Affiliate Statement

Best Baking Tips is supported by our audience. When you purchase through one of our links, we may earn a small affiliate commission.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Your cost is not affected.


Would you like to try a delicious and slightly spicy cookie from Germany? Pfeffernüsse are a perfect treat for the winter holidays. They are made with ground spices, such as white pepper and cinnamon, which give them a wonderful flavor. Plus, they are easy to make! If you’re looking for something different to add to your holiday baking, be sure to give these cookies a try.


German Spice Cookies: Spice Up Your Life!


German Spice Cookies or also known as Pfeffernüsse, is a traditional German Christmas treat. These bite-sized cookies are made with a variety of spices, including cardamom, star anise, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. They also typically contain black pepper, which gives them their name – ‘Pfeffer’ means pepper in German. Pfeffernüsse are usually coated in a glaze, making them extra sweet and irresistibly delicious. While they may be traditionally associated with Christmas, these cookies can be enjoyed any time of year. So whether you’re looking for a festive treat or simply a delicious snack, Pfeffernüsse are sure to hit the spot!


German Spice Cookies (Pfeffernüsse)

Warm and Delicious German Spice Cookies (Pfeffernüsse)

What Makes These German Spice Cookies Oh-So Delicious?


These German spice cookies or Pfeffernüsse are delicious for many reasons. The recipe calls for a variety of spices.These spices give the cookies a warm flavor that is perfect for fall or winter. In addition, the cookies are rolled in sugar before they are baked. This gives them a sweet and crunchy coating that is irresistible. Finally, the cookies are made with butter, which gives them a rich and creamy texture. The combination of these factors makes these German spice cookies impossible to resist.


What spices are in these delightful cookies? The answer may surprise you, but the spices in these German spice cookies are cinnamon, cloves, allspice, cardamom, ginger, mace, star anise, White pepper, and baker’s ammonia. You might not have expected to see baker’s ammonia on the list, but it’s actually a common ingredient in many German baked goods. It helps to create a light and airy texture in the cookies. As for the other spices, they are all classic baking spices that help to give these cookies their signature flavor. If you’ve ever wondered why German spice cookies taste so unique, now you know! The next time you bake a batch of these cookies, be sure to include all of these spices for the best flavor.


Your new favorite christmas treat: German Spice Cookies (Pfeffernüsse)

Your new favorite Christmas treat: German Spice Cookies (Pfeffernüsse)


Let’s Talk About The Spices


What are they?

These German spice cookies or Pfeffernüsse contains numerous spices. Cinnamon is derived from the inner bark of cinnamon trees and has a sweet, woody flavor. Cloves are the unopened flower buds of the clove tree and have a warm, sweet-spicy flavor. Allspice is made from the dried berries of the pimento tree and has a flavor that is similar to a combination of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Cardamom is a member of the ginger family and has a sweet, slightly minty flavor. Ginger is the root of the Zingiber officinale plant and has a spicy-sweet flavor. Star anise is the fruit of the Illicium verum plant and has a licorice-like flavor. White pepper is one of the most commonly used spices in the world. It has a sharp, pungent flavor that can add a bit of zing to any dish.


What are their health benefits?

Recent research has shown that these spices also offer a number of health benefits.


Cinnamon has been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation.


Cloves have strong antimicrobial properties and can be used to treat digestive issues such as nausea and vomiting.


Allspice has been shown to boost cognitive function and protect against neurodegenerative diseases.


Cardamom has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which can help to improve heart health.


Ginger is effective in relieving pain and nausea, and mace can help to improve digestion.


Star anise is rich in antioxidants which can help protect against cancer.


White pepper contains an alkaloid called piperine, which is known for its ability to boost circulation and metabolism. Piperine also acts as an expectorant, helping to clear congestion and relieve respiratory symptoms.


While more research is needed to confirm these health benefits, there is no doubt that spices are not only delicious but also good for you! So next time you’re looking to add some flavor to your food, reach for these spices!


That'll do spicely!

That’ll Do Spicely!


