Pepparkakor – pepper cookies

These spiced Swedish cookies, also known as pepparkakor, are a great Christmas bake to make with your children. You can use a skewer to pierce a hole in the top of each one before you bake them then use them to decorate your Christmas tree, if desired. This recipe is taken from Scandinavian Christmas by Trine Hahnemann, published by Quadrille. Images by Lars Ranek.

First published in 2018
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Fun for children to make, these 'pepparkakor' can be decorated with icing in many colours. Hang as decorations, or just eat them!




Cookie dough


  • 300g of icing sugar
  • food colouring, your choice of colours


  • Rolling pin
  • Festive cutters


Mix the golden syrup, sugar, spices and butter in a large mixing bowl, beating until soft and smooth. Add the cream and mix again
Sift together the bicarbonate of soda and flour, mix into the butter mixture. On a floured work surface knead the dough, then wrap in cling film and refrigerate overnight
  • 750g of plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 200°C/ gas mark 6
Roll out the dough really thinly on a floured surface and cut out with cookie cutters, using different shapes and sizes
Place on baking trays lined with baking parchment and bake for about 8 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack
Divide the icing sugar between small bowls, and add different food colours, add water a little at a time, until the icing is smooth. When the cookies are cold, decorate with the icing
  • 300g of icing sugar
  • food colouring, your choice of colours
First published in 2018
share recipe:

Trine Hahnemann is a well-known chef and food writer, specialising in Danish food and food culture.

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