These cakes, inspired by traditional Bavarian Christmas cakes, “Elisenkuchen” (named after St. Elisabeth, the Catholic patron saint of bakers) are grain/gluten-free, dairy-free and yeast-free.

In addition to all their “free-froms,” they contain lots of nutritious ingredients, such as omega-3-rich walnuts; hazelnuts and almonds packed with antioxidants; citrus peel with its multiple health benefits; and polyphenol-rich chocolate.

Oh, and they’re low in carbs, too, clocking in at a mere 9 g net carbohydrate per cake (and even less if you use a keto sweetener like allulose or monk fruit sweetener).

They are, of course, quite filling, but since they are so satisfying, just one cake – enjoyed in the afternoon with a cozy cup of tea – will go a long way.

Elisenlebkuchen (German gingerbread)

Keyword: Dairy-Free, Desserts & Treats, Gluten-Free, Low-Carb
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 20 cakes
Calories: 175kcal
A deliciously fragrant German Christmas specialty.
Print Recipe


  • 1 cup almonds raw
  • 1 cup hazelnuts raw or roasted
  • 1 cup walnuts raw
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 oz sugar or a keto sweetener like allulose or monk fruit sweetener
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • tsp pumpkin pie spice mix to make authentically German gingerbread spice blend, click here
  • ½ tsp lemon zest (from an untreated lemon) finely grated
  • ½ tsp orange zest (from an untreated orange) finely grated
  • 5-6 drops natural almond extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 oz dark chocolate chips I use Lily’s sugar-free chocolate chips
  • smidgen soft butter to grease the baking parchment


  • Place all the nuts nuts in a food processor and grind until you obtain a fine powder. Set aside.
  • Place eggs and sugar/keto sweetener (whichever using) in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk until pale and frothy (3-4 minutes). Add spices and citrus zest and combine. Fold in the ground and baking powder and stir well to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes to firm up.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Rub a thin film of soft butter onto the parchment (these cookies tend to stick to some types of parchment).
  • Place heaping tablespoonfuls of dough on the baking sheets, leaving about ½ inch distance between each cake. Smooth their surfaces with the back of a lightly moistened spoon. Bake at the center of the oven for 12-15 minutes until risen and lightly golden.
  • Remove the baking sheets from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before lifting the cakes off with a spatula and setting them on a wire tray to cool completely.
  • Place ⅔ of the chocolate chips in a microwave proof bowl and heat on 50% power for one minute. Stir and heat for another minute on 50%. Stir again; if the chips haven’t melted, heat for another 30 seconds at 50% power. Now add the remaining chips to the warm chocolate and stir until they have melted. (This is to temper the chocolate so it stays nice and shiny once it's been brushed onto the cakes.)
  • With a pastry brush, cover the cakes with a thin layer of chocolate and cool on a wire rack (or drizzle chocolate onto the cakes by letting it drip off a teaspoon. If desired, decorate with almond slivers.
  • These cakes keep about two weeks in an airtight container at room temperature. They are meant to be soft and moist rather than crisp and dry,, like cookies.


Calories: 175kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 37mg | Potassium: 164mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 1mg