Speculaas Crumb Cake

speculaas crumb cake

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I was in a baking mood today so I spend the morning in my kitchen. The first thing I did was get some pizza dough rising as I am making a flatbread for dinner using some beautiful cherry tomatoes that came in my vegetable box this week. I also made a speculaas crumb cake using a spice I bought when we visited the King Arthur Store last year.



Table of Contents

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What is Speculaas?

The Wikipedia being the helpful tool that it be provided this answer: a type of baked shortcrust biscuit baked with speculaas spices. OK then. If I didn’t know what it was I still didn’t know what it was. Off to learn about speculaas spices eh?

The most common result returns pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom and nutmeg. All of these are present but to me the cardamom is most forward and that is just find as I love that spice. The place most people have encountered the flavor is in the Lotus cookies you would get when flying (spelled speculoos).

No matter how it is spelled, the spice blend makes for delicious baked goods. I decided when baking today to use it instead of the more traditional cinnamon in my crumb buns. All I can say is YUM.

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Speculaas Crumb Cake

Serves 8 – 10

For the Crumb Topping

  • 3 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Speculaas
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, melted

For the Cake:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

grease pan
  • Preheat oven to 325°
  • Line a 13 x 9? baking pan with parchment and grease the parchment (I was planning on keeping the cake in the pan this go-round so I didn’t follow this step. I just greased the pan) (I also used a smaller pan this time – a 7 x 10 as I wanted to use my pretty baking dish. My crumb cakes are thicker and took longer to bake)

Make the Crumb Topping:

make crumb topping
  • In a medium bowl mix together the cake flour, brown sugar, white sugar, salt and Speculaas.
melted butter
  • Add the melted butter and stir until combined.
  • Then mix with your fingers until medium to large sized crumbs form. Set aside

Make the Cake:

  • Cream together the butter and granulated sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the eggs and yolks, one at a time mixing well after each addition.
  • Then add the vanilla and mix on medium high for about three minutes.
  • Turn speed to low and add flour in three increments and buttermilk in two alternating between them. Begin and end with the flour. The batter will be thick.
add topping
  • Add the batter to the prepared pan and spread with an offset spatula to even it out.
  • Evenly sprinkle the crumbs over the top.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about an hour until the crumbs are golden brown and a tester comes out clean
let cool
  • Cool on a wire rack
  • Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar before cutting and serving

How Was the Speculaas Crumb Cake?

I must admit that crumb cake is one of my favorite things to bake and I have made several variations through the years. This might be my favorite. I love this spice blend – it’s not for kids as it isn’t sweet and there is a bit of heat to it.

The cake part is really benign – it’s the crumbs that bring the party and with the Speculaas in there it’s definitely a fun time. Of course, be sure this is a combination of spices you like before you go down this route or you are not going to enjoy this as much as if you just went with the traditional cinnamon. Either way you have a delicious snack.

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