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You won’t be able to say no to this Keto Honey Gingerbread! Soft, moist, nutty, and sweetened with REAL honey, this German gingerbread is the perfect Christmas treat.
Note: This recipe was originally published on November 24, 2021 and modified on December 14, 2023.
As you may already know, my mission of late has been to re-create a German Christmas market, just with less sugar. Sometimes I really miss the country I grew up in and being able to share the food of my youth with my family makes my heart jump for joy! Even more so because the keto versions of my German Christmas treats have turned out just BEAUTIFULLY: Mulled Wine, “Candied” Almonds, and of course the most famous German Christmas Stollen!
What is German Gingerbread (Lebkuchen)?
Lebkuchen was invented by German monks in the 13th century (monks came up with all kinds of good stuff!). It comes in a variety of spices and different levels of sweetness. Unlike regular gingerbread, German gingerbread is soft and moist, and usually sweetened with some honey. Lebkuchen cookies can come glazed, dusted with powdered sugar, or plain. It smells and tastes amazing!
How to make Honey Gingerbread keto-friendly!
One of the most famous and finest German gingerbread is known as Nürnberger Lebkuchen. It is considered high quality because of its high nut flour content! I based my keto gingerbread recipe on this infamous German type of gingerbread.
To make it keto, we will solely rely on hazelnut flour and almond flour as its base. We will lower the amount of honey used to 1 tablespoon and provide this gingerbread with some dark molasses flavor by adding sugar-free Swerve Sweetener brown sugar substitute.
Traditional Nürnberger Lebkuchen is made with candied orange and lemon peel, which gives it an amazing aroma. However, the candied peel you find in the supermarket is loaded with sugar, so instead we will use homemade SUGAR-FREE candied peel!
This Keto Honey Gingerbread tastes just like the German Lebkuchen I grew up with: soft, moist, and spiced to perfection!
Tips for making Keto German Gingerbread!
Candied peel. Prepare your sugar-free candied orange/lemon peel ahead of time, at least one day before making your Keto Honey Gingerbread. The peel is freezable, so you can make it way in advance. For this recipe, you need to finely chop the peel. You can use anywhere between 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chopped candied peel for your cookies.
Alternatively, you can also grate the zest of one orange and one lemon. Make sure to use organic fruits.
Nut flour. This recipe uses a combination of almond flour and hazelnut flour. If you don’t have hazelnut flour at hand, you can simple add more almond flour and vice versa.
Honey. I decided to add real honey for my gingerbread because traditional German Lebkuchen is commonly made with honey. I’m adding 1 tablespoon of honey to the dough, a total of 17 grams of carbs (which are solely sugar). Since one batch makes about 17-18 cookies, this gives each cookie about 1 extra gram of carbs. While this is not all that much, you can easily opt out of the honey and instead use an additional tablespoon of Swerve Brown (or another brown sugar substitute).
Shaping. The dough will be very sticky. Work with slightly wet hands to shape the dough into round cookies (if the dough sticks too much even with wet hands, add more almond flour). Take 1 tablespoon of dough, roll into a ball, and then flatten it with the palm of your hand into a 2-inch “pancake” before setting it onto your lined baking sheet. The gingerbread cookies won’t rise much, so don’t flatten them too much.
Soft, moist, and low-carb – Keto Honey Gingerbread!
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MORE KETO CHRISTMAS TREATS
SOFT Keto Honey Gingerbread (German Lebkuchen)
- large baking sheet
- 3 eggs room temperature
- ⅓ cup Swerve brown sugar substitute packed, 65 grams
- 1 tbsp honey liquid or 1 tbsp Swerve Brown
- 1½ cup almond flour 150 grams, blanched
- 1½ cup ground hazelnut 170 grams
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ⅛ tsp allspice
- ⅛ tsp ground ginger
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp cardamom
- dash salt
- ¼ cup homemade candied orange/lemon peel or more, finely chopped, or grated zest from 1 orange and 1 lemon (ORGANIC)
- ½ cup semi-sweet sugar-free chocolate chips 85 grams
- Preheat oven to 300 °F (150 ℃) and line large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar substitute, and honey until creamy. Stir in almond flour, ground hazelnut, spices, and salt, and stir until well combined. Add homemade sugar-free candied orange/lemon peel and stir. The dough will be very sticky.
- Work with slightly wet hands to shape the dough into round cookies (if the dough sticks too much even with wet hands, add more almond flour). Take 1 tablespoon of dough, roll into a ball, and then flatten it with the palm of your hand into a 2-inch mounted "pancake" before setting it onto your lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. The gingerbread cookies won't rise much, so don't flatten them too much.
- Bake cookies for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool down.
- To make the chocolate glazing, melt chocolate chips in double boiler (over simmering, not boiling water), until completely melted. Stir chocolate constantly until melted.
- With a pastry or basting brush, glaze the top of each cookie. You can decorate each glazed cookie with chopped nuts, lemon zest, or cinnamon powder. Transfer glazed cookies into fridge for chocolate to harden. Alternatively, you can dust cookies with Swerve confectioners instead of glazing them.
- In a sealed container, the gingerbread cookies can be stored on the counter for 2 days or in the fridge for about 1 week. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months.