Lebkuchen (German Gingerbread Bars) Recipe

7 Min Read

Experience the cozy flavors of the holiday season with this traditional German treat – Lebkuchen, also known as German gingerbread bars.

These soft and aromatic bars are infused with warm spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, and sweetened with honey and molasses.

Perfect for enjoying with a cup of tea or coffee, these Lebkuchen bars are sure to fill your home with the irresistible scent of the holidays.

Whether you’re baking for a festive gathering or simply craving a taste of nostalgia, this recipe will transport you to the heart of a German Christmas market with every bite.


Main Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour – 2 cups
  • Ground almonds – 1 cup
  • Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Ground cinnamon – 1 teaspoon
  • Ground cloves – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Ground nutmeg – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Unsalted butter, softened – 1/2 cup
  • Brown sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Honey – 1/2 cup
  • Molasses – 1/4 cup
  • Egg – 1

For the Glaze (Optional):

  • Powdered sugar – 1 cup
  • Lemon juice – 2 tablespoons
  • Water – 1-2 tablespoons


  • Mixing bowls
  • Hand or stand mixer
  • 9×13 inch baking pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Saucepan
  • Whisk


Preheat Oven and Prepare Pan:

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhang on the sides for easy removal.

Mix Dry Ingredients:

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, ground almonds, baking powder, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, and salt until well combined.

Cream Butter and Sugar:

In another mixing bowl, cream together the softened unsalted butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

Add Wet Ingredients:

Add the honey, molasses, and egg to the butter mixture and beat until smooth.

Combine Wet and Dry Mixtures:

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until a soft dough forms.


Press the dough evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool and Glaze (Optional):

Allow the Lebkuchen to cool completely in the pan. If desired, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and water to make a glaze and drizzle it over the cooled bars.

Slice and Serve:

Once the glaze has set, lift the Lebkuchen out of the pan using the parchment paper overhang. Slice into bars and serve.

Nutritional Facts

Servings: About 24 bars
Calories per serving: Approximately 150
Total Fat: 6g
Saturated Fat: 2.5g
Cholesterol: 20mg
Sodium: 70mg
Total Carbohydrates: 22g
Dietary Fiber: 1g
Total Sugars: 13g
Protein: 2g

Health Benefits

Lebkuchen, or German Gingerbread Bars, can offer several health benefits, depending on the ingredients used and how they are prepared:


Lebkuchen typically contains ginger, which has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Ginger may help reduce inflammation, alleviate nausea, and improve digestion.

It also contains bioactive compounds like gingerol and shogaol, which have been studied for their potential health benefits, including reducing the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.


In addition to ginger, Lebkuchen often includes other spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice.

These spices not only enhance flavor but also provide various health benefits.

For example, cinnamon may help lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity, while cloves have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Nuts and Dried Fruits:

Some Lebkuchen recipes contain nuts and dried fruits like almonds, hazelnuts, and candied citrus peel.

Nuts are a good source of healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

They support heart health, reduce inflammation, and promote satiety.

Dried fruits provide natural sweetness and are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Whole Grain Flour:

Using whole grain flour instead of refined flour in Lebkuchen recipes increases their fiber content and provides additional nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Whole grains support digestive health, regulate blood sugar levels, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.

Honey or Molasses:

Some Lebkuchen recipes use honey or molasses as sweeteners instead of refined sugar.

Honey and molasses contain small amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants compared to refined sugar.

They also have a lower glycemic index, which means they may have less of an impact on blood sugar levels.

Moderation and Enjoyment:

While Lebkuchen can be a delicious treat, it’s essential to enjoy them in moderation as part of a balanced diet and lifestyle.

Practicing portion control and savoring treats mindfully can help you enjoy the flavors and traditions of Lebkuchen while still prioritizing your health and well-being.

Overall, Lebkuchen can offer a blend of comforting flavors and potential health benefits when made with wholesome ingredients and enjoyed in moderation.


1. Can I make these Lebkuchen ahead of time?

Yes, you can make these bars ahead of time and store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

2. Can I use almond flour instead of ground almonds?

Yes, you can substitute almond flour for the ground almonds in this recipe. The texture may be slightly different, but it will still work well.

3. Can I omit the glaze?

Certainly! The glaze is optional and can be omitted if you prefer a less sweet treat.

4. Can I freeze Lebkuchen?

Yes, you can freeze these bars for up to 3 months. Allow them to cool completely, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and foil before freezing.

5. Can I add additional spices or flavorings to the dough?

Feel free to customize the flavor of your Lebkuchen by adding additional spices like ginger or cardamom, or by incorporating orange zest or chopped candied fruit.

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