Dutch Speculaas (Windmill) Cookies

Traditional Dutch speculaas

The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 24 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
87 Calories
4g Fat
12g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving
Calories 87
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 17mg 6%
Sodium 166mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 38mg 3%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 22mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This easy recipe for traditional Dutch speculaas cookies will fill your home with the most beautiful baking smells and your cookie jar with the best-tasting spice cookies. 

You might know these traditional Dutch Sinterklaas treats as windmill cookies, Biscoff cookies, or speculoos (their Flemish name), but we assure you that this is the only speculaas recipe you will ever need.


Click Play to See This Windmill Cookie Recipe Come Together

You will be rewarded with a heady spice-market aroma as these cookies bake. Serve them with coffee, tea or a good glass of brandy for a special treat on a cold winter's day.


  • 1 3/4 cups self-rising flour

  • 1/2 cup raw cane sugar (demerara), or donkerbruine basterdsuiker

  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, more for the cookie sheets

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk

  • 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, or speculaaskruiden

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 large egg white, room temperature

  • Brown sugar, for garnish

  • Sliced almonds, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for traditional Dutch speculaas
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, raw cane sugar, butter, milk, spice, baking soda, and zest with your hands or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. The dough is ready when you can shape it into a ball without it sticking to your hands.

    Mix together flour, cane sugar
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  3. Cover the dough ball with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for an hour so the spices can work their magic.

    Cover the dough ball with plastic wrap
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  4. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 347 F / 175 C. Grease one or more cookie sheet pans or line them with parchment paper.

    Baking sheet
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  5. Lightly flour your work surface and roll 1/4-inch thick.

    Flour work surface
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  6. Using a cookie cutter or speculaasplank, cut the dough and place the shapes on the prepared sheet pan(s).

    Use cookie cutter
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  7. Brush the cookies with egg white and sprinkle brown sugar and flaked almonds on top.

    Brush with egg white
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  8. Bake 10 to 25 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the cookies, or until the almonds are caramelizing and the cookies are turning a slightly darker shade of brown.

    Bake cookies
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a few minutes on the pan(s) and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

    Let cool
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  10. Serve and enjoy!

    Traditional Dutch Speculaas recipe
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic


  • Basterdsuiker is a typical Dutch product. It is manufactured by adding invert sugar and other ingredients to fine white refined sugar. This mixture helps to achieve certain textural structures and keeps baked goods moist. There are three varieties—white, brown, and dark brown—called witte basterdsuiker, (licht) bruine basterdsuiker or gele basterdsuiker, and donkerbruine basterdsuiker. It is widely available from Dutch supermarkets and some Dutch groceries on the Internet. You can substitute the donkerbruine basterdsuiker in this recipe with pure cane sugar (demerara).
  • While little sachets of speculaas spices (known as speculaaskruiden) are available online, you can easily make your own speculaaskruiden or substitute pumpkin pie spices.
  • The traditional method calls for using a speculaasplank, a carved wooden board. There is no need to go on a special shopping expedition, although you can find these online. A regular cookie cutter will do just fine.