

½ tsp allspice

½ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda

60g ground almonds

1 egg yolk

Step 1

Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/Gas 4.

Step 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.

Step 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.

 Traditionally Lebkuchen are quite soft – bake them a little longer if you prefer them crisper.

Step 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.

Step 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.

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.

Step 6

Fit a piping bag with a No.2 piping tip and spoon in some royal icing.

Step 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.

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