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Iconic Speculaas Cookies

4.89 from 9 votes
My Iconic Speculaas Cookies recipe is deliciously crispy, warmly spiced and bound to be (or become!) a holiday tradition in your house!

Hi Bold Bakers!

Dutch speculaas or speculoos — whatever you call these deliciously crispy, warmly spiced cookies, they’re bound to be (or become!) a holiday tradition in your house!

On top of having that incredible taste and crisp bite, my Iconic Speculaas Cookies recipe gives you an absolutely beautiful treat to share around the table or to wrap up in some pretty gift bags that you can surprise your friends and family with. 

Usually, speculaas are made by using a mold that is imprinted on them. You can use either speculaas molds or an embossed rolling pin and a 2.5-inch (6.5 cm) round cookie cutter as I do. If you don’t have the mold or rolling pin, don’t fret! These cookies still taste great even without a signature look! 

What Are Speculaas Cookies?

Speculaas cookies are a Dutch spiced shortcrust cookie that’s usually served the day before the feast of St. Nicholas, which takes place on December 5. Now, it’s not unusual to see these baked up in homes and bakeries all through the winter. 

The ingredients that give these cookies their distinct flavoring are warm spices, including cinnamon, ground cloves, aniseed, nutmeg, and ginger. Not only do they taste amazing — they’ll fill your entire house with a warm, comforting scent while they bake!

What You Need To Make Speculaas

How To Make Speculaas Cookies

Making these delicious cookies couldn’t be easier, and Santa will undoubtedly thank you for leaving them out the night of his yearly ride! Here is how you make them (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):

  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, aniseed, nutmeg, white pepper, ginger, and salt. Set this bowl aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer, blend the butter and sugar for a few minutes until it becomes fluffy.
  3. Beat the milk into the butter/sugar mixture and gradually add the flour and spice mixture.
  4. Once combined, gather the dough into a ball, flatten it into a disk, and cover it well with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour, until firm.
  5. When it is ready to bake, preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C). Line your two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. If you are using speculaas mold, dust the molds with rice flour, press a piece of the dough into the mold, and then tap the mold to release the dough. Cutaway any extra dough, and repeat! 
  7. If you are using an embossed rolling pin, roll the dough to a 1/8-inch (3mm) thickness on a surface dusted with rice flour. Then use the cookie cutter to cut out your cookies. You can also use a plain rolling pin for this step; if you do not have an embossed rolling pin, your cookies will just be design-less. 
  8. Place the cut-out cookies onto the prepared baking sheets and bake for about 15-18 minutes until they are slightly golden. Allow the cookies to cool completely on racks. 

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Speculaas

  • If you don’t have rice flour on hand to dust your molds and work area, you can use all-purpose flour. However, AP flour won’t disappear with baking.
  • You can use a regular rolling pin if you don’t have speculaas molds or an embossed rolling pin! They’ll still taste great!
  • Make sure your dough is very cold for easier handling.
  • Use a pastry brush to remove any excess flour from the cookies before baking.
  • Traditionally, flaked almonds are added to these cookies. If you’d like to add them, press a few almonds into your rolled cookies. If using molds, or an embossed roller, you can press the almonds into the cookie’s underside.
  • You can make the dough ahead and freeze it for up to 2 months! Ready to go for the holidays!

How Do I Store Speculaas?

You can keep leftover speculaas cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. However, you can also freeze the raw dough for up to 2 months! 

Make More Cookies At Home!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Iconic Speculaas Cookies Recipe

4.89 from 9 votes
My Iconic Speculaas Cookies recipe is deliciously crispy, warmly spiced and bound to be (or become!) a holiday tradition in your house!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 25 cookies
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
My Iconic Speculaas Cookies recipe is deliciously crispy, warmly spiced and bound to be (or become!) a holiday tradition in your house!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 25 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 ⅔ cups (8 ⅓ oz/236g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground aniseed
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground dried ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (4oz/115g) butter at room temperature
  • ¾ cup (4½oz/128g) brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • fine rice flour (for rolling)

Instructions

  • Special equipment: speculaas molds or an embossed rolling pin and a 2.5-inch (6.5 cm) round cookie cutter.
  • In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, aniseed, nutmeg, black pepper, ginger, and salt. Set aside.
  • With an electric mixer, blend the butter and sugar for a few minutes, until fluffy.
  • Beat in the milk, then gradually add the flour mixture.
  • Once the dough is combined, gather it into a ball, flatten it into a disk, cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (at least one hour).
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C) and line two baking sheets with parchment.
  • If using the speculaas molds, dust the molds with rice flour, press a piece of dough into the mold, tap the mold to release the dough, and cut away any extra dough. Repeat with the remaining dough.
    If using an embossed rolling pin, roll out the dough to a 1/8-inch (3 mm) thickness on a surface dusted with rice flour, then use a 2 ½ inch cutter to cut out your cookies.
  • Place rolled and cut cookies on the prepared baking sheets and bake for about 15-18 minutes until slightly golden. Let cool completely on racks.
  • Store speculaas cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Submit your own photos of this recipe

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MYL

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Jo Herdegen
10 months ago

Thanks Gemma,
I have not been able to find a tasty cookie recipe that creates a sharp enough indent for my embossed rolling pin! To date it’s either a beautiful cookie that tastes bland and tough or a cookie with a pattern that can barely be identified. I’ll try it this weekend!
Jo

Marianne
Marianne
10 months ago

Yaaaaaaaaay Speculaas! So surprised to see this on a non Dutch recipe website. 🎉🎉🎉
When I was little, mom put speculaas cookies on a boterham (slice of bread) instead of for example jam or cheese or whatever you eat on your bread.
If you can make speculaas ice cream, you’ll have the best of both worlds. 😋

Ilse
Ilse
10 months ago

Thank you for sharing this recipe. I love speculaas and I will give this recipe a try soon.
For your information I would like to mention that that speculaas and speculoos are not the same thing. Speculaas is a Dutch cookie and speculoos is a Belgium cookie. The main difference is that speculaas has all the spices whereas speculoos doesn’t have any of the spices, althoug nowadays speculoos has some cinnamon.

ShamimaS
3 months ago

Hi Dear!

I have never tasted any speculaas cookies, made it today and it tastes and smells so very nice,loved it.

Love
Shamima

Callie Fisher
Callie Fisher
7 months ago

I have anise oil – can I use that instead of ground aniseed?

Myrna
Myrna
10 months ago

Hi Gemma
i have been doing a lot of your recipes and they are all very successful. I just wanted to double check for this one if the brown sugar is dark or light brown sugar. Thank you

Helen Hawksworth
Helen Hawksworth
10 months ago

Thank you Gemma, I’ve been after a recipe for cookies that I can make using my embossed rolling pins.x

allisonlf28
10 months ago

Great recipe, true speculaas taste squared!

10 months ago

These were for a friend for saint Nicolas day I forgot to take a picture after but I have to say these were delicious!!!!! and he was so thrilled Thank you Gemma for helping me make someone smile! Happy holidays ❤

MYL
MYL
10 months ago

Hi Gemma,
I baked this morning and it’s a success!
Going to bake more 😉.
Cheers, MY

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!