Chocolate-Glazed Lebkuchen

Preparation info

  • Makes


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Cookie Lover's Cookie Book

The Cookie Lover's Cookie Book

By Richard Sax

Published 1986

  • About

A stellar German cookie, freely adapted from a recipe of Doris Langsdorf. These are small, chewy chocolate-glazed diamonds or squares, moist with honey, and with deep, spicy flavor. They’ll make you think of being home for the winter holidays, sitting around the fireplace, and all sorts of other good things. (Note that this dough must be made a day in advance, to let the flavors mellow and ripen.)


  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut in pieces
  • ¾ cup chopped almonds (with skins)
  • cup fine-chopped candled or dried pineapple (or any other good candled fruit)
  • cup lightly beaten egg (a little more than 1 large egg)
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1⅔ cups sifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoons cinnamon
  • teaspoons ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon (generous) ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger


    1. Make the dough 1 day before you plan to bake the lebkuchen. Combine the sugar, honey, water, and butter in a large heavy saucepan. Bring just to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. The moment the mixture begins to boil, remove the pan from heat and add the almonds, candied fruit, beaten egg, orange juice, and almond extract, stirring until the mixture is smooth.
    2. Place a sifter over a sheet of wax paper; re-sift the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger. Add this mixture to the saucepan, stirring just until the ingredients are well blended. Place a sheet of wax paper on the surface of the dough and cool thoroughly. Seal with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and let stand at room temperature overnight. Do not refrigerate.
    3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch square baking pan. With a large rubber spatula, place portions of the dough over the surface of the pan, then spread it as smooth as possible. (The dough will be quite sticky. If you like, you can pat the dough even with lightly floured fingertips, then brush off excess flour.) Bake until the surface has set, the sides have begun to shrink from the pan, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the lebkuchen emerges not quite clean, 27 to 29 minutes. Cool the pan on a wire rack.
    4. Chocolate Glaze: Melt the chocolate over hot water. Add the butter, then the boiling water, stirring until completely smooth. Spread the glaze over the cooled surface of the lebkuchen. Let cool until the glaze has set.
    5. Using a sharp knife and a ruler as a guide, cut the lebkuchen in neat diamonds or squares. (For diamonds, cut the pastry in six horizontal strips; then cut across at a sharp diagonal. For squares, cut the pan of cookies in six strips in each direction.) Lebkuchen keep well, getting better as they age, and can be mailed.