Christmas lebkuchen...


Lebkuchen (or Pfefferkuchen) is a traditional
German baked Christmas treat, somewhat resembling
gingerbread. Historically, and due to differences in the
ingredients, lebkuchen is also known as honey cake
(Honigkuchen) or pepper cake (Pfefferkuchen). The
ingredients usually include honey, spices such as
aniseed, coriander, cloves, ginger, cardamom, and
allspice, nuts including almonds, hazelnuts, and
walnuts, or candied fruit

Samuel Prout (1783–1852):
'A View in Nuremberg', 1823

Lebkuchen were invented by Medieval monks in
Franconia, Germany in the 13th century. Lebkuchen bakers
were recorded as early as 1296 in Ulm, and 1395 in Nürnberg
(Nuremberg) The latter being the most famous exporter
today, of the product that is known as Nürnberger Lebkuchen
Local history in Nuremberg relates that emperor Friedrich III
held a Reichstag there in 1487 and he invited the children of
the city to a special event where he presented Lebkuchen
bearing his portrait to almost four thousand children

Read about Nuremberg lebkuchen here

Lebkuchen baker, ca. 1520
Manuscript from Stadtbibliothek Nürnberg,

Traditionally, the cookies are usually quite large
and may be four and a half inches in diameter if
round, and larger if rectangular

Nürnberger Lebkuchen with almonds and
sugar coating, of the Elisen type (Elisenlebkuchen).
Since 1808, a variety of Nürnberg Lebkuchen of high
quality (no flour) has been called 'Elisenlebkuchen'. It
is uncertain whether the name Elise refers to the daughter
of a Lebkuchen baker or the wife of a margrave


Wicklein Lebkuchen Little Nuernberg Chest
Purchase here


Please go here and see more beautiful
illustrations from the German patisserie book
'Neues illustrirtes Conditoreibuch'
by Carl Krackhart, 1886

Baker deorating a pastry lebkuchen

Normally the lebkuchen are soft but a harder type of
lebkuchen is used to produce lebkuchen figures, usually
with icing, which are available at many German fairs

Lebkuchen poster, 1900

The Lebkuchen fabric Wolff, Nürnberg, 1959

Ansichtskarte / Postkarte Roomsaid Joulu Pühi, Weihnachtsschmuck, Lebkuchen

Vintage Christmas postcard, ca. 1920