DIY Christmas Gifts Project: German Gingerbread (Nuremberg Elisenlebkuchen)

german gingerbread

Yet another lovely day is coming to an end. It’s getting closer and closer to Christmas Eve. But before you go to bed, check out the last in these series DIY Christmas Gift idea. I am talking about German Gingerbread or Nuremberg Elisenlebkuchen to be exact. It is probably the most Christmassy gingerbread ever. It smells cinnamon, cloves, almonds and candied fruits. Oh, how amazingly it tastes! The texture of the gingerbread is so soft and light. It literally melts in the mouth.

The recipe for icing and decoration leaves a room for creativity and imagination. You may choose chocolate frosting instead of classic powdered sugar. Sprinkle on top with everything you have at hand. It might be colorful sugar strands or caramel chips. Or may be you will choose to use simultaneously a few icings, e.g. white and dark chocolate… I have to say, the gingerbread is very sweet itself because of all this sugar and candied fruits. Addind icing on top makes it even sweeter. So, you will probably skip the icing at all and enjoy the pure Christmassy taste of Elisenlebkuchen.

german gingerbread

german gingerbread

By the way, do you know why this type of Nuremberg gingerbread is actually called Elisenlebkuchen? The legend says once upon a time a girl named Elise, the daughter of a gingerbread baker from Nuremberg, got very ill. To support her in the struggle with the illness (at those time there was no Coldrex, you know), the baker made up the new recipe and baked a special gingerbread which was light and tender. Elise got well soon and the recipe of the special gingerbread remained till nowadays. And they call it Elisenlebkuchen. Even though it might be not true but still it is a beautiful legend, isn’t it?

Did you know that not every single gingerbread can be called “Nuremberg”? It should contain at least 25% of nuts and less than 10% of wheat flour. But, of course, the finest gingerbread or Lebkuchen bakeries in Nuremberg can boast of 40% of nut content among other ingredients in their gingerbread. I guess, I can call today’s recipe an “authentic” or the king of almonds. Unless you added some wheat flour and grudged nuts 🙂 You better not, I hope.

german gingerbread

Oh, I’ve almost forgotten about the most important part. The package. Sometimes it makes a better impression on the whole gift than what is inside. We need to work on the impression too. Think of some nice, even retro looking box, a jar, a tint or even a chest. It can be richly decorated. To make an impression, of course. And if you also tell your friend a legend about these Elisenlebkuchen, it will be a total knockout. I asure you, your friend won’t forget your tasty eatable gift. So, pay attention particularly to decoration of the gingerbread and the package. It should be something unforgettable or something arousing good positive memories.

Have you ever tried German gingerbread?


german gingerbread

German Gingerbread (Nuremberg Elisenlebkuchen)

Servesup to 20 (depending on the size)
Prep time20 minutes
Cook time20 minutes
Total time40 minutes


  • 2 eggs
  • 125g sugar
  • 125g almond meal or flour
  • 125g almonds (finely chopped)
  • 125g candied fruits (chopped in necessary)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 100g icing sugar


1.Add sugar to eggs and whisk well till the sugar is completely dissolved in the mixture.
2.Mix together almond meal (flour), chopped almonds, candied fruits and spices. Add the egg mixture and mix everything well. If the batter is too watery, add a little bit of extra flour.
3.Heat up the oven to 180°C. Cover a baking tray with the parchment paper. Place the batter on the tray portioning it with a tablespoon. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Make sure you don't overbake the cookies.
4.For the icing dissolve icing sugar into 2-3 tablespoons of water. Heat up a little bit. Cover still hot cookies with the icing immediately. Optionally you may sprinkle the cookies with some decorations for desserts (do it right after you finish icing as it gets hard in no time).


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