Speculoos Cookies

Thin, crunchy and packed with holiday spices, these Speculoos Cookies
definitely deserve a spot on your holiday cookie plate!

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Thin, crunchy and spiced with all sorts of holiday seasonings, these Speculoos Cookies definitely deserve a spot on your holiday cookie plate!Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably well aware of the cookie butter craze.  Biscoff first came up with this idea as a way to use the broken cookies from their factory.  Trader Joe’s then came along with their own version, and Pinterest has never been the same since.  (Last year, I jumped into the fray and made these Espresso Cookies with Biscoff Buttercream.)  But where does this cookie butter come from, you ask?  Speculoos cookies.  Crumbled up.  With spices and a bit of oil, molasses and water.  But the key is the speculoos cookies.  Speculoos cookies not ringing a bell?  What about Biscoff cookies?  Yup, same thing.  Biscoff is just the brand name, and it seems to be more recognizable here in the States than speculoos.

Thin, crunchy and spiced with all sorts of holiday seasonings, these Speculoos Cookies definitely deserve a spot on your holiday cookie plate!This past Spring, my wife and I got to travel to Belgium and the Netherlands for vacation.  We had the chance to go on a private tour of the main Lotus Bakeries factory, and that was nothing short of awesome!  (Lotus makes Biscoff cookies.)  Even my wife, who openly states that she is not a baker, counted this as one of the best parts of the entire trip.  I suspect it’s because she’s an engineer…and the factory was an engineering marvel.  There were conveyor belts of cookies running up, down and all around us the entire time.  I kinda wanted to stand at the end of one of the belts with my mouth open.  Like a real life cookie monster.  Nom nom nom.  (We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the factory, but we did snag this one with our tour guide…who also happened to be the head baker.)

Lotus-pictureWe were definitely spoiled by the desserts in Belgium.  There were chocolate stores on nearly every corner, and we may or may not have had a nightly Belgian Waffle from a street vendor near our hotel.  And there was speculoos flavored everything!  Chocolate bark with speculoos cookies crumbled on top.  Speculoos flavored hot chocolate.  Just plain old speculoos cookies served alongside a delicious cappuccino.  Needless to say, I was inspired to come home and make my own batch of speculoos cookies for the holidays!

Thin, crunchy and spiced with all sorts of holiday seasonings, these Speculoos Cookies definitely deserve a spot on your holiday cookie plate!Speculoos Cookies

Speculoos cookies are traditionally made using a wooden mold.  The dough is pressed into the mold and then turned out onto a baking sheet.  These molds are straight legit, too.  They are often passed down through the family, and the better quality ones are pretty expensive.  We picked up an inexpensive mold on our trip…mainly as a keepsake.  I did make several cookies using the mold, but the shape didn’t hold as well as I would have liked.  You can still see the windmill pattern, but it’s a bit blurred.  I suspect it’s due to the quality of our mold, but I definitely want to try it again and refrigerate the dough longer before baking.

Thin, crunchy and spiced with all sorts of holiday seasonings, these Speculoos Cookies definitely deserve a spot on your holiday cookie plate!I just used a pastry wheel to cut the remaining cookie dough into fun little squares.  And since the cookies are smaller, I get to eat more.  That logic makes sense, right?  (Speculoos cookies are most often seen with molds, but I need to work on expanding my wooden cookie mold collection!)  These cookies are spiced with pretty much every holiday spice there is: nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, cardamom.  You name it.  It’s in there.

I did substitute mace for nutmeg in this version, though.  Lindsey over at American Heritage Cooking has been singing the praises of mace for a long time…so I had to give it a shot.  I find mace to be a touch spicier than nutmeg and even a little bit peppery.  If you don’t have mace, you can certainly use nutmeg instead.  Either way, these Speculoos Cookies are somewhat reminiscent of gingerbread cookies…making them a perfect addition to your holiday cookie platter!

Did you make a batch of these Speculoos Cookies at home?  Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).  I’d love to see your version!

Thin, crunchy and spiced with all sorts of holiday seasonings, these Speculoos Cookies definitely deserve a spot on your holiday cookie plate!

Speculoos Cookies

Thin, crunchy and spiced with all sorts of holiday seasonings, these Speculoos Cookies definitely deserve a spot on your holiday cookie plate!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 52 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories: 183kcal



  • Using a countertop mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes on medium speed).
  • Add egg and vanilla; beat until just incorporated.
  • In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, cloves, ginger, cardamom and mace. Mix until well blended.
  • Add half of the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl; mix on low speed until just incorporated. Repeat with remaining dry ingredients.
  • Finally, add the milk and mix until a smooth dough forms.
  • Cover dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Remove dough from refrigerator and preheat oven to 350°F.
  • (If you have speculoos molds) Roll dough roll out to 3/8”-1/2” thick. Either spray tops of molds with non-stick spray or dust molds with flour. Press dough firmly into the molds and cut around edge of mold with a kitchen knife. Carefully remove dough from mold and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Reroll any scraps and continue until all dough has been used. (Tip: To help maintain the imprinted shape, refrigerate trays of cookies for 30 minutes before baking.)
  • (If you have normal cookie cutters) Roll dough roll out to 1/4” thick. Cut dough into desired shapes and transfer cookies onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Reroll any scraps and continue until all dough has been used.
  • Bake at 350°F for 8-12 minutes, or until cookies begin to turn slightly brown on the edges.

