Treat me: DIY Speculoos spread

When I was a proper journalist (the sort that actually went out of the office and talked to real people) I’d often stumble upon fantastic charity shops in the middle of nowhere. If time allowed I’d sneak off to them after the interviews were done – while the old ladies who staff these shops are great sources of local knowledge it’s hard to concentrate on finding treasure when you’ve got an interview looming.

These days, stuck at my desk, I’m reduced to finding fun things on the internet in the course of my research. It’s not quite as good, but you can unearth lots of gems all the same. Take speculoos spread, for example. I started reading about it while researching recipe formats last week. It was totally new to me, but it’s apparently ‘Europe’s alternative to peanut butter’ and caused much excitement when Waitrose started selling it in the UK late last year.
The real thing is made from ground-up Speculoos cookies – with a few other ingredients – and is said to be as addictive as Nutella. My DIY version is much simpler, you can make it from everyday ingredients and it’s just as habit-forming.

Speculoos Spread And Crumpets

Speculoos spread
I have no idea what ‘real’ speculoos spread tastes like but this is absolutely delicious – like eating raw gingerbread but without the attendant stomach ache. I’ve been eating it on hot crumpets, but it would transform even the most basic slice of bread. Or you could put it in a toasted sandwich with sliced banana. Or you could just eat it with a spoon…

100g soft unsalted butter
4 Tbsp golden syrup
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp Chinese five-spice
1/2 tsp ground cardamon
1/4 tsp salt

Put all ingredients in a small bowl and beat until smooth and fluffy. Eat immediately, or store in the fridge, covered.

Have a great weekend, everyone x



  1. January 24, 2013 / 8:09 pm

    This is such a lovely picture!

  2. January 25, 2013 / 7:49 am

    It was invented here in Belgium! A Mum won a TV invention show when she had the lightbulb inspiration to essentially puree her favourite biscuit 🙂 It is DELICIOUS. Though very very sweet. They sell it in smooth, or crunchy (so the crunchy one has little bits of "biscuit crumbs" in it. Divine.
    I shall try your recipe and compare. I think yours might be a little more 'spicier' – I have never been able to find Chinese Five Spice OR mixed spice here so will have to go hunting…
    x Rhi

  3. January 25, 2013 / 11:36 pm

    I agree with Rhi that yours is probably spicier than the original but I don't think that's a bad thing at all – it sounds delicious. There's something approaching an obsession with speculoos in the north of France. Many people bake their own version of the biscuits there and they're often spicier than the original so you're in good company. For some reason that I've never been able to work out, the biscuits and the spread aren't called speculoos in the UK – they tend to be called caramelised biscuits.

  4. January 27, 2013 / 9:48 pm

    This sounds delicious! I love the idea of it in a sandwich with bananas – what a gorgeous lunchtime treat that would make.

  5. March 10, 2014 / 11:24 pm

    I'm excited to try this out. Speculoos (or Biscoff as it is known in the States) just made it into the stores in my area. I'm slightly addicted.

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