Dutch Ginger Spice Cake (Gember Kruidkoek)

This delicious loaf is perfect for ginger lovers. It’s not like a traditional cake; it’s more like a chewy bread. It’s dense, lightly sweet, nicely spiced, low in fat and exceptionally gingery, and is perfect for vegan or dairy-free individuals. To serve, the loaf should be sliced thinly and enjoyed with lashings of butter/vegan buttery spread.

J loves this type of ginger cake, as much as the traditional honingkoek. We could purchase factory-made cakes, but the shipping costs are ridiculous, plus everything tastes better when made fresh at home. To save time, simply weigh everything into the bowl of the stand mixer.

Be warned: one slice is never enough.


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

Adapted from Dutch Honey Cake (Honingkoek)


  • 500 g (3 ⅓  c) self raising flour*^
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoons ground cloves
  • 125 g (½ c and 1 tablespoon, packed) dark muscuvado (unrefined brown) sugar
  • 200 g (150 ml or ½ c and 2 tablespoons) ginger syrup
  • 400 ml (1 ½ c and 2 ⅔ T ) soy milk**
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 8 pieces stem ginger, cut into 5mm (¼ inch) chunks

* Self-raising flour can be made by combining 150 g (1 c) plain (all-purpose) flour with 1 t 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, except the stem ginger into the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat the mixture 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. Add stem ginger, and fold in until evenly distributed.

4. Pour into prepared tin (pan) and bake in the middle of the oven for 55-60 minutes or until a inserted skewer comes out clean.

5. 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.


2 thoughts on “Dutch Ginger Spice Cake (Gember Kruidkoek)

  1. Hi there,

    I’ve tried this recipe twice (i’m pregnant & craving Dutch peperkoek) but it doesn’t cook on the inside like yours has in the pic above. I used the whole recipe with SR flour & a loaf tin the first time & decided it was the flour & tin size. So tried again with 3/4 the quantities, rye flour and same loaf tin but same outcome – v goey & “uncooked” inside despite being in the oven over an hour each time.
    Any ideas of how I can achieve this in 3rd time lucky?!

    • Hi Mary, I’m sorry you’ve been having trouble with this recipe. I have made this recipe numerous times and the cake has always cooked through. Have you tested the temperature of the oven matches the setting? One time, our banana bread took 3 hours to cook because one of the elements were broken. The size of the tin may have had something to do with it. For success, I’d recommend cooking for 1 hour, insert a cocktail/skewer into the middle of the cake, if there is still batter on it, return to the oven for another 5 minutes, then repeat until the cocktail stick/skewer comes out clean. This will ensure that the middle is not gooey. Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s