Looking for more tasty holiday recipes?  Check out these other family favorites:

Pain d'Epices (French spiced bread) is a lightly spiced quick bread that's perfect as morning toast or a light afternoon snack!Pain d’Epices

This Gingerbread is a classic holiday comfort food!Classic Gingerbread

Ontbijtkoek is a traditional Dutch spice cake, and it's a wonderful treat when served with a hot cup of coffee!Ontbijtkoek (Dutch Breakfast Cake)

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    1. Oh man, cookie butter is amazing, Dannii! I’m so glad it’s catching on over there. Speculoos cookies have probably been on for a while, though…now we just need them to catch on big time here in the States!

    1. Aw, thanks, Katie! I couldn’t decide if that mold was ever even meant to be used or if it was more a souvenir type thing. Speculoos cookies are amazing…I definitely need to make another batch of these before the holidays are over!

    1. I know! That factory tour was absolutely a highlight of our trip. Not to mention that we came away with more cookies than 2 people can reasonably eat in a whole year. Haha! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

    1. Odd! This one came through, Arman. I just peeked at my spammed comments, and I don’t see anything there for ya either. (Unless you are selling 2009 Louis Vitton sneakers.) I hope we can get figure out the problem…because missing comments from my Aussie friends are just not acceptable. 🙂

  1. I guess I have been under a rock in the sense that I’ve heard of it, but have never tried cookie butter! And like you said, Pinterest is always abound with Biscoff this and Speculoos that… I need to check this out. I can see these with chocolate on top, too. 🙂 Love the factory pic, too. We try to do that whenever possible to go “behind the scenes”, it’s a blast. #WolfpackEats

    1. Oh man, that’s a great idea, Kevin! I totally should’ve dipped these cookies into chocolate. We sent most of this batch into my wife’s coworkers since it’s kinda hard for 2 of us to eat an entire batch of cookies. (Well, to be fair, it’s not hard…just not advised. Haha) I suspect I’ll be making more of these cookies during the holidays, though, and I’ll have to top them in chocolate! Now I want cookies again. 🙂

  2. There goes the Belgian, promoting his country whenever he has the chance 😐
    No but seriously, I would love to visit Lotus factory as well, it must be amazing! Almost as amazing as your speculoos. They’re perfect, so perfect only a Belgian could have made them!

    1. Hahahaha…there goes that crazy Belgian again! To be fair, I don’t think I actually have any Belgian roots in my family. It’s more Scottish than anything, but we all know that Scottish food leaves a wee bit to be desired. So I have adopted Belgium because 1) soccer 2) Belgian chocolate 3) speculoos cookies 4) soccer 5) Belgian beer. It was great going to the World Cup this year! Too bad you couldn’t join me. 🙂

  3. I like your idea of standing at the end of those cookie conveyor belts with mouths wide open! The next time I am lucky enough to find myself in a cookie/chocolate factory – am gonna channel this inspiring post of yours and do as you suggested! BRILLIANT, David – BRILLIANT idea – as are these Speculoos cookies jam packed with all my fav spices! Now I need to go bug Lindsey and see if she will bring me some of her mace flavored goodies – at least we don’t need a greedy mailman for delivery between us!

    1. *sigh* All of you awesome Atlanta bloggers are making me jealous! If only I didn’t have to rely on our sketchy mailman anymore. Haha! Seriously, though, these cookies were so much fun to make…and even tastier to eat. I normally would have used nutmeg, but I decided to give mace a shot thanks to Lindsey. I was impressed…it was almost peppery, but it totally worked with the flavors in these speculoos cookies! Hmmm…you know what I should do? I should make cookies with like a whole bottle of hot sauce in them…that’ll teach that sketchy mailman to quit taking your packages! 🙂

    1. I love your awesomely nerdy cookie pun there, Lindsey! Yes, I have been thinking about looking for an heirloom wooden mold. We actually came across one in a flea market in Amsterdam, but I didn’t get it. I’m kindof kicking myself now, but it was a really big mold and it was pretty worn. I prefer smaller molds because then I can eat more cookies. 🙂 Also, I’m going to need you to notice the mace in this recipe. I wonder where I got that inspiration from?

      1. Oh hey there old friend! I am planning for my 12 Days of Christmas Cookies (because apparently I am insane) and I had a vague recollection that you made speculoos. And I was right! I just wanted to let you know that I just purchased 2 wooden speculoos cookie molds off ebay (because, again, insane) and I wanted to share!

        ps- Mace is the bomb. That was a seriously excellent choice for this cookie.
        pps- you, me, Chris –> reunion soon?

        1. Yes!! I can’t wait to hear how the new cookie molds work out. I should go look for some new ones…because you know, I don’t have enough going on either! Thanks for dropping back to share. Also, every time I see mace in my spice cabinet, I think of you. Thanks for that one, too.

          pps–Reunion sounds like a blast! How about up here at the curling club? You know you miss Schenectady! 🙂

    1. Yup, I designed it myself. It feels like landing on a soft pillow…nothing like that inferior NYC ice that you have down there! See you on the ice soon?

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