Polish inspired gingerbread loaf (piernik) is a one-bowl easy to make festive bake. This simple cake is made using oil for a lighter, fluffier consistency, and sweetened with a combination of sugar and honey .
Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 180 C/ gas mark 4. Grease a medium loaf tin and line with baking paper. Set aside.
Combine the flour, baking powder, mixed spice, ginger, cocoa, brown sugar and salt, stir thoroughly using a whisk and set aside.
Beat together the eggs, honey and oil for 2 minutes. Gradually add the dry mixture alternating with the buttermilk until almost combined. Fold in the crystallised ginger and mix the dry ingredients in completely with a spoon (but do not overstir).
Pour the batter into the pan and bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour (check if ready with a toothpick - it should come out clean). Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Lift the cake out of the tin (with the paper) and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
To make the icing combine the icing sugar with the orange juice and stir until smooth. Scatter the crushed nuts over the top of the cake (optional) and drizzle over the icing.
Do NOT overstir the batter.
*Crystallised ginger (also called candied ginger) is available in most supermarkets in the UK. You might be able to also find it in health food shops or buy it online. Stem ginger in syrup is not the same product and should NOT be used in this recipe.
You can use sultanas or raisins instead of crystallised ginger.
Ensure the cake has had time to cool completely before decorating it.
Storing: cover with foil or plastic wrap or keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Freezing: once completely cooled place the cake in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.