Dutch Sinterklaas pepernoten cake

This festive cake is delicious and creamy, with speculaas buttercream and kruidnoten biscuits. The perfect cake to serve on pakjesavond (the night Sinterklaas visits)!

1 hours 25 minutes 8 people Pie and cake
Dutch Sinterklaas pepernoten cake


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Buttercream ingredients

  • 200 grams of butter at room temperature
  • 100 grams of icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons speculaas spice mix
Dutch Sinterklaas pepernoten cake ingredients
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Kitchen equipment

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  • electric mixer
  • 20 cm springform cake tin
  • baking parchment
  • silicone kitchen brush


1 hours 25 minutes 8 people Pie and cake

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Preparation – 1 hour + 10 minutes

Preheat the oven to 165 degrees Celsius. Grease the springform cake tin with butter and line the bottom with baking parchment.

Beat 300 grams of soft butter with the sugar until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating continually until smooth.

Add the self-raising flour along with one and a half tablespoons of the speculaas spice mix. Spread the batter into the greased cake tin and bake for around an hour.

The exact baking time depends on the oven. Check if the cake is cooked with a skewer; if it comes out clean, the cake is done.

Open the oven door carefully so that the cake does not collapse, then let it cool completely.

Dutch Sinterklaas pepernoten cake
Dutch Sinterklaas pepernoten cake

Finishing the Sinterklaas pepernoten cake – 15 minutes

Beat the butter and icing sugar until you have a smooth and airy buttercream. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the speculaas spice mix.

Remove the cake from the tin and cut it in half. Place one half on a cake stand or large plate and spread with a layer of buttercream.

Place the other half of the cake on top and cover the top and sides with the rest of the buttercream. Garnish the Sinterklaas pepernoten cake with chocolate pepernoten and kruidnoten. Enjoy!

Dutch Sinterklaas pepernoten cake: frequently asked questions

Who is Sinterklaas?

Sinterklaas, or Sint-Nicolaas (Saint Nicholas in English), visits the homes of children in the Netherlands on the night of 5 December each year (known as pakjesavond).

He delivers presents and festive treats, but only to children who have been good! He’s not the same as Santa Claus but is adored just as much by Dutch children.

What are pepernoten and kruidnoten?

Both of these biscuits are very familiar to Dutch consumers. If you live outside the Netherlands, you may not have heard of them.

Pepernoten are uneven, square-shaped biscuits, flavoured with aniseed, and other spices (like clove and cinnamon). Kruidnoten are little round biscuits, similar in shape and size to amaretti biscuits, and are made from speculaas.

What is speculaas?

Speculaas is a type of spiced biscuit/cookie which is popular in the Netherlands. It is similar to the Belgian Speculoos biscuit/cookie, which is more readily available in the UK and USA (known as a Biscoff biscuit/cookie).

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