Dutch spiced biscuits




10 min


40 min


  • 250 grams plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 150 grams brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon each of ground nutmeg, ginger, cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 150 grams cold unsalted butter, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Tried and true

These deliciously spiced biscuits are from a recipe for Dutch biscuits called speculaas. They’re similar to gingerbread with a crisp, crunchy texture and a delightfully warm spiciness. I bake them often as they’re easy and don’t leave much mess in the kitchen (which is usually my downfall). They’ll last a few days in an airtight container – unless hungry little fingers get to them first!


Step 1

Process flour, baking powder, sugar, spices, salt, and butter in a food processor until the mixture forms fine breadcrumbs. Add 1 tablespoon of iced water and process until mixture just comes together.

Spices in a bowl_1 Dry ingredients Cubes of butter

Step 2

Turn the mixture out onto a work surface and form it into a ball with your hands. Cover in cling film and put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm up.

Biscuit dough

Step 3

Preheat the oven to 170c. Cut the dough into 2 pieces and roll out on a lightly floured surface until thin – I like my biscuits about 5mm thick, but you can make them thicker (just note you’ll need to cook a little longer otherwise they’ll be soft in the middle). Cut out biscuits using a cookie cutter and move them onto a tray lined with baking paper, using a fish slice to keep the delicate biscuits in their shapes. Pop back in the refrigerator for 20 mins to cool – this helps them keep their shape in the oven.

Biscuits ready for the oven

Step 4

Bake for 20 minutes or until the biscuits are a light golden brown, then move to a cooling rack. The biscuits will still be soft when you take then out of the oven but will harden up while they cool. I enjoy eating these by the gobful with a cup of tea, or crumbled over ice-cream or custard.


  • If you don’t have a rolling pin, a bottle of wine works just as well.
  • If you don’t have a cookie cutter, you can use a glass or mug to cut out the biscuits to any size you like.
  • You can decorate the biscuits with almonds (whole or sliced), just press them into the biscuits just before you pop them in the oven.

Recipe adapted from Feast magazine, December 2011, issue 4, as seen on www.sbs.com.au

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