Delicious Baseler Leckerli: A Swiss Christmas Treat

Greetings, fellow bakers!

Do you ever crave a mouthwatering, spiced cookie that has a touch of sweetness and a delectable crunch? Are you tired of bland, store-bought cookies that lack the warmth and fragrance of home-baked goods?

Well then, I am thrilled to introduce you to the Baseler Leckerli, also known as Swiss Spice Cookies! This traditional Swiss recipe is a delightful blend of spices, honey, sugar, candied peel, and nuts that will tantalize your taste buds.

Originating in the beautiful city of Basel, Switzerland, these cookies have been a long-standing Christmas tradition for over 700 years. The recipe hasn’t changed much since then, and for good reason! The combination of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom creates a warming aroma that fills your kitchen with an inviting atmosphere.

One of the unique features of these cookies is their texture. They are traditionally made hard like biscotti but have a softer middle. So you get the best of both worlds in every delicious bite.

With my step-by-step instructions and helpful tips, you’ll be able to make these cookies with ease in no time. Your friends and family won’t be able to resist this treat once they get a whiff of their heavenly scent!

So what are you waiting for? Grab your apron and baking tools and let’s start making some Baseler Leckerli – your new favorite holiday treat!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Baseler Leckerli (Swiss Spice Cookies)
Baseler Leckerli (Swiss Spice Cookies)

Are you a fan of gingerbread or spiced biscuits? Then, you’ll absolutely adore Baseler Leckerli – the traditional Swiss spice cookie. My recipe for these hard spiced cookies has been passed down to me from my Swiss grandmother and is a real crowd-pleaser! From the moment you smell the aroma of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg wafting through your house to the moment you take a bite of one of these delicious treats, you’ll be in absolute bliss.

But what sets my Baseler Leckerli recipe apart from others is the perfect balance between sweetness and spiciness. I have found that using both honey and sugar (in equal measures) gives the cookies a soft but not overpowering sweetness. Meanwhile, the spices, including ground cardamom and cinnamon, provide just enough heat to make your taste buds tingle. Trust me; this combination will leave you wanting more!

Moreover, this recipe does not only focus on the spices themselves but also adds candied orange and lemon peel, which enriches flavor complexity. These Finely chopped citrus peels add a refreshing sourness that balances off the sweet richness of honey in every bite. Also, note that this recipe calls for hazelnut flour or ground almonds: This minor substitution brings Baseler Leckerli one step closer to creating your own masterpieces like its traditional Swiss original.

Overall, I believe that these hard spiced biscuits are perfect for Christmas or any time you get a craving for something sweet yet spicy. My Baseler Leckerli recipe is incredibly versatile so feel free to add any other ingredients you think will complement the taste like raisins or nuts. Once tried, these Swiss spice cookies will quickly become your go-to recipe for baking delicious treats with an irresistible aroma!

Ingredient List

 Sweet and spicy, these Swiss Spice Cookies are the perfect treat for any winter day.
Sweet and spicy, these Swiss Spice Cookies are the perfect treat for any winter day.

Required Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • Zest of one orange
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup each of chopped hazelnuts and almonds
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped candied orange peel
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped candied lemon peel
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Swiss honey (Note: when substituting honey, choose a mild tasting variant)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of water

These ingredients are the key to make the traditional hard spice biscuit originating from Basel, Switzerland, known as Leckerli. Ensure to have these ingredients in hand before starting the recipe.

The Recipe How-To

 A batch of these cookies is sure to fill your kitchen with a warm and welcoming aroma.
A batch of these cookies is sure to fill your kitchen with a warm and welcoming aroma.

Let me walk you through how to make these delicious Swiss Spice Cookies, also known as Baseler Leckerli. This is a traditional recipe that has been passed down for generations in Switzerland, and now I’m excited to share it with you.


Before starting, make sure you have all the ingredients at hand. You will need:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1/2 cup of candied lemon and orange peel, chopped small
  • 1/2 cup of whole almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom

Baking Instructions:

Step 1: Heat the Honey Mixture

In a pan over low heat, combine the honey and sugar. Stir in the cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Slowly heat the mixture until the sugar dissolves while stirring occasionally. Be patient while heating so as not to burn it.

Step 2: Add citruses and nuts

Add candied orange and lemon peels, almonds and hazelnuts into the honey mixture until well combined.

Step3: Mix Dry Ingredients

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cardamom (if using) until combined.

Step4: Combine Dry Ingredients with Honey Mixture

Add dry ingredients to the honey mixture and stir well until all the flour is incorporated.

Step5: Pat into Cookie Bars

Turn dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet; pat into an even thickness. The dough should be about ½-inch thick. The point isn’t to create perfect edges or corners; instead, aim for more of an abstract shape that spans as much surface area as possible but is relatively smooth on top.

