Speculaas spice mix

Posted: November 14, 2017 Last updated: June 30, 2023
Speculaas spice mix
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Speculaas spices are probably the most well-known spice blend in the Netherlands. This traditional Dutch speculaas spice mix is widely used, especially in November and December around Sinterklaas.

Traditional Dutch spice mix

In preparation for this speculaas spice mix, I went over my spice cabinet, bought some more spices and studied the ingredient list of my favorite speculaas spices. There are other spices you can use for speculaas spice mix, but I have now created a spice mix with ingredients that you can find in almost any (large) supermarket.

I also give tips in the recipe for additional optional flavorings, so you can make the spice mix just the way you like it. Because that’s the nice thing about making your own spice mix, everyone likes something different and by making it yourself you can make it exactly to your liking.

Speculaas spice mix ingredients

Speculaas spices contain a selection of the following ingredients: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, mace, cardamom, coriander, allspice, white pepper and sometimes anise powder. It varies with each spice mix and each person exactly what the composition is and whether some of these spices are omitted.

White pepper gives more spice to the spices but can also quickly dominate the taste, personally I do not like this and you will definitely not find it in my recipe. One thing is for sure, cinnamon is always the base of speculaas spice mix and therefore the most important and most present ingredient.

Speculaas spice mix 2a

What’s the difference between speculaas and speculoos?

Even though the name is almost the same, speculaas and speculoos are two different cookies. Speculaas is a typical Dutch cookie and gets it’s flavor of different spices used in the speculaas spice mix.

Speculoos cookies have been created as ‘cookie without speculaas spices’ in Belgium. The brand Lotus is known for their speculoos cookies. They say that their cookies obtains it taste by the special production proces of the karamelisation of sugar in the cookie. Speculoos often includes only one spice: cinnamon.

Frequently asked questions about speculaas spice mix

Can you make speculaas spice mix without cinnamon?

Cinnamon is the main ingredient of speculaas spice mix, when you skip it the taste becomes completely different. I have read about ‘white speculaas spices’, without cinnamon but with fennel seeds and aniseed, among others. You can experiment with these spices as well.

If you are looking for a spice mix in which the cinnamon is still present but less central, you can choose a gingerbread spice mix.

Can I also add anise to your recipe?

Of course! It is not my personal preference, but if you like it, I would add about 0.5 – 1 teaspoon of ground anise seed to the recipe for speculaas spice mix below.

How much is a tablespoon or teaspoon of ground spices?

A tablespoon is 15 ml, a teaspoon 5 ml. I always use one a set of spoons, these spoons give you the exact amount. In the end it’s mainly about the ratio of the spices, the amount you decide for yourself.

Can I use speculaas spices for speculaas cookies?

Yes! These are indeed the spices you use to make speculaas cookies. If you also want to make the traditional cookie shape, use a wooden mold. Like this one that you use to make traditional cookies in the shape of a windmill. This speculaas mold is also very nice.

 

homemade speculaas spice mix

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Speculaas spice mix recipe

You can make a homemade spice mix just the way you like it. Here is a tasty recipe for speculaas spices to make your own speculaas cookies.
Servings: 1 small jar

Ingredients 

  • 8 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground mace
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom

Instructions

  • Put everything together in a bowl and stir well, that's all you need to do. You can also use a mortar for this.
  • If you want to experiment: don't add everything at once, but do it in parts. In between, always smell well to find your ideal mix of speculaas spice mix.
Tips

Coriander seeds and allspice are ingredients that you also frequently see in speculaas spices. These are a little more difficult to obtain (I have not been able to find it), but if you have them, they are a very good addition. You can add them to taste, but start with 1-2 tsp of each.
How to store

Dried herbs and spices are best stored dark and dry, they will keep for at least a year this way. I usually use spice jars or weck jars for this that seal well airtight.

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