A suggestion from Josh Avanier prompted me to try and make lembas, the elven waybread from The Lord of the Rings.

It’s difficult to pin down exactly what Lembas is. My initial thought was that, given the lifespan of lembas, it’s a form of hardtack. I didn’t particularily feel like making hardtack.

However, Gimli describes it as much more plesant than Cram (which, from the sounds of it, is definitely a kind of hardtack) and the elves describe it as ‘sweet’. Given this, as well as the description of it being golden outside and cream inside, I thought making some form of shortbread would be more fitting.

The recipe itself is pretty simple. I used a combination of sugar and honey for some more interesting flavour, as well as a whole lemons worth of zest. This was definitely worth it - the end result was crumbly and really delicious!

Alas, I had no mallorn leaves to wrap them in, so I made do with tin foil instead. They should keep for a couple days, if kept wrapped.

ingrediends butter, sugar, honey, flour and lemon zest

waybread dough a cut lembas, ready to be baked

baked waybread a finished lembas - “…a light brown on the outside”

crumb the crumb - “… and inside was the colour of cream”

baking time
total time


  • 500g white flour
  • 235g butter
  • 60g honey
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 1 lemon worth of zest


  1. Preheat oven to 160°C.

  2. Cut the butter into cubes and bring up to room temperature, so they are are soft and workable.

  3. Cream together the softened butter, sugar and honey in a large mixing bowl.

  4. Add the flour and combine. The dough will initially be very crumbly, so combining and compressing/kneading with your hands in the bowl can help bring it together. If the dough is refusing to come together and is too crumbly, add in a little bit of softened or melted butter.

  5. Roll the dough out to the desired thickness - about 60mm. Cut into squares, and lightly score the surface (no futher than half way through the dough) with an X.

  6. Bake the waybreads on a parchment sheet for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown on the outside.

  7. Remove from oven and let them cool on a wire wrack. Be careful at this point, before they have cooled down they are still soft, and can break apart.

  8. Wrap in mallorn leaves, and set off for Mordor with your fellowship.