Dutch Honey Cake (Honingkoek)


This delicious loaf is also known as breakfast cake. It’s suitable for dairy-free individuals. The texture is somewhat closer to bread than a cake, and is typically enjoyed with lashings of butter. It’s easy to make, chewy, lightly sweet, nicely spiced, low in fat, and the flavor only gets better with time.

It was J (not surprisingly) who introduced me to this cake. It’s easily available in Europe (again, not surprisingly), and there are many variants in the shops, including one with stem ginger. We love them all!

My in-laws were over from the Netherlands in early December 2010, and honingkoek was on our “wish list”. However, they stocked up so much on stroopwafels (syrup waffles), speculaas (spiced biscuits (cookies)), chocolate letters, banket (almond paste filled pastry roll) and Dutch licorice that they forgot.

We could purchase it online, but the shipping costs are ridiculous. We could also pop over to Whidbey Island to raid the Dutch shop there, but I decided to try making one instead. The result is pretty good… both J, and I ate so much that we were too full to enjoy dinner!



Makes one 20 x 20 cm (8 x 8 inch) cake, 24 slices

Adapted from Esurientes – Dutch Honeycake 



  • 500 g (3 ⅓  c) self raising flour*^
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 150 g (¾ c) brown sugar (more if you like your baked goods sweeter)
  • 200 g (½ c and 1 ½ tablespoons) honey
  • 400 ml (1 ½ c and 2 ⅔ tablespoons ) soy milk**

* Self-raising flour can be made by combining 150 g (1 c) plain (all-purpose) flour with 1 teaspoon baking powder.
^ White flour can be substituted for half wholemeal (whole wheat): half white or half white plain (all-purpose) flour: half rye flour. If you want the real thing, use 100 % rye flour, however you may need to adjust the amounts of sugar to get the sweetness right.
** Mammalian (if not dairy-free) or other milk alternative can be used instead of soy milk.



1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Grease or line a 20 x 20 cm (8 x 8 inch) square baking tin (pan) with parchment paper.

2. Place all ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat the mixture with the dough hook attachment until everything is well incorporated, and the batter is thick and sticky, about 8-10 minutes. This step is essential for a chewy cake.

3. Pour into prepared tin (pan) and bake in the middle of the oven for 60 minutes or until a inserted skewer comes out clean.

4. Let cool before slicing and enjoying. If storing, wrap in foil and store at room temperature or freeze. Enjoy fresh, or toasted with or without butter.

3 thoughts on “Dutch Honey Cake (Honingkoek)

  1. Pingback: Dutch Ginger Spice Cake (Gember Kruidkoek) « Honey and Spice

  2. I made this cake about a year ago and it was lovely- but I made it again today and it didn’t cook in the middle! I am a very experienced cake baker, and the skewer came out clean! Unfortunately I had to leave the cake once it was out of the oven, so I didn’t notice it sinking…I also had to cook it for about 20 minutes over the stated time. I have no idea why it didn’t work this time…

    • Hi Lucy, I’m sorry about the problem with the cake. Since you’re an experienced cake baker, I’m sure you preheated the oven the same time as you as the first time. The only thing I can think about is that there may be a problem with the oven’s heating element (which can fail over time). Have you had any other problems in baking things in the oven recently? I ask this, because a friend of mine took 3 hours to bake banana bread one time, and then later realized the element was broken.

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