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Ontbijtkoek is often eaten with butter
Alternative namesPeperkoek, Kruidkoek
Place of originNetherlands, Belgium
Main ingredientsRye, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, succade, nutmeg
Food energy
(per serving)
100 kcal (419 kJ)

An ontbijtkoek (literally translated breakfast cake) or peperkoek (pepper cake) is a Dutch and Flemish spiced cake.[1] Rye is its most important ingredient, coloring the cake light brown. It is often spiced with cloves, cinnamon, ginger, succade and nutmeg. Several parts of the Netherlands have their own local recipe, of which the most famous is oudewijvenkoek (old woman's cake), which is mostly eaten in the northern regions, and is flavored with aniseed. Ontbijtkoek is traditionally served at breakfast with a thick layer of butter on top, as a replacement for bread, however, due to its sweet taste it is also served as a snack. It is best eaten the day after it is baked.[2]


Originally called 'peperkoek', it was made from breadcrumbs and other leftover bakery products stored in an attic. These ingredients were periodically collected and pressed to create the 'peperkoek' which was augmented with black pepper to conceal the age of the resulting thick bread, hence its name. Because pepper was historically one of the most valuable Dutch East India Company trading products, it was used in many Dutch food products.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ontbijtkoek". The Dutch Table. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  2. ^ David (2017-12-15). "Ontbijtkoek (Dutch breakfast cake) (Amsterdam)". Spiced. Retrieved August 12, 2019.