Pfeffernusse Recipe

Pfeffernusse Recipe

In the heart of holiday baking, Pfeffernusse cookies emerge as a delightful tradition. This enchanting recipe combines unsalted butter, brown sugar, pure honey, and molasses to create a rich and aromatic dough. Whole milk adds a touch of tenderness, while a blend of all-purpose and whole wheat flours gives the cookies a rustic depth. Ground almonds contribute a subtle nuttiness, complemented by the warmth of Lebkuchengewürz and a hint of white pepper. The zest of lemon and orange peel elevates the flavors, making each bite a festive celebration. Baked to perfection and adorned with a dusting of powdered sugar, Pfeffernusse captures the essence of holiday joy in every delicious crumb. My recipe makes 100 one-teaspoon sized cookies.

Lebkuchengewürz, the quintessential German gingerbread spice, weaves a symphony of aromatic notes in holiday treats. Crafted from a harmonious blend of ground cinnamon, cloves, allspice, coriander, cardamom, ginger, star anise, mace, and nutmeg, it imparts warmth and depth to baked delights. Each spice plays its part, creating a nuanced and fragrant ensemble. The sweet allure of cinnamon mingles with the earthiness of cloves, while ginger and cardamom lend a gentle kick. This meticulously balanced spice mix transforms ordinary recipes into festive indulgences, encapsulating the essence of German holiday traditions in every sprinkle, enhancing the spirit of the season.



  • 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter (71 grams)
  • 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar (110 grams)
  • 1/3 cup of pure honey (113 grams)
  • 1/3 cup of molasses (113 grams)
  • 3 tablespoons of whole milk (46 grams)
  • 1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour (188 grams)
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour (125 grams)
  • 1/4 cup of ground almonds (36 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 teaspoons of Lebkuchengewürz
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon of orange peel 1 large egg

Lebkuchengewürz (German Gingerbread Spice)

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground star anise
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground mace
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg


  • powdered sugar
  • hot water


  1. Combine the flours, ground almonds, baking soda, salt, Lebkuchengewürz, white pepper, lemon peel, and orange peel in a bowl.
  2. Combine the butter, brown sugar, honey, molasses, and milk in a saucepan.
  3. Heat the mixture over medium heat until melted and bubbling.
  4. Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl.
  5. Slowly combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  6. Thoroughly mix the egg into the dough.
  7. Refrigerate the dough until firm.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  9. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  10. Scoop balls of dough using a 1-teaspoon cookie scoop.
  11. Bake the Pfeffernusse for 12 minutes.
  12. Allow the Pfeffernusse to cool slightly before removing from the baking sheet.
  13. Combine powdered sugar with hot water to create a glaze. Less water makes a thicker, whiter glaze.
  14. Dip the Pfeffernusse in the glaze.
  15. Allow the Pfeffernusse to cool. Store the Pfeffernusse in an airtight container.
Pfeffernusse Recipe

Image Credits

Pfeffernusse Recipe © 2023 Heather Johnson
Pfeffernusse © 2023 Heather Johnson

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