THE essential ingredient to authentic tasting Lebkuchen, Pfeffernüsse and more, absolutely NOTHING compares to the bold and vibrant flavors of homemade Lebkuchengewürz! This fragrance and flavor of this German gingerbread spice will make you think you’re walking the streets of one of Germany’s famous Christmas markets!
What is Lebkuchengewürz?
Many of you will have no idea what this is. Others of you will be cheering because you know exactly what it is and what it’s for. Lebkuchen Gewürz is a German gingerbread spice blend with an exceptionally beautiful depth and complexity of flavor. It’s unrivaled by anything comparable. Lebkuchengewurz an essential ingredient for a variety of German baked goods during the Christmas season, most notably Lebkuchen and Pfeffernüsse.
For those of you who are familiar Lebkuchengewürz and live outside of Germany or western Europe, you’ll know how nearly impossible it is to find it. And if you do, it’s expensive and often just not very good. Non-German brands try their best to replicate it but just don’t get the flavor profile correct. And if you do find a German brand it’s the same story as with all pre-ground spice blends: Once spices have been ground their oils evaporate very quickly and they lose flavor. And the longer they’ve been sitting around (in the warehouse, then at the store, then in your cupboard), the more flavor they lose.
BUT, if you want a cheaper option (if you use the spices in your cooking anyway) AND, most importantly, a superior flavor (if you buy whole spices and grind them yourself), this recipe is for you!
Now, I know what you may be thinking: I don’t want to buy all of those spices just to make this Lebkuchen-Gewürz and then the rest goes to waste! NOT TRUE!
Most of these spices have sooooo many different uses for a wide variety of cuisines. For example, I can think of one cuisine that regularly uses every single one of these spices: Indian. Need some great Indian recipes? I’ve got you covered! Some Great Indian Recipes.
And of course you’re not just limited to Indian food, these spices are super duper versatile. Just type in their names one at a time into the search box above or Google them and see what you find!
Which Spices Are in Lebkuchengewürz?
Some of these spices you can find in your local grocery stores but many you won’t. Most good health food stores will though. And again, if at all possible go for the whole spices so you can grind your own for better flavor.
If you don’t have a well-stocked health store nearby, Amazon is a great place to find all of these spices and at a reasonable cost. You can buy pre-ground but I always buy whole spices and grind them myself in a coffee/spice grinder for a far superior flavor for any dish I’m making. Here’s what you’ll need (and don’t cut corners and leave anything out because each of these spices plays an important role).
Whether using pre-ground or grinding your own as pictured below in a coffee/spice grinder, you simply combine the ingredients together.
Keep the Lebkuchengewürz stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place and use it within a few months.
For best flavor though, only make what you need for a period of a week or two because the flavors will dissipate over time.
That’s it! Your Lebkuchengewürz is ready to use.
For more phenomenal homemade spice blends be sure to try our:
- British Mixed Spice
- Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Greek Seasoning
- Old Bay Seasoning
- Curry Powder
- Creole Seasoning
- Garam Masala
- Chinese Five Spice
- Chili Powder
- Montreal Steak Seasoning
- Poultry Seasoning
- Seasoned Salt
Lebkuchengewürz (German Gingerbread Spice)
- Combine the spices together and store in an airtight jar in a cool, dark place. Best if used within 3 months.
- For superior flavor results, use whole spices and toast and grind them. Simply heat a dry skillet over medium heat and toast the spices until very fragrant. Be careful not to scorch the spices or they will become bitter. Let them cool completely and then grind them to powder in a spice/coffee grinder or use a mortar and pestle.
Originally published on The Daring Gourmet December 3, 2015