Polish Gingerbread Loaf (Piernik)

Polish Gingerbread Loaf (Piernik)


250 g flour
2 tsp baking powder
3 tsp mixed spice
1.5 tsp ground ginger
1.25 tbsp cacao/cocoa powder
pinch of salt
120 ml runny honey
70 g dark brown soft sugar
100 ml vegetable oil
3 medium eggs
90 ml buttermilk/kefir
2/3 cup crystallised ginger or sultanas/raisins

For the Icing

4 tbsp icing sugar approx. 30 g
1 tbsp orange/clementine juice fresh
2-3 tbsp mixed crushed nuts optional


Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 180 C/ gas mark 4. Grease a medium loaf tin and line with baking paper. Set aside.
Combine the flour, baking powder, mixed spice, ginger, cocoa, brown sugar and salt, stir thoroughly using a whisk and set aside. 
Beat together the eggs, honey and oil for 2 minutes. Gradually add the dry mixture alternating with the buttermilk until almost combined. Fold in the crystallised ginger and mix the dry ingredients in completely with a spoon (but do not overstir).  
Pour the batter into the pan and bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Lift the cake out of the tin (with the paper) and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
To make the icing combine the icing sugar with the orange juice and stir until smooth. Scatter the crushed nuts over the top of the cake (optional) and drizzle over the icing.