Gingerbread with hazelnuts (Berner Haselnusslebkuchen)

What would fall be without gingerbread? A sadness I think. What could be better than this comforting and fragrant pastry to forget the rain and the winter time... For the Swiss Food Discovery I propose you a gingerbread recipe a little bit different: the Berner Haselnusslebkuchen.

A medical recipe at the base...

According to the very interesting site Culinary heritage.chThe name of the gingerbread in German is said to derive from a medical reference. In ancient times, honey cookies were prescribed to the sick, as they had healing powers and prolonged life expectancy. Therefore, they were called Lebenskuchen (life cookies), which is why they were later called Lebkuchen. It must be said that between the hazelnuts and the honey, a small square of this cake would be enough to make anyone stand up. And this is what makes its charm...

A Bernese speciality

I don't know why this (fake) gingerbread originated in Bern. But it can be found in every bakery in the canton, and was traditionally offered at the time of the holidays. This seems quite logical: this is the time of year when we need comforting little things the most and we only have dried fruits and nuts to make sweets. Well, now that you know everything, let's get started?

Berner Haselnusslebkuchen

Course: Candy/Biscuit
Cuisine: Switzerland
Difficulty: easy


  • 150 g of ground hazelnuts
  • 75 g ground almonds
  • 300 g sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 60 g orange peel and zest of half a lemon
  • 100 g of honey
  • 1 tbsp of kirsch
  • 1 egg white


  • Mix the hazelnuts, almonds, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl
  • Chop orange peel and lemon peel. Add.
  • Stir in honey, kirsch, and egg white until stiff.
  • Knead the dough into a ball. Roll it out to 7 mm (maximum) on powdered sugar.
  • Cut out small rectangles (or keep a large rectangle) and arrange on a buttered baking sheet (or on baking paper).
  • Let dry overnight.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes in the middle of the oven preheated to 180°C.
  • Decorate as desired (icing: 50 g confectioners' sugar and 1⁄2 tbsp water.)
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @annas.eats_firecooking
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6 thoughts on “Pain d’épices aux noisettes (Berner Haselnusslebkuchen)”

  1. I love this cookie and it's true that it's not easy to find it in French-speaking Switzerland! So I'll let myself be tempted and start a production? Can you tell me what size your rectangles are and how many you get with the quantities mentioned?

    • Hello Catherine,

      Merci beaucoup pour votre message 🙂 Les biscuits sont un peu de la même taille que ceux du commerce, environ 3 cm / 5 cm. la pâte suffit pour 4 personnes, donc un gros sachet, mais j’avoue que je ne les ai pas comptés, et ils sont partis tellement vite…

    • Hello Cécile,

      Merci 🙂 Tu trouves des écorces d’orange confites dans les rayons pâtisserie des grands magasins, ou alors chez les confiseurs. Mais je pense que la Coop ou la Migros iront très bien.


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