Get Baked: Spectacular Speculoos Cookie Butter Bars

If you haven’t tried cookie butter yet, your whole world is about to change. To be honest I don’t know what’s taken you so long because this spread got super popular in the USA a few years ago and apparently it was always crazy popular in Europe and it seems like everyone everywhere is always talking about how it’s a gift from the Goddess, but don’t worry, whatever, there’s no time like the present to right your wrongs and start eating it by the jar. I want you to go out and buy some cookie butter right now. I’ll wait. Then we’re going to go on a baking adventure together.

A quick note about this spread for you to ponder on your excursion to procure the stuff. People have a lot of Feelings about cookie butter. Specifically, some people think Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter is the exact same thing as Biscoff Spread and some people believe that the two products are completely different and cannot be compared ever ever ever, okay?! So. I personally have only ever had the TJ’s version, and I can attest that it’s amazing and perfect and life changing and also a little bit dangerous because you will likely eat the whole jar in one sitting and then feel slightly ill. I’m sure the Biscoff Spread is equally delicious, but because I’ve never tried it I really can’t say if the two taste exactly the same or 100000% different. Also! Megan told Laneia to tell me that I need to try Trader Joe’s Crunchy Speculoos Cookie Butter because it is even more fabulous than the original smooth version, but I haven’t done that yet. If you have strong feelings about any of this you should tell me in the comments, duh. If not, let’s move on and get baking!

Today we’re going to make Spectacular Speculoos Cookie Butter Bars because I like alliteration, but basically they’re fancy cookie butter bars, mmmkay? I made them for my Superbowl Party (read: the time Lemon and my girlfriend watched the game together and I watched Beyoncé’s halftime show then promptly fell asleep on the couch) and they were a huge hit (read: Lemon and my girlfriend ate a lot of them and praised me when I repeatedly asked, “How are they? Are they good?”). I think they taste like what would happen if a snickerdoodle and a blondie had a baby.

Spectacular Speculoos Cookie Butter Bars

let's be real this recipe uses a lot of ingredients but everything is overshadowed by the star itself, cookie butter

let’s be real this recipe uses a lot of ingredients but everything is overshadowed by sweet sweet perfection that is cookie butter


1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Cookie Bars
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter (melted)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup cookie butter

2 tablespoons butter (very soft)
1/2 cup cookie butter
2 cups powdered sugar
5 tablespoons heavy cream
water (as needed)
sea salt (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8×8 pan. The original recipe says to then line the pan with two sheets of parchment but I didn’t have any parchment so I skipped that part and it was totally fine.

2. In a very small bowl, mix the “Sprinkle” which is quite literally the stuff you’re going to sprinkle on top of other stuff in a few steps. So mix the sugar and cinnamon together but make sure it’s the small amount of those ingredients (listed under the Sprinkle section above) not the large amounts because we’re not there yet tiger, just hang on a moment okay?

view from above

this is what cooking with me is like: blue bowl, pink bowl, camera, tea, mess

3. Now we’re moving on to the “make the dough for the actual cookie bars” segment of the recipe. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a medium sized bowl.

4. Mix the melted butter and the sugars really well together in a new medium sized bowl. By the way when my brother was little he told my mom he loved “custard” and begged her to buy it for him so she bought like 5 different brands but he hated all of them. Months later while baking some dessert he was like “OMG THIS IS THE CUSTARD I LOVE” and it turns out it was just butter and sugar mixed together and he had tasted some while baking with his teacher at school and decided it was called custard and had been searching for it ever since. But it wasn’t custard, it was just butter and sugar. Aren’t kids grand? Anyway! Once the butter and sugars are combined you can add the vanilla and the eggs and continue to mix really well until everything is nicely incorporated.

5. THEN YOU ADD THE COOKIE BUTTER. The recipe suggests half a cup but honestly I added a whole cup and it was great. Probably could’ve added even more. Then I ate the rest of the cookie butter with a spoon out of the jar and I had to open a NEW jar of cookie butter when it came time to make the frosting. I’m not even embarrassed about it, I totally knew that would happen, that’s why I bought two jars in the first place.

