Speculaas with Marzipan

Christmas standard in our family. Sadly, I have long lost the recipe I found 30 years ago; this is the latest “recreation”, a “Chinese whispers” recipe.

One to try next year – Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe looks MUCH more like the one I lost.

Ingredients – to fit a 10 inch round dish/tin

  • 175g/6oz butter
  • 75g/3oz sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
  • 350g/12oz self-raising flour
  • fresh ground spices from here (with the lemon zest)
  • packet of ready made marzipan
  • plenty almonds to decorate – whole, halves, or slices
  • beaten egg to glaze


  • Rub in flour and butter. Stir in sugar, spice mix, then egg, lemon juice, vanilla, and just enough milk to make a firm dough.
  • Leave to rest for 30 minutes in fridge.
  • Pre-heat oven to 190C/375C/Gas mark 4.
  • Use half of the dough to line a greased 10 inch sandwich tin/dish. Fill with marzipan (in ½ cm slices) to about 1 cm from the sides. If the dough rolls easily, roll other half to fit and lay on top, or just cut slices and lay on top; seal any holes.
  • Seal edges WELL* with your thumb prints.
  • Lay halved/whole/sliced almonds in a pattern, and brush top with beaten egg.
  • And bake for 30 mins in a moderate oven, until golden.
  • Cut while hot, but leave to cool before your remove the pieces from the dish.


* And I mean “well”! Marzipan baked on to your tin is hard to clean afterwards.


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