Sweet Sunday – Dutch Ontbijtkoek

As a lover of all things food, I own a lot of cookbooks. And by a lot, I mean really a lot. They range from Jamie Oliver, to Nigella Lawson. From small IKEA cookbooks, to big pricey ones.

Two of my favourites are actually getting pretty old, dating back to the 50’s. Both of them are in Dutch, and are books that have had several editions since they first came out in 1911. Reading them takes you back in time, when electric ovens were just being introduced, when the aftermath of WWII was still evident in the availability of products. A particular passage in the book about this struck me quite hard, as you sometimes forget that after the war everything did not go back to normal in a split second. The recipes in the book were therefore adapted to the availability of products, but ,as the writer stated, some of the products will still seem luxurious.Nederlandse Kookboeken

Another thing which is interesting is that these cookbooks never ever mention a man cooking. The fact that they even address a woman, or specifically a housewife, clearly dates the books to another decennium. Now, we find this absolutely intolerable, but back then it really was just the women who cooked and baked. One of the books is made by the Amsterdamse Huishoudschool, which was basically a school for women to learn how to run a household, or how to become a maid.

For those interested, the books are:

  • C.J. Wannée – Kookboek van De Amsterdamse Huishoudschool
  • Elektro Kookboek

Anyways, these books are like treasures to me as they contain recipes for all kinds of typically Dutch dishes. Especially recipes for baked goods that I never knew or thought that you could actually make yourself, as it is so normal to buy them in the supermarket. To bring back these “lost” recipes, I want to introduce them to you guys!

First up, Ontbijtkoek. If you translate Ontbijtkoek  to English, it literally means Breakfastcake. However, it’s not specifically a breakfast dish, as with most things you can eat it whenever you want. With tea, as a snack, as dessert.Ontbijtkoek (4)The spices used in the cake are common in Dutch baked goods. Especially ground cloves, which originates from Indonesia, is something that we use in almost every cookie, and cake. I always find that it has a kind of autumnal taste. Adding honey to the mix, makes for a sticky and firm cake.

This time I made two Ontbijtkoeken, a basic one, and one with chocolate chips. They are both equally delicious, but the chocolate is more like an afternoon tea dish, while the basic one can be used as a quick snack throughout the day. The recipe below is for the basic loaf, so you can add any chocolate chips or nuts or raisins to your own imagination.

Best thing is to eat Ontbijtkoek with a bit of butter on it. I’m literally drooling just by the thought of it. I’m going to quickly go downstairs and eat my breakfast with some Breakfastcake!

Let me know what you think 🙂Ontbijtkoek (1)

Dutch Ontbijtkoek

  • Servings: 1 loaf
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Gives 1 loaf


  • 300 grams of  self rising flour
  • 100 grams of white sugar
  • 3 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp of ground cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • 200 grams of honey
  • 200 ml of milk
  • Optional: 150 grams of chocolate chips, or raisins

Used kitchen appliances

  • Oven
  • 1 loaf tin
  • 1 mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C or 350F. Grease the loaf tin with butter.
  2. In the mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, spices, salt). If you also want to add chocolate chips or raisins, this is where you use them. By adding them to the dry ingredients, the flour in particular will give the chips or raisins a coating, which prevents them sinking to the bottom of the cake.
  3. Proceed to add the wet ingredients (honey and milk). Stir with the wooden spoon until combined.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the tin. Place in the oven for about 1 hour, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  5. Leave to rest and cool down a bit. To ensure the tastiness, wrap the Ontbijtkoek in tin foil. The loaf can be kept for about 2-3 days if in an air-tight environment.

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