17 In Christmas/ Desserts/ Recipes/ Snacks/ Vegan/ Vegetarian

Paleo Pfeffernussen

I absolutely adore Pfeffernussen (pronounced ‘feffer-new-sen‘) at Christmas. They’re just such a yummy little spicy snack and perfect with a big mug of warm milk for those super cold nights in with your fave fluffy socks and big jumpers. They’re like a hug in a bite!

For those of you that don’t know what Pfeffernussen are, they are small German cookies that taste somewhat like a spiced gingerbread with a heavily peppery taste that is just to die for! They have a sort of hard exterior that has been coated with icing sugar and a softer interior.

The words ‘Pfeffer’ & ‘nussen’ literally translate to ‘Pepper nuts’.

These Paleo Pfeffernussenย are so simple to make that you can do this with your little ones in a mixing bowl rather than with a food processor. They’ll love rolling them into balls before baking and then later dusting them with the icing sugar. Perfect!

Makes: 26 Paleo Pfeffernussen

Preparation Time: 10-15 minutes

Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes

Please note that all cup measurements used are British cups and equivalent to 250ml.


1 cup/125g Sukrin Almond Flour
1.5 cups/225g tapioca flour
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
125g raw unsalted grass-fed butter (use 75g coconut oil for Vegan option)
1 cup/150g coconut sugar
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1 free-range egg (Vegans can substitute for a flax/chia egg replacer 1 tbsp: 3 tbsp water leave to ‘gel’ for 5 minutes)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper
1/2 cup Paleo Fragrant Spiced Faux Icing Sugar (for dusting)


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients except for the Paleo Faux Icing Sugar into a food processor and process until the mixture comes together into a ball.
  3. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
  4. Using a tablespoon measure scoop a level scoop of dough and roll into a ball. Place the dough balls on the baking sheet 1.5-2″ away from each other to prevent them from sticking together. They don’t rise too much so don’t worry! You’ll be able to split the balls into two batches of 13.
  5. Cook for around 10-15 minutes or until the Pfeffernussen are fairly firm to the touch, golden brown and have cracks running through them.
  6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5-10 minutes until lukewarm to the touch. The warmth will help the icing sugar to cling all over to the Pfeffernussen.
  7. Place your Paleo Faux Icing Sugar into a deep container or bowl and toss the Pfeffernussen around individually until fully coated.
  8. Leave to cool on a wire rack completely.
  9. Enjoy!!!


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  • Reply
    Sharon Clews (@redspringsmedia)
    26th November 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Oh Georgie, myUnhusband is going to love you! I on the other hand will be spending all of my time cooking these FABULOUS recipes!! Thanks, they are brilliant!

    • Reply
      26th November 2014 at 12:55 pm

      Your unhusband?! Ha I love it! Thank you so much ๐Ÿ™‚ you’ll have to send me some lovely pictures once you’re done baking it all!

  • Reply
    5th September 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Woot! I was perusing pintrest and discovered these! My mom use to make these when we were younger. When the entire family (2 grandparents, 6 “kids”, 8 grandkids) went paleo we had to give up a lot a holiday goodies. On behalf of all of us Thank You! Can’t wait to get started!

    • Reply
      7th September 2015 at 10:17 am

      Oh wow! Yes! I love hearing things like this! I hadn’t bothered making anything Paleo for Christmas and would just eat junk or nothing at all. Last year when I started my blog I realised that there weren’t many Christmas recipes around and especially not the sort of things I grew up with like Pfeffernussen and Lebkuchen which to me are pretty much Christmas staples ha! Thank you so much for your uplifting message it has made my morning! And do let me know how everything turns out when you make it <3

  • Reply
    20th December 2015 at 10:18 am

    Hi!! Just made these and they taste amazing! only thing is they came out as flat cookies and not balls.. any idea where I might have gone wrong?

    • Reply
      20th December 2015 at 10:36 am

      Oh my goodness Larissa thank you for letting me know – I’ve missed out 1/2 tsp of baking powder from my recipe I am so so sorry! Xx

  • Reply
    20th December 2015 at 11:26 am

    the cookies still taste amazing, we’re about a third way through the batch already, oops!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      20th December 2015 at 11:31 am

      I’m so embarrassed right now ha! Really glad that you’re enjoying them though they are my fave! So tasty

    • Reply
      22nd December 2015 at 7:32 pm

      So I have made these with the baking powder and it definitely shouldn’t be in there

  • Reply
    21st December 2015 at 10:13 pm

    Ok, so these taste great, but I made the first batch as originally posted (without the baking powder), and now I’ve made the second batch with the baking powder, and they STILL melted out into flat discs. The batter for the cookies is WAY too soft to be rolled into balls. It’s the same consistency of pancake batter. Has something else been left out?

    • Reply
      21st December 2015 at 10:18 pm

      Hi Corrinne, thank you ever so much for your comment. I am really sorry to hear that you are having problems with this recipe. Are you using British cups? British cups are 250ml. That’s the only thing I can think might be the problem if you’re from US/Australia?! As your cup sizes will differ. I am making a batch of these tomorrow so I shall let you know if I personally have any problems but I don’t think I will as I haven’t changed the recipe myself from last year. Once again thank you for bringing this to my attention. Georgie xx

      • Reply
        21st December 2015 at 10:35 pm

        Yes, I am in America and using American cups. I did not know that cup sizes differ from country to country.

        • Reply
          21st December 2015 at 10:39 pm

          Hi Corrinne, I think I need to go through all of my blog posts with a little disclaimer! I’m really sorry that this has caused problems for you. I will take a look at the recipe tomorrow and try and translate it into grams/mls if I get the chance to. Once again all I can do is apologise for the mishap! This is one of my earliest blog posts from when I first started so I am still learning and appreciate all feedback. Have lovely Christmas. Georgie xx

          • Corrinne
            21st December 2015 at 11:48 pm

            That’s fine. They DO taste great. I suppose you could do anything in “cups” by weight, in grams or something. Thanks!

          • greensofthestoneage
            22nd December 2015 at 3:24 pm

            Well I’m relieved that they still taste good! I’ve converted the cups into grams – I even linked to the specific almond flour that I use. I’ve just made my dough up now and it’s very firm and certainly something that you can roll into a ball. I am guessing that it’s definitely to do with the discrepancies between British and US cups! Once again thanks for letting me know and have a lovely Christmas ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    2nd October 2016 at 7:30 pm

    These came out flat for me as well. The ingredients that had grams indicated were weighed, not scooped. I wonder if it has to do with using the flax meal egg replacer? They’re still tasty!

    • Reply
      28th October 2016 at 4:38 pm

      Hey there! So sorry for the awfully late reply! I have tried this recipe quite a few times without any problems but I haven’t personally used the flax egg. I’ll have to give the recipe another blast and see where things are going wrong. I wonder if it is to do with oven temperature even? Pffernussen aren’t supposed to be particularly puffy but certainly not flat anyway. So sorry! I’m glad you still enjoyed the taste though x

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