Optional Step6: Decorate With Nuts

Sprinkle with additional nuts if desired.

Baking instructions prt. II:

Step7: Bake!

Preheat your oven to 350ºF (175ºC). Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cut into bars or other shapes.

Step8: Store Correctly to Keep Cookies Fresh for Longer Time

You can store these traditional hard spice cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.* You can also freeze them in an airtight container for up to three months.

Now that you know how to make these delicious Swiss Spice Cookies yourself, you’ll definitely have a hit

Substitutions and Variations

 Nothing beats a freshly baked Baseler Leckerli straight out of the oven.
Nothing beats a freshly baked Baseler Leckerli straight out of the oven.

While the Baseler Leckerli cookie recipe is a classic, there are many ways to put your own spin on this traditional Swiss treat. Here are a few suggested substitutions and variations to try:

– Honey: If you prefer a sweeter cookie, consider adding more honey or swapping out the honey for another liquid sweetener such as maple syrup, agave nectar, or golden syrup.

– Spices: The spice mixture in this recipe is what gives these cookies their distinct flavor. If you’d like to switch things up, you could add a pinch of ginger, allspice, or black pepper to the mix. You could also adjust the amounts of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and cardamom to your liking.

– Flour: Feel free to experiment with different types of flour such as whole wheat pastry flour or gluten-free flour blends to make these cookies suitable to your dietary requirements.

– Nuts and fruit peels: While the recipe calls for hazelnuts and almonds, you can use any combination of nuts that you prefer such as walnuts, pecans or cashews. And if you’re not a fan of candied peel, you could omit it altogether or substitute it with dried fruit like cranberries, cherries or raisins.

– Orange and lemon zest: If you don’t have fresh oranges or lemons on hand for zest, consider using dried versions instead. Alternatively, you could also use lime zest or grapefruit zest for a unique twist.

Whatever variations you decide to make to this Baseler Leckerli recipe, be sure to keep in mind the balance of flavors and textures to achieve the perfect blend of sweet and spicy with a crunchy edge and soft middle.

Serving and Pairing

 These cookies are beautifully decorated with an irresistible sugary glaze and colorful almonds.
These cookies are beautifully decorated with an irresistible sugary glaze and colorful almonds.

I’ve always enjoyed baseler leckerli on their own, as they have a perfect balance of sweetness and spice. They truly are an irresistible treat that can be enjoyed at any time of day.

If you’re looking to add a little something extra, try serving them with a hot cup of tea or coffee. The warmth of the drink brings out the nutty flavors and complements the spices in the cookies.

Want to take your baseler leckerli to the next level? Consider pairing them with a cheese board, fruit platter or even some chocolate-covered strawberries. The combination of sweet, spicy and savory flavors creates a unique taste experience that will have your taste buds dancing with joy.

If you’re looking for a festive treat, these cookies make excellent Christmas cookies. You can also shape them into cookie bars or cut them into fun shapes like stars or snowflakes for an elevated presentation.

Regardless of how you choose to serve these delightful treats, one thing is for sure – they’ll never disappoint.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Say goodbye to boring cookies and hello to the ultimate flavor explosion.
Say goodbye to boring cookies and hello to the ultimate flavor explosion.

Once you have made these delightful Baseler Leckerli, you will surely want to store them so that you can enjoy them for days to come. Luckily, these cookies have a great shelf life and hold up well over time.

One way to store your Leckerli is in an airtight container at room temperature. They will stay fresh for up to two weeks stored this way. If you plan on storing them for longer periods of time, you can store them in the fridge or freezer. Simply wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or a freezer-safe bag and put them in the freezer. You can keep them stored there for up to three months.

If you decide to freeze your cookies, it’s a good idea to reheat them before serving. Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C) and place your frozen cookies directly onto the middle rack of the oven. Bake them for about 5-7 minutes, or until they are warm and soft again.

Another great way to enjoy these Leckerli is cut into small pieces and served as toppings for your favorite ice cream or yogurt. The spicy sweetness of the cookies pairs perfectly with cool, creamy treats.

Overall, you can easily store and reheat these delicious Baseler Leckerli without sacrificing any of their flavor or texture. They are perfect for snacking on whenever you’re needing something sweet and spicy!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Warm up your heart and your taste buds with a bite of these delightful Swiss Spice Cookies.
Warm up your heart and your taste buds with a bite of these delightful Swiss Spice Cookies.

If you want to get the perfect batch of Baseler Leckerli swiss spice cookies, there are some tips that you should consider. You know, making a recipe for the first time can be frustrating and unpredictable, but with these tips, you will achieve delicious results without having to worry about making any mistakes.

The first tip is to make sure that you measure all of your ingredients carefully. It’s easy to think that you can just eyeball some of the ingredients, but this recipe requires precise measurements to get the right texture and flavor.

