Belgian Speculoos Cookies

I’m sure that, like me, everyone was busy preparing for the holidays this past weekend. I was doing a bit of work on this last week, too, and by Friday I was worn out. Sometimes, no matter how much you need your body to work for you, it just decides to quit. I ended up sleeping for 10-12 hours a night on both Friday and Saturday, which, if yo know me, is unheard of. I can hardly sleep for more than 7 or 8 hours at a time, usually, but both Kramer and I were completely worn out and without a single ounce of energy left. Spending Friday and Saturday in really helped us to re-cooperate, but, of course, as soon as we were feeling better, we had to start our holiday baking. That means that we baked over 450 cookies on Sunday alone for our offices; mostly for an office party, but we also made gift bags with some of the cookies. One of the cookies that went into said gift bags were these Speculoos cookies. Kramer and I love speculoos – we discovered it when we moved to New York and have been smitten ever since. I love the variety of spices in the light, delicate cookie – they are perfect for having with a cup of coffee or tea without being overwhelmingly spiced, like gingerbread, which is usually better with some icing. Speculoos, however, need no icing at all, just a sprinkle of sanding sugar, so I feel perfectly alright having one with breakfast (no judgement, please). My next mission is to grind these cookies up and turn them into the beloved speculoos paste that everyone seems to be crazy about at the moment. For now, though, I’ll just enjoy this simple Belgian gingersnap and try to take a breath before the holidays officially arrive.

Belgian Speculoos Cookies
Your ingredients.

Belgian Speculoos Cookies
Combine your flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.

Belgian Speculoos Cookies
Beat together your sugars and butter.

Belgian Speculoos Cookies
Then beat in the egg.

Belgian Speculoos Cookies
Gently mix in the flour, until just moist.

Belgian Speculoos Cookies
Lightly flour a large piece of parchment or wax paper.

Belgian Speculoos Cookies
Then place your dough on top.

Belgian Speculoos Cookies
Lay another piece of parchment over the top of the dough and roll it out to 1/4 inch thick. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour, until firm, or as long as overnight. I let mine refrigerate overnight.

Belgian Speculoos Cookies
When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and cut out your dough with a 1-1/2 inch round cutter. Place the cut out cookies on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with some sugar (I used decorative sanding sugar, but raw sugar or granulated sugar work well, too).

Belgian Speculoos Cookies
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until set and slightly golden. As you can see, I was baking for a crowd.

Belgian Speculoos Cookies
Let cool and serve with tea, coffee, or a cold glass of milk.

Belgian Speculoos Cookies


Belgian Speculoos Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out
  • 2½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed well
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • sanding sugar or raw sugar, for sprinkling
  1. Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, ginger, and cloves in a medium sized bowl and set aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugars until creamy, but 3-5 minutes. Add in the egg and beat until just combined. Gradually add in the flour mixture, until the dough is just moistened.
  2. Lightly flour a work surface and turn the dough out onto it. Knead it a few times to bring it together, then pull out a large sheet of parchment. Lightly flour the parchment paper and divide the dough in half, placing one half on top of the parchment paper. Place another sheet of parchment on top of the dough and roll the dough out until it is about ¼-inch thick. Do the same with the other piece of dough, then place them, still between the paper, in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour - I think that letting them sit overnight is best, but 3 hours should be fine.
  3. When it's time to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a 1-1/2 inch in diameter cookie cutter (a shot glass would also work well), cut out your cookies and place them on the baking sheet; the dough may be a bit tricky to work with, but using a butter knife to slide the cut out cookies onto the trays seemed to work well for me. Keep doing this until you've used up all your dough, collecting the scraps and re-rolling the dough out until you have used it all up. Sprinkle your cookie cut-outs with some sanding sugar or raw sugar, if you like.
  4. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, until they are almost set and lightly golden. Allow them to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets before removing to finish cooling on another surface. These will keep well in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Adapted From


23 Responses

  1. […] Destiny. Belgian Speculoos Cookies The Crepes of Wrath Mon, December 12, 2011 2:22 PM UTC The Crepes of Wrath Rate this story Loading … Share (function(){var […]

  2. Mom says:

    All my favorite flavors! A great alternative to a sugary Christmas cookie. Remember the fantastic gingerbread in Munchau?

  3. Rhonda says:

    Look at all of those cookies! My husband loves Belgian beer, maybe he’d love Belgian cookies 😉

  4. aarthi says:

    this cookies looks yummy..Love the huge batch you have made..why don’t you parcel some for me..Awesome sydney..

  5. First, I’m so envious of your 12 hour sleep!

    Being in NJ you’d think we’d have had this cookie before but I honestly can’t recall. Maybe its the type of thing where once I bit into it and tasted I’d say, oh yea I had these before. They certainly sound tasty. I favorited in my RSS for future baking (after I make those chocolate crinkles)

    PS – Love the shot of all the finished cookies on the sheet

    • Sydney says:

      Thank you! I bet you’ve had them before – it’s just that speculoos is a funny name for Americans to say 😉 I’m glad you like the picture – well worth the effort!

  6. Deanna B says:

    I’ve been looking for a recipe for Speculoos, especially so I can turn them into the paste. I love gingerbread cookies with molasses, but sometimes they’re just a little bit heavier than I want. I’m guessing the spices really shine through on these.

    PS: I am lusting over your giant Vietnamese Cinnamon container.

  7. I saw these cookies and immediately thought of the cookie butter that Trader Joe’s is carrying for the holiday season! I’ve never tried Speculoos cookies or the cookie butter, but they must be good since everyone in the blog world has been talking about them lately! =)

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I had no idea Speculoos were a big thing! Maybe it just takes a lot longer for things to reach us on the West Coast. I lived in Brussels for six months and grew to LOVE Speculoos cookies; they were the invariable companion to every cup of coffee I ever ordered in Belgium, though typically they came in a single, individually-wrapped commercial form rather than homemade. Kind of like the Belgian equivalent of getting an Andes mint with your check, I guess. When I moved back to the States I was very sorry to leave them behind. No more! I’m really excited to give this recipe a try and relive a little taste of those days.

  9. Rebecca says:

    I know these as “windmill cookies”–or Dutch Spaculaasje. My family always gets a year’s supply from the Dutch import store by my grandma’s house, and I try to keep a package in my dorm room……but I think I might bake a batch of these for Christmas and see if my Dutch grandmother can tell the difference from these Belgian ones…hmmmm

  10. Niksya says:

    It should be very tasty!

  11. ben says:

    aww hell. now you got me craving waffle truck. grr!

  12. Charli says:

    My boyfriends Mum, who lives in Paris, bought us white chocolate with speculoos crumbled in for christmas. It was incredible and totally addicting – worth trying to replicate at home with this recipe I think!

  13. […] tasty little cookie. Kramer and I made over 100 of these for his and my offices, along with our Speculoos cookies, and wrapped them up in cute little packages. It was a lot of work, but totally worth it and […]

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