Gingerbread-like Dutch biscuits, Pepernoten or Kruidnoten

Gingerbread-like Dutch biscuits, Pepernoten or Kruidnoten

Officially these would be “kruidnoten”, but pepernoten are also proper Dutch. Pepernoten used to be made with taai-taai dough, but have lost their popularity over the years. While kruidnoten are crunchy like speculaas, pepernoten are soft and chewy, like taai-taai. However, if a Dutch person speaks of pepernoten, you can assume they mean kruidnoten!

For these you can also choose between the red spices and the white spices, although the red spices are traditional.


  • 150gr unsalted butter
  • 125gr  dark brown sugar (or golden caster sugar + 1 tsp molasses)
  • 10gr speculaas spices
  • 250gr self-raising flour
  • 4 tbsp milk

Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Mix the butter, sugar, spices and flour and knead into a dough. Add the milk until the mixture has a nice supple consistency, you might not need everything. Shape the dough into a ball and divide it into 4 equal parts.

Roll out each part into a 1cm thick roll and cut it into 1cm pieces. Shape all the pieces into tiny balls and put them on a cookiesheet or greaseproof paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes, remove from the oven and let it cool completely.

Now you can enjoy them plain, or cover them in chocolate to make “Chocolade Pepernoten”.

Happy Baking!

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