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4.89 from 60 votes

Pfeffernüsse (German Iced Spice Cookies)

These authentic German Pfeffernüsse will bring back those cherished memories of Christmas in Germany!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: German
Servings: 50 cookies
Calories: 76kcal
Author: Kimberly Killebrew


  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 teaspoons Lebkuchengewürz
  • Homemade Lebkuchengewürz (STRONGLY recommended for best flavor), click link for recipe
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground white pepper
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup pure honey
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • For the Glaze:
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons hot water (less water will result in a thicker & whiter glaze)


  • In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, Lebkuchengewuerz, white pepper and almond meal. Set aside.
  • Combine the brown sugar, honey, butter, and cream in a medium saucepan and heat, stirring frequently, until melted and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes. Stir in the flour mixture. Once incorporated stir in the egg until thoroughly combined. The dough will have a nice glossy sheen. It will be very sticky and that's how it should be.
  • Turn the mixture out onto some plastic wrap and wrap the dough tightly. Refrigerate overnight or for up to two days.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Remove the dough from the plastic wrap and immediately roll it into two strands, each 3/4 inch thick. Slice the rolls into 3/4 inch thick rounds and roll each round into a ball (each ball should be about 3/4 inch large). Work quickly while the dough is still chilled. Note: The size is just personal preference, you can make them larger if you prefer.
  • Place the cookie balls on a line cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and let the cookies cool completely.
  • To make the glaze, combine the powdered sugar and water until smooth.
  • Dip each cookie in the glaze, letting the excess drip off, and place them on a wire rack positioned over a cookie sheet (to catch the drips) and let them sit until the glaze is fully hardened.
  • Store the cookies in airtight container in a cool place. Will keep for at least 2 weeks (they're usually stored longer) and the flavor only gets better over time.
    Makes 50+ cookies depending on their size.
Calories: 76kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 25mg | Potassium: 11mg | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.3mg