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Danish Christmas cakes Pebernødder / “Pepper nuts”

November 16, 2012

It´s time for Pebernødder – the little spicy Christmas cakes called “Pepper nuts”. They are very small, only 2 cm in diameter. Pebernødder has been made  for Christmas in Denmark since 1700, before that time they were called pebercakes.  In old time the expression “to be pebbering” was used for adding spices to make a sharp taste. They were/can be made of  rye or wheat flour, sweetened with honey or syrup and added spices like ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom – and sometimes pepper. The name is related to the German Pfeffernüssen.

A Danish expression for “nothing to talk of because it was easy or cheap” is  “This was pebernødder”.

An old recipe:
375 gr. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ginger (powder)
1/8 tp. peber
125 gr. butter
125 gr. brown sugar
1 egg
4 tsp. cream
1 tsp. syrup
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
Mix  Flour, baking powder, ginger and pepper. Add cold butter in small pieces. In another bowl: mix brown sugar and egg, add cream. Add the flour mix to this eggmix, and finish the dough. Part the dough in two. Add syrup, cinnamon and nelliker to one of the parts. Save the dough in a cold place for a while.
Making the cakes:
Put flour on the table, and make some long thin “sausages”. Cut those every 2 cm. In a warm oven, 15 minutes at 225 degree C


Recipe 1 in english from My Danish kitchen

Recipe 2 in english from My Danish kitchen



8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 20, 2012 2:58 pm

    I really should try out this recipe this Christmas, Giiid… thank you for the reminder!

  2. December 8, 2012 2:13 am

    I’d like some of those with my coffee right now! Mmmmmm…

    • December 8, 2012 4:26 pm

      They taste very good, but the really addictive element is the good crunchy sound that comes from eating them. 🙂

  3. December 10, 2012 3:25 pm

    In Dutch we have the same! ‘Pepernoten’:) And the same recipy as well. We eat them with ‘Sinterklaas’ (Sint Nicolaas) who’s somewhat similar to Santaclaus but than you get your presents on december the 5th, because that’s the Sint’s birthday.

  4. December 11, 2012 9:43 am

    Hello there, I love your site. I’m wondering what kind of syrup it is that I need to use for this recipe. Also when the recipe is split into two and the spice added to one part, are those put together to make a sort of swirly mix before cutting the biscuits to cook?


    • December 11, 2012 3:20 pm

      Hi Suzi, thank you very much. The recipe is a very old one, and perhaps to strong and different in taste compared with what we like today. I haven´t used it myself, and don´t know why it is made this way, but if you are interested in recipes, I´ll suggest that you take a look at My danish kitchen, (link under the text) who have all the Danish favorites, and also a story about them. Thank you again for asking.

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