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Keijsers-Koning Speculaas Cookies

Photo by OS Keijsers-Koning

Speculaas, a popular dessert in the Netherlands, is a thin spiced cookie that leaves a lingering taste in your mouth. Speculaas cookies are often served with tea, given as a gift or eaten on Sinterklaas Dag, a Dutch holiday.

Speculaas has strong and flavorful punches, similar to another dessert called speculoos. The difference between the two is that speculaas has multiple spices while speculoos has only one spice, cassia, which is a lot like cinnamon. Speculaas are used to create the famous Biscoff cookies, which are served on airplanes and made into cookie butter. Both are wonderful to eat, providing a profusion of flavor to the taste buds. Speculaas are usually rectangular in shape, but have many different detailed designs. These designs are typically windmills, animals, landscapes or people.  

Everyone in my family loves these cookies except for my sister who doesn’t like cinnamon. I fell in love with speculaas at the first bite when I was four and visiting family in the Netherlands. From that point on I demanded a cookie for every birthday, every Sinterklaas holiday and every family visit.

This cookie is so popular and known in the Netherlands that life without the delicacy is unfathomable, but is sadly a reality for everyone who doesn’t live in the Netherlands. Every time I return from the Netherlands, I always bring back two things: Dutch cheese and speculaas cookies. 

Here are the instructions and ingredients on how to make the delicious speculaas cookies. 



  • 8 tablespoons (113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (159g) light brown sugar or dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (180g) flour
  • 1/2 cup (48g) almond flour (preferably toasted)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons (28g to 57g) milk, not nonfat
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon mace spice or nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Note: you can substitute 1 tablespoon of speculaas spice for the cardamom, cloves, mace and cinnamon spices! Personally, I add however much of each spice that I like, which changes the taste based on your preference. 



  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, spices and salt.
  2. Stir in the flour, almond flour and baking powder, then enough of the milk to make a stiff dough (could be less or more than the instructions give).
  3. Form the dough into two discs and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate the disks for 2 hours or more.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets or line them with parchment.
  5. Working with one disk at a time, roll the dough 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick. Cut out shapes using your desired cutters, and transfer the cookies to the prepared pans.
  6. Bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes, until they’re lightly browned around the edges. Remove them from the oven and transfer them to a rack to cool. As they cool, the cookies will harden, creating the perfect snap. Serve when cooled.

Note: there is a special tool used to create the specific designs, known as Springerle molds, that allow the perfect designs to be imprinted. Since I don’t have a Springerle mold, I used a carrot cookie cutter.

Storage information: store leftover speculaas, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.


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About the Contributor
OS Keijsers Koning
OS Keijsers Koning, Reporter
What are you looking forward to on the staff this year? Expanding my writing skills and hanging out with the Newspaper staff. What are your favorite TV shows/movies? Knives Out and New Girl What are your hobbies? Running, archery, and my writing internship with DONE Magazine