Almond Spice Cookies

gluten free almond spice cookies for christmas

We love to curl up with a book and a blanket while the house fills with the complex aroma of these delicious cookies. The spice mixture is roughly based on a German cookie called Lebkuchen, and pairs nicely with the delicate orange glaze we've used here. The next time winter weather comes, put a batch of these wonderful cookies in the oven, make yourself a cup of tea, and contemplate the snow.

Makes about 4 dozen


Lebkuchen Spices

  • 1tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 12teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 12teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 12teaspoon ground ginger
  • 14teaspoon white peppercorns
  • 14teaspoon whole anise or fennel seed
  • 14teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 18teaspoon ground cloves
  • 18teaspoon ground coriander
  • 11-inch piece dried bay leaf
  • pinch ground allspice


  • 23cup sugar (4.75 ounces)
  • 212cups (8.75 ounces) ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 14cup (1 ounce) gluten-free oat flour
  • 14cup (1 ounce) tapioca starch
  • 12teaspoon baking powder
  • 12cup (4.75 ounces) gluten-free almond paste
  • 14cup (1.5 ounces) dry sour cherries
  • 14cup (1 ounce) chopped candied ginger
  • finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 4large egg whites
  • 1tablespoon rum

Orange Glaze

  • 2tablespoons orange juice
  • 114cup (5 ounces) confectioner's sugar
  • 12cup (1.5 ounces) sliced almonds, toasted
  • Grind the Lebkuchen spices in a coffee grinder or blender until a fine powder forms. Place one tablespoon of this spice mixture in the bowl of a food processor, reserve the rest for another use, like mulled cider or spiced hot chocolate.
  • 2
  • Add the almond flour, oat flour, tapioca starch, and baking powder to the food processor. Pulse to combine. Break the almond paste into small pieces. Add to the food processor and pulse to combine until the texture is uniform and no lumps remain. Add the sour cherry and ginger, pulse until the fruit is very finely chopped with the flour mixture, pulse in the orange zest to combine, set aside.
  • 3
  • Heat the oven to 325 degrees. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the remaining sugar and the egg whites together until soft shiny peaks form. Fold in the rum, followed by the almond mixture.
  • 4
  • Line three baking sheets with parchment paper or silcone baking mats. Spoon batter onto the mats by the tablespoon into mounds, leaving a couple of inches between cookies. Bake the sheet trays for 30 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown, rotating the pans halfway through baking time. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • 5
  • Whisk together the orange juice and confectioner’s sugar. Drizzle the tops of the cookies with glaze, top with a pinch of almond slices. Let the glaze set. Cookies keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature, two weeks in the freezer unglazed.