Nice ‘n Crisp Speculoos (i.e. Biscoff Cookies!) 🎅🏿 gluten free & keto

Europe’s favorite cookie, with reason! Deeply aromatic, beautifully spiced, and nice and crisp to dunk in milk. Not much is lost (if at all) in these gluten free and keto speculoos!

Piled up gluten free & keto speculoos i.e. biscoff cookies
Gluten Free & Keto Speculoos i.e. Biscoff Cookies!

Gluten Free & Keto Speculoos

i.e. Biscoff Cookies!

Speculoos (also known as speculaas in the Netherlands, where they’re originally from) are traditionally made for the Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) holiday on the 6th of December in the Netherlands. But more and more are enjoyed year-round.

Over here, these keto speculoos bring back some pretty fantastic memories from my (half-Dutch) childhood (Paola here!!). I simply know Christmas is just around the corner once these babies hit the oven.

Plus: 1g net carbs a pop. Doesn’t get much better than that.

Unbaked gluten free & keto speculoos
Gluten Free & Keto Speculoos i.e. Biscoff Cookies!
Speculoos or speculaas wooden mold
Gluten Free & Keto Speculoos i.e. Biscoff Cookies!

The Speculoos Spices

These keto speculoos cookies are dominantly cinnamon, with highlights of ginger and nutmeg (freshly ground preferably) and a touch of cardamom, white pepper and cloves.

Though actual spice blends vary from recipe to recipe, with some family recipes also adding touches of anise and allspice. After all, there’s a lot of tradition behind these rustic European cookies.

The Deets

The one indispensable thing, is that the dough be thoroughly chilled before baking. Why? The butter in the dough has to have solidified once again before you can press it into the molds (or roll it into balls), that way it won’t stick and the shapes will come just right. Plus, you want to give the spices time to permeate through the dough in order to get super nice and fragrant cookies.

So, if possible, allow the dough to rest in the fridge overnight. Though 3 hours would do as well if in a pickle.

If no traditional speculaas mold is on hand, just break off a chunk of dough, roll it up and flatten it. Or roll out the dough and use any cookie mold out there.

But if you are (ultra) keen, you can find some beautiful hand-carved speculaas molds over here. Mine is a family vintage (ahem, childhood memories!).

Keto speculoos cookies in different shapes: Christmas Tree, dogs, candy canes
Gluten Free & Keto Speculoos i.e. Biscoff Cookies!
Gluten Free & Keto Speculoos i.e. Biscoff Cookies! 🎅🏿 #ketocookies #lowcarbcookies
Gluten Free & Keto Speculoos i.e. Biscoff Cookies!

The Flours

Speculoos cookies are traditionally a wheat cookie, though with many versions incorporating almond flour (and slivered almonds) into the mix. To make them gluten free and keto, I found that super fine almond flour did a killer job (solo!). Add a touch of xanthan gum, and we’re golden.

In terms of brands, for the almond either Anthony’s or WellBees work great. Both are super fine grinds.

Note also that I add a bit more baking soda than is customary (1/2 teaspoon rather than 1/4 or even nil). Reason being, that the slight bigger rise helps aerate the almond flour and get a better texture.

The Sweetener

This recipe works best with erythritol, without a doubt. Not only is it roughly 1-to-1 in sweetness to sugar (and the volume is important here), but it lends a very similar crunch and chew. No other sweetener does that.

Also note that adding a teaspoon or two of blackstrap molasses adds a tonne of umami and improves browning.

Keep in mind that blackstrap molasses is considered a low glycemic sugar. One teaspoon (7g) adds 5g net carbs, so just 0.2g net carbs a cookie (i.e. 1/4th the sugar of a strawberry!). But carbs aside, it’s also known to be a nutritional powerhouse rich in vital vitamins and minerals; such as iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium.

Fun fact: Molasses contain high amounts of chromium, which has been studied to increase glucose tolerance levels.

But if it’s still not your thing, just do a brown sugar sub (such as Lakanto Golden!)!

Low carb & keto speculoos cookies with slivered almonds
Gluten Free & Keto Speculoos i.e. Biscoff Cookies!
Stacks of keto speculoos tied with a ribbon
Gluten Free & Keto Speculoos i.e. Biscoff Cookies!

