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Crisp, richly spiced Dutch Speculaas cookies are the perfect addition to this year’s holiday baking festivities! They’re easy to make, keep well for weeks, and taste like Christmas.

dutch speculaas

I love discovering a festive new cookie to add to my holiday baking repertoire. Who else gets excited about this?!

If you like thin, crispy spice cookies, this cookie will be your new favorite.

speculaas

Speculaas cookies contain a blend of spices that add depth and complexity. They also have notes of butter, brown sugar (from molasses), vanilla, and toasted almonds. They’re a shortcrust cookie, so they’re thin and crisp with a satisfying crunch.

Speculaas are absolutely perfect paired with a cup of hot tea. And of course they’re gorgeous as part of a holiday cookie tray.

speculaas cookies recipe with description

The Best Dutch Speculaas Cookies Recipe

Here’s What You’ll Love About These Dutch Cookies

  • They’re easy to make. Making the dough, rolling it out, and baking the cookies is a very straight-forward process. The only thing I will say is to read the whole recipe before you start because there are a couple of different chill periods for the dough.
  • These cookies are absolutely delicious – and festive! With butter, spices, and notes of brown sugar and vanilla, these cookies smell and taste like Christmas.
  • Speculaas stay fresh for weeks. Because of their crisp texture, they will last for up to three weeks stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Ingredients in Speculaas Cookies

speculaas cookies ingredients
  • Almond flour
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves
  • White pepper
  • Cardamom
  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Egg yolk
  • Milk
  • Vanilla extract
speculaas cookies recipe

How to Make Speculaas (Spiced Dutch Cookies)

  1. Toast the almond flour. Preheat the oven to 350F, and line a small baking tray with a piece of parchment paper. Next, spread the almond flour out onto the paper. And then bake until it’s a light golden color and smells toasted, about 8 minutes. Finally, cool to room temperature.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients. Add the toasted almond flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, white pepper, and cardamom to a medium bowl. Whisk to combine.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients. Add the butter, sugar, molasses, egg yolk, milk, and vanilla to a large bowl. Use a handheld electric mixer to beat the mixture together.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and beat to combine.
  5. Chill the dough. Divide the dough into 2 portions, roll each into a ball, and slightly flatten each ball into a disk. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate until fully chilled, at least 4 hours (or up to 3 days).
  6. Get ready to bake the cookies. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 2 large baking trays with parchment paper or silpat liners.
  7. Roll out the dough. Lay a piece of parchment paper out onto a flat work surface. Flour the piece of paper, place a disk of chilled dough on top, and flour the top of the disk of dough. Place a 2nd piece of parchment paper on top of the dough. Roll the dough out until it’s about 1/8-inch thick (about 3 to 4 millimeters).
  8. Stamp or cut out cookies. I use a round cookie cutter about 6 centimeters in diameter, and I get about 40 cookies. Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking trays (about 20 cookies per tray). Transfer the cookie trays to the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
  9. Bake the cookies. They’re done when they’re set and an even golden color, about 14 to 16 minutes, rotating the trays once halfway through.
  10. Let them cool. Let them cool completely on the trays before removing. The cookies will crisp as they cool.
dutch spice cookies

How Long Do Homemade Speculaas Cookies Stay Fresh?

These cookies will stay fresh for up to 3 weeks stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

dutch spice cookies frame

Variations on This Recipe

  • Almonds on top. Once the unbaked cookies are arranged on the trays, before you refrigerate them, gently press 3 almond slices into the top of each cookie.
  • Glazed cookies. Skip the sliced almonds on top. Once the cookies are completely cooled, mix together 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 2 teaspoons of water in a shallow bowl. Dip the top of each cookie in the glaze, let the excess run off, and place the glazed cookies on a wire rack. Let the glaze set before serving.
  • Use a special rolling pin. There are some really beautiful engraved rolling pins that you can use to make embossed cookies. You can even find a variety of them on Amazon, like this gorgeous paisley rolling pin.
  • Or use a special mold. There are actually special molds you can use to make Dutch windmill cookies. Just push the dough into the mold and tap it out!
iced speculaas cookie

Tips for Making This Speculaas Cookies Recipe

  • Don’t skip toasting the almond flour. The recipe will still work if you don’t, but it adds a subtle toasted nut flavor component to these cookies.
  • Be patient with the chill time. These cookies actually have two rounds of chilling, but they’re both necessary. Chill 1: The dough needs to be fully chilled before you roll it out (at least 4 hours in the fridge). This will make it a LOT easier to roll out the dough. Chill 2: And then once the dough is rolled out and the cookies are stamped, just 15 minutes in the fridge before baking is all these cookies need! This second chill ensures that they stay as flat and crisp as possible.
  • Don’t overbake these. It can be a little tricky because these cookies aren’t crisp when they first come out of the oven. They will crisp more as they cool. They’re done when they’re set and an even golden (not dark brown) color.
speculaas cookies graphic

Speculaas Cookies FAQs

What is Speculaas?

Speculaas is a crisp, brown, richly spiced, thin shortcrust cookie from the Netherlands. This cookie is traditionally made to celebrate St. Nicholas’ Day, which is on December 6. Speculaas typically contain the following spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, cardamom, and white pepper.

You will find slight variations of Speculaas cookies in different European countries, including Germany, Austria, and Belgium.

dutch cookies

What is the Difference Between Speculaas and Speculoos?

Speculoos cookies are from Belgium, and are a variation of Speculaas.

