Polish Gingerbread Loaf Cake (Piernik)

Polish Gingerbread Loaf Cake (Piernik)

Polish gingerbread loaf (piernik) is a deliciously spiced easy festive bake. It’s moist, moderately sweet, comes with a simple chocolate glaze and stays fresh for days.


Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minute


  • 23 cm/ 9½” loaf pan


  • 210 grams all-purpose/plain flour
  •  teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  •  teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice or pumpkin spice, see *Notes
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa/cacao powder
  • 90 grams dark brown sugar
  • 120 grams runny honey
  • 100 grams butter
  • 100 millilitres water
  • 2 large eggs

For the topping

  • 50 grams dark chocolate chopped
  • 50 grams milk chocolate chopped
  •  teaspoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped nuts/dried fruit


  • In a saucepan combine the butter, honey, sugar and water. Heat up gently until the butter starts to melt stirring with a wooden spoon then remove from the heat and continue stirring until the butter melts completely. (You can also heat up the mixture in the microwave). Do NOT boil the mixture. Set aside to cool.

    You can leave it in the saucepan or transfer into a large mixing bowl.

  • As you wait for the wet mixture to cool prepare the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, spices and cocoa.

    Meanwhile preheat the oven to 325F/ 170 C/gas mark 3. Lightly grease a 23 cm/9.5” loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Set aside

  • Once the wet mixture has cooled (it can still be slightly tepid) whisk in the eggs until thoroughly mixed in.
  • Gradually whisk in the dry mixture until fully incorporated. Do NOT overstir the batter.
  • Pour the batter into your pan. Bake in the lower part of the oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean).
  • Remove from the oven and leave in the pan for 10 minutes then place your gingerbread loaf on a cooling rack. Wait for the cake to cool completely before decorating.
  • Melt both chocolates with 1.5 teaspoons of butter (in the microwave), stir thoroughly and drizzle over the top of the cake. Scatter nuts/dried fruit over the top and press down gently so they stay in place as the chocolate hardens. Wait for the chocolate to harden completely before serving your gingerbread loaf cake.


  • *If using pumpkin spice add ⅕ teaspoon of ground coriander (assuming the pumpkin spice mix doesn’t contain in).
  • Do NOT boil the honey mixture. Heat up gently only until the butter starts melting then remove from the heat and help it melt completely by stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon.
  • Add the eggs once the mixture has cooled (it can still be slightly tepid but not warm so the eggs don’t curdle).
  • Do NOT overstir the batter.
  • It is important to bake this gingerbread cake in the lower part of the oven to minimise the top cracking. Use the same temperatures for regular and fan assisted ovens (and adjust baking times).
  • Ensure the cake has had time to cool completely before decorating it.
  • Storing: as soon as the cake has cooled completely store it in an airtight container (so it retains all of its moisture) for 5 days or longer.
  • Freezing: once completely cooled place the cake in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight. Decorate after defrosting.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 295kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 197mg | Potassium: 141mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 320IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 2mg
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