If you want to try these warm and delicious German spice cookies or Pfeffernüsse, share your photo and experience with us, and let us know what you think in the comments below by using #bestbakingtips, #germanspicecookies, and #pfeffernüsse


German Spice Cookies: Your New Favorite Christmas Treat!

German Spice Cookies (Pfeffernüsse)

German Spice Cookies (Pfeffernüsse)

Is it Christmas yet? Because if it's not, these German spice cookies will definitely have you in the holiday spirit! Packed with warming winter spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, these cookies are perfect for nibbling on while you sip on some hot Glühwein. Plus, they're really easy to make - just mix up the dough, roll into balls, and bake! So why wait? Start baking your way to Christmas happiness today!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 37 minutes
Course cookies
Cuisine German
Servings 36 cookies
Calories 58 kcal



    For the Lebkuchengewürz (German gingerbread spice blend)

    • 4 tbsp cinnamon ground
    • 2 tbsp cloves ground
    • 1 tsp allspice ground
    • 1 tsp cardamom ground
    • ¾ tsp star anise ground
    • 1 ½ tsp ginger ground
    • 1 tsp mace ground

    For the Pfeffernüsse (small spice cookies)

    • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 ½ tsp cocoa powder
    • ¼ tsp kosher salt
    • ½ cup honey
    • ¼ cup granulated sugar
    • 2 tsp lebkuchengewürz German gingerbread spice blend
    • 1 tsp baker’s ammonia
    • 1 tbsp rum slightly warm
    • tsp white pepper
    • 1 egg large
    • ¾ cup confectioners' sugar
    • 2 tbsp lemon juice
    • 1 tbsp water


    Let's Begin!

      To make the lebkuchengewürz:

      • In a small bowl, whisk together the lebkuchengewürz spices until well combined. Makes about ½ cup. Store in an airtight container.

      To make the pfeffernüsse:

      • Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
      • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt until fully combined.
      • Using a small saucepan, combine the honey and granulated sugar over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved, then remove from the heat and stir in the lebkuchengewürz and white pepper.
      • In a small bowl, dissolve the baker's ammonia in the rum, then stir into the honey mixture. Transfer this mixture to a large bowl and add the flour mixture and the egg. Stir until a smooth dough forms.
      • Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place ½ inch apart on the prepared sheet pan. Bake until the cookies have domed and dried.
      • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, and water.
      • When the cookies come out of the oven, immediately brush them with the glaze. Let the cookies cool completely, then store in an airtight container for 2 days before serving.


      Pro Tips!
      Make sure to line the baking sheet with parchment.
      Rest and cool your cookies after taking them out of the oven.
      Toast your spices before grinding to release more aroma.
      Don't overcook your cookies.


      Calories: 58kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 1gFat: 0.3gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gTrans Fat: 0.001gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 19mgPotassium: 24mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 11IUVitamin C: 0.5mgCalcium: 14mgIron: 1mg
      Keyword cookie, cookies, German, Spiced Cookies
      Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

      Must-Read Articles


      Below are the must-read articles about baking. You will enjoy them reading as they are full of information and helpful tips. Read them and share your thoughts.



      2. Almond Shortbread Tea Cookies


      3. Bake Your Stress Away: 10 Benefits of Baking


      4. 7 Basic Baking Ingredients


      5. Best Gifts for Bakers 2022


      To Wrap It All Up


      Thanks for trying out this delicious recipe for German Spice Cookies! We hope you enjoy them as much as we do. Be sure to let us know how they turn out in the comments below. Happy baking!


      Connect With Us


      If you’ve tried this German Spice Cookie recipe, don’t forget to leave a rating on the recipe card. Take a ? and tag us using #bestbakingtips #ilovebestbakingtips and on our social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.  Also, subscribe to our newsletter, which will be sent straight to your inbox every week, to stay more up-to-date on our baking recipes. ?


      Read More


      Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Bars


      Oatmeal Dinner Rolls


      Autumn-spiced Pumpkin Shortbread


      Easy Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake


      Apple Cheesecake Recipe



      Best Baking Tips

      Equivalents Chart


      * * * * *



       Use this handy chart to make baking easier!



      You have Successfully Subscribed!

      Pin It on Pinterest

      Share This