Secondly, when it comes to spices, it’s essential to use freshly ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves rather than pre-ground spices from your pantry. If your spices have been sitting in your pantry for too long, they may have lost their potency and flavor over time.

Another important tip is related to baking soda. It’s crucial to have the exact amount that the recipe requires – 1/2 teaspoon – because too much or too little could affect the texture and rise of your cookies.

You also need to pay attention while baking. The baking time stated in the recipe is just a guideline, so it’s important to take note of how your oven works. Check your cookies regularly and remove them once they start turning golden brown on top – this will result in a crispy exterior and a softer middle.

Lastly, proper storage is critical for maintaining freshness and preserving their texture. Once cooled completely store them in air-tight containers with parchment paper or paper towels between each layer so the cookies won’t stick together.

Follow these tips carefully, and you’ll achieve perfectly spiced Baseler leckerli swiss spice cookies that are good enough to share with friends and family during holiday seasons!


Before we wrap up this article, I’ll be answering some of the frequently asked questions about the Baseler Leckerli (Swiss Spice Cookies) recipe. With this section, we hope to answer any doubts or concerns you may have regarding the recipe and guide you in achieving perfect results every time. Read along to find out more.

What does Basler Leckerli mean?

Basler Läckerli is a delectable, hard spice biscuit that originates from Basel, Switzerland. It is a traditional treat made from a delightful blend of honey, candied peel, hazelnuts, almonds, and Kirsch. The biscuit’s name originates from the German word “Lecker,” meaning delicious, and “-li,” a diminutive suffix.

What are spice cookies made of?

For this recipe, we will need 2 and 2/3 cups (which is approximately 350 grams) of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves, and 1 cup of unsalted butter at room temperature.

What is the description of leckerli?

Get ready to add some spice to your holiday baking with a delicious batch of Leckerli cookies! These treats are a perfect blend of crunchy and chewy textures, infused with warm spices, zesty orange peel, nuts, and a hint of alcohol. The festive aroma alone will transport you straight to the Christmas season. With my step-by-step instructions, you’ll be making these delightful cookies in no time!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Baseler Leckerli recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves cookies or traditional Swiss cuisine. These hard spiced biscuits originating from Basel, Switzerland are made with honey, hazelnuts, almonds, and candied peel, giving them a unique and delicious flavor. The recipe is easy to follow and can be customized to your liking by adding different spices or substituting ingredients as needed.

Whether you enjoy them as a snack with coffee or tea or as part of your holiday spread, these cookies are sure to impress. So why not put on some music, gather your ingredients, and get baking? You won’t regret trying out this classic recipe.

Remember to keep in mind our tips for perfect results when baking the Baseler Leckerli cookies and feel free to experiment with variations and substitutions. The possibilities are endless! And for any additional questions, refer to our FAQ section for more information.

So what are you waiting for? Bake up a batch of these delicious Swiss spice cookies and savor the taste of tradition. Happy baking!

Baseler Leckerli (Swiss Spice Cookies)

Baseler Leckerli (Swiss Spice Cookies) Recipe

This recipe is posted in response to a request. It's adapted from a recipe by Otto Eckstein, executive pastry chef at the Pan Pacific Hotel in San Francisco, CA.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Swiss
Keyword: < 60 Mins, Christmas, Cookie and Brownie, Dessert, European, Kid-Friendly, Sweet, Swiss
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 60 cookies
Calories: 63.6kcal


  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup unblanched slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup candied orange peel, chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, zest of, grated


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  • Sift together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg and baking soda.
  • Combine honey, sugar and water in a small saucepan.
  • Place over low heat until the honey just melts- do not let it boil.
  • Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the dough hook.
  • Let cool slightly.
  • Add the sifted flour mixture, the almonds, orange peel and lemon zest.
  • Blend until the mixture comes together in a heavy, sticky dough, adding a spoonful or two of water if needed.
  • (The mixing can be done by hand, but it's labor intensive) Resist the urge to add more water to make the dough easier to handle; it would impair the texture of the finished cookies.
  • Spread the dough about 1/2 to 1 inch thick on the baking sheets, forming 3 rectangles, each about 8 x 9 inches.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes, until the tops turn a medium brown.
  • When the dough rectangles have baked, remove pans to a rack and immediately brush the tops with glaze.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes.
  • Cut into 1 x 3-inch bars or into diamond shapes.
  • Transfer to racks to cool completely.
  • Ice with a simple sugar glaze.
  • Store in airtight containers, placing wax paper between layers.
  • Let rest at least 1 week, preferably longer.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 1103g | Calories: 63.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 13.8g | Protein: 1.2g | Fat: 0.6g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 21.6mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 6.4g

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