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One thing I’ve been wanting to perfect for a long time is my gluten free lebkuchen recipe – and I wanted them to be just like the Christmas biscuits I used to buy from Lidl!

Does anyone else remember those gorgeous, chewy, spiced German biscuits with the crunchy, white icing glaze?

I’ve been dreaming of these for a long time and it’s take a good few years but I’ve finally nailed my gluten free lebkuchen recipe.

I know you can also buy the gluten free Schär lebkuchen which are super tasty, but for me they weren’t quite akin to the biscuits I had been craving.

I wanted to make this recipe super easy, so I’ve got a few cheats with the spices which may not be 100% authentic to the traditional German recipes.

But trust me, these lebkuchen taste JUST like the Christmas biscuits I’ve been pining over for two decades and I know you’re going to LOVE them.

No faffing with buying a thousand spices or different bits you’ll never use – just simple ingredients do make a Christmas cookie you’ll want to make over and over again.

gluten free lebkuchen
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Lebkuchen or pfeffernüsse?

In their design, these gluten free lebkuchen are kind of a hybrid between the German classics of lebkucken and pfeffernüsse cookies.

Both are the kind of festive delights you find at German Christmas markets, or on the shelves of Lidl!

For starters, they have the appearance of pfeffernüsse, with their small domed shape and their crunchy white icing.

However the spices are more in line with lebkuchen, in that I haven’t added the classic pepper that you’d normally find in pfeffernüsse.

Side note, I think pfeffernüsse might be my new favourite word to say – it translates as ‘pepper nuts’ and it’s definitely on my list to make next so watch this space!

If you wanted to, you could add some candied fruit peel or chopped nuts to this recipe to make it a bit more like a traditional lebkuchen.

But for me, these are the exact replica of the Christmas gingerbread cookies I’ve been missing so I’m very excited for you to try them.

I hope it will bring back some nostalgic memories for you as it did or me.

Of course, if you love this then you’ll also love my gluten free gingerbread man recipe – make sure you give it a try if you’re having a festive baking session.

gluten free lebkuchen

Lebkuchen ingredients

There’s a full printable recipe card below, but for the shopping list you’ll need:

  • 100g dark brown sugar
  • 120g runny honey
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 250g plain gluten free flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 3 tsp mixed spice
  • 40g ground almonds
  • 1 large egg

For the icing glaze:

  • 300g icing sugar
  • 4 tbsp boiling water

I used the FREEE plain gluten free flour in my recipe, but any plain or All Purpose gluten free flour should work as well.

If you are using self-raising flour, omit the baking powder from the recipe, and if the flour already has xanthan gum in it, only add ¼ tsp extra instead of ½.

The xanthan gum is important as it helps to replicate the texture of gluten in bakes and in biscuits, this helps them hold their shape.

If you wanted to make these gluten free lebkuchen dairy free, you could swap the butter for a dairy free equivalent.

I haven’t tested this recipe dairy free myself but you would need to use as hard a dairy free butter alternative as possible to avoid the biscuits spreading.

Using mixed spice helps to create that lovely festive, gingerbread flavour without buying lots of different spices and mixing your own.

For those that can’t source a Mixed Spice like the one I used, it’s a combination of cinnamon (around 50%) with coriander, nutmeg, cloves, pimento and ginger.

I found 3 teaspoons created the best flavour, but you could add a fourth if you wanted the lebkuchen to have a bit more of a kick.

gluten free lebkuchen

Tips for the best lebkuchen

The full method is down below, but I wanted to just highlight a few tips for making these gluten free lebkuchen.

For starters, I cannot emphasise this enough: DO NOT SKIP THE CHILLING STAGE.

If you do not chill the dough, it will a) be far too sticky to work with and b) will spread into one big mess in the oven.

If the dough becomes quite warm when you’re working with, you can place the baking tray with the dough balls on back into the fridge before baking.

Once out of the oven, don’t try to move the lebkuchen off the trays until they have cooled.

They will be soft to the touch until they cool, when they will firm up – so do be patient.

And lastly, I’d recommend glazing the lebkuchen when they’re completely cool and before you want to eat them.

The glaze can discolour if left for a couple of days so if giving them as a gift, glaze them as close as you can to when you’re gifting them.

You can also bake the cookies ahead of time and freeze them, defrosting them when you’re ready to decorate and eat them.

gluten free lebkuchen

My gluten free lebkuchen recipe

This gluten free lebkuchen recipe makes around 24 biscuits (or more if you want them smaller).

The dough needs a couple of hours to chill before you bake them but ideally, make the dough the day before so it can chill overnight.

You can also freeze the dough (cooked or uncooked) so you can have gluten free lebkuchen cookies on demand – the dream!

If you make this recipe and love it, please do let me know by tagging me on my Instagram or using #theglutenfreeblogger. I love seeing your bakes!

And please do leave a review to let others know you loved it too! It would mean the world to me. 

gluten free lebkuchen
Yield: 24

Gluten Free Lebkuchen

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes

Gluten free lebkuchen are my favourite Christmas biscuits! A German biscuit which is commonly found in Christmas markets, made gluten free. This recipe makes around 24 biscuits, depending on size.


