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How to make Speculoos Cookies from scratch using traditional molds. These crunchy, flavorful cookies are less sweet than Biscoff but are perfectly spiced. 

speculoos cookies detailed from molds.

I’ve been obsessed with homemade speculoos cookies ever since Biscoff Cookies appeared on Delta and swept the Nation. For years I perfected the speculoos spice mix and have been fine tuning this cookie recipe. 

This recipe is less sweet than Biscoff and more in line with traditional speculoos cookies. In my craze, I even bought several vintage wooden molds off Ebay. These Dutch cookies join the ranks of my other favorite Christmas cookies like soft gingerbread cookies, soft cut-out sugar cookies, cherry cookies, cranberry orange shortbread cookies and chocolate crinkle cookies

Why You Will Love these Speculoos Cookies

  • Delightfully spiced. These cookies are less sweet than the popular brand biscoff, but have a more traditional flavor. 7 spices are used in making this mix. It is similar to the spices used in making pfeffernusse
  • Easy to make and mold. This dough is very simple to make using a stand mixer or hand mixer. 
  • All the tips you need for success. I have gathered all the tips from vintage cookbooks, original Dutch recipes and my experience as a pastry chef for foolproof speculoos cookies. 
wooden mold process of molding dough.
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The Ultimate Pastry Chef's Guide to Perfect Cookies
Get all professional tips you need whether you want to bake thick, thin, chewy or crunchy cookies!

Professional Tips for Making Speculoos

  • Let the dough rest overnight for optimum flavor. This resting allows the spices to hydrate and intensify and the dough to properly hydrate. 
  • Let the dough rest at room temperature for rolling. This recipe can be pressed into wooden molds or rolled. If choosing to roll and cut, let the dough on the counter overnight. It should be cool, but not refrigerated, or it will become to brittle to roll. 
  • Use rice flour in the molds! Dust the molds with rice flour using a sifter between each batch of cooking. This helps the cookies lift out better than using wheat flour. This is the same process as dusting baskets for sourdough bread

Ingredients Needed

  • All-purpose flour: Be sure to measure your flour by fluffing up the flour in the bag then spooning it into a measuring cup. Level it off with a knife. Be careful not to tap or compress the flour. Or use a kitchen scale! Not measuring correctly, will lead to dry cookies.
  • Spices: I use 3 Tablespoons of my speculoos spice mix in this recipe, which is a mixture of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, white pepper, aniseed, ground ginger, ground cardamom seeds. I also include individual measurements in the recipe card, if you don’t want extra spice mix. 
  • Butter: I use unsalted butter for baking, because you want to control the amount of salt you are adding. Every brand is different and it makes adjusting the recipe a challenge.
  • Dark Brown Sugar: Dark brown sugar is obviously here for sweetness, but if you add too much in proportion to the butter and flour, the cookies will spread. The sugar also shortens the gluten strands in the flour creating that tender, crunchy texture. Using all dark brown sugar adds a rich molasses flavor. 
  • Hot water: Water hydrates the flour and makes the dough come together, but using hot water specifically blooms the spices. It also activates the gluten in the flour more than cold water, which means you could easily develop too much gluten and make tough cookies rather than tender, crisp cookies. 
  • Kosher Salt: I am very particular about my kosher salt because each brand has different sized granules. 
  • Rice Flour: If you are going to press the dough into molds, then you will want to dust with rice flour first. If you are roll and cutting the cookies, you will not need rice flour. 

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

What is speculoos? 

Speculoos is a spiced, crunchy cookie that originated in Belgium. A similar cookie, called speculaas or Dutch windmill cookies, are popular in the Netherlands and in Germany they are called spekulatius. They are traditionally eaten during the Christmas season. 

How to Make Traditional Speculoos Cookies

Use these instructions to make speculoos! Further details and measurements can be found in the recipe card below.

Mix the dough: 

Step 1: Preheat oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt and spices. Set aside.

Step 2: Cream butter and dark brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. 

Step 3: Alternately add dry ingredients and water. Mix to combine. 

Step 4: Chill overnight or at least 2 hours to hydrate and allow the spices to intensify. 

If you aren’t going to use a mold and you plan to roll the dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest in a cool spot but not the refrigerator.

Step 5: If you are going to use a traditional speculoos cookie mold, sift some rice flour over the top of the mold, turn it over and give it a gentle tap to remove the excess. Take a large piece of the chilled dough (more than you think you’ll need to fill the mold) and press it into the mold, leaving at least 1/8th inch on top of extra dough. 
Step 6: Press the mold firmly flat on the counter, and slice the excess off by running a sharp paring knife across the surface. Lifting off the extra dough and setting it to the side. 

dough pressed into vintage wooden mold.
pealing cookie out of mold.

Step  7: Use the tip of the knife to lift a corner of the cookie dough out of the mold. Gently pull the cookie from the mold. It should release easily and have a perfect impression of the mold! 
Place cookies on a lined baking sheet and continue with the remainder of the dough. You can continue to reuse the dough, but it comes out of the molds easier and has the best impression when it is chilled. 

Don’t forget to dust with rice flour between each round of cookies!!! 

baked speculoos cookies.

