This gluten-free gingerbread with an aromatic blend of seasonal spices is inspired by the classic French spice bread called pain d'épices.
One of my very favorite quick breads to make around the holidays is gingerbread.
It’s a classic this time of year due to its aromatic blend of seasonal spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves but this French inspired gingerbread also known as pain d'épices is well suited for the holidays and beyond.
What is Pain d'Epices?
Pain d'épices is France’s version of gingerbread, although more delicately spiced and with undertones of honey instead of molasses. Bakery windows are often lined with neatly wrapped loaves ready for gifting all year-long.
It’s a hearty loaf whose distinctive flavor improves with an overnight rest, as the flavors of honey and spice mingle and meld together.
My gluten-free version uses a blend of cashew and almond butter instead of wheat flour to which a melody of spices are added. There’s cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and a hint of black pepper for heat. Orange zest and orange blossom honey give the bread an almost floral note, and anise a mild licorice-like sweetness.
It makes for a terrific afternoon snack with a cup to tea or lightly toasted in the morning for breakfast. I like to eat mine with a spoonful of cherry preserves or drizzled with extra honey. The recipe makes two small loaves, one for giving and one for eating.
More holiday spice recipes:
Gluten-Free French Gingerbread - Pain d’Épices
A hearty paleo and gluten-free French spice bread with an aromatic blend of seasonal spices reminiscent of gingerbread.
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup/128g cashew butter
- ½ cup/128g roasted almond butter (smooth)
- ½ cup/120ml orange blossom honey
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
- ½ inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground aniseed
- ¼ teaspoon ground black or white pepper
- The zest of 1 medium orange
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Prepare two 6 inch loaf pans.
- Whisk together the eggs, cashew butter and almond butter until smooth. Stir in honey, spices, orange zest and baking soda until well combined.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pans and place on a baking sheet. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, until the loaves are puffed and browned and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the loaves to a rack and let cool to room temperature.
NOTE: The loaves can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 175Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 163mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 6g
Nutritional information for recipes contained on this website, such as calories, fat, carbs, etc. are only estimates and are not guaranteed to be accurate.
Sylvie Shirazi is the recipe developer and food photographer behind Gourmande in the Kitchen. For the last 10 years she's been making eating more healthfully easy and accessible with gluten-free, grain-free, paleo and vegan recipes that are free from processed ingredients.
Lindsay Lester says
Hi, I would like to make this but have no cashew butter - could I sub it with more almond butter? Or I also have sunflower seed butter... Help? 🙂
HI Lindsay, Almond butter will work but the loaf will be darker and have a slightly more pronounced flavor.
[email protected] says
Wow! Absolutely gorgeous! I'm so excited to give this a try. It looks so festive and delicious! Merry Christmas! Hope you're enjoying special blessings with your little one!
Thank you Kelly, wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas as well!
Sarah Walker Caron (Sarah's Cucina Bella) says
What a beautiful loaf! I can't believe there's no flour -- what a great recipe!
This looks delicious, I have never thought of using nut butters in place of flour, can't wait to try!
I love the dep rich color in this bread. What a fabulous gift to hand out during the holidays!
Amy Stafford says
Such a wonderful bread. Perfect for the holidays.
Madame Thermomix says
You've done it again, Sylvie! Another must-make recipe for my list. I am totally intrigued as to how eggs, nut butters and spices can possibly bake into a loaf and you're a genius for dreaming up this recipe! Many thanks, I shall report back on my success 😉
Emily @ Recipes to Nourish says
This sounds delicious! I have never heard of this bread before. I love all of those beautiful flavors! Pinning.
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
What a lovely loaf, this would be perfect with my afternoon tea!
Amanda | The Chunky Chef says
Whoa... cashew butter AND almond butter? Sign me up!!