Monday, 26 October 2015

Comfort food: Spice loaf / bread

Perhaps I shouldn't admit it but I got into the holiday spirit early this year. I blame the kids. One evening when having dinner they started talking about our Christmas traditions, the food we enjoy, and I haven't recovered. I think I may have to pretend to be American and celebrate Thanksgiving this year just to get me some turkey and pumpkin pie. Back to my holiday mood. It's serious. I even baked a spice loaf two days in a row last week, mainly to enjoy the Christmassy scent of spices coming from the oven. And yesterday I started my experiments for our Christmas brunches, which you may have seen on Instagram.

October has kept me busy but one of the highlights this month was getting my friend (Cafe)Sigrun's cookbook in the mail, which you can spot in two images. It's the cookbook I worked on and told you about in this post. It was published in Iceland in the beginning of the month and has been well received. I thought my heart would burst when I opened the envelope. It was a strange feeling holding the book in my hands and turning its pages: there they were in print the documents that had been on my computer screen for months! I'm going to share a few recipes later and give you a peek inside the book.

The spice loaf recipe, which contains cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and cocoa powder, is one of those from my old food blog. I adapted it from my friend (Cafe)Sigrun, who was inspired by a spice tour in Africa when she put hers together, which is spicier. I have been baking the spice bread, a loaf cake, for many years and it's our comfort food. Sometimes when it's cold outside, and it's just the children and me at home, we enjoy it with hot chocolate for dinner. It's one of the few things I eat with butter, but I also like it without it. I bake it with spelt flour and I combine white and wholemeal, but you can use another flour. When I make it I use a dl measuring jug (something I was brought up with in Iceland) but I have added the measurement in grams and cups for those who don't have one or have never heard of it before.


3½ dl spelt flour (175 g, scant 1½ cups)
2½ dl rolled oats (100 g, 1 cup)
1¼ dl organic unrefined cane sugar (110 g, ½ cup)
2-3 tablespoons cocoa powder, organic/fair-trade
2½ teaspoons baking powder, gluten free
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
250 ml milk / soya milk (1 cup)
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Add the milk and maple syrup and combine slowly, until there is no dry spelt flour left at the bottom. Add 1-3 tablespoons of milk if needed.

Line a (ceramic) loaf tin with baking parchment and pour the batter into it.

Bake at 190°C/375°F (175°C fan oven) for 35-40 minutes. You can stick a fork into the middle to see if the bread is ready. My children prefer the loaf a little sticky so I never bake it longer than 35 minutes in my oven. You can freeze slices of the spice loaf and put them straight into a toaster.

Uppskrift á íslensku.


  1. This sounds and looks like the perfect treat for a foggy autumn day. And I am pretty sure it tastes perfect too!! Happy new week my friend!

    1. Igor, I dare you to try this one. It's very easy to make and you can freeze the rest of the loaf in slices. Have a wonderful week!


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