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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Honingkoek (Honey Cake)

Breakfast is always a treat in Holland. The amount of cold cuts is amazing, the cheese is fabulous and the large variety of breads always makes it difficult to choose from. If you're not in the mood for bread, you can pick a beschuit, a cracker or a large slice of "breakfast cake" or ontbijtkoek.

Rye flour adds flavor and
color to peperkoek
Ontbijtkoek is a spicey cake-like bread. The enticing mix of cinnamon, ground cloves and nutmeg is the basis for a large variety of ontbijtkoeken, not all of which are solely for breakfast.  It can be sliced and eaten by itself or improved with a dab of real butter as a snack or with a cup of coffee. The texture is slightly moist and sticky. Ontbijtkoek is also known as peperkoek if it contains white pepper besides the traditional ingredients, honingkoek if it has an additional amount of honey, gemberkoek if the cake is studded with candied ginger or kandykoek when the top of the cake is covered in sugary pearls.

Today I was in the mood for honingkoek. It's an easy cake to bake, it fills the house with lovely smells and it's a perfect afternoon snack for a cold, wintery day such as today. Instead of baking a large loaf, I made two small ones. One goes in the freezer for later and one....eh...is gone already. If you wish to bake a large cake, just double the recipe but stick to one egg.

2 cups of self-rising flour (250gr)
1/2 cup of brown sugar (75 gr)
1/2 cup of honey (75 gr)
1 cup of milk (120 ml)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground aniseed
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 egg

Grease a cake pan. Preheat oven to 350F. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix until you have a smooth batter, approx. 2 minutes. Pour into the pan, bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack. Slice, butter and enjoy!
Best saved in a plastic bag at room temperature, will keep for several days.


  1. That looks really good!
    Can't wait to give it a try.

  2. My daughter-in-law made this for me a few days ago. Absolutely delicious and so easy to make!! Lekker!!!

  3. Marianne, I'm glad you liked it, it's such an easy cake to make. What a nice daughter-in-law you have! :-)


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