Christmas culinary delights

The aroma of Salzburger Lebkuchen, baked apples, Christmas biscuits and fruit cake will get you into the spirit of Christmas

Discerning biscuit makers will have already started baking their favourite Christmas biscuits at the beginning of November. Many of the recipes have been handed down through the generations and are traditionally put away in tins until the first Sunday of Advent. Only when the first candle is lit on the Advent wreath can the tin be opened and the biscuits distributed amongst friends and family, accompanied by a glass of punch, glühwein or hot chocolate whilst listening to Christmas carols in the background.

Traditional Christmas Biscuits

The typical Salzburger recipes for Christmas biscuits are usually easy to prepare. Recipes have been handed down from mother to daughter for generations and these tasty treats should not be missed. Lebkuchen, a wonderfully soft gingerbread with almonds, as well as shortbread, which the little ones also help to bake. Family favourites include the Vanillekipferl, a small crunchy vanilla biscuit or the Zimtsterne, a cinnamon star. Throughout the Advent season in SalzburgerLand there are numerous bakery workshops which you can join in and get into the spirit of Christmas.


Freshly Baked Apples

The smell of freshly baked apples will get the taste buds watering. The taste of honey, nuts and warm juicy apples are a delight when the nights are long and the days short. The baked apple is a classic in SalzburgerLand and you will find this sweet delicacy at many a Christmas market. Not many ingredients are needed for this delicious recipe which will fill your home with the aromas associated with the Christmas market.

Christmas Classic: Kletzenbrot

In addition to homemade Christmas biscuits, Kletzenbrot is another SalzburgerLand classic. Made from a recipe which has been used for centuries it is somewhat like a fruit loaf. The filling is a soft juicy mixture of dried pears, raisins and nuts covered by a crispy crust. Even today, the Kletzenbrot is still a traditional Christmas gift from God parent to God child. Admittedly the preparation is a little complicated, so it is best to bake a few at a time. A fruity slice of Kletzenbrot is best served with Alpine butter!


Christmas is celebrated on December 24th in Austria and if you were to ask for a classic Christmas menu in SalzburgerLand you might be surprised what you receive. The main dish would more than likely be a strong beef broth with Frankfurter or Mettwurst (a special type of German sausage). This would be followed by a dessert called Bachlkoch, a very easy dish to prepare consisting of milk, flour, salt and butter and honey to sweeten. A filling dish, it is said that the people of the Pinzgau region say without Bachl it just simply wouldn’t be Christmas!

Salzburger Lebkuchen

Just in time for Advent, we leafed through Grandma’s cookbook and discovered a recipe for wonderfully soft, fragrant and simply delicious Salzburger Lebkuchen (Gingerbread). So, tie on your apron and head off into the kitchen.

Ingredients (for a tin):

  • 200 g walnuts
  • 100 g Aranzini
  • 100 g raisins
  • 500 g rye flour
  • 300 g brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons gingerbread spice
  • Lemon peel
  • 100 g honey
  • 4 eggs + 1 egg for coating
  • Peeled almonds and candid cherries to cover

Crush the nuts with the rolling pin. Mix all the dry ingredients together on a chopping board. Form a hollow in the middle, add the liquid honey and eggs and knead until a smooth dough is formed. Roll it out about 1 cm thick and place it on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Brush with the whisked egg, then cover with almonds and cherries. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes at 180°C. After it’s cooled down, cut into pieces and enjoy!

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