This is NOT Gingerbread! How to Make Latvian Pepper Cookies

Pepper cookies are a Christmas staple in my home country. But they are equally popular in other Baltic states and Scandinavia. Even though they look like gingerbread cookies – they are not. There is no ginger in this recipe.

As the name suggests they contain pepper. The black pepper gives them a bit of a kick, but it is the other spices that really make this recipe come alive. Heavy on cloves and cardamom which make them super fragrant. Cinnamon is also included and to tie it all together and give a slightly earthy flavour there is ground coriander.

An unusual spice combination some may say, but that is what makes them unique, and it really works. Try it and you may just love it!

This recipe makes around 30 regular sized cookies.

Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.


For the dough

125g (4.4oz) honey

125g (4.4oz) butter

100g (3.5oz) soft brown sugar

1 egg

350g (12.4oz) white bread flour

5g (0.17oz) baking soda


For the spice mix –

4g (0.14oz) ground cloves

4g (0.14oz) ground black pepper

4g (0.14oz) ground cinnamon

4g (0.14oz) ground cardamom

4g (0.14oz) ground coriander

You can adjust the spices to your taste. Cardamom is the dominant flavour in this mix. Use less if you are not a big fan of it.


For the icing –

150g (5.3oz) icing sugar, sifted

30g (1.05oz) egg white


  1. Combine the butter, honey, sugar, and spices in a pan. Melt the mix on medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Pour in a bowl and leave to cool down for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the egg and mix well. Add the flour and baking powder and mix until there is no dry flour left. The dough will be soft and runny. That is normal.
  4. Divide in 2 and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate until completely cooled down and set hard. This will take no less than 2 hours.
  5. Roll the dough out. The thickness is up to you. A thicker cookie will be softer. A thinner cookie will be crispier.
  6. Cut out the cookies and place on a non-stick paper lined baking tray. You can leave them in the fridge for later or bake them right away.
  7. Bake at 200C (392F) fan off for 7 minutes.
  8. Leave to cool down completely.
  9. Make the icing. Whip the egg whites until frothy. Add the icing sugar and mix until smooth. If the mix is too loose, add 20g (0.7oz) more icing sugar. Transfer the icing to a piping bag.
  10. Decorate the cookies and enjoy!



Watch the video here

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