6. Once your wet ingredients are nicely mixed, add the flour mixture. Stir it or kneed it or do whatever the heck you have to do to get the two mixtures to be friends and form a nice unified dough.

don't worry young grasshopper, it may look kinda dinky right now, but it will rise, just like the sun does every day

don’t worry young grasshopper, it may look like you didn’t make enough dough and i won’t blame you if you panic at this moment because i sure did, but the dough will rise, just like the sun does every day, and everything will be okay

7. Press your dough into the pan you set aside at the beginning. Personally I felt a little bit panicked about how flat the dough was — I felt like I hadn’t made enough (or more likely had eaten too much) but it rises a LOT in the oven so don’t worry, you’re most likely fine.

8. Take the SPRINKLE and SPRINKLE it on top of the dough! (I’m a little bit in love with the very literal naming of this part of the recipe, in case it wasn’t obvious.) Lift the pan and gently tap it to make sure the sprinkle covers the entire surface area of the dough.

9. Pop this bad boy in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

i mean there may be a few lumps here and there but it's fine

i mean there may be a few lumps here and there but it’s fine

10. While your bars are baking, make the frosting! I have to say that at this point I got a little bit tired, and a little bit worried about working with heavy cream without the use of an electric beater, and I thought maybe I’d skip the frosting. “I can just spread regular cookie butter on top of the bars and it’ll be fine,” I told my girlfriend. She’s pretty passive in the kitchen so I expected her to shrug or nod or pretend she had heard me but instead she got super defensive and said we had to make the frosting (read: I had to make the frosting but she would go out and buy the heavy cream) because the frosting was going to be the best part.

Guys: My girlfriend was right. The frosting is absolutely, without a doubt, the best part of this dessert. You have to make the frosting. Promise me you’ll make the frosting, okay?! Okay. Whew. Frosting. This is how you make it.

In a medium bowl, beat (or mix, with a large spoon and your incredible biceps) the butter, cookie butter, and powdered sugar together. Slowly add the heavy cream. The original recipe says beat for 5 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy, but I stirred it for like 15 minutes and still I wasn’t pleased with the consistency so I added a tiny bit of water (like 6-7 drops, seriously) and then mixed for another 5 minutes and then I was happy. I imagine this is easier if you have an electric beater but I did feel very accomplished when I was finally done, even though my frosting had a few lumps. Whatever, it had character.

Cookie Butter Get Baked 2


11. By now your bars are probably done, so take them outta the oven, quick, don’t let them burn! Test them with a toothpick to make sure they’re cooked all the way through, marvel over how much they rose during the baking process, then let them cool completely.

12. Once they’re cooled, frost the bars. Insider tip: Make a thick layer of frosting. Trust.

13. The original recipe didn’t mention anything about sea salt, but I’m of the belief that adding salt to any baked good increases its deliciousness by 50 unicorns, so I’d recommend throwing some salt on top before cutting the bars.

Cookie Butter Get Baked

yes i would like a whole plate of cookie butter bars please

14. Cut the bars into small squares. This recipe should make 25 though it will obviously depend on how big or small you make your bars. Serve and enjoy!

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Vanessa is a writer, a teacher, and the community editor at Autostraddle. Very hot, very fun, very weird. Find her on twitter and instagram.

Vanessa has written 404 articles for us.


  1. Why did no one tell me that cookie butter is a thing that exists and can I eat it?
    Also, I’m definitely going to have to figure out how to make a gluten-free version of these because they look absolutely delicious.

  2. COOKIE BUTTER IS A THING? I am now frantically trying to find somewhere that sells this in Ireland. Spectacular Speculoos Cookie Butter Bars will be mine, oh yes, they will be mine.

    • I know! Apparently people used to make COOKIE SANDWICHES with speculoos cookies and then someone was like “oh, let’s make it easier on everyone and just make a cookie spread to put on the sandwich to begin with.” Why don’t I live in a culture that endorses COOKIE SANDWICHES???

  3. I feel like my family got into this after visiting friends in Belgium. I thought that this recipe was going to just be “Put speculoos spread on a speculoos cookie and then eat that.” I have totally done it before…

    My sister is obsessed with speculoos so I’ll have to tell her about this recipe.

    • …except for the butter and eggs? And sugar? Although there might be vegan white sugar out there. I just don’t know of any brands.

