Gingerbread - Ontbijtkoek - Breakfast Cake

[ginger/spice bread]
one slice
My mother used to bring a glass of fresh orange juice and a slice of buttered 'ontbijtkoek' (breakfast cake) when she woke us up in the morning (am I spoiled?) - but even so the name 'breakfast cake,' never seemed right to me, for in general it's eaten with midmorning coffee. 'Gingerbread,' is a better name.

The 'ontbijtkoek' that you buy in the store, it's chewy, a bit tough; this recipe may give you something similar, but I don't know how to achieve that chewiness - though flax seed and honey help.
There was a New York Times article a few years ago about fat in cakes breaking up the gluten strings of flour, and to use pastry flour (low in protein and gluten) for crumbly lowfat cakes; but this 'breakfast cake' is supposed to be somewhat tough.
Some banana bread recipes say not to overwork the mixing, so as not to develop breadlike tough, long gluten strings; from that thought I've used a mixer for a minute or two to mix 'ontbijtkoek' batter, but it did not give chewiness.

Note that there are no eggs in the recipe, and it's very low in fat - no butter, no sour cream like in my other cake recipe; though it's very good buttered, you don't have to.

['gingerbread' and 'banana bread']
'Gingerbread' and 'Banana Bread'

  1. Put in a medium bowl 175 g brown sugar (or 235 g honey) and ½ tsp salt, pour 200 ml milk over it, stir lightly, set aside;
    (I usually put honey in a glass jar, heat it up in microwave, let cool down - 1 or 2 hours before)
  2. Preaheat oven to 150°C (325°F);
  3. Butter 2L (8-cup) breadpan, dust with flour;
  4. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the top of your breadpan, butter it on one side;
  5. Mix flour, baking powder, flax seeds and spices in a large bowl;
  6. Add raisins, nuts, cut apricots and crystallized ginger, and mix;
  7. (optional) Zest orange or lemon over it;
  8. (optional) Add freshly grated ginger;
  9. Stir milk/sugar/honey solution, add to dry ingredients, mix well;
  10. Pour batter in breadpan, put buttered piece of parchment paper on top (buttered side down);
  11. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes;
  12. Test with toothpick or sharp knife: it should come out clean;
  13. Leave in breadpan for 10 minutes, then let it cool further on a rack.

Upgrade 2017

I now use a larger 'Pullman' breadpan (13x4½x3½ inches - 33x11x9cm) and tweaked the ingredients
I use the American teaspoon, 5 ml

A few hours before baking, mix honey and milk - stirring occasionally. That's much less work than the vigorous stirring required when you need it fast.

If you keep flour in the refrigerator like me, put flours in a covered large bowl (I use a 2 quarts, 2 liter large glass measuring cup) a few hours before baking: Mix the spices and baking powder into the room temperature flour: Add the other ingredients and mix into the flour/spices: Method:
[gingerbread ontbijtkoek] [gingerbread ontbijtkoek]

bananabread and other recipes

I use one of these fine graters to zest lemons, oranges and kumquats.
They're extremely sharp, please be very careful and don't hurt your fingers.
Also find here the kitchen scale I use.

other recipes - Your Chef: Marco Schuffelen - email