Keto Speculaas Cookies, Gluten Free + Low Carb Biscoff

keto speculaas biscuits

Speculaas cookies are a traditional biscuit normally eaten before St Nicholas’ day in Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany. But they’re enjoyable all year round. Outside of Europe, these delicious treats are normally found served on aeroplanes as an inflight snack.  

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But now you can enjoy them as part of a keto diet with this low-carb, gluten free recipe. They’re perfect for those who follow a low-carb or ketogenic diet, allowing you to indulge without compromising your health goals. Plus, they can easily be made into vegan speculaas cookies by swapping the butter for a vegan alternative.

What is the difference between Speculaas and Speculoos?

Many people think that speculaas and speculoos are the same thing. They often get mixed up as they refer to very similar types of spiced cookies. But they are two different varitions of spiced cookies.

The cookies are similar in that they’re both spiced cookies, and both originate from The Netherlands, Belgium, and parts of Germany. Both types share a rich, spiced flavor and a long tradition of being enjoyed during festive seasons.

You’ll usually find Lotus biscoff cookies served with coffee in the UK or on airlines in the USA. There’s also been a rise in biscoff cookies being used in ice creams, cakes, and even at McDonalds. But sadly these don’t use a healthy biscoff cookie.

Both types of spiced cookies are made using high carb ingredients such as wheat flour and sugar making them unsuitable for a keto diet or for those who are gluten free. But that’s where this keto spice cookies recipe comes in; it’s both gluten-free and low carb.

So what actually is the difference between Speculaas and Speculoos? The spices, shape and sweetness. Here’s a comparison of the two types of spiced cookies:


Spices: This mix typically includes cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamom, and sometimes white pepper (although I recommend leaving this out). The rich and complex spice blend is what gives Speculaas its distinctive flavor.

Texture and Shape: Traditionally, Speculaas cookies are rolled out and cut using intricate wooden molds, resulting in beautifully decorated, crisp cookies. They can be quite thin and often have detailed designs, especially around festive seasons like Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas Day). Just a heads up, the low carb version doesn’t hold a pattern due to the difference in flours, so you can’t decorate them as easily as the proper full carb versions.

Sweetness: Speculaas cookies are usually less sweet than their Speculoos counterparts, as the emphasis is more on the spices.


Spices: Speculoos cookies have a milder spice profile compared to Speculaas. The spice blend usually focuses more on cinnamon and may not be as complex or varied as the Speculaas mix.

Texture and Shape: Speculoos cookies are typically uniform in shape and size, often found as small, rectangular or oval-shaped biscuits. They are generally thicker than Speculaas and have a more crumbly texture.

Sweetness: Speculoos are sweeter than Speculaas and have a more pronounced caramelized flavor, which comes from the use of brown sugar or a similar sugar variant.

So to summarise: Speculaas has multiple spices, intricate shapes, less sweet. Speculoos has a milder spice blend (usually just cinnamon), uniform shapes, and is sweeter.

Which sweetener should I use?

Erythritol or Xylitol both work well for these keto cookies. Erythritol can have a cooling after-taste for some so I personally find xylitol works a bit better.

WARNING: If you have a dog, never use xylitol as it is toxic to them. 

If you are in the USA you might also wish to try a monk fruit & erythrtiol mix which has a better aftertaste than just erythritol.

You may wish to use more or less of the sweetener depending on you tastebuds (and some may even want to leave it out completely). 

Xylitol versus Erythritol benefits comparison chart.

Baking Tips:

The dough can be sticky!

When you’re making these cookies you might find the dough is sticky. This is fine, but it can be a bit awkward to work with. Adding more almond flour can make the speculaas dough easier to roll out and shape into cookies. But I found adding more almond flour to these cookies, makes them dry. If you want to use cookie cutters, I do recommend adding a bit more almond flour.

Almond Flour vs Ground Almonds/Almond Meal

Almond Flour

You might be thinking, is it okay to use ground almonds/almond meal instead of almond flour? Whilst the answer is yes, when you’re baking these sugar-free speculaas cookies, using almond flour rather than ground almonds/almond meal is crucial for achieving the best texture and flavor.

