Piernik (Polish spice cake)

    2 hours 30 min

    This spiced Polish cake is similar to a gingerbread. It's not overly sweet, and moist and very delicious. Serve on its own or slathered in butter for afternoon tea.

    32 people made this

    Makes: 4 20x10cm loaves

    • 200g caster sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 4 eggs
    • 125ml milk
    • 125ml vegetable oil
    • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    • 350g honey
    • 500g plain flour
    • 80g raisins (optional)
    • 60g walnuts, chopped (optional)

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:1hr15min  ›  Extra time:1hr resting  ›  Ready in:2hr30min 

    1. In a large bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and eggs. Stir in the milk and oil and mix in the bicarbonate of soda. Place honey in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir honey into the bowl. Mix flour into the bowl. Fold in the raisins and walnuts. Stir with a sturdy spoon for 10 minutes. Allow the mixture to sit 1 hour.
    2. Preheat oven to 170 C / Gas 3. Lightly grease four 450g (1 lb) or similar sized loaf tins. Fill each loaf tin with about 5cm of the mixture.
    3. Bake 1 hour 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until a skewer inserted in the centre of a loaf comes out clean. It will be brown in colour and will be cracked on top.

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    Reviews in English (19)


    According to my fiancé who is Slovak this recipe is nothing like gingerbread hence it contains little or no ginger spice whatsoever. It is a unique middle European recipe. We make it with a 20g sachet of "Pernik" spices ( which cannot be purchased here thanks to Dr Oetker ) and a 20g sachet of vanilla sugar supplied by Dr Oetker which gives it the unique "Pernik taste". We also add 2 teaspoons of honey and 2 teaspoons of plum jam to the mixture because it does give it a moist and caramelised flavour. We also use 3 cups of strong bread flour (Tesco), 2 cups of white sugar, 2 cups of milk, 3/4 cup of oil, 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda,1 teaspoon of salt,1 tablespoon of cocoa powder and 2 eggs. Once it is cooked and cooled down we spread more plum jam on the top and sides of the cake and pour over 150g of melted milk chocolate combined with a tablespoon of oil to make the chocolate easier to work with. I don't know how one can compare this to gingerbread, it tastes nothing like gingerbread but it is the most stunning cake.  -  11 Oct 2014


    A nice warm after taste from the Cloves and Allspice. Perhaps a little mild for some tastes. Not sure about adding the boiled honey to the mix, so allowed to cool. in case the honey cooked or scrambled the eggs. Worked out well, nicely risen in the middle. Will cook again  -  23 Sep 2013


    This recipe doesn't work as it is written. Althought the bread doesn't need a yeast packet, it does need 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. Also, although I let the bread dough rest for an hour, I don't think that that is necessary(after all there is no yeast). I also think that the baking pans should not only be greased but also floured. With these changes the resulting bread is quite delicious. A true polish delite.  -  24 May 2005  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)