Making your own Dutch ontbijtkoek, a sweet gingerbread is a really easy recipe. Only 6 ingredients that you mix-within five minutes and then bake in the oven. This moist gingerbread, of Dutch origin, with whole wheat flour, is light and delicious. The best recipe out there for sweet quick bread!
Ontbijtkoek (Dutch Peperkoek)
II have been making this recipe for many years now: Dutch Gingerbread spice bread. It's a breakfast cake that my whole family loves, and I’m sure yours too. A real Winter delicacy, which your taste buds will love.
There are many types of Dutch Peperkoek (you can also find them on my blog), with or without filling (they can contain candied fruit, nuts, and dried fruits) and with their own blend of spices (every part got its own local recipe). Some are topped with pearl sugar. But all got a sweet taste and a dark brown coloration.
Many varieties of this sweet bread
It's a sweet bread you can find in all parts of the country with different names, and also it's a traditional-baked cake of Flemish parts of Belgium.
You can find peperkoek in parts of the Netherlands called kruidkoek, ontbijtkoek, in the city of Deventer it's called the Deventer koek, in the north of the Netherlands called kroninger cook. There are a lot of varieties of ontbijtkoek, and you can compare it to America's traditional sweet bread called banana bread.
It is super easy to make and ready to bake in the oven in just a few minutes. And the wonderful smell that can be smelled throughout the house when you bake this cake with the gingerbread spices is also incredibly delicious.
Highly recommend the gingerbread (spice bread)! Smear a thick layer of butter on a slice and enjoy this spice cake!
Ingredients easy Peperkoek recipe
A full list of ingredients to bake this Dutch Ontbijtkoek recipe can be found at the end of this blog.
Which flour do you use in this sweet bread?
This recipe uses whole-wheat flour. Instead of whole-wheat flour and baking powder, you can also use self-rising flour (2 cups / 250 grams) or all-purpose flour with baking powder (both in the same amount as in this recipe). You will then no longer have whole grain gingerbread, but the recipe is even easier.
Preparation oven baked Dutch gingerbread spice bread
You can find a recipe that you can easily print at the bottom of this blog.
This recipe will only take 5 minutes of your time (and 70 minutes additional baking time), so we can tell it's an easy recipe. Take one bowl and prepare your batter (with a whisk, no mixer needed). Pour it into a loaf tin and bake in the oven until deep brown (and done). Let it cool down and serve!
- Baking your cake - Bake the cake 70 minutes at 350 °F (180 °C) in a conventional oven. If you use a convectional oven, decrease the temperature to 320 °F (160 °C).
- Caketin / loafpan - The recipe calls for a loaf pan of 10 inches / 25 cm. If you're using a bigger / smaller tin you can easily add the sizes of the tin into the recipe card (bottom of the blog) and it will calculate the right amount of ingredients you need for your tin.
- Check if your cake is done - You can check if your cake is done by pricking a wooden skewer at the end of the baking time into the thickest part of the cake. When you get the skewer out and it is dry, the cake is done.
Yes, they are exactly the same. In the south of the Netherlands, the name peperkoek is used for this sweet bread, in the rest of the country ontbijtkoek is common.
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Watch How to Make It
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Ontbijtkoek (Peperkoek) (Dutch Gingerbread Spice Bread)
- 1 egg large
- 1 cup water
- 1¼ cups dark brown sugar
- 2 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1¾ teaspoons baking powder
Ingredients you need per step are listed below the step in Italic
Bake your cake
- Preheat oven to moderate 350 °F (180 °C/gas mark 4) and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Put the egg, syrup, water, spices, and brown sugar in a bowl. Whisk until everything is dissolved.1 egg, 1 tablespoon sugar syrup, 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon ground gingerbread spices, 1¼ cups dark brown sugar
- Add the whole-wheat flour and the baking powder into the bowl and mix all the ingredients until the flour is wet. It doesn’t matter if there are some lumps left.2 cups whole-wheat flour, 1¾ teaspoons baking powder
- Pour into the baking tin and bake in the oven for 70 minutes.
- To check if the sweet bread is done, stick a wooden skewer or toothpick into the middle. If it comes out clean, the sweet bread is ready.
- Take the cake out of the oven, allow cooling in the tin for 5 minutes
- After 5 minutes, take the cake out of the pan and let the cake cool down on a wire rack to room temperature before serving.
3. Dark Brown sugar - Dark brown caster sugar gets its specific color and taste due to the added molasses. You can optionally use light brown sugar, but the color and taste will be different. 4. Egg - Use an egg size L, or two eggs size S. If you want a vegan gingerbread, you can make the recipe without egg and replace it with one mashed banana. 5. Oven temperature -
A conventional oven is used. When using a convection oven (with air fan) decrease the temperature with 30 °F (320 °F) / 20 °C (160 °C) 6. Soft top - If you want a soft top, place baking paper on the cake, so that you cover the batter. 7. Also delicious -
- Add currants, raisins and/or walnuts for even more flavor (2 oz. (50 grams) of dried fruit / 1 oz. (25 grams) of finely chopped nuts).
- 2 oz. (50 grams) of finely chopped chocolate.
- Room temperature - Wrap in plastic foil or store in an airtight container up to three days.
- Refrigerator - Don't store in the refrigerator, the cake will become moist and that's not very tasty.
- Freezer - Wrap in aluminum foil (double wrap) and store up to 1 month in the freezer. Let thaw at room temperature.
8. Nutritional value
The loaf can be cut into 10 slices. The nutritional value is shown per slice.
Mrs Dorothy Taylor says
Your recipe doesn't state how much brown sugar but I have previously found this recipe and it states 250g brown soft sugar, is this correct. Have made it a few times but the last two I have made sank in the middle during cooking and I don't know why? Can you help? Thank you
Hi Dorothy, Thank you for your comment. I've lost the brown sugar in the ingredients, but I've adapted the recipe so it's now online. It's indeed 250 grams of brown sugar.
Dennis Littley says
My family loves gingerbread and declared your recipe their new favorite! Thanks for such an awesome recipe!!
I absolutely LOVE gingerbread and this recipe. Thank you!
This was perfect for the holidays! Smells great while baking too.
Amy Liu Dong says
That bread looks really delicious. Perfect for Christmas Eve.
Can you provide the recipe for the ginger bread spices please?
You can find the recipe for the speculaas spice (ginger bread spices) here in the recipe at the tips. You can easily come there by using the jump to recipe in the top. Recipe: https://www.byandreajanssen.com/traditional-dutch-pepernoten/