Pain d'epices with orange syrup

Pain d'epices with orange syrup
Pain d'epices with orange syrup Photo: Marina Oliphant

This pain d'epice is a festive spiced cake with French origins. I like to drizzle orange syrup over the top, but it is equally delicious served warm from the oven, spread with some butter.


100g rye flour

400g plain flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarb soda

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground star anise

1/2 cup hazelnut meal

Pinch salt

1 cup (250ml) honey

1 cup (250ml) milk

1/2 cup castor sugar

Zest 1 lemon

2 eggs

Orange syrup (optional)

1 cup castor sugar

3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Zest of 1 orange


Preheat oven to 180C fan-forced. Line 4 loaf tins (15cm x 9cm) with baking paper. Sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

In a small saucepan, gently heat the honey and milk until just warmed and combined. Add sugar and lemon zest. Remove from heat and cool.

Whisk eggs and add to the honey mixture. Add honey mixture to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Pour batter into tins and cook in oven for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

Pour over the orange syrup while the cakes are still warm.

Makes 4 small loaf tins.

To make orange syrup, gently heat juice and sugar in a small saucepan with zest until sugar dissolves and forms a light syrup.