French Pain d'Epices

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A cake with no eggs, dairy, oil, or soy? French bakers have been making it for centuries. This spice cake gets even better over time, so it's the perfect make-ahead bake sale item.

  • MUFFINServings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts or almonds
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs. grated orange zest
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 black tea bags
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried figs

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 9- x 5-inch loaf pan, 3 6- x 3-inch miniloaf pans, or 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.

2. Spread hazelnuts in small baking pan, and toast in oven 8 to 12 minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Set aside.

3. Whisk together flour, orange zest, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt in large bowl. Place honey and brown sugar in separate bowl. Place tea bags in 2-cup measuring cup, and cover with 1 1/4 cups boiling water. Let steep 3 minutes. Remove tea bags, and whisk tea into honey mixture until honey and sugar have dissolved. Stir honey mixture into flour mixture, and fold in nuts and figs.

4. Scoop batter into prepared pan(s). Bake large loaf 50 to 60 minutes, miniloaves 25 to 35 minutes, or muffins 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Loosen edges, and turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: Makes 1 loaf, 3 miniloaves, or 12 muffins
  • Calories: 194
  • Carbohydrate Content: 40 g
  • Fat Content: 3 g
  • Fiber Content: 2 g
  • Protein Content: 3 g
  • Sodium Content: 210 mg
  • Sugar Content: 24 g