Speculoos Gnocchi Recipe

Speculoos Gnocchi

I adore speculoos, those spice-rich, snap-crisp cookies from Belgium.

They are made into a very popular and very decadent cookie spread — kind of like a speculoos incarnation of Nutella, i.e. undeniably palatable but nothing I’d want to promote from a nutritional standpoint — and I myself was inspired to turn them into sweet dumplings.

I love the idea of bringing that irresistibly sweet and spiced flavor to plump and tender little pillows, and I also like the North-meets-South twist of such a concoction, as the Belgian cookie and the Italian dumpling join forces in the same dessert cup.

Speculoos Cookies

You’ll find that it’s a really fun recipe to make, too, as you crush the speculoos with a rolling pin (stress reliever!), pipe little logs of batter to poach in simmering water, and sear the gnocchi in butter to give them a golden crust.

You can prepare the batter the day before if you like, but it’s best to poach and sear just before serving. Speculoos gnocchi are best eaten warm, with a dollop of crème fraîche that will slowly melt, and a light shower of freshly grated cinnamon.

Gnocchi in skillet

This is such a good recipe that my friend and super talented video journalist Katie Quinn suggested we create a video around it. It was a treat to do this with her, and the resulting video is now on her YouTube channel, which you must subscribe to this minute. It was also picked up by FWx, Food & Wine’s lifestyle site for millennials.

PS: Oh, and don’t miss my recipe for buckwheat speculoos, a wonderful treat any time of year, but particularly fitting during the holiday season!

About the cinnamon I use

I am in love with the fresh cinnamon I order from Cinnamon Hill, a small company that specializes in sourcing and selling the highest-quality, freshest cinnamon from Sri Lanka and Vietnam (ordinary cinnamon usually comes from China or Indonesia). I get whole sticks, and grate them with the beautifully crafted (and highly giftable!) cinnamon grater that Cinnamon Hill has designed. Truly, you don’t know what cinnamon tastes like until you’ve tried freshly harvested, freshly grated, top-grade cinnamon, and it makes an amazing difference in this recipe.

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Speculoos Gnocchi Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serves 4.

Speculoos Gnocchi Recipe


  • 50 grams (1 3/4 ounces) speculoos cookies (substitute graham crackers, ginger snaps, or other such crispy, spice-rich cookie)
  • 30 grams unrefined cane sugar, such as rapadura
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 30 grams (2 tablespoons) crème fraîche or mascarpone cheese
  • 90 grams (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • To serve:
  • Cinnamon (I use fresh cinnamon from Cinnamon Hill)
  • Crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream


  1. Grind the speculoos finely in a food processor, or just put the cookies in a freezer bag and run a rolling pin over them until finely ground. You should get about 1/2 cup of crumbs.
  2. Crushed speculoos
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the crumbs with the sugar and salt. Add the egg and crème fraîche, and whisk together well.
  4. Batter 1
  5. Add the flour and blend it in with a fork; the batter will be thick.
  6. Batter 2
  7. Pour the batter into a pastry bag with a straight 1-cm (1/3-inch) tip, or a thick freezer bag on which you'll snip a 1-cm (1/3-inch) opening in one corner. This can be prepared up to a day ahead; keep refrigerated.
  8. Batter in piping bag
  9. Bring water to a simmer in a wide saucepan. Squeeze the pastry bag gently over the simmering water and, using a paring knife, cut off little logs of dough so they'll fall into the simmering water as you go. Be careful not to burn yourself.
  10. As the gnocchi fall into the water, some will stick to the bottom of the pan. Nudge them gently with the knife to loosen.
  11. Cook the gnocchi for about 4 minutes; they're ready about 2 minutes after they've bobbed up to the surface.
  12. Poaching the gnocchi
  13. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain thoroughly in a colander.
  14. Melt the butter in a skillet. Add in the gnocchi and sauté for a few minutes, tossing the gnocchi every minute or so, until golden all over.
  15. Searing the gnocchi
  16. Divide among 4 bowls, add a dollop of crème fraîche to each bowl, and grate a little fresh cinnamon on top. Serve warm.

