"Nürnberger Lebkuchen" are just one of many types of German gingerbread. They have been baked in the city of Nürnberg since 1395 by the local monks. The spices had to be imported for all Lebkuchen, so cities with strong trading partners had an advantage over small, agricultural villages when creating new types of Lebkuchen. Nürnberg also had good honey production and this gave them an edge up in commercial production of their Lebkuchen, which began in the 14th century. In 1643, the city even created the "League of Lebkuchen Bakers".
"Oblaten Lebkuchen" are baked on a thin wafer to keep the soft cookie from sticking to the cookie sheet. "Nürnberger Elisen Lebkuchen", considered the finest kind of Oblaten Lebkuchen, must have a minimum 25% nuts and less than 10% flour by weight. Sometimes, the recipe includes marzipan. These are soft, moist drop cookies.
Other types of Lebkuchen are made with a stiff dough which starts with a honey or sugar syrup and are rolled and baked. White Lebkuchen are decorated with almonds and candied orange or lemon peel. Lebkuchen is often referred to as "Pfefferkuchen".