Ontbijtkoek – Spiced Breakfast Cake Recipe

Ontbijtkoek: Honey & Cinnamon Spiced Breakfast Cake

This Ontbijtkoek: Spiced Breakfast Cake is taken from the book ‘Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics’ by Catherine Barnhoorn.

Cake for breakfast? Why not?! It’s delicious and nutritious – and with all the spices it’s a warming, immune boosting answer to the eternal question “What’s for breakfast?” Traditionally served with a thick layer of butter spread over it, I sometimes use almond butter instead for a protein boost. Served with a mug of rooibos chai tea, this breakfast will chase the cold away!

The original ontbijtkoek is made with wheat or rye flour, sugar and milk – this recipe is my gluten, dairy and sugar-free adaptation!

 MAKES:  2 Mini Loaves  (pans measure 14cm x 8cm)


  • 1¼ cups almond flour*
  • 3 organic eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon Himalayan or sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ cup butternut, roasted, cooled and mashed (it is important to not steam the butternut as it will have too much moisture for the bread)
  • 3 tablespoon raw honey
  • 2 tablespoon unsulphured blackstrap molasses
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon aluminium-free baking powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Grease two 14cm x 8cm loaf pans. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper to ensure the loaves fall out easily once cooked.
  3. Place the almond flour and eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric beater for 2 minutes. This allows the rather dry almond flour to absorb some moisture before being cooked.
  4. Add the salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves and beat to mix.
  5. In another mixing bowl beat together the butternut, honey, molasses and coconut oil. Add this mixture to the almond flour mixture.
  6. Add the baking soda and baking powder and beat until combined.
  7. Scoop the batter into your prepared loaf pans and bake for 40 minutes, until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  8. Place the cake on a wire rack to cool, then wrap in tin foil for 24 hours before eating – this creates the delicious sticky crust!
  9. Cut and serve as is, or pop in the toaster and spread with butter.
  10. The remaining cake can be stored in a sealed container for up to 3 days. For longer storage, freeze slices for up to 1 month.


Wondering how this can boost your little one’s immune system? The secret power is in the spices! They are really a perfect example of how food can be your medicine.


Cinnamon is known to have antioxidant, antidiabetic, antiseptic, local aesthetic, anti-inflammatory, warming, and anti-flatulent properties.
It supports digestive function; relieves congestion; relieves pain and stiffness of muscles and joints; stimulates circulation; helps prevent urinary tract infections, tooth decay and gum disease and it is a powerful anti-microbial agent that can kill E. coli, Candida and other bacteria.


Nutmeg has a variety of healing properties and is a useful remedy for: insomnia, anxiety, calming muscle spasms, nausea and vomiting, indigestion (gas) and diarrhoea. It has the ability to detoxify the liver and kidneys and acts as an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial.


Ginger is well known as a remedy for headaches, menstrual cramps, motion sickness, nausea, indigestion, wind, colic, irritable bowel, loss of appetite, chills, cold, flu, bronchitis, poor circulation, and heartburn. Ginger tea is a useful remedy for morning sickness. It boosts the immune system and protects against bacteria and fungi.


Medicinally, cloves are used for their anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties.
Cloves are well known for their ability to relieve tooth and gum pain, but their many other benefits include: a digestive aid (stimulates enzyme production and soothes the intestines); relief from asthma and bronchitis (acts as an expectorant); relief from muscle pain from injuries or arthritis and rheumatism; eliminating intestinal parasites, fungi and bacteria (including Candida); encouraging creativity and mental focus.

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