Speculoos (Biscoff Cookie Butter)

This silky-smooth spread is as thick as creamy peanut butter, but packed with the caramelized flavor and aromatic spices of Belgian speculoos.

A jar of homemade Biscoff or speculoos cookie butter.

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Why This Recipe Works

  • Briefly cooking the cookie crumbs in water dissolves their sugar, for an ultra-creamy base.
  • Refined coconut oil is odorless, flavorless, and solid at room temperature, giving the cookie paste a thick and firm consistency, like peanut butter.
  • The volume of water and refined coconut oil dilutes the sweetness of the cookies, but a bit of golden syrup brings the flavor back into balance.

When I think of Belgian cuisine, I'm left with an overwhelming impression of elegance and sophistication—Liège waffles, moules-frites, and blonde ale come to mind. Speculoos, too—those crispy, caramelized cookies made famous by the Biscoff brand.

So I was shocked to discover that cookie butter, a dessert spread made from puréed Biscoff crumbs, isn't a cheap American marketing trend, but rather a true Belgian innovation. What's more, cookie butter is a key ingredient in all sorts of proper pastries as well, used in European bakeries the way ours rely on peanut butter. It makes a lot of sense, if you think about it: cookie butter is everything we love about speculoos in general (or Biscoff in particular) in spreadable form. It's spicy and rich, with a deep caramel flavor and the toastiness of freshly baked cookies, but with a creamy, buttery consistency.

Cookie butter is readily available wherever Biscoff are sold, and you can buy similar versions from brands like Roland and Trader Joe's. But, as with most anything, there's something special about making cookie butter entirely from scratch (and it's a heckuva lot cheaper, too).

If you've been tempted to try a batch of my homemade Biscoff for yourself, cookie butter is also a fun way to use up the scrap pieces left over after rolling and cutting the dough.

A collage: cookie scraps in a bag before and after being crushed by a rolling pin.

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Of course, it's totally fine to start off with a package of real Biscoff instead. The recipe works well either way, so don't overthink it.

How to Make Cookie Butter

Regardless of how you go about obtaining the crumbs, mix them with an equal amount of water (by weight) in a stainless steel saucier, along with a drizzle of golden syrup to add back some of the caramel sweetness that would otherwise be lost in dilution.

At first, the mixture will be a little gritty from the brun foncé or toasted sugar in the speculoos. But after a few minutes over medium heat, the sugar will dissolve. (You can rub a pinch between your fingers to check.)

Pour the sauce-like mixture into a tall, narrow container, and allow it to cool until the steam subsides, about five minutes. Add a bit of refined coconut oil (roughly 50% of the mixture by weight), and process with an immersion blender until silky-smooth. While the mixture is still warm and fluid, pour it into a glass jar.

Collage of cookie butter being made in a food processor: the cookie-water mixture is being poured into the food processor, followed by a spoonful of coconut oil and processed until smooth before being poured into a glass jar.

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Using an immersion blender emulsifies the crumbs and water into a rich and silky paste, obliterating any lingering crumbs and slightly aerating the mixture as well. By offsetting the natural density of the oil, aeration prevents the cookie butter from feeling greasy on the tongue.

Cover the jar and refrigerate until the mixture is cold and hard, about two hours, then let the cookie butter stand at cool room temperature until glossy and soft.

The Best Temperature for Enjoying Homemade Cookie Butter

Because its consistency is governed by coconut oil, which melts at 75°F (24°C) and grows increasingly hard as it cools below 69°F (21°C), cookie butter has the best consistency when it's between 70 and 74°F (21 and 23°C).

Butter knife in a jar of brown cookie butter.

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Above that range, the cookie butter will begin to melt, breaking the emulsion and allowing a greasy layer of coconut oil to rise to the top. Below that range, the coconut oil in the cookie butter will be too cold and hard, making the "butter" impossible to spread and resistant to melting on your tongue, where it will sit like a waxy lump. But when it's in the zone, homemade cookie butter will have a consistency like creamy peanut butter—wonderfully thick and spreadably smooth.

Cookie butter spread on a piece of white bread.

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

You can store and serve homemade cookie butter at room temperature for much of the year, but you'll need to take some precautions when your kitchen gets especially hot or cold. In warmer months, you may need to keep it in the fridge, then allow the cookie butter to soften at room temperature prior to use. In colder months, it may need to be set in a warm place until spreadably soft. But the same is true for the plain ol' butter we spread on toast, so that's not really such a big deal, is it?

Besides, a little mindfulness is a small price to pay for easy access to a cheap, delicious, and totally homemade alternative to pricey store-bought cookie butter. Whether you love it as a dip for fresh apples, a cinnamon-spiced addition to French toast, or the secret ingredient in holiday bourbon balls, next time you get a craving for cookie butter, try making it yourself.


Click Play to Watch This Homemade Biscoff Cookie Spread Come Together

October 2017

Recipe Details

Speculoos (Biscoff Cookie Butter)

Prep 5 mins
Cook 5 mins
Active 10 mins
Chilling Time 2 hrs
Total 2 hrs 10 mins
Serves 8 servings
Makes 1 heaping cup

This silky-smooth spread is as thick as creamy peanut butter, but packed with the caramelized flavor and aromatic spices of Belgian speculoos.


  • 3 1/2 ounces finely ground speculoos crumbs (about 3/4 cup; 100g), store-bought or homemade

  • 3 1/2 ounces water (about 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon; 100g)

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 ounce golden syrup (about 2 tablespoons; 30g), such as Lyle's (see note)

  • 3 ounces refined coconut oil (about 1/2 cup; 85g), solid but not cold, between 70 and 74°F (21 and 23°C)


  1. Combine cookie crumbs, water, cinnamon, and golden syrup in a 2-quart stainless steel saucier. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until crumbs have dissolved and mixture feels smooth between your fingertips, about 90 seconds. Remove from heat and transfer to a tall, narrow container, stirring occasionally until the steam subsides, about 5 minutes. Add solid coconut oil and process with an immersion blender until homogeneous and smooth.

    A collage showing crumbled Biscoff cookies being dissolved with water, combined with syrup, and stirred in a saucepan with a whisk.

    Vicky Wasik

  2. Transfer to a glass jar (the cookie butter will readily absorb odors from used plastic containers), seal to prevent moisture loss, and refrigerate to re-solidify the coconut oil, about 2 hours. From there, store and serve at cool room temperature as a spread or dessert topping.

    A jar of homemade Biscoff or speculoos cookie butter.

Special Equipment

2-quart stainless steel saucier, flexible spatula, immersion blender, glass jar


If your grocery doesn't stock golden syrup alongside maple syrup and molasses, plain corn syrup will get the job done. The results won't taste quite as caramelly, but it's not a make-or-break ingredient.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
169 Calories
13g Fat
12g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 169
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 10g 48%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 44mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 13mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 21mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)