Reasons to use Almond flour:

Texture and Consistency
  • Almond flour is finely ground and typically blanched (skins removed), which creates a smooth, fine texture similar to traditional wheat flour. This fine texture is essential for making cookies with a delicate, crisp consistency. In contrast, ground almonds or almond meal often include the almond skins and have a coarser texture, leading to denser, grittier cookies that may not spread or bake evenly.
Moisture Absorption
  • The fine grind of almond flour allows it to absorb moisture more uniformly than almond meal. This ensures that your cookie dough has a consistent, smooth structure, making it easier to roll out and cut into shapes. Ground almonds or almond meal can result in a dough that’s too crumbly or too moist, affecting the low carb cookies texture and making the dough harder to handle.
Taste and Appearance
  • Because almond flour is blanched and finely ground, it has a lighter color and a more neutral taste. This allows the rich, festive spices in the speculaas cookies to shine through without being overshadowed by the almond’s natural flavor or dark specks from the skins. Ground almonds or almond meal can add a slightly bitter taste and darker appearance to the cookies, which might not be desirable in this recipe.
Uniform Baking
  • Almond flour’s consistent particle size ensures more even baking. Each cookie will have the same texture and bake at the same rate, preventing some cookies from being over or underdone. Almond meal’s coarser grains can lead to uneven baking, where some parts of the cookie might be overly crunchy or undercooked.

How can I make these cookies dairy-free?

You can substitute the butter with coconut oil or a plant-based butter alternative to make these cookies dairy-free. Just remember to track the net carbs in whichever alternative you use.

Cool Properly on a Wire Rack

After baking, allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. This helps them firm up and prevents breakage. Cooling on a wire rack ensures even cooling and keeps the cookies crisp.

Storing The Cookies

Once completely cooled, store your cookies in an airtight container. This helps maintain their crispness. They can stay fresh for up to two weeks. If you want to keep them longer, consider freezing them.

keto speculaas biscuits

Gluten Free Keto Speculaas Cookies

Inspired by traditional Dutch and Belgian spiced cookies, these keto-friendly cookies bring all the warmth and flavor of the holiday season without the carbs and sugar. Perfect for a low-carb holiday treat, they are easy to make and are ready in under an hour.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting time 10 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine European
Servings 15 Cookies
Calories 70 kcal


  • 150 g Almond flour You can also use ground almonds/almond meal.
  • 50 g butter If vegan, swap for a vegan alternative to butter that is low-carb or coconut oil.
  • 1 medium or large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom


  • Line a baking tray with parchment/baking paper. Pre-heat an oven to gas mark 5/375f/191c
  • Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Melt the butter and mix into the dry ingredient mix until well combined.
  • Whisk in the egg until well combined.
  • At this stage the dough may be quite sticky, if you want a firmer dough to use with cookie cutters, I recommend adding more almond flour.
  • You will now need to shape the dough. Lay a sheet of clingfilm on the worktop, and lightly oil it. Wet your hands, then transfer the mix to the clingfilm, and squish out into a rectangle shape about 1cm high. If your dough is stickier, you’ll need to rewet your hands a few times while doing this.
  • Once laid out, cut the dough into shapes. Then transfer to the baking paper. You may have to slide a knife under the cutout cookies to transfer it.
  • If you have issues cutting the dough out, you can also shape it using your hands. Wet your hands and squish some of the dough between them to make it flat. Then transfer to the baking paper.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Once baked they will be soft. Leave to cool until hardened and then enjoy with a cup of coffee.



*The nutrition values provided are estimates per serving and may not be entirely accurate. Actual nutritional content can vary based on ingredients, portion sizes, and preparation methods. Always check product labels for precise information.
The nutirtional values below are caclulated based on the recipe making 15 cookies.
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Calories 70 kcal
Total Fat 6.2 g
Saturated Fat 2.1 g
Cholesterol 18 mg
Sodium 145 mg
Total Carbohydrate 1.9 g
Dietary Fiber 0.9 g
Total Sugars 0.1 g
Protein 1.9 g
Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol) 3 IU
Calcium 6 mg
Iron 0 mg
Potassium 8 mg
Keyword Almond flour, Spiced

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