Pain d’Epices (Honey Spice Bread)


This very simple to make recipe is a breakfast staple in many a French home kitchen. Although it is called “pain” (meaning bread) it is more reminiscent of a sticky ginger cake.
Ideally eaten with a thick spread of butter and your favourite cup of hot tea. The spice and citrus aromas will make you feel very Christmassy with great ease. This is my version, so go on get your apron on!


  • 125gm Wholegrain Rye Flour
  • 125gm White Spelt Flour
  • Pinch Sea Salt
  • 300gm Honey (runny)
  • 80gm Soft Dark Muscovado Sugar
  • 7gm Cinnamon
  • 5gm Mixed Spice
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 60gm Unsalted Butter (plus extra for greasing)
  • 20gm Baking Powder
  • 70gm Mixed Peel (finely chopped)
  • 100gm Whole Milk
  • 2 Free Range Eggs (beaten) *If you can leave the baked loaf for 24 hours before eating, this allows the spice flavours to mature.


  • 2lb Loaf Tin
  • Medium Saucepan
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Baking Paper
  • Wooden Spoon


Lightly butter your loaf tin and line with baking paper. Pre-heat your oven to 170c, 325f or Gas Mk 3. Place the butter, milk, honey, sugar and star anise into the saucepan and warm through on a medium heat. Melt everything together till warm, add the cinnamon and mixed spice then set aside to infuse.

In the meantime, sift both flours, baking powder and salt together into the mixing bowl. Remove the star anise from the sugar mixture. Make a well in the center and pour the sugar mixture into the bowl, then the beaten egg. Add the fine mixed peel. Gently stir everything together until you have a thick cake batter, it will smell divine at this point. Once everything is mixed (don’t over mix) place the batter into the lined tin, smooth the top level if necessary.

Place in the oven for 50 minutes, if the top begins to colur too much cover with a layer of tin foil. Bake for a further 15-20 minutes, test the center of the loaf with a skewer or bamboo stick. The skewer should come out clean. Leave in the tin overnight at room temperature if you can wait that long. Remove from the tin, put the kettle on and grab that butter knife.

Bon appetite!

Recipe from Emma Carlton – an international, award winning pastry chef residing in the North East of England.
Instagram: sweetinspirationspatisserie



Posted on

June 15, 2021