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Adjust Servings:
2 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter softened at room temperature
2 large egg yolks
3 tbsp heavy whipping cream
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 cup almond flour or hazelnut flour
3 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baker's ammonia
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground anise seed
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 5 h 42 min
  • Serves 30
  • Medium




Very often wrongly translated as gingerbread, speculaas biscuits are way more than that. They are for sure a Belgian tradition and delicacy, no matter what the Dutch say. Traditionally, Belgians eat speculaas in December, just before St. Nicholas’ day.

It is a celebration for children and often comes accompanied by sweets. These days you can have speculaas any day of the year, and Lotus is the biggest brand, exported worldwide. They go especially well with a good coffee.


  1. Beat the brown sugar, butter, egg yolks, cream, vanilla, and lemon zest in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or use an electric mixer) until it’s pale and fluffy, 5-6 minutes. Add the almond/hazelnut flour and mix until combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baker’s ammonia, salt and spices. While beating, gradually add this flour mixture to the wet mixture. (If not using a stand mixer, use a wooden spoon while you can and then knead with your hands.) If the dough is too dry/crumbly, add a little extra egg yolk as needed.
  3. Form the dough into a ball, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and let it rest in a cool place for at least 5 hours or overnight.
  4. Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of about 4 mm or just under ¼ inch. You can simply cut them into small rectangles (like Biscoff cookies) or you can use molds, cookie stamps, a molded rolling pin or any cookie cutters of your choice to shape the speculaas. If using molds, be sure to lightly flour them first to prevent sticking. Cut out the cookies and place them on a non-stick baking sheet. Chill the cookies for at least one hour before baking.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  6. Bake the speculaas on the middle rack for 10-12 minutes or until nicely browned and caramelized. Let the speculaas cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Store them in an airtight container. It is best to wait at least a week before eaten them to allow the flavors to develop.
  8. Enjoy the speculaas by themselves or dipped in your favorite hot beverage.

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