Makes two 8½-inch (21 cm) loaf cakes

Pain d’épices Alsacien

Sweet, spicy and deceptively simple to make, this recipe yields two beautiful loaf cakes. Perfect as an alternative to a baguette at Christmas.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Resting time2 days 12 hours
Course: Side Dish, Bread
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Pain d’épices Alsacien, Spiced bread, Christmas bread, Bread recipes
Servings: 2 8½-inch (21 cm) loaf cakes


  • 2 3/4 cups (350g )all-purpose flour sifted 1
  • ½ cups (205g) rye flour, sifted
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 7 teaspoons ground cinnamon preferably Saigon
  • teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground star anise
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 200 g butter plus 2 tablespoons for the moulds
  • 500 ml good honey
  • 200 g packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs beaten


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Mix the flours and baking powder together in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle. Add the cinnamon, ginger, star anise, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, and salt.
  • Combine the butter and honey in a sauce pan over medium heat until the butter has melted and combined with the honey and is warm but not hot. Add the brown sugar and eggs and stir to combine. Pour this mixture into the flour and spices with the mixer on medium. Mix until the ingredients are well combined.
  • Butter two 8½ by 4½ by 2½-inch (22 by 10 by 6 cm) loaf moulds. Pour the batter in the moulds and bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 300°F (1S0°C) and bake for another 20 minutes, or until a paring knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and turn the cakes out of the moulds onto a cooling rack. When cool, store the cakes, covered, at room temperature for at least 36 hours before serving.


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