Having lived abroad I know how difficult it can be to make your national dishes. Luckily, thanks to internet, you can buy most ingredients online nowadays. But sometimes you don’t have the time to order online and wait for the delivery, and usually that is when you find out that you can easily make things yourself from ingredients you had in your kitchen all along.

This was exactly the case for me: How to make speculaaskruiden? Speculaaskruiden are a spice mixture that we use in the Netherlands to make ‘pepernoten‘ and ‘speculaas’ and many other things that we usually eat around the 5th of December.

I got this recipe from the internet and wrote the source in the bottom of the page. The website is in Dutch but you might be able to Google-translate it. There are many different ‘recipe’s’ for the spice mixture, so below is one option. I stuck to ratio’s in stead of grams, so you can determine how much you need.

This is what you need:

  • Cinnamon (= 8/8)
  • Nutmeg (= 2/8)
  • Cloves (= 1/8)
  • Cardamom (= 1/8)
  • White pepper (= 1/8)
  • Coriander seed (= 1/8)
  • Ginger powder (= 1/8)
  • Anis Seed (= 1/8) *
  • Mace (= 1/8) *

All recipe’s for ‘speculaaskruiden’ contain cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. You can make your own variation to the recipe and make it more mild and more spicy. But: be careful with the clove and cardamom!

Ground all the spices and mix them well. For ease of use, buy the grounded spices rather than the whole seeds. Anis and Mace are sometimes hard to find. You can leave those out.

If you want the recipe to be more mild, you can leave out the pepper.


John-Pierre Cornelissen
More variations to the recipe via