Gluten Free & Keto Speculoos i.e. Biscoff Cookies! 🎅🏿 #ketocookies #lowcarbcookies

Gluten Free & Keto Speculoos (i.e. Biscoff Cookies!)

Course: Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: European
Keyword: gluten free, keto, low carb
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories: 74 kcal

Europe's favorite cookie, with reason! Deeply aromatic, beautifully spiced, and nice and crisp to dunk in milk. Not much is lost (if at all) in these gluten free and keto speculoos!

Oh, and if baking with cups rather than grams is your thing, just click on US Cups for an instant conversion.

Print

Ingredients

To garnish

  • 1 egg white very lightly beaten for egg wash
  • slivered almonds optional

Instructions

  1. Add almond flour, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt and spices to a medium bowl. Whisk until thoroughly combined and set aside.

  2. Cream butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer, 1 minute. Add in sweetener and molasses (optional), and continue to cream until light and fluffy (8-10 minutes). 

  3. Add in egg, mixing until just incorporated. The mixture will appear slightly 'broken' (i.e. not thoroughly smooth). 

  4. With your mixer on low, add in half of your flour mixture- mixing until just incorporated. Mix in the rest.

  5. Wrap cookie dough with cling film (saran wrap) and refrigerate overnight (much preferred). But if in a pickle, 2 hours will do. 

  6. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

  7. You have two options here. Either roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper and do cutout cookies. Or divide cookie dough into 24 and press onto wooden cookie mold to shape. Just be sure to get them nice and thin, as they'll thicken more when baked. 

  8. Place shaped cookies on the prepared baking tray and place in the freezer for 10 minutes prior to baking. 

  9. Brush with a very lightly beaten egg white (don't get it frothy!) to get that nice shiny finish and decorate with slivered almonds (optional). Otherwise, leave them as they are for a matte finish (similar to gingerbread cookies). And bake for 9-14 minutes (depending on size), until deep golden. 

  10. Allow to cool for ten minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely, as they'll continue to crunch up (keto cookies take a few hours for the sweetener to Harden up completely!). Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.  

  11. Note that these cookies are even better the next day, after the spices have had some time to mingle. And also (for some inexplicable reason), the sweetness also intensifies the day after. 

Recipe Notes

*If you prefer your cookies on the sweeter side (and not doing any icing), feel free to up the sweetener to 1/2-2/3 cup. And Please see section on Sweeteners for deets and possible substitution. 

Please note that nutrition facts were estimated with the touch of molasses.

Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free & Keto Speculoos (i.e. Biscoff Cookies!)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 74 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 13mg 4%
Sodium 97mg 4%
Potassium 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 1.9%
Calcium 1.7%
Iron 1.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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For The Holidaze!

30 comments

  1. Amanda says:

    Though going to Germany for Weihnachtmarkt in six days, I just had to try and taste these NOW since I know there will be no Keto treats there! Making the dough this morning and wanted to know Paola, can either the dough or cookies freeze once baked? I’d like to have a few tomorrow and save the rest for once back. Thanks, they look delicious with all the spices! Happy Holidays

    • Paola says:

      Ooooh enjoy Germany (the Christmas markets are my favorite!!!). You can definitely freeze the dough or the cookies (I generally freeze the shaped dough unbaked when I can, so I can have fresh cookies!). xo!

  2. Sandy says:

    Looking forward to trying these as I’m just starting Keto. I wanted to confirm the nutritional values. What size of cookie is represented by the numbers shown assuming it is a per cookie rating.

  3. Naomi says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe. We used it today to make some ‘gevulde speculaas’, using your dough to sandwich a layer of amandelspijs (8 tbsp ground almond, 1-2 tbsp erythritol, 2 egg whites). The result was amazing – really tasted like the proper thing! Thanks so much! Happy Sinterklaas!

    • Paola says:

      Oh how wonderful Naomi!! I hadn’t thought of trying it with amandelspijs 😍!! Thank you for sharing, can’t wait to try! (and happy Sinterklaas to you as well!!)

