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Honey Cookies

Delicious Honey Cookies or Medovniky as we call them in Slovakia are popular all year round. Honey Cookies are gingerbread style cookies, flavored with sweet honey and delicious spices.

Updated post from 2011.


This recipe produces mellow and smooth flavor. Cookies are wonderful to eat plain or iced with royal icing. Enjoy them with tea, coffee or hot chocolate.

How to make Honey Cookies  Medovnicky


  • All Purpose Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Spices : cinnamon (I prefer Saigon), star anise, cloves, ginger
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Honey
  • Vanilla
  • Lemon Zest (optional)


Honey Cookies are spiced cookies. I carefully selected 4 spices that I like and fine tuned their ratios to my liking.

In my recipe I use ground cinnamon, star anise, cloves and ginger. You can also use white pepper and allspice if you’d like.


I like using ground Saigon cinnamon in both sweet and savory dishes. It’s sweet and lends such a nice flavor and aroma to baked treats. And I also use it in my Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Bean Glaze and my favorite Gingersnap Cookies.


Star Anise is a wonderfully aromatic spice with licorice like aroma. Its star shaped pods are so beautiful and can also be used as decoration. Not all grocery store carry this spice. Look for it at Chinese, Russian, Polish markets. Or order it online.

I always buy it whole or broken up but never ground. I prefer ground it myself as ground star anise loosed much of its pungent, characteristic flavor fairly quickly. And since it’s not something I used daily I always ground it fresh.


Use only listed amount of cloves in this recipe. Cloves can overpower other flavors.


In this recipe I only use 1/8 to 1/4 tsp ground ginger. You can use more if you prefer spicier cookies.


Sift together flour, spices, baking soda and salt.

Cream room temperature butter and powdered sugar for about 2 minutes. Then add eggs. One egg at at a time. Beating well and scrapping the bowl as needed. Pour and beat in honey.

Lastly, turn the mixer to low speed and gradually in about 3 additions beat in flour mix.

Scrape out the dough into a bowl you had the flour in and gather it together with your hands. Knead it for 30 seconds to shape a ball. If it it’s too sticky dust 1 tablespoon over it and knead it it.

Flat the dough into a disk. Wrap it into a plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.


Roll out cookie dough on a lightly floured surface to 2/16 (3mm) inch to 3/16 (5mm) inches thick. Use rolling guides for even thickness.


Use rolling guides on each side of the cookie dough. Place rolling pin on top of the guides and roll out the dough. I used bamboo skewers (2/16 inch/3mm) thick to roll the cookie dough with even thickness throughout.

Cut out cookies with a cookie cutter and transfer them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake cookies in the preheated oven at 360F for 6-8 minutes, until tan in color, puffy and no longer shiny in the center. Longer cookies will take longer to bake. Let them cool for 5 minutes on a baking sheet. Transfer cookies onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely before storing or decorating.

Honey cookies stored in an airtight container.


Cookies stored in an airtight container last for up to 4 weeks.

Baked honey cookies.


Notice a difference between the image above and below. Shiny cookies were brushed with egg wash right after baked. Some baked brush them before they bakes cookies some do right after. Brushing honey cookies with an egg wash or glaze is an optional step. It’s not necessary. I often skip this step.

Prepare egg wash before hand. Whisk one egg well with a fork or small whisk. Strain it through a fine mess sieve and set aside. You can also color egg wash with food coloring if desired. Usually red color is adding or brown.

Right after you take cookies out of the oven and while they are still hot brush them with egg wash. Avoid brushing too much egg wash on hot cookies. This can cause egg wash to drip and puddle at the base of the cookies. At this point baking sheet is still hot. Too much egg on a hot baking sheet and you’ve got yourself scrambled eggs.

Cookies brushed with an egg wash stay shiny. If you plan on decorating a whole cookie with royal icing there really is no need to brush them with egg wash.


Honey Gingerbread Cookies are traditionally decorated with Royal Icing.


Gingerbread People Table Setting Cookies

3D Easter Basket Cookies

Basket Weave Easter Egg Cookie filled with candies

Honey cookies are especially beautiful decorated with white royal icing.

Cookie dough can also be used to create variety of 3D designs like these 3D Cookie Rings and Gingerbread House and other seasonal centerpieces.

