Normennenes Recipe Book 

Marit's Pepperkaker — gingerbread cookie
Contributed by Marit C. – 2014
Pepperkaker (English: pepper cakes), also known as ginger snaps), “...are thin, very brittle cookies or biscuits that are particularly associated with the extended Christmas period. In Norway and Sweden, pepperkaker are also used as window decorations, the pepperkaker are then a little thicker than usual and decorated with glaze and candy. Many families bake pepperkaker as a tradition with their kids.

“During the 13th century, Gingerbread was brought to Sweden by German immigrants. Early references from the Vadstena Abbey show how the Swedish nuns were baking gingerbread to ease indigestion in 1444. It was the custom to bake white biscuits and paint them as window decorations.

“Notes have been discovered dating back to 1444 describing how the nuns in Vadstena, Sweden, baked and ate spiced ginger thins to help their digestion. At that time, pepper, cardamom, aniseed, fennel, cedar oil, lemon and pomegranate peels were also ingredients in the dough, in addition to the traditional ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. During the Middle Ages, the dough was sweetened with honey rather than sugar.”


  1. ½ lb (2sticks) butter or margarine
  2. 1 ½ cups sugar
  3. 2 tbl syrup
  4. 2tsp baking soda (not baking powder)
  5. 1 egg
  6. 3 cups flour
  7. 3 tsp cinnamon
  8. 3 tsp ginger
  9. 1 ½ cloves
  10. ½ cardamon (optional)
  1. Add first 5 ingredients, in order, and mix.
  2. Sift dry ingredients together and add to above mix.
  3. Roll thin on pastry cloth with pastry cloth rolling pin
    just roll (not so thin) on sugar-coated surface with sheet of waxed paper over dough.
  4. Cut in shapes of hearts, diamonds, stars or designs for the season.
  5. Bake 10–15 minutes at 325℉.