Speculaas Soft Gingerbread Cookies with a Rum Butter Glaze

The best of European spices blend with a soft gingerbread cookie to make for a cozy treat.  Sending them over the moon is a simple rum and butter glaze.

     Course  :  Baking
 Cuisine : Dutch, German
 Prep Time : 15 minutes
 Cook Time :12 minutes
 Rest time : 1 day
 Servings : 16


Spice Blend

  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp anise seed , crushed (omit if you want a more North American flavoured gingerbread)
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg


  • 1 3/4 cups AP flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted, optional
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup fancy molasses, unsulphured not blackstrap (too strong)
  • 1/4 cup runny honey

Rum Butter Glaze

  • 2/3 cup (80 grams)confectioners (icing) sugar
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp (15 grams) unsalted butter, melted and warm
  • 1 tbsp dark rum or lemon juice
  • 1 tsp warm water



  1. Blend all the spices (ginger through cloves) together in a medium bowl. Add the flour, sugar and baking soda and whisk together. If you want a chocolate undertone, feel free to use the cocoa powder. This is not necessary though. I often omit it.

  2. Measure the oil, molasses and honey in a measuring cup.

  3. Now combine the flour mixture and the liquid mixture together either by hand or in a heavy standard mixer using the paddle attachment. Mix until the dough holds together, adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of water only if necessary to help bind the dough.

  4. Turn the dough out onto the counter and knead it into a smoothish ball. If you find the dough too sticky, knead in small small amounts of flour until it is not sticky to the touch. Press it into a rough disk and place into a freezer bag. Let the dough rest for at least 1 hour or refrigerate overnight. I refrigerate overnight as it makes the dough easier to work with.

  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough with a plain rolling pin about 1/4 inch or a bit more thick, depending on the depth of your embossed rolling pin or cookie stamp. Using a pastry brush, flour the surface of your rolling pin or cookie stamp. Press firmly onto the flat surface of the dough and then lift the stamp straight up. Re-flour the rolling pin or stamp for every pressing. Roll slowly and deliberately. If you aren't embossing the dough, then aim for just under 1/4 inch thickness.

  6. Using a biscuit or cookie cutter just larger than your stamp (if using a stamp) cut out the cookies, surrounding the stamped pattern. If using an embossed rolling pin, feel free to cut out cookies throughout the pattern.
  7. Transfer the cookies to parchment lined baking sheets, leaving 1/2 inch (1 cm) space between each.

  8. Re-roll the dough and continue till all used up.
  9. Let cookies dry on the baking sheets for at least 12 hours. Up to 24 hours is good to help set the pattern so that it won't melt away during the baking. If you are cutting them out without a pressed in pattern, you can bake them right without waiting.

  10. Pre-heat the oven to 300F. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through the baking time, until just firm to the touch. They will continue to firm up as they cool, so don't be tempted to cook them further.

Rum Butter Glaze

  1. While the cookies are in the oven, create the glaze and have it ready- it needs to be brushed on while the cookies are still warm out of the oven.
  2. Sift the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  3. Add the melted butter, rum and water and mix till smooth. The glaze will thicken slightly if it sits around, so stir in a little more water when needed. It should have the consistency of runny honey (but not too runny)
  4. Remove the cookies from the oven, and leave them to cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Then brush or dab the cookies with the glaze. Let it settle into the crevices.
  6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe Notes

I state that this recipe makes 16.  If you are using a larger stamp, you will get less.  A minimum of 12 will be achieved for sure. 

This recipe will totally work if you don't have a stamp or embossed rolling pin. You can use cookie cutters with a press in patter (like veins in a leaf) as long as the patterns aren't too small. Or you can even just use a round cutter. The glaze will simply spread out over the finished cookies, but they will still taste amazing!

You can totally use the spice blend on its own in other baking, or even in pancakes, etc!

White pepper and anise seed makes this flavor uniquely European.  Don't feel obligated to use these spices in your spice blend.  The anise may be strong for some.  Try less to begin with if you are curious to see what effect it has on the overall flavor.

original recipe credit to https://www.thelemonapron.com/speculaas-gingerbread-cookies-with-a-rum-butter-glaze/