Piernik (Polish gingerbread)

Piernik (Polish gingerbread)

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(7 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 1 hr, 5 mins


Serves 10
A classic Polish honey gingerbread cake is adapted by Edd Kimber. It's layered with plum jam and coated in chocolate with sprinkles of edible gold

Nutrition and extra info

  • un-iced

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal643
  • fat32g
  • saturates19g
  • carbs81g
  • sugars54g
  • fibre3g
  • protein7g
  • salt0.5g
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  • 140g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 300g clear honey
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 375g self-raising flour
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper



    Also known as capsicums, bell peppers, sweet peppers or by their colours, for example red and…

  • 3 large eggs

For the filling and glaze

  • 200g plum jam
  • 225ml double cream
  • 140g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
    Dark chocolate soup pots with double cream in spoons

    Dark chocolate

    dahk chok-o-let

    Dark chocolate means the shiny, dark-reddish brown treat produced from the cacao bean, theobroma…

  • 3 tbsp clear honey
  • edible gold powder (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Grease and line the base and sides of a deep 20cm cake tin with baking parchment. Put the honey, sugar and butter in a medium saucepan and cook over a medium heat until fully melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Put the flour and spices in a large bowl and mix everything together.

  2. Once the liquid ingredients have cooled, whisk in the eggs. Pour over the dry ingredients, whisking them together to form a smooth batter – be careful not to overmix as this can lead to a dry cake. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 50-55 mins or until risen and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 20 mins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  3. Once cooled, use a large serrated knife to slice the cake into 3 layers. Spread the jam across the 2 bottom cake layers, then reassemble the cake and set aside while you make the glaze. Put the cream, chocolate and honey in a medium pan and cook over a low-medium heat until the chocolate is melted and you have a smooth, pourable mixture. Put the cake on a wire rack set over a parchment-lined baking tray and pour over the glaze, making sure to cover the entire cake. Use a fish slice to carefully transfer the cake to a serving plate and allow the glaze to set. To decorate, dust with a little edible gold powder, if you like. Uniced, this cake will keep for up to 5 days. Once iced, enjoy within 3 days – just keep in the fridge, but remove before serving and eat at room temperature.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Sophie.rose's picture
9th Aug, 2017
This is a great recipe which makes actual Polish gingerbread! I am very pleased with how it turned out, especially when friends come round :)
Penny C
13th Dec, 2015
Made this for two Polish friends who came for supper last night. I was *thrilled* when they named it before me!! It was a huge success. Very easy to make, rose like a dream, and the house was filled with the most delicious scent of cloves and ginger - I don't think I've ever had better smelling bake. I will definitely be making again.
6th May, 2015
Just finished making this for my baking club tomorrow. It looks fab!
1st Dec, 2014
Lovely! Easy and looks amazing at the end.
20th May, 2014
This is a great recipe, so easy and delicious!
sllyst's picture
5th Jan, 2014
This is lovely! I had big expectations for this and it tastes even better than it looks. I scooped all the glaze that ran over and spread it back on the top as it cooled, can't stand waste. The only thing that would have made it better was cream on the layers too but dollopped on top will do!
28th Dec, 2013
Really love this recipe. It reminds me of the french "pain d'epices" I ate as a child in France. Will definitely make this again.
4th Dec, 2013
And where might one buy edible gold powder?
20th Dec, 2013
6th Dec, 2013
Any good supermarket or cooks shop


3rd Nov, 2015
I would love to make this recipe, but can't due to it having eggs in it. Has anyone any ideas what would work well instead of 3 eggs?
goodfoodteam's picture
19th Nov, 2015
Sorry to be the bearer of bad new, but unfortunately we can’t think of a substitute that you can use successfully for an exact result. Eggs are used for different reasons in recipes such as binding a mixture or adding air, and usually if the quantity of egg exceeds 2, it is difficult to substitute them without changing the texture of the cake. For small quantities some bakers use the following to replace 1 egg - 1/2 mashed banana or 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce, or 1 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 1/3 cup water for 15 mins or 1 tbsp agar-agar mixed with 1 tbsp water. 
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