I've read on both David Lebovitz's blog and in Clotilde Dusoulier's book "Chocolate & Zucchini" about a French cake called "Pain D'Epice. I guess this is a very traditional cake that is flavored with honey and spices. It's usually baked in a loaf pan. I've been wanting to make this for a long time, and finally got around to it. The cold weather we've been having is perfect for baking. I used the recipe in the book "Chocolate and Zucchini". It's unusual in that there's no butter or oil in the cake. I added a lot of chopped candied ginger, which I loved in this cake. Clotilde mentioned that she loved to eat it toasted for breakfast. That's the way I enjoyed it the most. It was also great as a snack with a mug of hot apple cider. It's a great flavor combination of honey, molasses, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger. And it keeps for days wrapped in foil on the counter. Made a nice breakfast with a piece of fruit this week.

From "Chocolate & Zucchini" by Clotilde Dusoulier

2 teaspoons vegetable oil to grease the pan
1 1/2 cups milk
2/3 cup good-quality honey
1/3 cup mild-flavored dark molasses
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, and ground ginger
Optional: 1/4 cup finely diced candied ginger or candied orange peel, or a mix of the two

*Make the loaf a day ahead to give the flavor time to develop.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9x5" loaf pan with oil, and line the bottom with parchment paper.

2. Combine the milk, honey, and molasses in a small saucepan. Set over medium heat and heat the mixture without boiling, stirring with a spatula until dissolved. Set aside and let cool as you go on with the recipe.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. In a small bowl, combine the ginger and/or orange peel, if using, with 2 teaspoons of the flour mixture and set aside.

4. Form a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour in the milk mixture slowly and whisk in a circular motion, starting from the center, until all of the flour has been incorporated - the batter will be thin. Fold in the ginger/orange peel if using. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the surface is brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

5. Transfer to a rack and cool for 20 minutes. Run a knife along the sides of the pan to loosen the loaf, and unmold. Let cool completely, wrap in foil, and let rest at room temperature until the next day.

Comments (4)

Looks great! I can almost smell it. I hope you're feeling better!


Oh yum! That looks so good! I bet the ginger is really good in it.

MMMM - those flavours remind me of Christmas! I will have to make a Pain D'Epice over the holidays.


This is great. I had this bread when I was in Nice. The town of Gourdon and they specialized in this bread/cake. It was so much fun to visit. They had teddy bears with honey pots in many of the windows and several stores sold this bread. It was similar to gingerbread but different. I'm going to try your recipe. Thanks!

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