Piernik (Polish gingerbread)

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

  • Prep:1 hrs
    Cook:1 hrs 5 mins
  • Serves 10
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 643
  • fat 32g
  • saturates 19g
  • carbs 81g
  • sugars 54g
  • fibre 3g
  • protein 7g
  • salt 0.5g


  • 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
  • 3 large eggs
  • 200g plum jam
  • 225ml double cream
  • 140g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
  • 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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