How to Make Enchanting Traditional German Cookies

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Written By Will Dietrich

I love gardening, building, making and fixing things. 





Wrapped in cellophane or a lovely gift paper, traditional German cookies are a must have for Christmas and Yuletide celebrations – even if you’re not German.

Pfeffernusse Cookies

The name of these cookies literally means pepper nuts but the spices here are cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. The other ingredients consist of flour, butter, sugar, eggs, and molasses. The dough is rolled out into small balls which are then baked until golden brown. These delicious little treats can be eaten on their own as well as with coffee or tea.

Kugelhopf Cookies

These soft, cake-like cookies are made from yeast dough that’s been shaped around the top of an oiled baking dish before being covered with almond meal and sprinkled with powdered sugar. This recipe comes from Germany where it was traditionally served during Advent time when people were fasting. It’s also known by its French name: brioche à tête.

Gebäckleichter Cookies

This type of traditional German cookie has become very popular over recent years because of its light texture and delicate flavor. Its particularly common for these to be baked as new years cookies. Its particularly common for these to be baked as new years cookies. Gebäckleichtern are usually filled with jam or marzipan. You’ll find them sold everywhere during Christmas time.

Nürnberger Lebkuchen

Lebkuchen is one of those things that everyone loves. They come in all shapes and sizes and they taste great too! There are many different types of lebkuchen including Nürnbergers, Spitzenklöße, Krapfen, Schlagobers, and more.

Schneckentorte Cookies

Tortes Schneckenteufeln are another kind of cookie that originated in Bavaria. Tortes Schneckenteufels are similar to shortbreads except that they contain no fat at all. Instead, they use egg whites instead of water. Egg white makes the cookies lighter than regular shortbreads so they won’t get soggy after sitting around for awhile.

Honey Cakes

A honey cake is a sweet dessert that consists of layers of sponge cake soaked in syrup flavored with lemon juice and vanilla extract. Butterfly decorations are great for cakes but alternatively honey cakes are often decorated with icing and candied fruits like cherries and strawberries.

Gingerbread cookies

Gingerbread is one of the most popular types of baking around Christmastime. It’s easy to bake at home, it tastes great, and there are so many different ways to decorate them! This gingerbread recipe has been passed down through generations of my family. I love making this because it reminds me of when we were kids growing up together. My mom would always be cooking something delicious while my dad was busy working on his car. We’d all come running into her kitchen as soon as she called us over. She’d give each of us our own little plate full of food that had just been cooked by her. The smell of cinnamon sugar wafted throughout the house. As an adult now, I still enjoy coming home from work and smelling those same smells again. They bring back memories of happy times spent with loved ones.

Traditional German Cookie Recipe

For the majority of traditional German cookies recipes you’re going to need the following ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 3 and 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/3 tsp cloves

Cream the butter and sugar together until they are pale in color and fluffy.

Add and beat in the egg and molasses.

Sift the flour, ginger, cloves and gradually mix all ingredients together to make a stiff paste.

Turn it out onto a flour surface and knead lightly until smooth

Wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350/ gas mark 5. Grease two baking sheets.

Shape cookie dough into a log about 8 inches long and cut into 20 slices. (if you prefer you can roll the dough out onto a floured surface and cut using shaped cutters.

Bake for ten minutes. Permit to cool for five minutes on sheet prior to transferring.

Allow to cool completely prior to decorating.

Traditional German Cookies Decoration

  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
  • 4 ounces white chocolate, melted
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate, melted.
  • Cocoa powder or confectioners sugar for dusting.
  • Cinnamon Stars

Make three small pastry bags from zip lock baggies and poke very small holes in the corner.

Spoon chocolate over your , and pipe either white chocolate over dark, or dark chocolate over white.

You may also choose to dust with confectioners sugar, sifting through a paper doily to make snowflake patterns

Top with a candied fruit or even apricot jam if you prefer.


Now we have all that covered, if you’re interested in seeing it done step-by-step, check out this video  where you can see how to make some traditional Nürnberger Lebkuchen.