  4. Cressi says:

    Lazy girl here and I love cookie bars. This recipe makes the most AMAZING cookie bars! Follow the recipe and smash it all in a greased square pan. Bake until center has risen and then settled and edges pull away from pan. Topped with Keto cream cheese frosting and they are to die for. Crunchy edges and soft chewy center. I have a new favorite ♥️

  5. Christin says:

    I put the dough in the fridge for almost 24 hours and as soon as I started rolling it out between the parchment paper, the dough turned to mush. There was no way I could make cut out cookies or put this in a mold. I ended up making drop cookies and flattening them. Any ideas what the problem could be?

    • Paola says:

      Hi Christin! This has happened to a couple peeps sporadically as well with other of the crisp butter cookies on the site (like the gingerbread and cinnamon toast crunch)…. in all honesty I’m not sure what’s up as for me the butter solidifies completely once in the fridge.

      Baking wise, this generally happens if you’re working on a warm environment or simply overworking the dough. So maybe try refrigerating it after rolling it out to make sure you get clean cutouts. xo!

      • Karen says:

        Some no name butter is not 100% real butter, it has some filler in it. I noticed that one year when baking short bread for the family. I always use best quality brand name butter.

  6. Kristen says:

    Just wanted to thank you for this inspired keto cookie recipe: I made then a few weeks ago and they have a delicious, complex flavor– my new all time favorite cookie!! Being somewhat lazy as a chef, I gave up on the cookie cutters after one trays worth, and switched to rolling them into little patties then placing a blanched whole almond in the middle to flatten a bit further–that method was fast and easy and tasted really good too: less of crisp cookie, more chewy, I would say. I also stored some of the extra baked cookies in the freezer so they wouldn’t get stale, and they taste really great that way, too!

    • Paola says:

      Kristen so awesome to hear! I actually love your tip about how you did the cookies- it’s actually often done in the Netherlands too! They’re lightly soft in the center and beautiful cookies alike!! Xo!

  7. Tamara says:

    Hi Paola, just wondering if you were making these cookies for the holidays this year and how you think Golden Lakanto would be compared to Swerve in this recipe. I noticed in many of your recent recipes you’ve indicated Lakanto as either a first or second choice of sweetner.

    • Paola says:

      Definitely Tamara (I’m doing a little update of this recipe this week, you beat me to it!)! I do think sweeteners are a personal choice, but I’ve imo Lakanto golden has much less cooling effect (particularly noticeable in things like cookies and brownies) xo!!

    • Paola says:

      Hi Michael! These guys hold up quite well for about 5 days (depending on your climate really). Store in an airtight container at room temp, and if they get a little moist just pop them in the oven back for a few. xo!

  8. Melina says:

    Are the desserts on your page okay for diabetics? I have Swerve & Truvia in my home so I would think so but when it calls for like 6 TBS, ect. (on any given recipe) just had to ask. What about the molasses, if one didn’t use it would they still come out good?

    Thanks!

    • Paola says:

      Hi Melina! In all honesty I don’t feel qualified to answer your question if the recipes are ok for diabetics. Having said that, you generally wouldn’t eat the entire batch (i.e. the 6 tablespoons of sweetener) in one sitting. So your GI should be left unaffected (needed for keto). Other than that you’ll be fine without the molasses, they’ll just come out lighter in color. xo

  9. Annie M says:

    It bugs me quite a bit that someone would give a 4 star rating, without trying the recipe, just because there’s a 1/8th missing… WTF is wrong with people?!!!

    You can see the amount of work that went into this post….

  10. Sophie van der Velden says:

    I’m properly excited about these!! Your speculaas spice mix is SPOT ON! Dank u wel!! 😉

  11. Sandee Butler says:

    These are my husbands favorite cookie so can’t wait to make them. Question? In your metric recipe it calls for 1/8 teaspoon of cloves in the US customary it calls for 1 teaspoon of cloves. Which is correct?

    Thanks for all the good recipes.

    • Paola says:

      Hi Sandee! NO! It’s supposed to be 1/8 teaspoon as well!! Oh geez thanks for pointing that out!

      And my pleasure, so glad you’re enjoying them!

  12. Sharon says:

    Could I use coconut oil instead of butter. My grandson is Dairy intolerant. Thanks for your great recipes & information

    • Paola says:

      Hi Sharon! Yes, coconut oil would work for these (taste might be slightly different, but should be good). Also given that coconut oil is pure fat, they should be nice and crispy 😉 xo Pola

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