Christmas Cookie Collection: Pepparkakor

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These cookies are the most traditional Christmas cookie in Sweden. They date back to the Middle Ages when spices such as cloves and pepper were rare and expensive. They were used for special occasions. It’s a spice cookie similar to other countries’ spice cookies such as Pfeffernüsse or Speculaas.


This PDF file is formatted to print the same size as Sonlight's Recipe Cards so you can easily add it to your recipe collection!



  • 4 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾  cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup golden syrup (or sub light corn syrup if you can’t find golden syrup)
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


  1. Sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger and cloves into a bowl. Whisk in the salt and pepper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until soft and creamy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the syrup and beat until combined, then add in the heavy cream and lemon juice and beat until blended.  
  4. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, one cup at a time, beating until blended.
  5. Divide dough into 4 equal sections, shaping each quarter into a ball, then flatten to form a disc. Wrap each disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours or up to 2 days. (You can also freeze up to 3 months. Let thaw to room temperature before rolling out.)
  6. When you’re ready to make the cookies, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  7. Place one dough disk on a clean, floured work surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to 1/8 to ¼-inch thickness. (Since this is a sticky dough, leave the other discs in the refrigerator until you are ready for the next batch of cookies. Otherwise the dough can stick to the rolling pin, work surface, and cookie cutters.)
  8. Using cookie cutters, cut out the cookies and place them one inch apart on the baking sheets.
  9. Bake for about 6 minutes or until golden brown. You might need to switch the baking sheets between racks midway through. You may also need to refrigerate any prepared baking sheets you cannot bake right away.
  10. Allow the cookies to cool slightly on the cookie sheet before moving them to wire racks. Let cool completely before storing them in an airtight container.

Now is a great time to begin curating recipes to develop into your own Christmas traditions. Sonlight has some simple recipe cards where you can record your favorites and create your own Christmas Cookie Collection.

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