Mennonite Girls Can Cook is a collection of recipes which were posted daily for a period of ten years from 2008 to 2018. We have over 3,000 delicious recipes that we invite you to try. The recipes can be accessed in our recipe file by category or you can use the search engine.

Recipe Search

Pfeffernuesse Gluten free

                                                                           photo by Sarah Poulin

This recipe was shared with me by Sarah Poulin .(Thank you, Sarah !!)  I followed her recipe exactly and really loved the cookies.. While I grew up with the traditionally 'hard' - like Biscotti -  Pfeffernuesse, I really like these soft ones better.
Try them, you'll love them !!
And they are good keepers, even though they are gluten-free.  (gluten is a preservative, hence gluten free baked products do not keep as well as baking with gluten grains)

  • 1 cup rice white flour
  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch (or any kind of starch such as corn starch)
  • 1/4 cup almond flour (or almond meal)
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lebkuchengewürz (I use  this recipe for making the spice; it's excellent!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper (you can use black pepper; but you will get black specks in your cookies)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup milk (or milk of your preference, such as almond milk)
  • 2 eggs

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons hot water

  1. In separate bowl, combine the flours, starches, almond flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt, lebkuchengewurz, and white pepper. Set aside. 
  2. In a pot, combine the brown sugar, honey, butter and milk - place on medium heat. Stir frequently until it's melted and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes. 
  3. Stir dry ingredients into the liquid, mixing well. 
  4. Add eggs and stir until completely combined. The dough will be glossy and sticky. 
  5. Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. This is important because it will make the dough more firm and easier to handle, but will also absorb the flour further so that your final product is not gritty. 
  6. The next day, preheat your oven to 350 F.  Divide dough into 4 sections, forming each piece into a log about 3/4 inches thick.  Cut log into 3/4 inch slices. Roll each slice into a ball and place on parchment lined cookie sheet. With wet hand flatten each ball a little, they will puff back up when baking. 
  7. Place cookies in oven and bake for 11-15 minutes or until golden brown. If you prefer your cookies to be more moist, bake them a couple of minutes less. 
  8. To make the glaze, combine powdered sugar and hot water. Dip each fully cooled cookie into the glaze until they are completely covered, let some glaze drip off, and place on a wire rack, with something underneath to catch any drips. Wait until the glaze is fully hardened.  (Alternatively, you can simply coat the cookies with dry icing sugar) 


  1. Thank you for the link on homemade Lebkuchen Gewuertz as we can't always find it.
    Love these kind of Peppernuts!

  2. Hey! That plate looks familiar! ;)
    Thank you for sharing my recipe. I am glad to see it finally shared with the world. :)


  3. Do any of the Mennonite Girls have the recipe for the old style hard pfeffernusse? I don't require gluten free, I just would love to make the ones I remember and have had at a local Oktoberfest in Odessa WA. Thank you! Love the recipes

  4. can anyone suggest a substitute for the almond flour, as my son is allergic? thank you

    1. Ground sunflower seeds are a good replacement , or just increase the flour ingredients.

    2. I second the use of ground sunflower seeds (or pumpkin, or whatever seed of choice). I am not sure of using another kind of four because almond flour (and seed flour) is very high in protein and contributes to the structure. Plus, it gives a very nice, nutty flavour. One other alternative that might work is using pea protein powder, or whey protein powder. But they wouldn't give as nice of a flavour as ground seeds or nuts.

  5. These are delicious! They will be standard fare for Christmas at my house from now on...
    I made the spice mixture as per the instructions on the other blog. It was easy enough, though the list of ingredients is long. I had star anise, but not ground. Trying to grate it was a bit comical!
    thank you for sharing this.

    1. Glad you liked them!!! Any time the kids see these, they disappear VERY quickly, lol.
      As for the star anise, I used a coffee grinder. Quick and easy!! I imagine it must be interesting trying to grate it. :)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.