What is a Pfeffernusse? A Perfectly Spicy German Holiday Cookie

A Plate of Pfeffernusse Cookies

Everything to Know When Making Pfeffernusse Cookies

The holidays are only complete when you have the perfect array of delicious holiday treats. The German pfeffernusse cookie is a mouth-watering holiday classic packed with a medley of spices in a soft, powdered sugar-coated cookie. The cookie even has its own day: Pfeffernusse Day on December 23.  

In honor of the holidays and Pfeffernusse Day, this article will tell you how to make the perfect German pfeffernusse cookie using our fantastic organic spice set.

What is a Pfeffernusse?

Pfeffernusse is German for “peppernuts” and describes the traditional German cookie. Pfeffernusse cookies are small, mound-shaped treats that combine smooth molasses or honey and great spices for a unique, slightly-peppery taste.

How to Make the Perfect Pfeffernusse

The excellent balance of sweet and spicy makes the German pfeffernusse cookie a must-have for your holiday celebrations. To make this delicious holiday treat, you can use an array of our high-quality, organic spices–think a pumpkin spice mixture, but with a few classic twists.

Here’s a rundown of what you’ll need to make the best pfeffernusse cookie for this holiday season and the years to come.


First up on the list of spices you’ll need for the perfect pfeffernusse spice medley is some flavorful organic ground clove. Cloves will add a warm, light touch to your pfeffernusse cookies and provide a slight sweetness to balance the spice.


A trademark of holiday cookies is cinnamon, which provides a distinct flavor and warmth during the cold holiday season. Cinnamon comes from inner tree bark, and organic cinnamon is sweet, smooth, and earthy at once. It combines perfectly with the other spices in a classic pfeffernusse cookie.

Organic cinnamon, such as the delicious FreshJax Organic Cinnamon, is perfect for just about any recipe, and the pfeffernusse is no exception. Add this mouth-watering spice to your cookies and other favorite recipes, and see what you can create with a dash of cinnamon.

FreshJax can help you achieve the woodsy sweetness you’re looking for from cinnamon without adding an overwhelming flavor for those not a fan of the traditional, intense cinnamon flavor. Try our organic Ceylon Cinnamon for a milder flavor. This cinnamon comes from evergreen tree bark and adds a hint of citrusy flavor to your favorite recipes.


Organic ginger's delicious, aromatic flavor is essential to the bold taste of the traditional pfeffernusse cookie. Ginger provides a unique taste and is a staple of classic holiday recipes, such as gingerbread cookies. The notes of pepper and the gentle spicy kick make ginger key to a successful batch of pfeffernusse cookies.


Holiday recipes are notorious for their warm, savory taste. A massive contributor to the comforting sweetness of holiday cookies is nutmeg. You'll find nutmeg in many holiday recipes. The pfeffernusse cookie is given its sweet, indulgent taste because of the added nutmeg.

Nutmeg gives your cookies the perfect flavor balance, adding a nutty and aromatic flavor to guarantee that your pfeffernusse cookies turn out perfectly.


A traditional pfeffernusse cookie isn’t complete without the pepper. The pfeffernusse cookie uses white pepper to provide a unique flavor that defines this treat. White pepper provides a bit of a kick while amplifying the earthy flavor and undertones essential to the delicious taste of a pfeffernusse cookie.

While some people switch out the white better for ground black pepper, the best, most authentic German pfeffernusse recipe will use white pepper for its multifaceted flavor. Having trouble tracking organic white pepper down? Check out the delicious, ground organic white pepper from FreshJax.


While the name of this spice might make you think it's a blend of different spices, allspice is made from dried allspice berries. Often mistaken as similar to a pumpkin spice blend, ground, organic allspice combines unique flavors and notes from different spices.

The multifaceted flavors in allspice include hints of nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, anise, and other spices often used in pfeffernusse cookie recipes. FreshJax's organic allspice is perfect for those who want to make their pfeffernusse recipe bolder and richer than ever.

Pouring Ingredients into a bowl

Bringing it All Together

Once you’ve collected your array of organic ingredients from FreshJax, you can start making the best pfeffernusse cookies for the holiday season. While you might find variations of spices across different pfeffernusse recipes, here’s one of the best traditional recipes we found.

  • 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup of granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup of molasses
  • 1 tablespoon of rum
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup of almond flour
  • 1 ¾ cup of all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground anise seed
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of ground white pepper
  • Zest from one orange
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger

For the glaze, gather these ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups of powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cardamom
  • 3 tablespoons of heavy cream

  1. Combine butter, sugar, and molasses in a large bowl. Whisk together until just combined. Add rum, egg, orange zest, and the optional grated ginger. Beat until entirely thoroughly combined.
  2. Combine almond and all-purpose flour, baking soda, kosher salt, and spice in a medium bowl and whisk together until incorporated. Fold the dry ingredients into your wet ingredients bowl. Fold until just combined.
  3. Line baking sheets with parchment paper, then roll the dough into 1 ½ inch balls. Place cookies on the baking sheets, 2 inches apart from each other.
  4. Bake at 350° for around 12-14 minutes or until cookies are puffy and set.
  5. Whisk together the powdered sugar, cardamom, and heavy cream to prepare the icing. Add cream if necessary to reach the ideal texture.
  6. Dip the top of your cookies into the glaze after cooling for ten minutes. Let the glaze harden. Alternatively, if you prefer to forgo the icing, place powdered sugar in a container with a lid, drop a few cookies in at a time, and shake gently to coat the cookies after cooling for three minutes. Makes about three dozen cookies.

Enjoy the Holidays With Organic Spices from FreshJax

Holiday recipes rely on your spice medley to provide a warm, comforting flavor that expertly balances sweet, spicy, and savory tastes. FreshJax has the spices you need to make your favorite holiday recipes stand out, guaranteeing multifaceted, delicious flavor for your holiday season. Check out our catalog of unique, organic spices to get started on improving your favorite recipes.

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