all dessert recipes/ austrian/ Christmas/ cookies/ little desserts/ New Year's Eve/ Party

Gingerbread squares with plum jam and chocolate (Lebkuchen cookies)

26 November 2017 | Last Updated: 24 November 2019

Gingerbread squares layered with plum jam and covered in chocolate glaze. They are soft, moist and just heavenly. I think it’s my favorite gingerbread dessert. This is a version of Austrian Lebkuchen – gingerbread cookies. These gingerbread cookies stay soft, you can bake them 1-2 days before the holidays, they will taste amazing.

overhead shot on gingerbread squares with plum jam and chocolate (Lebkuchen cookies)
Gingerbread squares with plum jam and chocolate (Lebkuchen cookies) on a plate

What are Lebkuchen?

Lebkuchen are gingerbread cookies, very popular in all German-speaking countries and you can find countless versions of them. They are especially popular around Christmas time. Most often they look like regular cookies but are round and thicker, in comparison to popular gingerbread cookies, that you can be familiar with. They are always made with honey, gingerbread spice and a mix of wheat and rye flour. Lebkuchen means is German gingerbread cookies.

If you are looking for more Austrian recipes, check out this category: Austrian cuisine.

Ingredients:

This dessert consists of:

  • Gingerbread cake – this is a very traditional gingerbread dough but a little less thick since we are not baking cookies that need to hold their shape on a baking sheet, but we are baking a cake in a pan. For a traditional lebkuchen dough, you need to use a gingerbread spice mix, add honey and a mix of wheat and rye flour. Instead of rye flour, you can add plain all-purpose flour, but these cookies own their distinct taste also thanks to that flour. I recommend making your own gingerbread spice mix, it’s far more aromatic.
  • Plum jam – Gingerbread cake is cut in half and layered with plum jam.
  • Chocolate glaze – melted chocolate to glaze the squares from all sides. There are 2 simple methods to melt the chocolate. You can either melt the chocolate using a double-boiler method. (if you plan on eating the cookies on the same day), or temper the chocolate so that the glaze looks good also later. Don’t worry, it’s super simple! Tempering chocolate means increasing its shine and durability. The cookies made with melted, but not tempered chocolate will be grayish the next day.

Gingerbread cookies – step by step:

Start with making the gingerbread cake:

Gingerbread squares preparation steps
  1. In a medium pot melt the butter, take the pot off the heat, add honey, orange zest, and finely chopped chocolate, stir until melted.
  2. Add the eggs and whisk until combined.
Gingerbread squares preparation steps

 3. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients – sifted wheat and rye flour, sugar, ground nuts, cocoa, gingerbread spice, baking soda, salt.

4. Add the content of the pot to the mixed dry ingredients in the bowl, gently mix with the spatula, but not for too long, only until just combined.

Gingerbread squares preparation steps

5. Pour the batter into a 21×21 cm / 8×8 inch baking pan, smooth out the top, tap the pan slightly. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. until a cake tester/bamboo skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool slightly.

6. Trim the edges of the cake so that they are more even.

Gingerbread squares preparation steps

7. Cut the gingerbread cake crosswise in half with a long serrated knife.

8. Spread the jam on the bottom half of the cake.

Gingerbread squares preparation steps

10. Cover with the top half.

11. Cut the cake into 16 squares – first into 4 parts, then each part into 4 parts (you should have 16 cubes).

Make the chocolate glaze: there are 2 simple methods to do that. You can either melt the chocolate using a double-boiler method. (if you plan on eating the cookies on the same day), or temper the chocolate so that the glaze looks good also later. Don’t worry, it’s super simple! I learned this method from the book “Sweet” by Y. Ottolenghi and H. Goh. In this article, this process is explained in detail.

chocolate glaze preparation steps (tempering the chocolate)

How to temper the chocolate:

11. Chop the chocolate very finely (or grate it on the large holes of a box grater). Melt 3/4 of the chocolate using a double-boiler method: place a bowl (glass or metal, not plastic) over a medium pot with boiling water, the bowl can’t touch the water surface. Add 3/4 of the chopped chocolate to the bowl, wait for 1-2 minutes until almost completely melted, stir, and when it’s completely melted take the bowl off the pot.

12. Add the remaining 1/4 of the chopped chocolate to the bowl and whisk until chocolate is melted. That’s it!

glazing and decorating gingerbread cookies

13. Dip the cookies in chocolate glaze.

14. Decorate the cookies and set aside until the chocolate glaze is set. Enjoy!

How to store the cookies:

As mentioned above, the cookies taste also amazing 2-3 days after baking. There is really no difference in taste and texture, I think they are even better. But if you plan to make them ahead, make sure to temper the chocolate, otherwise, the chocolate glaze will be gray-ish and won’t look very appetizing.

