Cakes, Christmas, Polish food

Traditional Polish Christmas Gingerbread

November 12, 2013

maturing Traditional Polish Christmas Gingerbread

Before I started blogging I would never  have thought about making a gingerbread dough or any dough and leaving it for 2 months in a fridge. Well that sounds scary, doesn’t it. I kind of know what am I doing now just by a simple fact, I tried similar recipe for maturing gingerbread cookies 2 years ago, it wasn’t exactly the same recipe, but the idea was the same. It turned out nice.

So this year I’m making maturing gingerbread and I hope it will turn out nicely, otherwise it will be kind of annoying not to have an epilogue to this post, won’t it?

If you want to join me in making this cake you need to start your dough as soon as possible as it needs to sit in the fridge for next 6 weeks.

maturing Traditional Polish Christmas Gingerbread

Polish gingerbread

Traditional Polish Christmas Gingerbread

Traditional Polish Christmas Gingerbread

Recipe from Moje Wypieki

  • 250g honey
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 125g butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup cold milk
  • 500g plain flour, sifted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 40g gingerbread spice mix (try to use one that doesn't have cocoa or flour)
  • 200g jar plum jam, for spread
Mix honey, sugar and butter in a saucepan, until the mixture will start to simmer and sugar will dissolve entirely.
Let it cool.
Dissolve the baking soda in milk.
Add flour, milk and baking soda mixture, eggs, salt and gingerbread spice mix.
Knead the dough until smooth. It will be quite sticky at this point.
Place the dough into a glass container, cover with teatowel and store in a fridge for 5-6 weeks (only 2 weeks will do as well).
5-6 days before Christmas
Divide the dough into 3 equal parts and roll it out into even rectangles about 0.5cm thick.(you may need to leave it first in room temperature for an hour, as the dough hardens during maturing and may be a little bit difficult to handle).
Preheat the oven to 170ºC/160ºC fan.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Leave it to cool.
Place the first gingerbread layer and cover it with the half of the plum jam. Place the second layer and cover it with the remaining jam. Place the last layer at the top.
Wrap it with parchment paper, put something heavy on the top like a wooden cutting board and leave for 3-4 days to allow flavours to mature.
Cover the cake with icing or chocolate ganache.

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  • Reply Canal Cook November 13, 2013 at 22:55

    I love gingerbread. Hopefully will find the time to make this before its too late. A lot of Danish Christmas desserts are the same, you have to make them weeks and weeks in advance so I did that last year

    • Reply Magda November 13, 2013 at 22:58

      Really? Do you have any recipes? How did you like them? Was it worth it?
      I have a Danish friend, but I haven’t heard about maturing cakes, only standard cookies.

  • Reply Lebkuchen - Magda's Cauldron December 2, 2013 at 00:22

    […] recipes (and only one type disappeared before I managed to take photos of them), I’ve made maturing gingerbread cake and I’m almost falling into sugar coma. But I guess it’s all good news for you, we […]

  • Reply Joanna December 7, 2013 at 13:01

    This year for the very first time I am going to make gingerbread cookies, although reading your post I am too late:) this sounds really nice. I will keep you posted on the results…

    • Reply Magda December 7, 2013 at 20:37

      I know, it’s an awful recipe that requires planning ahead. Bea (from always does reminder that’s about time to make a dough for gingerbread. I want to fill it in with marzipan and jam :D

  • Reply David G Young November 13, 2014 at 12:15

    Thank you for the recipe and thank you for writing it in metric! :)###<=?

    • Reply David G Young November 13, 2014 at 12:20

      I presume your cup measurement is 1 cup = 250 ml. Is it?

      • Reply Magda November 13, 2014 at 12:22

        Yes, David. I use European cups, so 1 cup is always 250 ml. Let me know how did you like the recipe :)

        • Reply David G Young November 13, 2014 at 12:40

          I’m making all 12 dishes this year, and I’ve been discussing the two rival gingerbread opinions with some of my students. The predominant view is that the gingerbread is baked and then stored for ages beforehand. I’m a little wary of that, as I associate that more with fruitcakes like traditional UK Christmas cakes. I’m going to try yours, with the rival strategy of storing the unbaked dough for a few weeks, instead. I’ll let you know after the 24th of December how it went. Thanks again for the recipe.

          • Magda November 13, 2014 at 12:50

            Oh wow. Good luck David. That’s a nice challenge.
            Gingerbread stores really well, and especially when it comes to gingerbread cookies it is recommended to bake them a few weeks before Christmas so they have time to soften and develop their flavours. As you will layer the gingerbread with jam it will need less time soften.
            I really hope you like it :)

  • Reply David G Young November 13, 2014 at 19:39

    By the way, what oven temperature should I use? I can’t find one in the recipe.

    • Reply Magda November 14, 2014 at 08:48

      Good catch David. I’ve added in. You should bake in 170ºC/160ºC fan.

  • Reply galia December 10, 2014 at 01:01

    Hello, Magda! I love traditional polish ginger bread cookies, but it’s a rear treat here in the states. I tried some recipes before but all of the resulting products were just regular cookies.. this post offers hope :) you said you made ginger bread cookies before, did you post that recipe? or do you think i could use this dough for cookies?
    Btw did you have pictures of this cake?

