Speculaas Spice Mix (Speculaaskruiden)
Speculaas Spice Mix is often used in the Dutch cuisine during fall and winter. As soon as the weather starts to turn cold all kind of delicious recipes with Speculaas spices turn up. Growing up in the Netherlands I always looked forward to this time of year, not because of the weather (I hate rain…) but because of the Speculaas and especially Kruidnootjes (Spice Nuts). They were always my favorite :).
My recipe is adapted from a Dutch online article that explains the history of Speculaas. Speculaas is actually not just a flavour that’s known in the Netherlands. In Germany and Austria it’s called Spekulatius and in Belgium and France it’s called Speculoos.
A Little Speculaas History
Originally, baked goods in animal shapes with Speculaas Spices were offered to the Gods to ask for a good harvest. With Christianity rising in popularity the baked goods changed into figurines of saints. The bishop of Myra, also known as Saint Nicholas was loved for all his good deeds for the poor and was therefor pictured frequently on baked goods. Nowadays baked goods containing Speculaas Spices are still served on Saint Nicholas Day. Each baker used to have his own special Speculaas Spice mix and unique way of making baked goods containing Speculaas Spices. At one point in history there were male and female figurines available which people could give to a suitor or lover as a way to say I love you. You couldn’t give part of yourself as a gift but you could give a figurine in your likeness (male of female) as a token of your love. Even back then they knew love goes through the stomach! Love it!
Make Your Own Speculaas Spice Mix
Making your own Speculaas Spice Mix is actually not that difficult. It’s got similarities to the American Pumpkin Pie Spice mix but it’s still not the same. You have to taste it to understand. Like I said, each baker used to have their own special blend of Speculaas Spices. All mixes do include at least, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, aniseed, white pepper and coriander. Next to that people are known to add ginger, cardamom and mace.
My mix includes all of these spices as well as ground dried mandarin zest. I like the extra aroma it gives to the spice mix. I make my own dried mandarin zest by zesting a mandarin and drying out the zest in the oven at roughly 200 °F / 80 °C. Spread out the zest on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Dry in the oven for an hour turning the zest halfway making sure it dries evenly. Once dry, take it out of the oven to cool and use a mortar and pestle to ground it into powder. For this recipe the zest of two mandarins should be enough. However, you can leave this step out.
The nice thing about creating a Speculaas spice mix is that you can make it your own anyway you like.
The steps for this recipe are easy, you add all dried ingredients into a bowl and mix them up! (The full list of ingredients including measurements can be found in the recipe card below.)
If, like me, you see a few lumps from some of the spices after mixing it you can use the back of a spoon or your mortar and pestle to break down those lumps.
You can store the Speculaas Spice Mix in an airtight container or glass jar with a lid that closes tightly. Speculaas Spice Mix also makes the perfect gift for the holidays.
I love cinnamon so, my version of this recipe is heavy on cinnamon, however, you can experiment and see what works for you. When I try to mimic the commercially available Speculaas spice mix I use 5 tablespoons of cinnamon, but when I want the other flavours to be stronger I use less cinnamon . That’s the nice thing when making your own spice mix. You can make it to your own liking.
I would say, just give this mix a try and start baking those Tasty Spice Nuts/Dutch Kruidnootjes, make your own Speculaas Cookies/Dutch Windmill Cookies or make an amazingly delicious Spice Popcorn with the Speculaas spice mix. I’m sure you’ll love it!
SAVE PIN: http://pin.it/55kwls4
|Prep Time||5 minutes|
|Cook Time||0 minutes|
- 2-5 tablespoons ground cinnamon use 2 to 5 tablespoons cinnamon to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground aniseed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger optional
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom optional
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mace optional
- 1/2 teaspoon ground dried manadrin zest optional
- Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix them up. If you need to get rid of lumps use the back of a spoon or a mortar and pestle to break down the lumps.
- You can store the Speculaas Spice Mix in an airtight container or glass jar with a lid that closes tightly.
- You can use 2 to 5 tablespoons of cinnamon depending on your taste.
- Try mixing things up and play around with the spices and make your own combination of flavours.
- Make your own dried mandarin zest by zesting mandarin and drying out the zest in the oven at roughly 200 °F / 80 °C. Spread out the zest on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Dry in the oven for an hour turning the zest halfway making sure it dries evenly. Once dry, take out of the oven to cool and use a mortar and pestle to ground it into powder. For this recipe the zest of two mandarins should be enough.
Thank you for sharing! Excellent presentation😄 I will try it because you convinced me!
Hi,my grandfather was a baker,and i grew up with these spices! They do date back to the 1890 ties ,and having tried commercial ones,these are what we only use now! In teaspoons 20 cinnamon.2 Cloves.5 mace.half tsp ginger.1 white pepper i cardamom 2 coriander 1 star anise 1 nutmeg! Store in a jar dark and cool,you need 2 tablespoons per 250 grams of flour! Trust me it’s authentic!
Nice, sounds similar to mine and it has all the classic spices. I adjust mine to whatever I’m baking as well. I love how all bakers had and still have their own blend. I can taste the difference nowadays as well when I go to proper bakers here in the Netherlands. One speculaas might have a little more ginger, the other one a bit more cinnamon. Love it all! Thanks for sharing your grandfathers special blend 🙂
Thanks, I’m happy to hear you like the recipe 🙂
You need at least 5 tablespoons..don’t worry it needs it. I am Dutch and I know a company that bulk produces this mix
It all depends on your personal taste. If I’m aiming for a mix that’s close to the commercially available mixes I use at least 5 tablespoons. If I want a lighter cinnamon flavor I use less tablespoons. But if you want a similar taste to what you can buy in the stores you’ll need at least 5 tablespoons indeed.
Hello, is no flour used to make the biscuits?
Hi, this is the recipe for the spice mix. If you’re looking for the recipe for Speculaas cookies, you can find it here: https://cakieshq.com/recipe/speculaas-cookies-dutch-windmill-cookies/
Thank you for this recipe. The cookies and the spice mixture. I will be making this for Christmas. Again thank you
You’re welcome, I’m happy to hear the cookies turned out okay 🙂
Please where can I buy in Bulk the Dutch cookies mix. I want to identify a company that can be making regular supply for my new Biscuit company. Am looking for Dutch Shortcake mix for now.
Hi FOLA, I don’t know where you van buy Dutch cookies mix in bulk. In the Netherlands you can buy speculaas spice mix in the supermarket but I don’t know how many other countries sell it.
I think the best thing to do is do a google search for a company and see if they deliver it in your area.
Will come up with:
Compagny is now : McKormick.
But what is the recipe for the cookies? I don’t know how much of the mixed spices to use!
Thank you, Capri
I currently don’t have a recipe for Speculaas cookies on my site, however, I do have another Dutch cookie recipe on my site that uses these spices, Spice Nuts (Kruidnootjes).
Did you find a recipe?
I’ve actually posted a recipe for Dutch Speculaas Cookies now as well.
Here’s the link to the recipe: https://www.cakieshq.com/recipe/speculaas-cookies-dutch-windmill-cookies/
Did you really mean 5 tablespoons? Or was it 5 teaspoons?
Yes, I mean 5 tablespoons of cinnamon :). However, if you’re afraid it might be too much you can start with 2 tablespoons and take it from there. The nice thing about this spice mix is that you can make it to suit your own taste. 😀