Pebernødder (Danish Peppernuts Cookies)


Christmas lights are beginning to pop up around Bergen, so this morning I decided I can start Christmas baking! I eased in with a simple Scandinavian classic: Danish pebernødder (peppernøtter in Norwegian and pepparnötter in Swedish). Pebernødder are tiny little ginger snap cookies spiced with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and pepper. I also like to add a bit of orange zest to mine.

Pebernødder are one of the most traditional Christmas cookies in Denmark, they’re easy to make, and I love that they’re so tiny that you can enjoy several at a time.

Danish Pebernødder cookies

This recipe makes about a hundred peppernuts, which might sound like a lot, but they’re so tiny they’ll disappear surprisingly quickly. In fact, if you’re making this for your family you might want to double the recipe.

zesting an orange

Orange zest is optional in peppernuts, but I think the citrus pairs really nicely with the warm spices in these cookies. I’ve also seen people use lemon zest in their pebernødder.

dry ingredients for pebernødder

Different families will have their own pebernødder recipe, and you’ll see slight variations in the spices used – so feel free to experiment a little yourself! If you really love cloves you could increase the amount, or if you hate cardamom you can leave it out. I think these are pretty hard to mess up, so you can have a bit of fun making the dough.

cutting pebernødder peppernuts cookies

Try not to over work the pebernødder dough. I mix all the ingredients in a large bowl with a wooden spoon, and then at the very end I use my hands to gather the dough together into a large ball. I don’t knead the dough very much, but instead I just press together until it’s all combined. Then roll out the dough into long sausages about as thick as your index finger, and slice 1 cm (1/2 inch) slices.

Some people don’t bother rolling the slices into balls, but I think the prettiest peppernut cookies are round so I always roll them into balls.

rolling peppernut cookies

The peppernuts puff up a tiny bit in the oven, but they don’t spread too much so you can place them fairly close together on the baking sheet.

Pebernødder lined up on a baking sheet

Bake the peppernuts for about 8 – 10 minutes. Bake for less time for softer peppernuts and longer for crunchy peppernuts (I bake mine for 8 minutes so they are crispy on the outside but still a bit soft in the center).

peppernøtter ginger cookies

You can switch the recipe from US measurements to metric by clicking from “US Customary” to “Metric” under Ingredients.

Pebernødder (Danish Peppernuts Cookies)

Pebernødder (Danish Peppernuts Cookies)

Pebernødder are tiny Danish ginger snap cookies spiced with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and pepper popular throughout Scandinavia during Christmas.
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Danish, Norwegian, Swedish
Keyword: cardamom, Christmas, cinnamon, cookies, ginger
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 100 cookies
Author: Silvia


  • 9 tbsp butter (room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp orange zest


  • Preheat oven to 390°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  • Beat the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Add the cream and stir until light and fluffy.
  • In a separate bowl, stir together the rest of the ingredients.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, stirring first with a spoon before gathering the dough together in a ball with your hands.
  • Roll the dough into long sausages about as thick as your index finger and then cut 1 cm (1/2) slices. Roll each slice into a ball and place on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, until the bottoms are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!



  • Elisa

    December 18, 2023 at 11:25 am

    5 stars
    This were so easy but delicious! I skipped the orange zest.

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