Lebkuchen (soft gingerbread cookies) with plum jam, coated in chocolate

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 16 cookies
Calories 321kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

Pot:

  • 3 tablespoons butter (1.4oz/40g)
  • ¼ cup honey (3oz/85g)
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1.4 oz milk chocolate (40g) ¼ cup of finely chopped chocolate
  • 3 large eggs

Bowl:

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (3.5oz/100g)
  • 1 cup all-purpose wheat flour (4.4oz/125g)
  • ½ cup + 1 Tbsp rye flour (2.5oz/70g) or wheat flour
  • 5 tablespoons ground almonds (1.4oz/40g) skin on is fine
  • 5 tablespoons ground hazelnuts (1.4oz/40g) skin on is fine
  • 1.5 tablespoons gingerbread spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • pinch of salt

Chocolate glaze:

  • 12 oz dark chocolate (350g) 70%
  • 2 oz milk chocolate (55g)

Additionally:

  • 8 oz plum jam (225g)
  • flaked almonds, orange zest, sprinkles, dehydrated berries for decoration

Instructions

Gingerbread cookies:

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4, no fan (if you have convection oven reduce the temperature by 20° or follow the manufacturer's instructions).
  • Prepare a rectangular 21×21 cm / 8×8 inch pan (measured at the bottom, I used a brownie pan), grease it lightly with butter and line it with baking paper.
  • POT: In a medium pot melt the butter, take the pot off the heat, add honey, orange zest, and finely chopped chocolate, stir until melted. Add the eggs and whisk until combined.
  • BOWL: In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients – sifted wheat and rye flour, sugar, ground nuts, cocoa, gingerbread spice, baking soda, salt.
  • Add the content of the pot to the mixed dry ingredients in the bowl, gently mix with the spatula, but not for too long, only until just combined.
  • BAKE: Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, smooth out the top, tap the pan slightly (to remove any air bubbles).
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes. The cake is ready when a cake tester/bamboo skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  • Take the cake out of the pan a leave to cool (it doesn't have to be completely cooled). In the meantime, prepare the chocolate glaze.

Chocolate glaze:

  • Quick way: roughly chop the chocolate and melt using a double-boiler method. Place a metal or glass bowl over a pot with boiling water, the bowl can't touch the water's surface. Add the chocolate to the bowl, stir from time to time until melted. OR
  • Temper the chocolate (it's also quick to do): Chop the chocolate very finely (or grate it on the large holes of a box grater). Melt 3/4 of the chocolate using a double-boiler method: place a bowl (glass or metal, not plastic) over a medium pot with boiling water, the bowl can’t touch the water surface. Add 3/4 of the chopped chocolate to the bowl, wait for 1-2 minutes until almost completely melted, stir, and when it’s completely melted take the bowl off the pot. Add the remaining 1/4 of the chopped chocolate to the bowl and whisk until chocolate is melted.

Divide the cake and layer with jam:

  • Trim the edges of the cake so that they are more even.
  • Cut the gingerbread cake crosswise in half with a long serrated knife.
  • Spread the jam on the bottom half of the cake and cover with the top half.
  • Cut the cake into 16 squares – first into 4 parts, then each part into 4 parts (you should have 16 cubes).

Dip the cookies in chocolate glaze + decorate:

  • Stick each gingerbread cookie on a bamboo skewer and spoon the glaze all over it so that it is coated on all sides. You can also place a cookie on a fork and spoon the glaze over it. Wait for a little until the excess of the glaze drains away, put the mini cakes on a parchment paper. Top each dice with finely chopped nuts or grated orange zest, sprinkles or decorate as you like. You need to top the cookies right away, before the chocolate is set. Set aside until chocolate glaze is set (you can put them in the fridge, it will take 30-60 mins).
  • Keep them in a tightly closed container, in a cool place, for about 4-5 days.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Storage: The cookies taste also amazing 2-3 days after baking. If you plan to make them ahead, make sure to temper the chocolate, otherwise, the chocolate glaze will be gray-ish and won’t look very appetizing.
  • Calories count = 1 cookie (1/16 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!
Course Dessert
Cuisine austrian, German, international, polish
Keyword gingerbread cookies with plum jam, lebkuchen recipe, soft gingerbread cookies

Did you make this recipe? Let me know how you liked it and give it a star rating in the comments below! You can also add a photo of your creation!

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply


The maximum upload file size: 1 MB.
You can upload: image.

shares