What is Speculoos?

Speculoos is a spiced shortbread cookie that originated in Belgium. Today, speculoos cookies are popular all across Europe and often served during holidays and special occasions. They’re often made in fun shapes such as windmills.

speculoos cookies

Speculoos cookies are also often used as an ingredient in cookie butter - a delicious cookie-flavored spread that is as delicious as it sounds. However, this has led to a bit of confusion as speculoos and cookie butter are sometimes used interchangeably, which isn’t exactly correct. Speculoos is a specific kind of cookie, while cookie butter is a spread that can be made from pretty much any cookie. Speculoos is the most popular cookie to use for making cookie butter, though.

speculoos cookie butter

We’ll take another look at the difference between speculoos and cookie butter below, but first let’s take a deeper dive into the history of this unique spiced cookie and learn what you can expect in terms of flavor.

Speculoos Cookie History 

Speculoos are thought to have originated in the Netherlands as early as the 17th century. This was a time when spices were just becoming widely available to more people due to the growth of the Dutch East India Company.

As for the creation of speculoos, the recipe is generally credited to Antonie (or Antoine) Deplée, a Belgian patissier (pastry maker) from Flanders. Deplée registered the recipe in 1870 in Hasselt and the origin of the biscuits has been considered distinctly Belgian ever since then.

vegan gluten free speculoos cookies

Speculoos Cookie Flavor - What Does Speculoos Taste Like?

So, what do speculoos actually taste like? Speculoos flavor can actually vary widely depending on the types and amounts of different spices used in the recipe. 

Some of the most common spices used as speculoos ingredients today include:

  • Cloves
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • White pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom

This gives the cookies a spiced but sweet flavor, somewhat similar to gingerbread or gingersnaps. Traditionally, since speculoos originated as biscuits, they are prepared to have a crispy, crunchy mouthfeel. 

Speculoos vs. Biscoff vs. Cookie Butter - What’s the Difference?

Speculoos, Biscoff, and cookie butter are often used interchangeably, even though these terms don’t necessarily mean the same thing. 

Here’s a quick breakdown if you’re confused:

  • Speculoos is the actual spiced belgian cookie itself. 
  • Cookie butter is a popular desert spread, and it often uses speculoos as the main ingredient.
  • Biscoff is one of the most popular brands of cookie butter, and also one of the most popular brands of speculoos cookies. 

Now Available: Healthy Speculoos Cookies

We’re excited to announce that we’ve added speculoos to our cookie offerings here at Maxine’s Heavenly! 

Our speculoos recipe honors the traditional spicy-sweetness of this Belgian classic. But we also went a step further and put a healthy, natural spin on the ingredients, making this one of the cleanest and most wholesome cookies out there!

Our speculoos ingredients include:

  • Oat Flour, Organic Coconut Sugar, Coconut Oil, Organic Coconut Nectar, Flaxseed, Vanilla Extract, Baking Soda, Cinnamon, Sea Salt, Ginger, Allspice, Nutmeg, Cloves, Cardamom.

As always, you’ll notice we use real, wholesome ingredients like coconut sugar and oat flour instead of refined flours and sweeteners. Pick up some Cinnamon Speculoos Crunch today and enjoy a guilt-free, gluten free, vegan-friendly version of this delicious Belgian cookie.

gluten free vegan speculoos cookie

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