Pain d’Epices or Spicy gingerbread cake (Dairy-free)


We had a family gathering yesterday with food, music and the much Love in the air, You know when you think, if I get any more relaxed now, I’m gonna melt…this was like that. For the gathering, I came along with this yummy number.

‘Twas originally supposed to be a carrot cake until I had a look in the fridge to find the carrots had gone bad. So I brought out a whole bunch of cake ingredients from the cupboard and asked google what to do with lots of ginger. I came upon the great Nigel Slater’s recipe and it just hit me in the head with inspiration. You can find Nigel’s lovely recipe is here:

But for this diary-free version with date syrup, gingerbread spices, orange soaked sultanas, less sugar and still lots and lots of ginger, read on.


You’ll need:

  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 2 level tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spices for gingerbread
  • 1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 140g golden syrup
  • 60g date syrup
  • 2 tbsp syrup from the ginger jar
  • 125g Pure sunflower spread
  • 3 1/2 lumps of stem ginger in syrup
  • 2 heaped tbsp sultanas (soaked overnight in orange syrup)
  • 90g dark muscavado sugar
  • 2 large eggs (I used duck eggs because that’s what I had in the fridge but you’re also welcome to use large chick eggs)
  • 140ml soya milk
  • 100ml of Soya cream

Shall we?

  • Line a square cake tin measuring approximately 20-22cm with baking or greaseproof paper.
  • Sieve the flour with the ground ginger, mixed spices, bicarbonate of soda.
  • Put the golden and ginger syrups and the butter into a small saucepan, and warm over a low heat.
  • Finely chop the ginger then add it to the pan together with the sultanas and sugar. Let the mixture bubble gently for a minute stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Break the eggs into a bowl and pour in the milk and cream, beating gently until it’s all mixed
  • Remove the gingery-buttery-ezasugary mixture from the heat and pour into the spiced flour, stirring smoothly and firmly with a spatula or whisk.
  • Add in the egg mixture and mix thoroughly so the batter has no trace of flour.
  • Pour the bubbling mixture the lined cake tin and bake in a 180°C preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until a skewer, inserted into the centre of the cake, comes out clean.

Nigel suggests

  • Unless you are serving it warm, leave the cake in its tin to cool, then tip out on to a sheet of greaseproof paper. Wrap it up again in foil and leave to mature for a day or two before eating.

I must confess we ate it yesterday without the waiting bit. But I had it this morning and it was even yummier, if there is ever such a thing. Thanks Nigel.

Enjoy everyone and a good Friday to you all.


turned out with speckles of sultanas lining the bottom :-)

turned out with speckles of sultanas lining the bottom 🙂


I could quite easily lie my head on this pillow 😉

This morning

This morning

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About the Author: foodie

Yoga Teacher & Great Baker