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German Lebkuchen Bars

German Lebkuchen Bars

Lebkuchen is German for “Love cake” and there is a whole lotta love in each of these little cakey bars. These improve with time. No need to freeze. Keep in an air tight container, and enjoy with a freshly brewed coffee.
Course Bar
Cuisine Canadian German
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 80
Author Valerie Lugonja


Ingredients for the bar:

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter , cut into 6 pieces
  • 3 cups flour , sifted
  • teaspoon soda
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 cup sliced unbleached almonds
  • 150 g Marzipan , chopped into small cubes
  • 225 g (small container) candied orange peel, minced
  • 2 large eggs , lightly beaten
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed OJ
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract

Ingredients for the Glaze:

  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed OJ or enough to make the glaze runny
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated ginger (I use more)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla


Instructions Day One:

  1. In large, non-reactive saucepan, combine honey, both sugars and butter; cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally until sugars are dissolved, butter is melted, and the mixture “just” begins to boil
  2. Remove from heat; cool 15 minutes
  3. Sift flour, soda, and spices together; set aside
  4. Stir the remaining ingredients into the cooled honey mixture, then add the dry ingredients, and stir until blended
  5. Poor onto a ½ sheet cookie sheet with sides, and spread as evenly as possible
  6. Cover completely with a plastic wrap, and leave on the counter overnight, or a minimum of 8 hours

Instructions Day Two:

  1. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean (be very careful not to over bake, or bars will be dry)
  2. Spread glaze over lebkuchen with offset spatula, while warm, immediately out of the oven
  3. Cool completely, then cut into diamonds; garnish with candied orange peel and a tiny slice of candied cherry or fresh orange and ginger zest just prior to serving

Recipe Notes

Note: The diamond is the traditional shape, and pretty, but there is a lot of waste as you must cut off the sides (they grow higher) and then there will be more triangle bits for the cook, too. I do not complain. I have the little "family" container, and then the "company" container. They both taste delicious!