Traditional Speculaas

Christmas Spiced Cookies

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Prep: 2 hrs 15 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Total: 2 hrs 27 mins
Servings: 12 to 18 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
309 Calories
19g Fat
23g Carbs
12g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 to 18
Amount per serving
Calories 309
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 10g 52%
Cholesterol 116mg 39%
Sodium 493mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 12g
Calcium 41mg 3%
*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.)

Speculaas is an Irresistibly fragrant, recipe which makes a crispy, not-too-sweet cookie that begs to be dipped in coffee. These biscuits are not French but, instead, a huge favorite in Belgium and across Germany. However, the French love them too. For full-on authenticity, you will need the special cutters by which to imprint the biscuits. If you don't have them, do not worry the cookies will taste just as good without. 

The varied blend of aromatic spices in this recipe creates the signature flavor by which Belgian speculaas cookies have been known for centuries. To enjoy the authentic version of this delicacy, roll the dough to a scant 1/8 inch thick and watch carefully for over browning as the cookies bake. Roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness for a delicious, slightly crunchy spice cookie.

Speculaas are also known as Belgian speculoos cookies.


  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/1/4 cups dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/16 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/16 teaspoon ground white pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Cream the butter, sugars, and vanilla until they are thoroughly mixed and fluffy.

  2. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue beating the mixture on medium-high until it turns fluffy again―do not rush this process or the eggs may curdle. 

  3. Mix the remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

  4. Turn the mixer speed down to low and stir the dry ingredients into the sugar mixture in thirds, until the dough is fully mixed.

  5. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, until it is thoroughly chilled.

  6. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  7. Roll out the chilled dough to 1/4-inch thick (1/8-inch thick if thin, crispy cookies are preferred) and cut into shapes with a cookie cutter. If desired, use a traditional Belgian speculaas mold by pressing the chilled dough into the mold, cutting away the excess dough, and inverting the mold onto the baking sheet to release the cookie, design-side up.

  8. Bake the cut or molded cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until the edges appear set and just begin to brown.

  9. Allow the speculaas to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer them to a wire cooling rack.

  10. Leave the cookies to cool completely and once cool, store in an airtight tin and the cookies will keep for several days. 

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