    • Reply Magda December 10, 2014 at 20:41

      Hi Galia,
      I want to make gingerbread cookies probably over the weekend. So far I didn’t post any recipe. I want to try ones that you can’t eat straight away and you don’t have to wait. I hope they will turn out lovely and I can post them on the blog. Yes, you can use this recipe to make cookies, just remember to bake them a few days before you plan to eat them as they maybe very hard at first.
      Yes, I do have a photo of the cake, I will add it to the post in few minutes.

  • Reply galia December 11, 2014 at 04:07

    Oh my god it looks professional and so good! Thanks for the recipe and the picture! Will be checking back for the Pierniczki recipe :) I wish I could pay back with a recipe or 2 but I am a dummy.
    Oh, here is a link on one of the most popular blocks with russian traditional sweets, i don’t know if you are interested, but just in case you are :) (just use translator in your browser ;)
    Thanks again!

    • Reply Magda December 11, 2014 at 22:37

      Aww thank you Galia, but it’s actually really easy to make it look professional, as you can to cut the edges of the cake.
      I think I saw that blog, my favourite Polish blogger used some of recipes from there. I will have look anyway :) Good luck with pierniczki, let me know how it goes.

  • Reply Thalia @ butter and brioche December 11, 2014 at 20:58

    This gingerbread looks incredible… and the layers are seriously perfect! I can imagine it tastes delicious too, pinned!

    • Reply Magda December 11, 2014 at 22:39

      Thank you Thalia. The layers aren’t actually even, but shhhh… ;)

  • Reply galia December 12, 2014 at 04:41

    Just made the dough! So exited! Have a couple questions here. So.. my dough is a little too spicy.. like a little too gingery.. does the flavor stays the same over time or does it change?It smells awesome and the color is great but I am afraid that the spices are not exactly what they were supposed to be.. And another question how did you keep the towel on place? did the dough dry out on top?
    Wow this recipe is unbelievable really!

    • Reply Magda December 13, 2014 at 14:16

      Did you added more spices? Or they were super fresh? I don’t remember how my dough did taster when it was fresh, but the flavours should blend together while the dough develops. You can always put the rubber around the towel to make it stay in place. I had the dough in the drawer and the towel just stayed on the top. Yes, the dough will get very hard and it will dry out a little.
      I’m glad you like it :) I just hope you will like the end result.

      • Reply galia December 31, 2014 at 01:55

        They turned out really good! I used apple butter(no sugar – quite sour) for the filling and melted dark chocolate for covering, delicious! Melt in the mouth! My friends didn’t believe that I made them :) Btw I used pirogy maker and it works great. Will make them again next year.
        Thanks, thanks, thanks for sharing!

        • Reply Magda December 31, 2014 at 13:14

          I’m so happy for you Galia. Those are the best moments of blogging. Have a great New Year!

  • Reply Debbie December 18, 2014 at 02:44

    What do you recommend for the gingerbread spice mix? Can you tell my about how much of each spice? I’m assuming ginger, cinnamon, etc.? Also, I see more than jam in one layer! What is it? Thanks!

    • Reply Magda December 18, 2014 at 19:57

      Hi Debbie,
      I often use this recipe. You will get best result by using whole spices and grounding them just before mixing it together. This makes a quite big portion, so feel free to divide, or skip some spices if you don’t have them.
      The other layer has jam and marzipan. I will add it to the recipe :)

      Mix 50g ground cinnamon, 20g ground ginger, 15g ground cloves, 15g ground cardamom, 10g grated nutmeg, 10g ground allspice, 10g ground black pepper, 5g ground anise

  • Reply Adam September 9, 2015 at 21:17

    Hi Magda,

    Can you use this recipe just to make biscuits (cookies), without doing the layering into a cake and jam etc.?



    • Reply Magda September 13, 2015 at 19:48

      Hi Adam,
      Yes, you can make cookies with them. If you have time you can also stuff them with jam. Take a look at photos on the blog
      Good luck.

      • Reply Adam September 27, 2015 at 19:56

        Thanks Magda, they look great! I’ve just made a batch of dough up for a test run in a few weeks time. I’m definitely going to put jam in them, and I love the idea of spraying them gold!

        • Reply Magda November 13, 2015 at 19:31

          Yay! Now you just have to wait :)

  • Reply John Graham January 1, 2016 at 19:04

    Hi I’m a retired teacher living in Poland and I enjoy cooking. Thank you for the gingerbread recipes but also for your site which I think is excellent . You have chiosen your recipes well, I trust them and will be back for more . Wszystkiego dobrego w nowym roku.

  • Reply David Young January 5, 2016 at 20:24

    Dziękuję Bardzo Magda!

    Thank you very much for the recipe. For the last two Christmases, 2014 and ’15, I have made all twelve dishes for visiting members of my family. Your gingerbread recipe was a resounding success.

  • Reply Sauv November 10, 2016 at 07:20

    Magda, how many cookies does this recipe make please?

    • Reply Magda November 11, 2016 at 20:25

      Sauv, I must say I don’t have a clue. I only made a cake from it. I think the pan I used was 20x20cm and you get three thick layers of gingerbread. Hope that helps.

    • Reply Magda December 24, 2016 at 13:42

      Sauv, I don’t have a clue, I only made a cake out of it.

  • Reply Brigitte December 26, 2016 at 03:10

    I made this for Christmas and it was delicious, thank you Magda:)

    • Reply Magda January 15, 2017 at 21:25

      Brigitte, happy to hear it :)

  • Reply Leslie Esposito November 11, 2017 at 01:36

    Can this recipe be used to make cookies, too?

    • Reply Magda November 12, 2017 at 11:20

      Yes. I’ve never done it, but I know others do it.

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