Lebkuchen is a traditional German Christmas biscuit and is pronounced LAYB-koo-khen. There are many regional variations, tastes and shapes to the Lebkuchen. This biscuit is sweet and lightly spiced and the texture is soft and slightly chewy. They are delicious served with tea or coffee.
I personally do not eat a lot of honey, but when I do, I prefer honey with a light flavour. Feel free to adjust the spices to suit your own personal taste. If you cannot find dark Muscovado sugar, you can use dark brown sugar instead.
For accurate cup measurements, I sift the potato starch and icing sugar before measuring, so that there are no lumps/clumps. All cup measurements are firmly packed.
Update: I am so glad I decided to reshoot this recipe, because to my dismay I discovered an error in the ingredients! As soon as I added the dry ingredients to the wet, I knew something was not right….it was so thick! I realised very quickly the ¼ teaspoon of xanthan gum was definitely not required. I sincerely apologise if you have made this recipe and had it fail. In this reshoot I have included more step-by-step photos and added some more instructions. Other changes made was to the icing, I reduced the water by 1 teaspoon, to create a thicker glaze for the biscuit. I also cut them into smaller biscuits.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family.
40g (1.4 ounces or ¼ cup) mixed peel
84g (3.0 ounces or ¾ cup) almond meal/flour
72g (2.5 ounces or ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon) white rice flour
27g (1.0 ounce or ¼ cup minus 1 tablespoon) brown rice flour
33g (1.2 ounces or 3 tablespoons) potato starch
32g (1.1 ounces or ¼ cup) tapioca starch
¼ teaspoon (1.25ml) baking powder
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) ground ginger
¼ teaspoon (1.25ml) ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon (1.25ml) ground cloves
60g (2.2 ounces or ⅓ cup) dark muscovado sugar (if it has hard lumps through it, then give it a sieve)
1 large egg, at room temperature
180ml (¾ cup) clear runny honey
60ml (¼ cup) dairy free milk of choice, at room temperature
126g (4.4 ounces or ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons) pure icing sugar
1 tablespoon (15ml) water
1 teaspoon (5ml) brandy
Preheat the oven to 180C, grease a 20cm X 30cm (8 X 12 inch) pan, then line the base with baking paper or parchment and lightly brush with melted gluten & dairy free butter.
Add the mixed peel to a small blender along with 1 teaspoon of white rice flour and blitz until finely chopped. Alternatively you can lightly dust a chopping board with the white rice flour and place the mixed peel on it, toss it lightly in the flour and then chop finely with a large sharp knife. The flour helps stop the peel sticking the knife.
Sift all the dry ingredients together and then stir through the chopped mixed peel, then set aside.
In another bowl add the egg and sugar and using an electric mixer, beat until it increases in volume and pale in colour, this takes about 2-3 minutes.
Next, pour in the honey and the milk and mix on low until combined.
Add half the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until combined, then mix through the rest of the dry ingredients. The batter is quite thick.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly into the corners.
Bake for 17 minutes, or until just springy when lightly touched in the middle.
A few minutes before the Lebkuchen has finished cooking, make a start on the icing. Sift the icing sugar into a small bowl, add the water to the brandy and mix with a spoon. The mixture will be thick, but it should run, leaving a trail as it falls back into the bowl. If it doesn’t, then a little more water maybe needed. To release air bubbles in the icing, drop the bowl about onto the bench top a few times.
Once the Lebkuchen comes out of the oven, leave it to cool for a minute or so before turning it out of the tin and onto a tray. Then remove the baking paper/parchment and invert onto a cooling rack, crust-side up. Brush the top with the icing while it is still warm, but you will need to work quickly with the icing.
Leave it to cool completely before transferring to a chopping board. For larger biscuits, cut it into 8 slices lengthways and 3 across to make 24 pieces. Or if you wanted smaller biscuits, cut it into 9 slices lengthways and 3 across to make 27 pieces. The icing does crack a little when you’re cutting through it.
Store in an airtight container in the pantry.
Recipe by: The Gluten & Dairy Free Bakehouse
Note: all recipe oven temperatures shown are for a fan forced electric oven. Please refer to the below guide to help you adjust your oven accordingly. This recipe is shown in bold.
Oven Temperatures Chart
130C = 110C fan = 250F = Gas mark 1
150C = 130C fan = 300F = Gas mark 2
160C = 140C fan = 320F = Gas mark 3
180C = 160C fan = 350F = Gas mark 4
190C = 170C fan = 375F = Gas mark 5
200C = 180C fan = 400F = Gas mark 6
220C = 200C fan = 425F = Gas mark 7
230C = 210C fan = 450F = Gas mark 8