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  • Writer's pictureBarth Bakery

Old German Honey Cookies (Alte Deutsche Honig Plätzchen)

Updated: Nov 28, 2022

These traditional German cookies are an old-fashioned or Old-World style spice cookie with a strong honey flavor, a complementary hint of ginger, and a tender texture. Tasting like a honey gingerbread cookie, they’re perfectly soft, chewy, light, and moist. Easy to make and absolutely delicious, these buttery honey cookies make the perfect sweet treat to accompany a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate – or for anytime! Traditional honey-based spice cookies like these are popular as a holiday treat in Germany around Christmas.

Old-fashioned German Honey Cookies
Old-world German Honey Cookies
Soft & Chewy German Honey Cookies
Light & Moist German Honey Cookies

Makes about 3½ dozen cookies


German Honey Cookies

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 cup salted butter (use good quality butter, like a European butter)

  • 1 cup honey

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1½ tsp pure vanilla extract

  • 1½ tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp ground ginger

  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg

  • 4¼ cups all-purpose flour


German Honey Cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats; set aside.

  2. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, and honey over low heat until melted and combined, whisking constantly. Set aside and allow to cool.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, baking soda, ginger, and nutmeg. Slowly whisk the egg mixture into the cooled honey mixture. Gradually stir in the flour with a spoon until just mixed.

  4. Refrigerate the dough for one hour.

  5. Drop the dough by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets 2-inches apart.

  6. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Let the cookies sit on the pan for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Barth Bakery (Barth Bäckerei) was started around 1933 by my great-grandfather, Gustav Hermann Barth, who was a Master Baker (Bäeckermeister) in Trebnitz, Niederschlesien, Germany. For that reason, we’ve started a small collection of recipes for classic German sweet treats.

Germany is famous for its Christmas cookies, many of which are very old and have been passed down over generations. These popular, traditional cookies can be found all over homes and iconic outdoor Christmas markets in November and December.

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My German mom made a honey cookie that became rock hard after baking but softened up to a delicious cookie after several weeks stored in a closed crock Have you heard of this and I would love the recipe.

Ann Kratofil
Ann Kratofil

I was flying home from Denver today and talking to a young missionary gal who described this cookie to me. She said her family makes these cookies every Christmas and they store them for 6-8 weeks in a box. Their recipe had anise, nutmeg and cinnamon as well. She said they also frost some of them with a royal frosting with anise extract added. I was intrigue by the spice combo. She added that that the cookies become soft after the long resting period.

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