Speculaas is a traditional Dutch biscuit. It is eaten all year round but is mostly associated with pakjesavond, the celebration of Saint Nicholas on the 5th of December. The speculaas can have the shape of this saint, although windmills are a popular design as well.

Home-made speculaas biscuit in windmill design.


  • 110 g butter
  • 90 g light brown sugar
  • 1 g table salt
  • 3 teaspoons of speculaas spices
  • 100 g flour
  • 100 g self raising flour
  • 1 egg knocked loose

Speculaas spices is a mix of mostly cinnamon, but also coriander, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamon, white pepper and orange peels. This mix is also used in kruidnoten.Often the mix also contains a secret extra ingredient.

Speculaas dough removed from the template (pictured right).

Speculaas gets it design from a template, called a 'speculaasplank'.This is a wooden board with shapes or figures cut in it. The design is better preserved when more flour is added to the dough, but this is not to today's taste anymore.


  1. Mix the butter, sugar, salt and spices untill there is a soft mass;
  2. Add the egg and the flour. Then mould the self-raising flour throught the dough;
  3. Optional: let the dough settle for two days in the fridge. This will give a stronger taste of the spices to the biscuits.
  4. Sprinkle the template with flour so the dough will not stick;
  5. Press a piece of dough in the template. Cut away the excess dough by using a string of by cutting with a knife, holding it flat against the template;
  6. Flip the print with a mighty swing and let it land forcefully face-down on the kitchen work-top. This should get the speculaas out of the template.
  7. Put the speculaas with enough distance on a well-buttered oven shelve.
  8. Put the oven shelve in a preheated oven of 170°C. Small desings will take 20 minutes, larger dolls 30 minutes or more. There is no telling when the cookies are done when still hot, so take one out and let it cool down. When it smells good and is crispy, it is done. Develop a sense of how long your design will need.
  9. Let the speculaas fully cool down before you take them of the oven shelf. Enjoy with a cup of tea or hot chocolate.