Showing posts with label Ontbijtkoek (Dutch Spice Bread). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ontbijtkoek (Dutch Spice Bread). Show all posts


It's actually called "breakfast cake", this ontbijtkoek, but Dutch spice bread seems a more appropriate term in English. Favored by young and old, ontbijtkoek is an integral part of the breakfast table in Holland. It also shows up as a quick pick-me-up around four o'clock with a cup of tea, and it performs as the key ingredient for a children's birthday game called "koekhappen", i.e. cake nipping. This is where slices of ontbijtkoek are strung on a piece of wire or string and held above the heads of blindfolded children. Like birds in a nest, they strain their little necks up, mouths open wide, in hope of catching a crumb. The joke for the grownups is of course to lower the cake within reach and then yank it up, so that the kids bite into air instead of a sweet treat. One of the commercials that still has me laughing out loud is this one for a famous ontbijtkoek brand.

Ontbijtkoek, just like that other Dutch favorite, honey cake, is traditionally not baked at home. Not many breads or cakes are any more, unfortunately, and these breakfast beauties are mostly produced commercially. But heck, I wouldn't be Dutch if I didn't at least try, and I am glad to say that the homemade version is close enough, or perhaps even better, than the store-bought version. Go on, have a try! For a gluten-free version, substitute 2 cups (300 grams) of Bob's Red Mill GF flour for the two cups of flour in the recipe.

1 cup rye flour (150g)
1 cup all purpose flour (150g)
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon each cardamom, ginger, coriander, and ground cloves
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (100g)
1/4 cup dark molasses* (80g)
1/2 cup honey (150g)
1 cup milk (235ml)
Pinch of salt

Mix everything together into a smooth batter. Heat the oven to 325F/160C, grease a 9 x 5 inch (23 x 13 cm) rectangular cake pan, pour the batter in, and bake on the middle rack. Check after 45 - 50 minutes to see if the cake is done - a toothpick in the middle should come out clean. If not, bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until done.

Cool on a rack, then wrap and store in plastic wrap for that extra sticky outside crust. Eat sliced with a lick of good butter.

*For readers in the UK and Australia, apparently molasses can be substituted with black treacle. I will be testing this next week, using Tate & Lyle's black treacle, just to make sure.  

My Amazon selections for this recipe

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.