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Pain d'épices - Alsace

Pain d'épices - Alsace

Article by Emily Saurack

This article was written by our intern, Emily Saurack. Emily is a High School senior with a penchant for food, French, and photography. With inspiration from her extensive collection of cookbooks, Emily has been baking for her large family holiday gatherings and for charity events benefiting The Sharing Shelf. Emily founded a baking kit company called MixItReal, where she demonstrates healthy recipes for which she sells and delivers pre-packaged ingredients. Emily recently apprenticed at Estelle Gourmet, where she assisted with teaching French cooking classes. She has DELF level B1 certification in French and is working toward level B2 and hopes to one day study in France where, with her camera by her side, she could explore French cuisine and culture.

Made with the main ingredients of rye flour, honey, and spices including, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, pain d’épices has long been a traditional recipe in French homes on Christmas. Pain d’épices is a delicious, velvety, and moist dessert with different variations in different parts of the world. Some of the other names for it are gingerbread, lebkuchen, and gaulderye bread, all with slightly different recipes.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 1 loaf


  • 1 ¾ cups rye flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter (or ½ cup)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 large egg


  • Preheat the oven to 350˚F and butter a loaf pan.
  • On a saucepan, over medium heat, melt and mix the butter with the milk and honey. Once smooth, let the mixture cool.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the rye flour, baking powder, salt, spices, and brown sugar.
  • Once the dry ingredients are combined, create a well in the center and add the egg. Mix the egg into the flour mixture, then gradually mix in the milk mixture.
  •  Pour the batter into the loaf pan, and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let cool and enjoy!