Belgian Speculoos typically only include cinnamon instead of the variety of spices that Dutch Speculaas contain. The predominant flavors in Speculoos are caramelized sugar, butter, and cinnamon.

Dutch Windmill Cookies are typically a type of Speculoos cookie.

You can read more about the differences between Speculaas and Speculoos on The Speculaas Spice Company and Van De Loo’s Original.

speculaas recipe

Is Speculaas the Same as Gingerbread?

Speculaas and Gingerbread are similar, and they contain several of the same spices. However, these cookies contain different ratios of spices. As a result, Gingerbread typically has a more peppery bite than Speculaas.

What Shape are Speculaas Cookies?

Traditional Speculaas usually have an image from the traditional stories of St. Nicholas on the front, and are flat on the back.

The well-known Dutch Windmill Cookies are usually made of Speculoos (not Speculaas) cookie dough.

speculaas cookies

Try These if You Like Gingerbread Flavored Treats

More Sweet Holiday Recipes to Make

dutch windmill cookies

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Dutch Speculaas Cookies Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Other Time4 hours 15 minutes
Yields: 40 cookies
Crisp, richly spiced Dutch Speculaas cookies are the perfect addition to this year’s holiday baking festivities! They’re easy to make, keep well for weeks, and taste like Christmas.

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Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

Make the Dough:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a small baking tray with a piece of parchment paper. Spread the almond flour out onto the paper. Bake until it’s a light golden color and smells toasted, about 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
  • Add the toasted almond flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, white pepper, and cardamom to a medium bowl. Whisk to combine.
  • Add the butter, sugar, molasses, egg yolk, milk, and vanilla to a large bowl. Use a handheld electric mixer to beat the mixture together.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and beat to combine.

Chill the Dough:

  • Divide the dough into 2 portions, roll each into a ball, and slightly flatten each ball into a disk. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate until fully chilled, at least 4 hours (or up to 3 days).

Roll Out the Dough and Stamp Out the Cookies:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 2 large baking trays with parchment paper or silpat liners.
  • Lay a piece of parchment paper out onto a flat work surface. Flour the piece of paper, place a disk of chilled dough on top, and flour the top of the disk of dough. Place a 2nd piece of parchment paper on top of the dough. Roll the dough out until it’s about 1/8-inch thick (about 3 to 4 millimeters).
  • Stamp or cut out cookies. Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking trays (about 20 cookies per tray). Transfer the cookie trays to the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.

Bake the Cookies:

  • Bake until the cookies are set and are an even golden (not dark brown) color, about 14 to 16 minutes, rotating the trays once halfway through.
  • Let them cool completely on the trays before removing. The cookies will crisp as they cool.

Video

Notes

  • Recipe Yield and Serving Size: This recipe makes about 40 cookies if you use a round cookie cutter about 6 centimeter (2.36 inches) in diameter to stamp them out. The nutrition information given is for 1 cookie.
  • Storage: These cookies will stay fresh for up to 3 weeks stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • If You Want Almonds on Top: Once the unbaked cookies are arranged on the trays, before you refrigerate them, gently press 3 almond slices into the top of each cookie.
  • If You Want to Glaze the Cookies: Skip the sliced almonds on top. Once the cookies are completely cooled, mix together 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 2 teaspoons of water in a shallow bowl. Dip the top of each cookie in the glaze, let the excess run off, and place the glazed cookies on a wire rack. Let the glaze set before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 47kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 20mg | Potassium: 19mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Dutch
Keyword: Dutch Cookies, Speculaas, Speculaas Cookies, Speculaas Recipes

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speculaas cookies pin
Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. Richard Chiolero says:

    5 stars
    Hi there! So far, so good! The dough is chilling in the refrigerator and I’ll finish tomorrow. I’m making these for a Dutch friend as a surprise.
    Anyhow, how big of a cookie cutter to use? You say 20 fit in a tray. 😨
    I’m gonna wing it, but that part should be added. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Richard, I hope you and your friend enjoy the cookies! :) The main thing with these cookies is to roll the dough out to the right thickness so that they bake up crisp; once they’re rolled out, you can stamp them into any shapes you like, or even cut them into squares if you don’t have a cookie cutter. I used a round cookie cutter/biscuit cutter with a diameter of 6 centimeters (2.36 inches) and I got about 40 cookies. But really any size or shape cookie cutter will work, and your yield will vary depending on your cookie cutter. I hope this helps!

  2. I’m researching the Web to try to find a truly authentic speculaas recipe. Some use almond flour, some don’t. The spices and ratios of spices differ widely. Martha Stewart has a couple of recipes for them, and they’re very different from each other (one uses egg, one doesn’t). Some of the cookies look pale, some dark. Some are thick and chewy, some are thin and crisp. I’m frustrated because I just want to make some speculaas cookies and I’m stymied by the differences–and everyone says their recipe is the most authentic, of course. Who is right??

    One thing I noticed about your recipe is that you say to roll the dough out to roughly 1/8 inch thick, but then you say that the metric equivalent is 3 to 4 cm. Did you mean 1/8 inch is equal to 3 to 4 millimeters maybe, instead of centimeters? I’m guessing yes, because the pictured cookies are thin.

    I do like your tip about toasting the almond flour. If I end up using almond flour, I’ll try to remember to do that.

    Thank you,

    Laurel <

    1. Hi Laurel, Thank you for your comment. Yes, that was a typo and it has been changed to millimeters. Hope you enjoy the cookies!

  3. Barbara J Wilson says:

    My fiancee is Dutch. What a nice surprise this will be for him.

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