How to decorate beautiful Easter Gingerbread House

Cute Bear Cookies

Marie Antoinette Dress Cookies


  • Find all tools in my amazon shop
  • Baking Sheet
  • Hand Held or Stand Mixer
  • Star Anise
  • Parchment Paper
  • Pastry Brush – if using egg wash
  • Cookie Cutters


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Honey cookies decorated with white icing, displayed on a kitchen counter.
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5 from 1 vote

Honey Cookies

Makes about 24 medium size cookies. Popular for holidays and year-round. 
Makes 1 standard-size gingerbread house, ( about 6-inch tall, 5-inch long, 5.5-inch wide)
This recipe can also be used to make delicious edible gingerbread houses. Check notes.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Slovak
Keyword edible dough for gingerbread houses, gingerbread, honey cookies, medovnicky
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Chill 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 18 minutes
Servings 12
Author Hani Bacova



    Cookie Dough

    • 5 tbsp room temperature butter (70grams)
    • 1⅓ grams powdered sugar (160 grams)
    • 3 tbsp honey
    • 2 whole eggs at room temperature
    • 2¾ to 3 cups all-purpose flour (400 grams)
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp baking soda (use only 1/8 to 1/4tsp when making an edible gingerbread house)
    • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon preferably Saigon
    • 1/2 tsp ground star anise (optional)
    • 1/4 tsp ginger
    • 1/4 tsp cloves
    • pinch salt
    • 2 tsp lemon zest (optional)

    Egg Wash

    • 1 egg (optional)


    Honey Cookie Dough

    • In a medium bowl, sift flour (2 cups and 3/4cup to 3 cups, 400grams), baking soda (1tsp), ground cinnamon (1tsp and 1/2tsp), ground star anise (1/2tsp), ginger (1/4tsp), cloves (1/4tsp), salt (pinch).
    • Cream room temperature butter (5tbsp, 70grams) and powdered sugar (1cup and 1/3cup, 160 grams). Beat till fluffy. Then beat in eggs (2 whole eggs), one at a time. Scrapping bowl a few times. Then gradually pour in honey (3 tablespoons), vanilla extract (1tsp), and lemon zest (2 teaspoons), optional). Scrape the bowl with a spatula and beat for a minute or so.
    • Then on low speed and gradually add flour sifted with spices and baking soda. Beat till combined. Invert the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute. If the dough appears too sticky add a little more flour. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
    • Preheat oven to 350F – 360F (176C-182C).
    • Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper or perforated mat.
    • Roll the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper to 2/16 (3mm). If needed very lightly flour your bottom parchment paper. Roll the dough into approximately 3-4 mm thick. Cookies puff up in the oven. For even thickness use rolling guides.
    • Cut out cookies and transfer onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
    • Bake cookies for 6-8 minutes until puffy and golden.
      Larger cookies may take a little longer to bake
      Try to bake smaller shapes and larger shapes separately, smaller shapes will be baked before larger ones. Remove from the oven, let cool for a couple minutes on the baking sheet, and then transfer to a cooling rack

    Egg Wash (optional, use for shiny cookies)

    • Whisk the egg well, and then strain the egg to remove any egg bits.

    Applying Egg Wash

    • To create a shiny finish on cookies, brush the cookies right after you take them out of the oven while they are still hot. Be sure not to add too much egg wash as it can drip down the sides and under the cookies.

    Gingerbread House

    • This recipe can be use to make tasty gingerbread houses. When using to make gingerbread house use only 1/8 tsp to 1/4 tsp baking powder.

    Bake Gingerbread House Panels

    • Roll the cookie dough for gingerbread houses to 1/8 inch (3mm) to 4mm. Bake large gingerbread house panels for 10-14 minutes, or until golden and light brown. Smaller cookies take shorter time to bake. Let panels cool on a baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.


