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Lebkuchen Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas Cake Recipe

I love cooking for my family and am excited to share my recipes with you.

Cake with powdered sugar.

Cake with powdered sugar.

What Is Lebkuchen?

Unless you speak German, you may ask what lebkuchen is. It resembles gingerbread but doesn't have any ginger in it. The texture isn't what you'd normally expect from a cake. It is more like home-baked bread.

The cake is a Christmas tradition from Germany that was invented by Medieval monks in the 13th century. Many people make these into gingerbread-type cookies, but this recipe is baked like a cake.

The recipe included here is an old Pennsylvania Dutch recipe. They arrived here from Germany, which explains many of their recipes. You can find different versions of lebkuchen elsewhere—many of them are called honey cake or pepper cake—but these originated in other countries. This recipe doesn't call for honey or pepper.

Some are glazed with chocolate or sprinkled with nuts and powdered sugar. You can try yours any way you'd like and use what you have on hand. Frosting would be good too. Since mine wasn't baked for a special occasion, I just sprinkled it with powdered sugar.


  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups sifted flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cups wine or coffee
  • 3/4 cups chopped nuts
  • 3/4 cups raisins


  • 1. Beat the eggs in a bowl until they are thick and piled softly.
  • 2. Add the sugar slowly, beating the mixture after each addition.
  • 3. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and spices together.
  • 4. Stir the wine or coffee with the egg mixture adding only a small amount at a time and just beating until each addition is blended.
  • 5. Stir in the nuts and raisins.
  • 6. Pour batter into a 13" x 9 1/2" pan.
  • 7. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.
You may want to dress your cake up with icing.

You may want to dress your cake up with icing.

Rate This Recipe


marlene on February 11, 2019:


Barbara Badder (author) from USA on December 06, 2013:

Au fait, I'm afraid that weather is heading for us. I left out the raisins when I baked it, because I can't eat them. It should turn out fine without them.

C E Clark from North Texas on December 06, 2013:

This sounds very interesting. I would leave the raisins out (hate cooked raisins), but otherwise I would try it as written. I never can make any recipe, even the first time, without tweaking it to suit me -- it's one of my failings. Looks wonderful! I bet it would be yummy when the weather is like we're having here right now -- one of the worst ice storms I've seen in my life.

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on November 24, 2012:

Thelma, Thanks for commenting. Maybe I should change the title from Pennsylvania Dutch to German Christmas Cake. Germany is where the Pennsylvania Dutch came from. Thanks for commenting.

Thelma Alberts from Germany on November 24, 2012:

I love Lebkuchen. It is delicious. I have not bake this before because we have a lot of lebkuchen here in Germany during Christmas time. Your recipe sounds easy to make. This is another one for my baking list this Christmas. Thanks for sharing.

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on September 09, 2011:

cardelean, I baked this yesterday, so I'd have a photo for the hub. We are enjoying it. My husband says it reminds him of a spice cake. Thanks for your comment.

cardelean from Michigan on September 09, 2011:

I'm always looking for great new recipes and this one sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing!

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on September 08, 2011:

DeborahFantasia, I hope you enjoy it. It does have more of the texture of gingerbread though, but tastes good. Thanks for stopping by.

DeborahFantasia from Italy on September 08, 2011:

Looks fabulous, I can't wait to try it !

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on September 08, 2011:

Cardisa, Thanks. This doesn't taste like regular cake, but more like gingerbread cake. If you try it, I hope your enjoy.

Carolee Samuda from Jamaica on September 08, 2011:

What a lovely recipe! I must try it, I like German stuff. Thanks for sharing!

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