Pain d'Épices


This hearty, deeply spiced gingerbread loaf from Mimi Thorisson has a wonderful honey-buckwheat flavor. Slideshow:  Nut-Free Desserts & Breads 

Pain d’Épices
Photo: © Oddur Thorisson
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs
1 9-by-4-inch loaf


  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing

  • 1 cup honey

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • Pinch of saffron threads

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Lightly butter a 9-by-4-inch loaf pan.

  2. In a small saucepan, combine the honey, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, saffron and 3/4 cup of water and bring to a simmer, whisking until the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and let stand for 15 minutes.

  3. In a large bowl, whisk the 3 flours with the baking powder, baking soda and melted butter. Add the honey mixture and whisk until smooth. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until the loaf is deeply browned and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the loaf to a rack and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Unmold and serve.

Make Ahead

The loaf can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or refrigerated for 1 week.

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