Speculoos Gnocchi

Wonderful dessert dumplings made with speculoos crumbs for an original and extraordinarily flavorful dessert.

Wonderful dessert dumplings made with speculoos crumbs for an original and extraordinarily flavorful dessert.

  • Bruno

    Moi qui adore les spéculoos (origines flamandes…)!

    Vive l’originalité, dans la sobriété (encore que, un excès culinaire de temps en temps…)

    Merci Clotide de faire vivre ce site, même un Dimanche!


  • Rosa

    Hi Clothilde,

    I only discovered your fab blog a few weeks ago – strangely enough, whilst searching Google for “baked beans” – can’t remember why, but it certainly was a good thing since I hadn’t even known about food blogs before.
    I might become addicted and have even started fantasising about my own food blog. Would anyone donate a web server, please?

    The dumpling theme would have inspired me to make PLUM DUMPLINGS again – which is a true childhood food for me, my grandparents made it regularly. In Poland, their country of origin, it’s fairly common to eat dumplings and pierogi (large-ish ravioli) with sweet fillings, such as “Quark” or fruit. You make a sticky dough with cooked, pureed potatoes and flour, little portions of which are filled with fresh and sugared blue plums and rolled into dumplings. They are then cooked like Gnocchi, and served with hot, slightly brown butter and sprinkled with sugar. The plums cook inside the dumplings, so when you cut them open, the pink plum juice pours out on your plate.
    Hmmmmmmm. I really need to make them again. Good luck that plum season has just started (at least it seems that way at most Berlin markets) –

  • joan

    Clotilde ~ aka Dumpling Queen ~ surreal daisy or sunflower they seem ~ food flowers of Paris ~ Once upon a longgggggggg time ago I made plum dumplings for my mother-in-law ~ “disaster” didn’t even cover it! They were the texture of car tyres. Things have improved on the kitchen front.

    Glasses raised to the glory of the dumpling in all its dumpy forms!

  • cheesy chilaquiles


    Rosa beat me to the punch in mentioning plum dumplings, my favorites. Served Romanian-style (Galuste cu Prune) they are often served with a hot butter-sauteed bread crumb sauce which compliments them perfectly.

    Try adding some speculaas crumbs to a crepe batter. Very nice. I make apple compote-filled palatschinken this way. Their spicy quality is a great foil for a grated chocolate and chopped walnut filling as well.

  • Marina

    Ciao Clotilde! As an Italian I would like to say that we can talk about ‘gnocchi’ only if they are made with potatoes. For instance, in Trentino we have ‘canederli’: they are dumplings made with old bread and other flavours. So the difference is not whether the ‘things’ have been cooked in hot water or not but whether they contain potatoes. Maybe it can be a nice try: potatognocchi flavoured with the speculaas spices. If you want, you can make your own: here’s the recipe for making the speculaas spice mixture by yourself (please excuse me, I don’t know all the names in English, but I suppose French will do, doesn’t it?):

    Speculaas spices (Dutch)

    30 gr cannelle
    10 gr girofle
    10 gr noix muscade
    5 gr white pepper
    5 gr anice seeds
    5 gr coriander seeds

    Ground everything finely all together.

    Ciao! Marina

  • http://www.obsessionwithfood.com Derrick Schneider

    What a clever adaptation! I love seeing a good improv dish.

  • http://cookingwithamy.com Cooking with Amy

    Hmmm, never made the dumpling “dumped” connection before. Good one.

  • http://www.aspoonfulofsugar.net Angela

    Clotilde, these gnocchi look wonderful! I’ve never had sweet gnocchi before but I can only imagine how yummy they must have been. And speculoos flavoured too! *drools*

  • http://www.domesticgoddess.ca Jennifer

    Clotilde — this recipe looks great; what an amazing flavour and texture combination you’ve ended up with! Delicious!

