a curious cook

Dutch mini speculoos cookies or kruidnootjes

kruidnootjes pepernoten


A bowl of these little cookies on the table will be mysteriously (?) empty at the end of the morning. Very dangerous! But even so,  I always bake a batch of these Dutch mini speculoos cookies or kruidnootjes tot the Dutch holiday Sinterklaas. It is so nice to mindlessly roll lots of small balls from this fragrant dough. This recipe is a favourite of many Dutch children who love to join in with the rolling.

You can also use ready-mixed gingerbread spice of pumpkin pie spice for these cookies instead of using the list of spices in the ingredients, but always use a little extra. Ready-made mixes often contain fillers and deliver less flavor.

Use these cookies to make this tasty speculoos cookie cake!


Dutch mini speculoos cookies or kruidnootjes

for 30-40 cookies

85 g (vegan) butter
85 g dark brown caster sugar
25 buttermilk or 25 ml plant based milk + ¼ tsp. apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
15 g of Golden syrup, corn syrup or dark agave syrup
2 tsp. baking powder (± 8 g)
1 tsp. ground cloves (± 2 g)
2 tsp. ground cinnamon  (± 5 g)
1 tsp. ground ginger (± 2 g)
1 tsp. ground fennel seed (± 2 g)
2 tsp. ground aniseed (± 4 g)
a good pinch of white pepper
175 g flour, sifted

Beat the butter, sugar and a pinch of salt for ± 5 minutes in a large bowl until light and creamy. For vegan speculoos cookies mix the milk with the apple cider vinegar and let it stand for a while until it curdles. Stir the milk mixture, syrup and spices into the creamy butter and then quickly knead in the flour and baking powder.

Form into a ball. Knead as short as possible for a nice crunchy cookie. Flatten the ball into a disk, wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or one night. The longer the dough rests, the better the taste will be.

Preheat the oven to 150 °C. Cover a cookie tray with parchment paper. Roll small marbles of the dough (± 5 grams) and place them on the cookie tray. Bake in the middle of the oven for ± 35 minutes. If you make larger cookies, they will take a little longer in the oven. Take them out of the oven and leave to cool completely on the cookie tray. Your mini speculoos cookies or kruidnootjes will still be soft when you take them out of the oven and only become crunchy when they cool down.


Photography: Eric van Lokven, Styling: Cyn Ferdinandus


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