Friday, December 19, 2008

Nürnberger Elisenlebkuchen

Nürnberger lebkuchen is a speciality made during Christmas time and originating from Nürnberg in the state of Bavaria, Germany. It is now a protected name and can only be used for Lebkuchen actually originating from there, when sold. A comparatively newer variant of this lebkuchen is the Nürnberger Elisenlebkuchen, which are baked without any flour. And this is one fact which makes them so interesting for me. Need I mention why? They are gluten free!
But, another reason for this is that I don't like the lebkuchen found in the markets usually. They taste too much of cinnamon and you might know that I prefer it with only little cinnamon. So, that means I have to bake them myself.
And going through this book I got as a gift from a friend of mine, I found this lovely recipe of these exquisite Nürnberger Elisenlenbkuchen. The recipe couldn't have been more perfect for me. After having baked my first round of cookies already, I felt confident enough to try these myself as well.

Nünberger Elisen-Lebkuchen

Recipe by PG of My Kitchen Stories

Based on the Book: Dr. Oetker's Weihnachts Bäckerei (Dr. Oetker Verlag)

Preparation time: 20-25 minutes
Baking Temperature: 130-150°C (convection oven: 120°C) ; gas - position 1
Baking time: 25-30 minutes


75 -100 g candied orange and lemon peel, finely chopped
125 g almonds meal
2 eggs
200g fine crystal sugar
1 pack vanilla sugar or 1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch ground clove or cinnamon (I only used cinnamon)
a few drops rum flavouring or 2 tbsp rum
1 tbsp lemon peel or a few drops lemon flavouring
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
75-125 g ground hazelnuts (depending on the size)
30 small paper thin round wafers* ( communion wafers / host, called Oblate in German), to place the batter on
spread ground nuts (almonds or hazelnuts) on the baking sheet (almond or hazelnut)


150 g powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)
1-2 tbsp warm water or lemon juice or a mixture

75 g dark chocolate icing
75 g dark chocolate
10 g coconut fat


  • mix together finely chopped candied orange and lemon peel with almonds and set aside
  • beat the eggs in a deep bowl at highest speed to get a fluffy and creamy mixture
  • add vanilla extract or sugar and slowly sprinkle the sugar into the mixture while beating, which takes about a minute
  • fold in the aromas, cinnamon and lemon peel
  • add baking powder to the almond mixture and fold it slowly into the egg mixture (you can use the egg beater at the lowest speed)
  • fold in so much ground hazelnuts so that the batter is still easily spreadable
  • spread baking sheets over baking trays and grease them
    • if using hosts/wafers then place them on these sheets
    • if using ground nuts then sprinkle slightly on the sheet to have a thin layer to prevent the cookies from sticking to the sheet
  • using two spoons place spoonfuls of the cookie mixture on each of the wafers or on simply on the sheet to make around 30 cookies
  • bake in preheated oven (requires about 5-10 minutes) at 150°C (convection oven: 120°C) for 25-30 minutes
  • for the white sugar icing mix so much water or lemon juice with the sugar to make a thick paste and
  • for the chocolate icing melt the ingredients in a double boiler / water bath and stir
  • spread the icings on the still hot cookies, by dipping the cookies in the icing or by pouring it on the cookies with a spoon
*NOTE: the wafers are not always gluten free, so one needs to either make the without the wafers or use wafers made with a substitute like rice flour. I made the majority of these without the wafers and only a small part with the wafers.

As you can see here, these haven't turned out perfect. I have no clue as to why these got wrinkled on top or when. It did not affect the flavour or the taste, as they taste fantastic. I made both the coatings for them, sugar and chocolate. But, hubby didn't want any, so I also left a part of the cookies plain. And they actually taste wonderful! But, again each one of us has found his favorite, while sunny boy always chooses the ones with sugar coating (surprisingly, as chocolate in general is his favorite) and I like the ones with chocolate and hubby plain. I'll be making another round soon and let me see if I can figure out why the surface got wrinkled, maybe the oven wasn't hot enough or I had opened it once. Or that I used the mixer at lowest speed to fold in the almond meal.
But, it was utter pleasure to bite into these chewy and flavourful orange and lemony cookies or to be precise, lebkuchen, as these are a special type of cookies made for Christmas. And I'm so happy to have tried these and I will surely make them again.

These cookies go to Susan's Eat Christmas Cookies (part 2) at Food Blogga , the round up is here.


aparna said...

Looks so yummy.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I read that lebkuchen was the first genuine Christmas cookie. Yours with the spices and lemon peel sound especially appealing. Thank you!

Priya said...

Wowoww they looks gorgeous...these cookies makes me hungry..

srikars kitchen said...

Loooks sooper & delicious.. thxs for sharing...

Aparna said...

Its interesting to know the history behind lebkuchen. And I can see Christmas is making its presence felt in your kitchen.
All your cookies look lovely.

Sunshinemom said...

I love your gluten free recipes! Since you are doing them all the time can you let me know how rice flour responds to baking powder? I was wondering whether it would be alright to substitute APF with rice flour and not make any change in the amount of baking powder. Your bakes are always good and these look great!

anudivya said...

These are worthy of being on a cookie book cover! Looks perfect!

Curry Leaf said...

Love it PG.I wish I could also bake these.I am on a cookie spree now and these lebkuchen are very very perfect.Thanks for the recipe and info in the post.I think the book is in German?I also agree with Anudivya,perfect for a bookcover.

Soma said...

So beautiful. I love the last picture.

Merry Christmas to you & your Family!

SriLekha said...

delicious and mouthwatering!
join in the savory event going in my blog!

Ivy said...

They look so beautiful and thanks for the story behind them. Happy Holidays and wishing you a happy new year. May all your dreams come true.

PG said...

I'm so happy to know that you all liked it.
A happy new year to you all too!

Pat @ said...

Thanks so much for this post! I know it's a few years old, but I happened to find it because I was looking for Elisen Lebkuchen. I've been searching for cookies that are traditionally gluten free for my website, and lebkuchen usually have flour. So I'm very happy to find this!

PG said...

Glad to know that, Pat!