Kruidkoek (Dutch spiced cake)

Traditionally this recipe has only been given to a daughter-in-law once married to a Schoemaker. I may have been the first exception to this rule! Not ever planning to get married, let alone using the name Schoemaker, my mother-in-law good heartedly passed this recipe onto me early in our relationship. This was the right decision; we have now been married for 26 years with no plans for divorce.

The story goes that if the mother-in-law was not so fond of her daughter-in-law to be, the cake baked by the daughter-in-law, would never turn out really as good as the one from mother-in-law herself. Over time some slight variations to the recipe have occurred. But this is the unadulterated version! The cake is easy to make, and the recipe can easily produce one large cake or two small ones.


  • 500g self raising flour
  • 500g dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp koek en speculaaskruiden* (mixed spice can be substituted)
  • 150g candied ginger
  • 400ml of water
  • 1 tbsp butter


  1. Grease cake tin(s) with butter.
  2. Mix together flour, sugar, koek en speculaaskruiden (mixed spice) and ginger into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Slowly add the water while stirring until a liquid batter forms.
  4. Mix well making sure all ingredients are combined.
  5. Pour into cake tin(s).
  6. Bake in oven for 80 to 120 minutes at 130 C / 160 F.
  7. The cake is ready when a skewer comes out clean.
  8. Allow to completely cool before turning out for slicing.

* A mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger powder, cardamom, clove, coriander seeds and orange peel

Article and recipe written for Live To Eat by Marieke de Kam. Photography and food styling by Annabelle van Dijk, you can read more about Annabelle and her work here.


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