    • DO I HAVE TO USE STAR ANISE? I DON’T HAVE IT. – I love using star anise, but if you don’t have it or can’t find it’s okay to skip it. The flavor of the finished cookies will still be delicious because of the other spices used.
    • HOW DO YOU GRIND SPICES? -I use a small coffee grinder. Then I sift ground spices thru a fine mesh sieve.
    • HOW LONG DO HONEY GINGERBREAD COOKIES LAST? – Stored in an airtight container, they last up to 4 weeks.
    • HOW WOULD YOU DECORATE THESE WITHOUT ICING? –Decorate cookies before baking with walnuts, pecans, almonds, pumpkin seeds, chocolate chips, coconut, or dried fruit. Brush a little egg wash on the cookies before they are baked, and then embellish them with toppings. Or brush cookies with a little bit of water instead.
    • I WANT TO DECORATE THESE COOKIES WITH ROYAL ICING, BUT THEY ARE SLIGHTLY DOMED, WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO DECORATE THESE WITH ROYAL ICING? – Yes, cookies bake slightly domed. They are known for their rounded edges. If you plan to decorate these with simple piped designs, having the dough exposed, decorate the rounded top. Especially if you brushed it with an egg wash, it looks very pretty. However, when decorating a whole cookie with icing you have to be careful not to add too much icing onto the cookie, or it can overflow. The best course of action is to decorate the underside as it’s flat. I used this method to make my Easter Gingerbread House. Or use slightly thicker icing to outline and flood with the thinner icing.
    • WHAT ICING FLAVORS DO YOU RECOMMEND? -Lemon, Vanilla, Almond, Chocolate.
    • CAN I USE THIS RECIPE TO MAKE A GINGERBREAD HOUSE? – Yes, absolutely. You are going to love it. You can use this recipe to make a gingerbread house. Use 1/8 tsp to 1/4 tsp baking soda instead of 1 tsp. Here is Step by Step Tutorial on how to build a Simple Edible Gingerbread House using this recipe. 
    • CAN I USE MOLASSES? – I’d recommend using honey and molasses (1:1 ratio).

    This post was originally published on January 12th, 2011. On October 20th I updated this post with new photos and written text.

    This post containsThis post contains Amazon affiliate links that earn me a small commission, at no cost to you. I only recommend products that I use and love. Learn more about my affiliate policy here.

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    1. The honey cookies with star anise are the best I’ve made. I’ve tried baking a number of different cookies but these top them all and everyone that eats them loves them! Thank so much for the recipe!

    2. Hello Hani,
      I can’t wait to try this recipe for a gingerbread house with my kids! I married into a Slovak family and hope I do this justice. Your tutorial makes it look easy.
      A question I have is, when substituting allspice & white pepper for your spice mixture, what are the ratios?

    3. Hello! I love your cookie designs! I’d like to know, can I make this dough with brown sugar instead of the powdered sugar?
      Thanks for the recipes!

      1. Hello Adriana,
        honey cookies last 3-4 weeks no problem. I store them in an airtight container. Thank you so much.

    4. I often use honey for many sweet dishes as its very healthy for us. Thanks dear for one more dish adding to my list.
      gulab jamun recipe in hindi

    5. Stumbled across your blog by chance…Really glad I did coz your work is simply superb! There's just no words to describe how wonderful your goodies are…Love it so much! You got yourself a fan here 😉

    6. Hola Hanniela!
      Te felicito, si antes hacías unas galletas hermosas, ahora estas son ESPECTACULARES.
      Gracias por agregar el video que es tan útil.
      Me faltan palabras para decirte WWWOOOWWWW.

    7. Your cookies all look amazing. I have blackberry honey I've been meaning to open, I may just have to crack it open and make some of these cookies, wonder if the decorating talent will come with the recipe 🙂 he he he. You do such a great job!

    8. Thank you very much for posting this! I had read on Pam's blog about your use of honey cookies, and I didn't know what you meant and planned to write to you, but now you posted the answer! Plus, so much more, so much excellent information. I really appreciate it!

    9. There aren't even words for how amazing those white heart cookies are. Your piping and design and detail are just phenomenal. I can't even imagine ever considering making something as intricate and beautiful as ONE of those cookies….much less all of them. WOW!

    10. These cookies look amazing! I love the decorations 🙂 I have bookmarked your blog and now I am finally following it. Thanks so much for the gorgeous photos.

    11. Sue, that is wonderful. I love Honey, and there are so many varieties, I have to snap a picture when I go to a local Russian store, they have the largest honey selection I've seen, I don't think I've seen avocado honey though, that really sounds interesting.
      Let me know how you like these.

    12. What a great way to start the day…looking at your gorgeous cookies! I love the perfume cookies:) My husband loves honey and has been buying all sorts lately(and even reading a book about it): Tupelo honey, avocado honey, etc. I'll definitely be trying this recipe!

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