Ontbijtkoek – Dutch Sweet Bread

For the month of December, Andrea from 4pure took us on a trip to the Netherlands. She challenged us to take our taste buds on a joyride through the land of sugar and spice by baking three different types of Dutch sweet bread


This was my second challenge with the Daring Bakers and it was a suitably spiced one in time for Christmas. We were challenged to make Ontbijtkoek (which I still haven’t figured out how to pronounce…), which is a Dutch sweet, spiced quick bread. It is generally baked with rye flour and contains no fat which led to it being promoted by the food industry as a healthy snack despite the fact that 50% of the total ingredients consist of sugar…

dutch spice bread

Ontbijtkoek literally translates as breakfast cake, and it is traditionally served for breakfast, spread with a thick layer of butter, or as a snack. There are various different types of ontbijtkoek, using different spice blends and sweeteners; I chose to bake kruidkoek (which translates as spice cake), which is a simple mix of rye and plain flours, baking powder, dark brown sugar and milk, and is flavoured with cinnamon and nutmeg. The result is a dense, chewy loaf with a flavour similar to gingerbread and a sticky crust.

ontbijtkoek - dutch spice bread

The loaf is incredibly quick and simple to make, you just whisk everything together, pour the mixture into a tin and bake for and hour and a half. The bread is very tasty and makes a good snack, but I can hardly call it a challenge considering how simple it is to make!

dutch sweet bread

Ontbijtkoek - Dutch Sweet Bread


  • 250g (2 cups) plain flour
  • 250g (2 cups) rye flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 500g (2 1/2 cups, firmly packed) dark brown soft sugar
  • 500ml (2 cups) milk

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 and line a 2lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper. Whisk the flours, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a bowl. Put the milk in a small saucepan and heat until it almost comes to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the sugar and whisk until the sugar has dissolved.

Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until the batter is completely smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for about 90 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean, cover with foil if it starts to get too dark. Allow to cool in the tin for five minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Will keep for about four days in an airtight container.

I am sharing this with Totally Talented Tuesdays, Create Link Inspire , Foodie Fridays and Fiesta Friday

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

9 Comments on Ontbijtkoek – Dutch Sweet Bread

  1. apuginthekitchen
    December 27, 2014 at 11:15 pm (4 years ago)

    Wow looks great and no leavening. It looks dense and delicious.

    • hannahhossack
      December 28, 2014 at 5:43 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you 🙂

  2. andy
    December 28, 2014 at 2:42 am (4 years ago)

    perfectly textured !!

    • hannahhossack
      December 28, 2014 at 5:44 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you 🙂

  3. Sonya
    December 29, 2014 at 4:28 pm (4 years ago)

    I’m an American living in The Netherlands and you pronounce it kinda like this..Ont rhymes with the ” ont “sound in either don’t or won’t..There is a slight sound difference but that is as close as I can get you. The “bijt” sounds like bite and “koek” sounds like cook but with the sound of coo coo..lol so when you say you want to emphasize the second part…OntBITEkoek..something like that 🙂 Over here the flavor is always the same but then you can also get it with added nuts or chocolate and I tend to like those more. I eat it plain but my Dutch husband prefers it with butter.

    • hannahhossack
      December 30, 2014 at 10:05 am (4 years ago)

      Ah that makes sense! Thank you for the explanation 🙂 It sounds nice with chocolate in it, I might have to give that a go…

  4. hannahhossack
    December 30, 2014 at 10:01 am (4 years ago)

    Where is it listed as a slow cooker recipe? It cannot be baked in a slow cooker so I don’t know why it is coming up as one!

  5. HonestMum (@HonestMummy)
    January 6, 2015 at 7:31 pm (4 years ago)

    What a hearty loaf, beautiful photography too! Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays


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