January 27, 2013

Gevulde Speculaas (Daring Bakers' Challenge)

The first Daring Bakers' Challenge of 2013 was a traditional Dutch spice cake: gevulde speculaas.  The outside is a slightly crunchy pastry, full of all sorts of delicious spices, and the inside is a creamy almond paste.  Yum.  Excellent challenge!

Francijn of Koken in de Brouwerij was our January 2013 Daring Bakers’ Hostess and she challenged us to make the traditional Dutch pastry, Gevulde Speculaas from scratch! That includes making our own spice mix, almond paste and dough! Delicious!

To decorate my speculaas, I decided to top it with a rose, because apparently, I can't help myself.  I've previously used fondant and chocolate plastic to make decorative roses, but this time I decided to use marzipan.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that working with marzipan is pretty easy, and the result is much tastier than fondant.

The speculaas was not very difficult to make, and worked really great as a breakfast pastry as well as a dessert.  I found it went really well with a cup of coffee.  Although I enjoyed it, my husband wasn't a huge fan - he decided it tasted too much like chai (which he likes, so I'm not sure why he didn't like this).  Too bad for him - I'm planning on making this again soon, and he just won't get any!

You may or may not have noticed that I haven't been posting quite as often this month.  The reason is that Mr. Buttercream, Kitty, and I are moving to a new house.  I hope to have the kitchen back up and operational soon, but it may be a little while before there is another post.

I miss you already, KitchenAid!

Gevulde Speculaas
Adapted from Francijn's Gevulde Speculaas recipe (that site it in Dutch - she posted it in English on the Daring Bakers' site, but you need an account to get to it).  Makes a 6" round pastry.

Ingredients for the Filling
½ cup (about 66 grams) almonds, with skins removed
zest from ½ lemon
½ cup powdered sugar, packed
1 egg white (save the yolk for later)

Ingredients for the Dough
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
⅛ teaspoon ground white pepper
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ cup brown sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold
1 tablespoon milk

  1. For the almond filling, grind the almonds and the zest in a food processor until finely chopped.  Add the powdered sugar and grind some more.  The mixture should be very fine at this point.
  2. Remove the almond/sugar mixture from the food processor and place in a small bowl.  Add the egg white and mix in with a fork or your hands.
  3. Store the filling in the refrigerator until ready for use.
  4. For the dough, whisk together the flour, baking powder, spices, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl.  
  5. Cut the butter into small pieces, and then "cut" it into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or your hands (like you would with a pie).
  6. Add the milk to make the dough come together.  Knead with your hands until it is consistently moist.
  7. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and refrigerate until ready for use.
  8. Preheat your oven to 350° F.  Grease a 6" round springform pan.  You could probably use a regular 6" round cake pan, but you might damage the top a little when getting it out if you're not careful.
  9. Prepare an egg "glue" by whisking your saved egg yolk with a little water (a teaspoon).
  10. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide in two.
  11. Roll one of the sections into a little bigger than a 6" round circle, and press it into the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
  12. Brush with a third of the egg glue.
  13. Remove the almond filling from the refrigerator and spread evenly in the pan.
  14. Brush with a third of the egg glue.
  15. Roll out the second section of dough into a 6" circle, and press it into the pan.
  16. Brush with the remaining egg glue.
  17. Decorate the top with almonds, or however you like.
  18. Bake for 35-40 minutes.  Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan.


  1. Decoration is beautiful, great job on the challenge!

  2. The marzipan rose was a lovely touch- good luck with your move!

  3. I love that rose - I can't believe it's marzipan, it looks real! Here's hoping that you are settled in your new kitchen soon!

  4. I love your roses! Put them on everything!

    This looks so tasty. Good luck with the move!

  5. Funny, i'm a Dutch girl. It's not often I come across Original Dutch Pastry's. It's quite nice to see that you even have all the correct spices and everything. Most people call things Dutch even though it isn't. You've made it really pretty as well, it mostly looks very boring.


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