Spiced honey cake

Spiced honey cake

Lucy's Bakes
10 mins
Cooking time
60 mins
Jacqui Melville

Pain d’épices in France is a firm, sweet, dryish treat somewhere between a bread and a cake. It is the perfect snack for hiking, picnicking and popping into your pocket for walking the dog. More cake than bread perhaps, but the flavours are wonderful and I adore it. This is my version which is a bit sweeter, a little softer, but still better after a few days in your cake tin so make ahead.


Quantity Ingredient
75g butter
150g clear honey
75g caster sugar
75g water
1 egg
175g plain flour
5g bicarbonate of soda
15g ground ginger
10g ground cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line a 500 g loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. Put the butter, honey, sugar and water in a bowl and microwave for 2 minutes on full power, then stir well.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix with a hand whisk.
  4. Turn into the lined loaf tin and bake for 1–1½ hours, until risen and springy to the touch, or until a cocktail stick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  5. Leave to cool in the tin but cover the top with a clean tea towel as this will help its texture when cool. Wrap well in cling film and store in an airtight container.


  • This recipe is nut-free and vegetarian.

What the testers say

  • SAMUEL RAFTER – ‘This is quite spicy but I loved it with my espresso.’

    STELLA CAUDWELL – ‘I loved it! Great with a cuppa.’

    BEN COLEBY – ‘As a novice I followed this recipe to the letter and it worked. This is a great cake for a pocket on a long walk.’


  • You can alter the levels of spice to suit your tastes so make once, write a note on the page and then alter the next time round.
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