Chef Lindsey’s Recipe Tip

If you are going to use regular cookie cutters or cut rectangles like Biscoff, roll out dough on a smooth surface, lightly dusted with flour. Roll to about ¼ inch thick. Cut cookies, place about 1 inch apart on lined baking sheets and bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until matte and set around the edges. The time will depend on the shape of cookie. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How to store speculoos?

Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks, or frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw un-wrapped at room temperature. Refresh in a warm oven if needed. 

Can you make speculoos ahead?

These are excellent make-ahead cookies. When properly stored they will keep at room temperature for up to 3 weeks. 

Will these cookies ship? 

Speculoos are good shipping cookies because they keep well for a long period of time and they aren’t too fragile. I would choose molds that aren’t too delicate if you are going to ship these cookies and package well with tissue paper for padding. 

If you tried this recipe and loved it please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the comments below. I love hearing from you; your comments make my day!

Homemade Speculoos Cookies on baking sheet
4.92 from 46 ratings

Traditional Speculoos Cookies

How to make homemade Speculoos Cookies from scratch! Old fashioned speculaas cookies are pressed into a mold for a beautiful finish!
Prep: 40 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 48 Cookies

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
  • Whisk together flour, salt and spices.
  • Cream butter and dark brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  • Alternately add dry ingredients and water. Mix to combine.
  • Chill overnight or at least 2 hours to hydrate and allow the spices to intensify.
  • If you are going to use regular cookie cutters, roll out dough on a smooth surface, lightly dusted with flour. Roll to about ¼ inch thick. Cut cookies and bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until matte and set around the edges. The time will depend on the shape of cookie.
  • If you are going to use a traditional speculoos cookie mold, grab the rice flour and a sifter. Sift some rice flour over the top of the mold, turn it over and give it a gentle tap to remove the excess.
  • Grab a piece of the chilled dough and press it into the mold, leaving at least 1/8th inch on top of extra. Press the mold firmly flat on the counter, and slice the excess off by running a sharp paring knife across the surface. Lifting off the extra dough and setting it to the side. You can continue to reuse the dough, but it comes out of the molds easier when it is chilled.
  • Use the tip of the knife to lift a corner of the cookie dough out of the mold. Gently pull the cookie from the mold. It should release easily and have a perfect impression of the mold!
  • Place cookies on a lined baking sheet and continue with the remainder of the dough.
  • Don’t forget to dust with rice flour between each round of cookies!!!
  • Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until set around the edges and matte in the center.
  • If the cookies cool and are not totally crisp, you can continue to bake them in a 300°F oven until they have completely crisped. They won’t be completely crisp until they have cooled.

Video

Notes

Yield – 48 cookies, but will vary greatly depending on the size of your cookie mold.
Presentation – Use chilled dough in a mold lightly dusted with rice flour for the best impression.
Flavor Tips – Using hot water and resting overnight will allow the spices to hydrate, bloom and intensify in flavor.
Technique – If rolling out and cutting rather than pressing into a mold, rest the dough overnight in a cool place but not the refrigerator.
Storage – Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks, or frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw un-wrapped at room temperature. Refresh in a warm oven if needed.

Nutrition

Calories: 61kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 46mg | Potassium: 15mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 79IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Belgium
Calories: 61
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Before You Go

I hope you enjoyed this professional chef tested recipe. Check out our other traditional Christmas cookies, Christmas dessert recipes, or browse all our Christmas cookie recipes!

Hi, I’m Chef Lindsey!

I am the baker, recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Chef Lindsey Farr. I believe in delicious homemade food and the power of dessert!

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2 Comments

  1. 1 star
    I really wanted to like this recipe and chose this one over the others because of the pastry chef making it, but unfortunately it did not work for me in many ways. I’m not a pastry chef but I am very well skilled at baking and understand the science behind it and this recipe was a multifaceted disappointment. First, the dough was VERY crumbly after adding the properly measured flour and hot water, I ended up having to add more water after it had cooled in the fridge in order to roll this for my cookie cutter. I did not have a wooden mold and perhaps it would have worked better with that, but the cookies should have been able to be rolled and cut per the recipe. Secondly, The recipe calls for putting the dough in the refrigerator and then rolling out, but this was absolutely impossible! The dough was so hard (and crumbly) I ended up having to warm it up and that’s when I put in the extra hot water so I was able to actually roll this out with a wooden rolling pin. I ended up baking these four different amounts of time for four different batches to get the right crunch, which was never achieved … They were rolled to 1/4” thick and no matter how long they were baked at 300 after the initial 325, they were not right (they went from being soft to hard and not the right kind of crunchy) I tried 1/8 of an inch thick and I ended up having to bake them for 15 minutes with the same results. I tried forming one with my hands after refrigeration before adding the extra water because it was so crumbly I couldn’t roll it and it ended up being exactly the same as it was when I had to add extra water, so that’s not what made the cookies texture off. Even with everything I tried, they were not that flaky crunchy, tasted very doughy and the mix of spices tasted nothing like a speculaas/speculoos that I’ve ever had. I tried to save them by very lightly misting them with water and sprinkling them with coarse sugar and putting back into the oven to dry out.
    That was after trying everything else. Very disappointing sorry to say hope somebody else has luck with this recipe

    1. I’m sorry you had such a difficult time with the recipe. I recorded a video so you can see me make the exact recipe step by step. And, as always, WEIGH your ingredients especially flour.