Go Back
+ servings
Pieces of pain d'epices slathered in butter.

Pain d’epices Recipe – French Spice Bread

A classic French spice bread, this pain d'epices recipe is made with rye flour and a warming blend of ground spices sweetened with honey. Learn how to make your very own pain d'epice cake at home.
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine French
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 1 cake
Calories 2302kcal
Cost $5



  • Start by preheating your oven to 150˚C (300˚F), then line a loaf pan with baking paper or grease with butter.
  • Pop your rye flour into a large mixing bowl along with the ground ginger, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg, baking soda and baking powder. Pour in the honey, give it a quick stir with a spoon, then blend using a handheld beater or stand mixer with paddle attachment on low speed.
    1 1/2 cups rye flour, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp ground cloves, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 2/3 cup honey
  • Gradually stir in the following ingredients, one at a time: milk, sugar, egg, softened butter and salt.
    1/4 cup milk, 3 tbsp sugar, 1 egg, 1/2 cup butter, 1 pinch salt
  • Once the mixture is well combined, pour it out into a loaf pan. Don't forget to smooth out the top with the back of a spoon.
  • Bake for 45 mins or until a skewer poked into the middle comes out clean, then bask in the aromatic deliciousness of a slice of your freshly cooked pain d'epices!



  • The dough mixture for pain d'epices will be quite runny compared with normal dough - falling somewhere between a true sticky dough and cake batter. This is totally fine!
  • You can subtly alter the flavour of your pain d'epice depending on the style of honey you use. We recommend using high quality organic honey and rye flour. for the best flavour. 
  • For the ideal moist texture watch your baking time and don't overcook, or your spice bread may turn out dry and crumbly. 
  • What to serve with pain d'epices? Pain d'epices is often traditionally served as an accompaniment to other French delicacies such as foie gras. But for a simple dessert or afternoon tea, you can enjoy it warmed up or cold, all on its own, or with a slice of melty butter. Délicieux!
  • How to store pain d'epices? To keep your finished spice bread fresh and stop it drying out, wrap in a clean towel or greaseproof paper once baked. 
Variations & Substitutes
  • To add a gorgeous glaze to your spice bread, cover with orange syrup or marmalade before baking. 
  • You can use regular flour in a pinch, it will just alter the the texture and flavour slightly, but should still cook fine.
  • If you're out of honey, you can substitute with maple syrup or golden syrup.


Calories: 2302kcal | Carbohydrates: 347g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 101g | Saturated Fat: 61g | Cholesterol: 414mg | Sodium: 2053mg | Potassium: 1235mg | Fiber: 20g | Sugar: 227g | Vitamin A: 3173IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 364mg | Iron: 6mg