  • 100g dark brown sugar
  • 120g runny honey
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 250g plain gluten free flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 3 tsp mixed spice
  • 40g ground almonds
  • 1 large egg

For the glaze:

  • 300g icing sugar
  • 4 tbsp boiling water


  1. Add the dark brown sugar, honey and butter to a large saucepan and place on a low heat. Continue to heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted and the mixture has combined to form a smooth liquid. Do not let it boil. As soon as it's melted, remove from the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the plain gluten free flour (see notes below if using self-raising), baking powder, xanthan gum, mixed spice and ground almonds to a large mixing bowl and stir well.
  3. When the sugar/honey mixture has cooled slightly (you want it warm, not hot, so it doesn't cook the egg!) pour it into the flour mix and stir well until it starts to form a sticky dough.
  4. Lightly beat the egg in a small bowl then add to the mixture. Continue to stir until the mixture has combined into a thick, sticky dough, with no clumps of flour. Don't worry - it's supposed to be super sticky at this stage!
  5. Now for the most important part - CHILL. Scrape the mixture out into some clingfilm (or just pop the mixing bowl into the fridge) and leave to chill for at least 2-3 hours. Ideally overnight to allow all the flavours to really be absorbed by the dough.
  6. When the dough has completely chilled, preheat the oven to 180'C / Fan 160'C / Gas Mark 4. Remove the dough from the fridge.
  7. Break off small pieces of dough and roll into balls, approximately an inch in size. Working as quickly as you can to keep the dough as chilled as possible, place the balls of dough on a baking tray with plenty of space between them.
  8. Place the tray in the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes, until the cookie dough balls have transformed into small domes which are golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before removing them from the tray. (Note: If you have to cook them in batches, keep any uncooked dough in the fridge before placing in the oven if you can, to avoid it warming up too much).
  9. Once the biscuits have cooled, make the glaze by adding the icing sugar to a bowl then adding the boiling water, 1 tbsp at a time, until you have a thick glaze. Dip the biscuits into the glaze until coated, then place on a cooling rack until completely set (you might want something underneath to catch any drips!).


  • If you are using self-raising flour, omit the baking powder. If the flour already has xanthan gum in it, only add 1/4 tsp extra instead of 1/2.
  • These cookies will keep for several days in an airtight container but are best glazed as soon as possible to eating as it can crack or lose its colour after a couple of days.
  • You can freeze the uncooked dough and cook from frozen - it will take around 15-18 minutes instead of 10-12. You can also freeze the cooked biscuits without the glaze and then ice once defrosted.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 biscuit

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 146Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 74mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 0gSugar: 21gProtein: 2g

Need some more gluten free Christmas inspiration?

If you’re after some more gluten free Christmas classics then make sure you check out my Gluten Free Christmas ebook.

From sticky toffee pudding and mince pies to bread sticks and cheese crackers, there’s something for everyone.

You can have a look at my Gluten Free Christmas ebook and purchase it here.

gluten free christmas ebook

Want to have a go at some of the other gluten free baking recipes on the blog? Give some of these other gluten free recipes a try!

I’ve also got my gluten free Christmas page with everything you need to enjoy a safe festive season.

There are plenty to choose from – here are a couple to get you going:

If you do make this recipe please let me know! I’d love to see your photos using #theglutenfreeblogger, share them in my Facebook group or tag me on Instagram. 

And if you have any recipe suggestions, please let me know in the comments what you’d like to see next!

Oh – and don’t forget to sign up for my e-newsletter where you’ll know about all my latest posts and competitions first!

Like this Gluten Free Lebkuchen recipe?

Make sure you pin the recipe card below for later!

gluten free lebkuchen
gluten free lebkuchen

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About Sarah Howells

Hi, I'm Sarah! Diagnosed with coeliac disease 20 years ago, I'm on a mission to create the best gluten free recipes since sliced bread. No fruit salads or dry brownies here.

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  1. These look amazing! What gluten free flour blend do you recommend? And if it’s not a store bought one (I’m in the US, so our store bought blends could be different than in the UK), can you tell me how to make the best gluten free flour blend for this recipe? Also, will vegan butter work for this? Can’t wait to make these as they remind me of Christmas when I lived in Germany.

  2. I just made this german biscuit recipe and its the best you cannot even tell its gluten free tastes yummy perfect combination of all the ingredients

  3. I am planning to bake this recipe (gluten free lebkuchen) with nursery children, but as we are a nut free setting, I will have to leave out the almonds. Will this affect the texture? Should I add more flour to compensate or do you think it will still work? 🤔

  4. Has anyone tried to makes this vegan? I can’t eat eggs and I’m nervous that a flax egg will ruin the texture.

  5. Fabulous easy recipe – and brilliant Lebkuchen. The only bad thing is that I didn’t find this recipe sooner!

    Thanks so much

  6. Has anyone converted this to American cups. Converting to cups would be so helpful. Grams are liquid, millilitres are dry measurements. Please let me know how to do this!

  7. I live in Norway and cannot get mixed spice. Could you please give me the recipe for a mixed spice. Yours says 50%cinnamon but nothing of the ratio of the other ingredients. Thank you very much in advance.

  8. Ok, I have to admit, being German, I was sceptical about ‘best gluten free Lebkuchen’ ever but – what can I say – it is true!! Thank you so much for the recipe. Being coeliac I was craving this taste! I substituted some honey with molasses, took less sugar and just a dusting of sugar but it is absolutely perfect. The kids love it and the whole house smells – well, like Christmas!!.

    1. Well that’s probably the highest feedback I could get! Thank you for commenting and I am so pleased you liked them! x