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"This is a German spice cookie recipe, similar to gingerbread, which I received from my mother, Sabine Muller. I have been making these for over 20 years. I looked online at other Pfefferkuchen recipes and none were like this one. I thought that I would share it with you. The literal translation is 'pepper cakes', I always ice them with a lemon glaze."
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1 h 20 m servings 86 cals
Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 108 servings



  • Calories:
  • 86 kcal
  • 4%
  • Fat:
  • 1.1 g
  • 2%
  • Carbs:
  • 18.2g
  • 6%
  • Protein:
  • 1.3 g
  • 3%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 6 mg
  • 2%
  • Sodium:
  • 88 mg
  • 4%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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Nutritional Information

1 Serving
Servings Per Recipe:
Amount Per Serving
  • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  • ** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
  • (-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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  • Prep

  • Cook

  • Ready In

  1. Bring molasses, honey, and sugar to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat, then remove from heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. Stir in anise, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, lemon zest, and butter. Dissolve baking soda in water, then stir into the molasses mixture. Sift together 6 cups of flour with the baking powder and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Stir in molasses mixture and eggs until smooth. Stir in remaining 3 cups flour until a stiff dough has formed.
  4. Divide dough into 4 pieces to make it more manageable. Roll the dough to 1/4-inch thick on a well floured surface and cut into shapes with a cookie cutter.
  5. Bake cookies on ungreased baking sheets 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned around the edges. Cool completely on a wire rack.


  1. 11 Ratings

Most helpful positive review

I was looking for an authentic German cookie recipe so I could send my Aunt some cookies that would remind her of her (German) mother. I don't know whether they are authentic or not, but I was ...

Most helpful critical review

They are not spicy enough I was very dissapointed, They need some ginger and more cinnamon.

I was looking for an authentic German cookie recipe so I could send my Aunt some cookies that would remind her of her (German) mother. I don't know whether they are authentic or not, but I was ...

This is an easy recipe to make traditional German Pfefferkuchen, or Lebkuchen. I ended up pouring the dough into cooking pans instead of rolling it out, and only realized later that when you wai...

These are delicious! I used a lemon glaze and they tasted like the ones we would buy in Germany. I will definitely make these again!

This is a nice, spicy cookie that is great with coffee. I tried the first sheet without oiling the pan per the recipe but found they stuck to the pan. Used a little spray oil on the next ones an...

I was looking for a cake-like German gingerbread cookie recipe and these were perfect!! I made a few minor adjustments and I love the way they turned out. Since this recipe was so large, I hal...

Been looking for a recipe like my grandfathers, and this is very close. I just used this recipe for the first time, and will just make a few alterations to it next time and they will be exactly ...

Thanks for the great recipe! I made one change. I did not add any sugar, just the molasses and honey were sweet enough. Then I made a simple glaze with lemon juice and powdered sugar which ad...

Glad to see so many reviews on these. I make them every year close to Christmas time. And they are lowfat! Thinner cookies would be crispier and thicker cookies would be cakier! The original ...

I have been looking for this recipe for years. My husband was born and mostly raised in Munich. He grew up with these, but here in the states we just can't find them. Now I can just make them...