Lebkuchen (Spice Bars) are fun-filled flavor fantasies of German origins. They’re easy to make, and a treasure for young and old. They originated in Franconia in 1296, but are reputed to date back to ancient Egyptian honey cakes. They have roots in Jewish cookery from ancient times and are traditional for Hanukkah. Perfect with tea.

Lebkuchen (Spice Bars)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Baked Goods
Cuisine: German
Serves: 4 dozen
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice; ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves; ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 Cups flour; unbleached, unsifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 Cup almonds, ground
  • 1 teaspoon lemon rind; grated
  • 2 eggs; large
  • 3/4 Cup sugar
  • 3/4 Cup honey
  • 1/2 Cup milk
Almond Glaze:
  • 1 Cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon rum
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Stir together the spices, salt flour, and baking powder. Stir in the almonds and lemon rind.
  3. In a separate bowl beat the eggs and sugar until a ribbon is formed when the beater is removed.
  4. Stir in the honey and milk. Gradually stir in the flour mixture; beat until smooth.
  5. Spread the batter in an 11- X 17-inch jelly roll pan that is well greased and dusted with flour.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes, until the cake is done.
  7. While the cake is still warm but not hot, gently turn it out onto a wire rack.
  8. To make the almond glaze, mix the confectioner's sugar, almond extract, rum, and 1 to 2 Tablespoons of water. Beat until glaze is smooth and of the right consistency. Add more water to thin if necessary.
  9. Spread the warm cake with the almond glaze.
  10. Cut cake into 1 X 2 1/2-inch bars while still warm. Spice bars keep 6 to 8 weeks in a sealed container if not glazed.

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