Sourdough Pfeffernüsse cookies—the REAL™ Flavor of Christmas

Sourdough Pfeffernüsse cookies—the REAL™ Flavor of Christmas


  • 2½ heaping cups [330g] all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup [120g] discard (or active sourdough starter)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp white or black pepper (optional)
  • ½  tsp [3g] baking soda
  • ¼  tsp [1.5g] salt
  • ½ cup [113g] salted butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup [150g] packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup [85g] molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients  (flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and pepper [if using]).
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the molasses, starter, milk, and egg until well combined.
  3. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. 
  4. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or if desired allow the dough to ferment 8-12 hours to mitigate gluten and deepen flavors).
  5. Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until firm.
  8. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Dip the cookies in the glaze, or roll them in powdered sugar if desired. Let them cool completely before storing.


Today, Pfeffernüsse are enjoyed during the winter holiday season, often paired with coffee, tea, or warm mulled wine. They are also a popular addition to cookie platters and gift baskets. Their small size and long shelf life make them ideal for sharing and savoring throughout the festive season.

So, while the exact origins of Pfeffernüsse cookies may be shrouded in mystery, their deliciousness and enduring popularity are undeniable. They are a delightful reminder of the culinary traditions that bring people together during the holidays and a testament to the enduring power of a good cookie recipe.


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.