This recipe is for a quick, easy, tender and very flavorful Polish Gingerbread Cake – Piernik. This cake is mostly made with staple ingredients and is really easy to make. Make this Polish Gingerbread Cake during winter or for Christmas and serve it as an afternoon snack or dessert. This cake is gluten, oil, nut and sugar free.
Gingerbread cake has always been my favorite, even since I was little. Gingerbread cake is a classic cake here in Sweden during winter and Christmas. But it wasn’t the Swedish gingerbread cake that made me long for Christmas, it was the Polish one, Piernik, that my grandmother always baked. A polish Piernik is a tender and rich cake with intense flavors from all the spices and round sweetness from the honey, with a layer of polish plum butter (Powidła) and topped with chocolate. The bitter chocolate, flavorful spices makes a lovely combination with the sweet yet tart plum butter cutting off and contrasting the intensity so well. A traditional Pirernik takes weeks to make, since the batter needs to rest and mature for several week. This is a quick version that doesn’t need any preparation. Make this lovely cake during winter or for Christmas and serve it as an afternoon snack or dessert.
A few tips:
- Plum butte is really easy to cook yourself. It takes a few hours, but only include one (or two) ingredients. It is best made late summer when the plums are really ripe. If you can’t make your own plum butter can be found in the store or bought online.
- You can also use plum jam instead, but the taste will not be exactly the same. Plum butter is much smoother, silky with caramelized and more intense flavors compared to plum jam.
- You can also use other types of fruit butters, like apricot, cherry or apple. But a traditional one is made with plum butter.
- Another option is to make the butter by using prunes, which will maybe be the most similar taste to plum butter. Cook the prunes for just a few minutes, drain and mix with a hand mixer.
- When heating the honey, plum butter and applesauce on the stove make sure to heat it on low heat and only until its slightly warm. It should not boil. Remove from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes to make sure it doesn’t cook the eggs when you add the mixture to the eggs.
- Do not overman the batter, mix just until everything is incorporated.
- Bake the cake in the middle of the oven and do not open the oven first 25-30 minutes, to make sure it doesn’t sink.
- Let the cake cool completely before slicing it in half and adding the plum butter.
- I made a healthy chocolate ganache that is slightly lighter than a regular chocolate and cream based. If you prefer a regular chocolate coating go ahead and use chocolate and cream/milk.
- When making the chocolate ganache heat it on very low heat and stir constantly. This to avoid it from burning and lumps from creating.
- This cake is great to eat without the plum butter and chocolate as well. So it can be baked and eaten just as is.
Ingredients for this Piernik – Polish Gingerbread Cake:
- Plum butter (Powidła)
- Sugar free brown sufar
- Sugar free granulated sweetener
- Greek yogurt
- Oat flour
- Rice flour
- Cacao powder
- Ground ginger
- All spice
- Black pepper
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
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Piernik – Polish Gingerbread Cake (Gluten, Oil, Nut & Sugar Free)
- 1/2 dl Fiber syrup/agave/honey
- 2 tbsp Powidła – Polish Plum Butter
- 3 tbsp Apple sauce
- 3 Eggs
- 1 dl Sugar free brown sugar
- 1/2 dl Sugar free granulated sweetener
- 1/2 dl Milk (dairy free is fine)
- 1/2 dl Greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 dl Oat flour
- 1 1/2 dl Rice flour
- 2 tbsp Cacao powder
- 2 tsp Ground ginger
- 1 3/4 tsp Cinnamon
- 2/3 tsp Cloves
- 2/3 tsp All spice
- 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp Black pepper
- 1/4 tsp Cardamom
- 1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
- 2/3 tsp Baking soda
- 1/2 tsp Salt
For the filling
- 1 1/2 – 2 dl Powidła – Polish Plum Butter
For the topping
- 3 tbsp Cacao powder
- 1 tbsp Cornstarch
- 2-4 tbsp Granulated sugar free sweetener
- 1/4 tsp (optional)
- 2/3 dl Milk (+ 1 if needed)
- Preheat the oven to 165 degrees Celsius.
- Add honey, Powidła – plum butter and apple sauce to a small pot and heat on low heat stirring continuously. The mixture should get slightly warm, not hot, and be well combined. Take off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile combine oat flour, rice flour, cacao powder, all spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
- Add eggs and sugar in a big bowl. Whisk until the eggs turn pale and the mixture becomes slightly fluffy. This takes a few minutes.
- Add the honey mixture from the stove, stir gently until combined.
- Next add milk and greek yogurt, stir until incorporated.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet, little by little, stirring just until combined in between. Do not over mix.
- Pour the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Bake in the middle of the oven for 35-40 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven, let it cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and place on a cooling rack.
- When the cake is complete cooled slice it in half lengthwise, making sure it is evenly thick all over.
- Spread Powidła – Polish plum butter over the bottom layer of the cake into an evenly thick layer. Cover with the top part of the cake.
- Add cacao powder, cornstarch, sugar and milk to a small pot. Heat on low heat stirring regularly to avoid it from burning and lumps from creating.
- Stir until the chocolate mixture thickens, then remove from the stove and let it cool for 1-2 minutes.
- Pour over the cake, spreading it all over the top. If you want the chocolate ganache to cover the whole cake make a double batch of the chocolate ganache and spread on the sides as well.