True story: I tell people I’m a self-proclaimed dessert connoisseur. But something few people know about me is that I was also born in Germany.
When you consider these two things, plus the fact that I love Christmas (although who doesn’t?) and that my Dad called me “Pudding” growing up, you can see why I was inspired to write about five German Christmas sweet treats you’re sure to love.
Along the way, you’ll also find some of my favourite recipes for each treat. Happy baking and eating!
1. Stollen (Christmas Cake)
Stollen is a cake that Germans traditionally eat for their Christmas dinner dessert.
It’s quite a dry cake (so that it can last a long time), but it’s filled with nuts, raisins and sometimes marzipan.
It’s said that nuts and raisins were symbols of wealth when the Stollen tradition first came about and I love the idea that the cake hasn’t changed much over the centuries.
While you can often find Stollen in most supermarkets, if you fancy making your own, then I recommend this recipe from The Daring Gourmet.
2. Lebkuchen (Gingerbread)
Lebkuchen, a type of gingerbread, takes a few different forms.
When exploring German Christmas markets, you’ve likely seen Lebkuchenherzen (“Lebkuchen Hearts”), which are a hard form of gingerbread-shaped hearts (obviously) decorated with icing.
Likewise, you’ve probably also seen Lebkuchenhaus (“Lebkuchen House”) a number of times too.
Building a Lebkuchenhaus (or Gingerbread House) has since become a Christmas tradition in a number of different countries, not just Germany.
But there’s also another form that Lebkuchen takes, which is its simplest form of a soft gingerbread-type cake, with the base often covered in dark chocolate.
In my opinion, this is Lebkuchen at its most traditional, simplest and tastiest!
Check out this chocolate-dipped Lebkuchen cookie recipe from Eat Love Eat.
3. German Christmas Cookies
People from Germany love baking at Christmas and usually start early and extend their baking into the New Year.
This is probably why there are so many different types of German Christmas cookies to choose from.
Some of my favourites include:
- Linzer Cookies: Jam-filled cookies (shaped in Christmas shapes like stars), with a roasted hazelnut flavoured dough.
- Chocolate Spritz (Spritzgebaeck): Chocolate-flavoured cookies (in a range of Christmas shapes) filled with fruity jam.
- Cinnamon Stars: Star-shaped cinnamon-flavoured biscuits with a white meringue glaze on top.
You might enjoy these German cookie recipes by Recipes from Europe.
4. Chocolate Santas
Although Chocolate Santas can be found pretty much everywhere now, the tradition started in Germany and so only the best (and original) can be found there.
Plus, they make excellent gifts and souvenirs when bought from a real German Christmas market.
While you might find it difficult to make your own chocolate Santa (unless you have a special mould, of course!), you might enjoy this alternative chocolatey recipe from My Best German Recipes.
5. German Glühwein (Mulled Wine)
It seems every country has a version of mulled wine these days – from Glögi in Finland and mulled wine in England to Glühwein in Germany and Austria.
But this doesn’t matter to me as I ADORE mulled wine!
Interestingly, Glühwein doesn’t translate as ‘mulled wine’ as we call it in England, but actually translates to ‘glow wine’ – for the feeling you get when drinking this warming liquid!
The German version is pretty simple (and traditional) with flavours of cinnamon, cloves, orange and star anise coming through underneath the red wine. Delicious!
Here’s a fab German mulled wine recipe from HurryTheFoodUp.
What do you think? Yay or nay to each of these? And have I left any of your favourite German Christmas sweet treats out? Let me know in the comments…
Did you like this? Share it now and spread some festive cheer!