What is it?

A gingerbread cookie with frosting decor.

How is it called in German?


“Herz” is the German word for “Heart”.

Click here...

to learn how to pronounce "Lebkuchenherz"

Cultural Background Story

Gingerbread hearts decorated with colorful frosting are a specialty of the Munich gingerbread bakers.

The first written records of gingerbread-like small honey cakes date back to 350 BC. The Romans believed in the magical powers of ingredients.

However, based on the discovery of grave goods from the ancient Egyptians it is assumed that they already knew about gingerbread.

Oktoberfest Lebkuchenherz

Oktoberfest Gingerbread Heart

Whether as a declaration of love, a cheeky teasing or simply as a souvenir, gingerbread hearts are a traditional must at the Oktoberfest.

Scroll down to get some ideas for your Oktoberfest heart saying from our example list with translations.

Behind the Scenes Video – Oktoberfest Hearts

At the Munich Oktoberfest you can order personalized, delicious gingerbread hearts!

Gingerbread Heart Template

You can easily download the printables with a right mouse click to your computer and print them at your home printer or at a copy shop.

Heart Shape 2
Heart Shape 2
Heart Shape 2


oktoberfest gingerbread heart recipe

Oktoberfest Gingerbread Hearts

Angela Schofield
4.1 from 11 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Wait Time: 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 25 mins
Course Cookies
Cuisine German
Servings 4 - 6 hearts


  • 14 tbsp. butter
  • 25 oz. honey
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp. gingerbread spice
  • 8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 eggs


  • Add butter, honey, sugar, cocoa powder. salt and gingerbread spice to a sauce pan.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and pour in a large bowl.
  • Let cool to room temperature.
  • Add flour, baking powder and eggs to the bowl with the honey mixture and knead to a smooth dough.
  • Shape dough into a loaf and wrap with plastic cling.
  • Let rest at room temperature for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness.
  • Use template to cut heart shaped cookies.
  • To hang hearts with a ribbon, create two holes about 3/4-inch below the rim of the cookie with a chop stick before you bake them.
  • Place the hearts on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake 10-15 minutes.
  • Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet.
  • They will harden as they cool.
  • Decorate the hearts with tinted royal icing of your choice.


Use the same dough recipe to make wonderful gingerbread cookies for Christmas.

Oktoberfest Herzen Icing Sayings

When you visit the original Oktoberfest in Munich, you will notice a lot of people wearing a large gingerbread heart on ribbons around their necks. It is tradition to buy your sweetheart one of these tasty cookies and wear it while strolling the fair. All gingerbread hearts are decorated with a message.

List of popular Oktoberfest gingerbread heart messages, along with their English translation:


  • Oktoberfest 2019
  • Grüße vom Oktoberfest – Greetings from the Oktoberfest
  • O´zapft is – It´s tapped! (The first day when the Oktoberfest opens, the Mayor of Munich officially taps the first keg of beer and declares “O’zapft is“)
  • Bier – Beer

Love & Friendship

  • I  mog di! – I am fond of you! in Bavarian
  • Küss mich! – Kiss me!
  • Ich liebe dich! – I love you!

For Him:

  • Lausbub – Little rascal
  • Fescher Bua – Handsome guy in Bavarian
  • Wilder Bua – Literally translated a wild guy in Bavarian, used like “naughty boy”
  • Schlawiner – Rogue in Bavarian
  • Platzhirsch – Literally translated “dominant stag (deer)” used like “alpha male” or “top dog”

For Her:

  • Herzerl (Bavarian) or Herzilein (German) – My dear
  • Schnuckelputzi – Darling
  • Mausi – Literally translated little mouse, used in German like “honey”
  • Zuckerpuppe – Literally translated “sugar doll”, used in German like “doll”
  • Schatzi or Schatz – Treasure
  • Liebling – Darling
  • Wiesn Luder – “Wiesn” is the location where the Oktoberfest is situated, and a “Luder” is a “bitch”
  • Engerl (Bavarian) or Engel (German) – Angel
  • Wiesn Prinzessin – Wiesn Princess