Honey Cake - Gingerbread

The time before Christmas is the time for honey cake.

In English it is usually called gingerbread. But as the German recipe does not use any ginger, we better call it honey cake. German words for it are Honigkuchen, Lebkuchen or Magenbrot. It is also used to make a Hansel and Gretel house for which I will soon add the recipe here in this blog.


500 g honey i.e. lime-tree blossom
500 g rye flour
500 g wheat flour
250 g sugar
10 gr. ammonium carbonate (salts of hartshorn), please, you have to weigh it
15 gr. potassium carbonate (salt of tatar,) again please weigh it
250 g butter unsalted
125 g pealed and ground almonds
2 eggs
2 cloves
2 capsules cardamon
2 flat teaspoon cinnamon

Put the content of the cardamon capsules, 2 cloves and 1 teaspoon of the sugar into a mortar and ground it to a powder, add the cinnamon, mix, add the mixture to the flour and mix again. Set aside until use.

Put butter, honey and sugar in a big pot and bring just to a melt. Add 2 eggs and the spiced flour, knead thoroughly. Cover the pot and let it rest in a cool place at least over night or for up to one week.

The next day salt of tatar and salts of hartshorn have to be diluted in water and kneaded into the dough.

Baking takes 10 to 12 minutes, 180° Celsius (= 356° Fahrenheit).

Now you can bake whatever you want: cookies, gingerbread house, Hansel and Gretel house, domino-stones etc.