Polish Gingerbread or Spice Cake (Piernik)

Spice bread loaf

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Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 55 mins
Total: 75 mins
Servings: 18 to 20 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
214 Calories
11g Fat
28g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 18 to 20
Amount per serving
Calories 214
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 6g 31%
Cholesterol 70mg 23%
Sodium 166mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 2g
Calcium 72mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Polish piernik spice cake recipes can vary widely from town to town. Some are light, others dark. Some have dried fruits and nuts, some are cut into layers and iced with chocolate. This recipe is for a dark, moist "gingerbread."


  • 1 cup dark honey
  • 1 cup coffee (strong)
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a small saucepan, combine honey, coffee, butter, and spices. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Let cool to warm.

  3. Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat 2 large or 3 medium loaf pans with cooking spray.

  4. In a large bowl, combine eggs, brown sugar, and baking powder. Slowly add the warm liquid, beating constantly at low speed. Add the flour and mix thoroughly.

  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pans and bake 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick has only a few crumbs clinging to it. Let cakes cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  6. This cake keeps exceptionally well and can be dusted with confectioners' sugar or glazed with chocolate at serving time.

  7. Serve and enjoy!