We call this “Gevulde Speculaas” this is best translated as “Filled Speculaas”. Dutch Filled Speculaas is a fine cake filled with almond paste. It is a delicious winter treat. Bake this pastry and your house will smell fantastic. When wintertime is coming and days are getting cold Speculaas is the cookie that’s being served by coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. You can make this treat easily by yourself. It’s a stuffed spiced roll filled with almond paste en decorated with some blanched almond pieces. Speculaas can be translated as “spiced biscuit “.
Saint Nicolas and traditional Filled Speculaas
Filled Speculaas is a traditional Dutch spiced cookie or pastry that’s particularly popular during the holiday season, especially around Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) celebrations in the Netherlands. Speculaas is a type of spiced shortcrust pastry, and “filled Speculaas” refers to a specific variation of this pastry.
Filled Speculaas typically consist of two layers of spiced Speculaas dough with a sweet and flavorful filling in between. The dough is made with a blend of warm spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger, which give it a distinctive and aromatic flavor. The filling can vary but often includes ingredients like almond paste, marzipan, or a mixture of nuts and dried fruits.
The top layer of Speculaas dough is often adorned with decorative patterns or designs, such as images of windmills, Sinterklaas figures, or other holiday-themed shapes. Once baked, the cookie is crisp on the outside and has a delicious, sweet, and spiced interior.
Filled Speculaas is typically sliced into squares or rectangles, making it easy to serve and share with family and friends. It’s a beloved treat in the Netherlands during the holiday season and is often enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea. The combination of the fragrant spices, sweet filling, and crunchy texture of the pastry makes it a delightful and festive treat for special occasions.
Ingredients for Dutch Filled Speculaas
200 grams flour
10 grams of baking powder
20 grams of Speculaas herbs (see the recipe below)
A little bit of salt
125 grams brown sugar
150 grams butter
2 spoons of milk
150 grams of almond paste
Some blanched almonds for decoration
Spices for Dutch Speculaas filled with almond paste.
Speculaaskruiden / Speculaas herbs / Speculaas spices. The right mix consists of 9 grounded spices. The last three spices – ginger, cardamon, and mace – are optional. The proportions for Speculaaskruiden are as follows:
- 30 grams cinnamon
- 10 grams nutmeg
- 10 grams cloves
- 5 grams of white pepper
- 5 grams aniseed
- 5 grams coriander seed
- 5 grams of mace
- 3 grams ginger
- 2 grams of cardamon
Directions for Dutch Filled Speculaas from my recipe book.
Mix flour, baking powder, spices (Speculaaskruiden), and salt in a bowl. Cut butter into small parts, add milk, and stir it into the flour mixture. Knead the mixture by hand to a nice dough, wrap the dough in plastic, and leave it for 30 minutes.
Mix eggs with a tablespoon of water, and stir until smooth. Keep a small amount of this mixture to finish the top of the Speculaas.
Knead the egg mixture with the almond paste. Take the dough from the fridge. Unwrap the dough. Roll it out in the right shape. Grease the baking pan with some oil en put the dough in it. Put the almond paste on top and cover up with a layer of dough. Make a decoration on top with almonds and spread over the top a thin layer of the egg mixture.
Bake the filled Speculaas in a preheated oven for 45 minutes at 150ºC.
I hope you will enjoy this typically Dutch winter treat, it’s absolutely delicious.