I’ve been craving for a good breakfast cake for a while now. You see, ready bought breakfast cakes – or pain d’epices – are extremely expensive here in France. Especially if you compare it to the dutch breakfast cake – ontbijtkoek. I’m not sure why, but you can easily pay 8 euro’s for one tiny cake. There are cheaper options available, but they are really not worth the money or the calories. All these cakes are often too dry to my taste and shop bought breakfast cakes in general, are filled with sugar. Whether they are the cheap ones that you can buy in the Netherlands or the expensive ones that you buy in France. And that’s also something that I’m trying to stay away from.

chai bulgur breakfast cake by pakovska

I had to start making them myself and today I’ll share the first breakfast cake I really love making (because it’s so easy) and eating. I am calling it a Chai breakfast cake, as it feels very oriental. It’s made of bulgur, lots of spices, tahin, eggs & dried fruits.  I love topping it off with honey and pistachios, but it’s perfect without that as well. It’s a recipe I’ve developed myself by using other basic breakfast cake recipes. The difference with most other recipes is that this recipe doesn’t contain any refined sugars, only dried fruit. Which is also sweet, but it doesn’t cause powerful/awful spikes in your blood sugar. Not in such a way as normal sugar does.

red blood orange juice


chai bulgur breakfast cakeChai breakfast cake


– 350gr dark bulgur
– 800ml milk
– 200ml water
– 2 eggs
– 1 cup of pitted dates
– 7 dried figs (remove the stems)
– 1 tbsp sultana’s
– 5 tbsp tahini paste
– 1 tbsp Oriental 4-spices (cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg & ginger mix)
– 10 cardamon seeds (you can replace this with cardamon powder)
– 1 tsp vanilla powder
– 1 tsp salt
oiling the bake tin: tsp sunflower oil
optional topping: roasted pistachios & honey (comb)

To do:

Preheat your oven at 180C. You will only need a blender to make this cake batter. First of all, you need to place the bulgur and the cardamon seeds in your blender and pulse them for a minute or so. When it’s done, the bulgur should come out a bit tinier than it went in and the cardamon seeds should ideally be pulverised as a whole. You can now place the mix in a separate bowl.
Now you place everything else on the list (except for the toppings and the sunflower oil) in the blender and beat everything up for about two minutes (this depends on your blender). It’s done when your dried fruit has been fully pulverised and mixed with the wet ingredients. When that is done, add it to your bulgur bowl. Use a whisk to mix everything. The final mixture will be quite wet.
Line your cake tin with baking paper and oil the paper with a bit of sunflower oil. Place the batter on top. Now place it in your oven for about 45-60 minutes depending on your oven. Take it out when the consistency of the cake feels good/strong enough. The cake will remain a bit moist, so you can not use the dry-tooth-pick-trick for this one.
Serve it warm with a slice of honey comb and some grilled pistachios and a fresh blood orange juice. Or cold just like it is with a cup of coffee. After it’s cooled down, you can put it away in a sheet of baking paper in a tin. I have a special breakfast bread tin that I bought in the Netherlands, but you can use whatever tin you have. Keep it in a cold place and it will remain good for a few days.

chai bulgur breakfast cake