  • http://www.musicetc.us Anne

    Sweet dumplings are a common dessert in the Czech Republic too.
    From the Czech tourism site:
    “Czechs also love boiled sweet dumplings, be they filled with plums, apricots, cherries, or simply topped with a sweet berry sauce”
    We’ve enjoyed a strawberry extravaganza in Prague – strawberry dumpling with strawberry sauce and, of course, plenty of rich whipped cream!

  • savina

    Sorry, as an Italian I have to say gnocchi definitely DO NOT have to have potatoes as one of their ingredients. Roman gnocchi di semolino are cold thick semolina spred to cool, cut in rounds or lozengens and grilled in the oven with butter and cheese; gnocchi di ricotta e spinaci are spinach and ricotta meatballs which are boiled and then covered with melted butter and parmisan cheese, to name just two of the many non-potato gnocchi. (just wrote a long comment on the IMMB VII page on the gnocchi-dumpling issue)

  • http://www.tetellita.blogspot.com Estelle

    Hello Clotilde, look at Cuisine TV’s featured recipe of the day:


    This recipe must have been thought with you in mind :)

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    All – Thanks for the comments and great suggestions, I’m glad you liked my humble IMBB contribution!

    Estelle – Indeed, the coincidence is quite amazing, my dream dessert! And the recipe sounds pretty straightforward too…

  • http://gastroblog.com Jackie D

    I made these on Monday night for my boyfriend and his parents, and they were a big hit – very tasty! My only worry was that they didn’t look exactly like yours…the exterior was softer and more ‘pillowy,’ almost slimy. I know this is what dumplings are like, but I wondered if yours had this texture, and what I may have got wrong…Too much flour, perhaps?

  • http://gastroblog.com Jackie D

    NB I have wanted to make these since August, even before I tasted my first speculoo! When we went to Boulogne in late December, I bought a 350g package of speculoos and loved them, but saved enough to make this recipe at the first opportunity. It was kind of like trying to recreate a dish from a favourite book, if that makes sense. Anyway, I feel a great sense of accomplishment just by having made them! Thanks, Clotilde!

  • beverly weiss

    Just printed entire recipe; perfectly legible; thanks…beverlyfweiss@yahoo.com

  • zsofia

    Dear Clotilde,
    I just discovered your fantastic blog a few days ago and since that I’m reading literaly every word of it.. congratulations!!
    I just found your nice receipe with the speculoos (I’m also a big fan of it and since I live in Brussels I have the chance to experiment with it..) and thought I would share a receipe of a dessert I just made yesterday and was a big hit:

    Layered mascarpone-rasperry mousse w speculoos

    For 2-4
    250g mascarpone
    250 g frozen rasperry
    1 egg divided
    10 pcs speculoos, crumbled
    50g icing sugar
    a dash of lemon juice
    a dash of Framboise (rasperry liquer, optional)

    Puree the rasperry w some lemon juice and sugar. Mix the mascarpone w the half of the rasperry puree, the egg yolk and the whipped egg white, some sugar and some lemon juice. In a glas (2 or 4 depending on the size), I put the folllowing layers: speculoos crumble drizzled w some of the alcohol, rasperry purree, then the mascarpone mousse and again speculoos, fruit, mascarpone.
    It looks beautiful and is elegant (instead of the glas I want to prepare it in those shaping rings next time)

  • Jenny Vass

    do you please have a receipe for chocolate ravioli- we already make flavoured gnocchi- basil, tomato pumpkin, sweet potato, all sells very well
    regards- jenny

  • Sophia

    Made these last week – delicious. I like my desserts very sweet, so I sprinkled some brown sugar on top while sauteeing. It carmelized nicely and gave the outside a bit of a crunch.

  • Jeanne

    I live in Ontario Canada and am looking for “flavoured gnocchi”. Can anyone help. Thanks for your time.

    • Elsie Demers

      I just bought mushroom stuffed gnocchi yesterday at an Italian food shop. They had several other flavours. Is that what you are looking for? I live in Ottawa.

  • Alina Michelle

    This sounds so good! I have to try it!

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com/ Clotilde Dusoulier

      I hope you do and report back!

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