      • And that’s why you always wait for a follow up. Although the point possibly still stands on the sugar.

        • Any beet sugar is vegan. It has its own problems (probably GMO) but it’s vegan. If you’re in the Midwest, I know the Meijer store brand sugar is beet sugar if you can’t afford the organic evaporated cane juice (which seems to work for me just fine in pretty much everything, but gets expensive fast).

          So I always have beet sugar and/or the evaporated cane juice on hand in case I run into some vegans. Like my sister. Or gays.


    My lover and I bond over cookie butter. it is amazing.

  5. i just had a dark chocolate cookie butter candy bar from trader joe’s?

    that ended with a question mark because it was so good that it might have been a dream

    • i’m here to confirm it was not a dream, i too have experienced that joy

      dangerous but perfect, le sigh

  6. So speculoos are basically those windmill cookies that sometimes had sliced almonds that my mom used to buy at the grocery store occasionally when I was little, right? And I think they fell out of fashion? They must be back, which is amazing because they were my favorite besides the weird little butter pecan sandwich cookies.

    I mean clearly speculoos are probably better. I just need a frame of reference here. And also a windmill cookie cutter so I can make these gluten free at home.

  7. As a fellow TJ’s employee, I agree with Megan! The crunchy is better.. Although not as crunchy as I’d like! I might try to veganize this!

  8. Oh my lordypants, I have been eyeing the cookie butter at Trader Joes and I will certainly get it next time. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. Cookie butter should be illegal………and so should this cake!! Nevertheless, I thank you kindly for inducing my next act of shame! ;)

  10. WHAT


    I feel like my status as a cookie connoisseur is in jeopardy because I did not know that cookie butter existed. This is coming from someone who tells people with a straight face that “C is for Cookie” is my theme song. Because it is. And Cookie Monster is my spirit animal.

      • Yes I feel so sad that we do not have a trader joes here to buy this because it sounds delicious.

        That said, I think I will attempt a homemade version!

  11. Ok kids, here’s my take on the gloriousness that is cookie butter.

    It is made of Speculoos cookies and a bunch of spun oils. It does have a similar consistency to nutella, which is because Nutella is basically some crushed nuts and chocolate powder and a bunch of spun oils.

    If you’re at TJ’s and you’re really having a hard time picking between the regular (teal label) and crunchy (red label) don’t worry because they aren’t really different in texture and they taste exactly the same. Just pick which ever color you want.

    TJ’s also sells the Speculoos cookies. They are in a blue box and you could make a nutter butter type sandwich cookie with them if you wanted. They used to be called Bistro Biscuits and came in a foil wrapper.

    I have seen cookie butter other places if you don’t live near a TJ’s. Cost Plus World Market, Whole Foods etc.

    World Market sells it on their website so you could have it delivered practically to your couch even if you have a Trader Joe’s on the corner of your block!

    Ok, this is really pretty insane but you can also buy it on ebay:

    Lastly, I’m sure the above mentioned baked goods are very delicious however IMO the thing that is so beautiful about cookie butter is that it requires no work whatsoever. So, wash your favorite spoon and get to it!

    PS I work at Trader Joe’s and that’s why I know all these things…

    • this is the most helpful comment ever. seriously.

      also you’re totally right, part of the beauty of cookie butter is its simplicity, but if you ever want to kick it up a notch i do highly recommend these bars. but as the baker, i’m obviously a bit biased ;)

  12. Add me to the group of people who have never heard of such a thing. It got popular in the states a few years ago?! I really think I would remember that.

    Anyway, Thank you so much for enlightening me now! :)

  13. WHY trader joe’s? WHY has your colorado store not opened yet so i can put this inside myself without paying shipping on anything??

  14. I feel you should know that i made these and they are so good that my roomies just ate a whole batch in 10 minutes while my back was turned.

    Don’t worry, I made a double batch. Also I made four times the amount of frosting because why not.

  15. So excited to bake these for my queer group’s bake sale fundraiser! I have to say though…my local Trader Joe’s has been completely SOLD OUT of Cookie Butter for 2+ weeks, so I had to resort to ordering a jar for $12 on Amazon. But I think it will still be worth it!

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