adventures of an american housewife in the south of france

Delicious Cravings: Speculoos Cheesecake Bars

I haven't really had too many specific cravings during this pregnancy.  There was the time I really wanted a birthday cake, and there was also the time I really wanted a good BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich, but other than that, I haven't truly craved anything too specific.  BUT.  I have definitely had a sweet tooth this whole pregnancy.  Which is pretty unlike me, I'm much more of a salt tooth person.  But lately I just find myself eating all the cookies and pastries and ice cream I can get my hands on. And over the last several months, we've discovered speculoos.  Cinnamony, crunchy, delicious speculoos cookies.  You've probably had one before and not even known it.  They are often given out with coffees here in France and in the U.S., I seem to notice them a lot on planes under the Biscoff brand.  But the "real" brand, the Belgian brand where they originate, is Lotus.  They are basically some type of magical cross between a cinnamon biscuit and a gingersnap and they are So. Good.  And they've really become quite popular as of late.  Either that, or we are just finally starting to notice them and it seems like they are everywhere here!  In Häagen Dazs ice cream, folded into tiramisu and mousses, and baked into macarons.  And I have loved every single iteration of speculoos that I've tried.  They are heaven.

Recently, we bought a jar of Speculoos Butter that we've slathered on bread and croissants.  You might know it as "Cookie Butter" at Trader Joe's in the U.S.   I wanted to bake something with the Speculoos Butter, and I've been daydreaming about making a cheesecake crust out of speculoos cookies for what seems like months now, thus Speculoos Cheesecake Bars were born. This is loosely based off of a Nutella Cheesecake Swirl recipe that I found online, which called to make the bars in a 9X13 pan.  The bars turned out absolutely delicious, but a little slender for my taste, so next time I would maybe try them out in an 8X8 pan to make them fatter.  Or you can try them that way and report back.

PS - if you have extra speculoos cookies leftover afterwards and want to make something a bit more Fall-ish, substitute them for graham crackers in this recipe.  I just don't see how you could possibly go wrong by pairing speculoos with pumpkin. For the Crust You'll Need:
  • 1 & 1/2 cups crushed speculoos cookies
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
For the Filling You'll Need:
  • 16 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup speculoos butter
Directions: Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 9x13" pan (or 8x8" for thicker bars, but watch the cooking time because I haven't tried this size yet). In a small bowl, whisk together crushed speculoos cookies, flour, and brown sugar.  Stir in the melted butter until combined.  Press mixture into the bottom of the pan and bake for 10 minutes or until set.  It's ok if the crust doesn't spread completely to the outer edges of the pan, it will expand a bit while it bakes. Meanwhile, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and fluffy.  Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Slowly heat up the speculoos butter over low heat in a small saucepan.  I whisked it until it was less viscous and even added a dot of unsalted butter to thin it out a bit. Pour the cheesecake filling over the baked crust and plop in spoonfuls of the warmed speculoos butter to your desired amount.  Use a butter knife to create swirls of the speculoos butter into the filling. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until filling is just set.  Let it cool completely before covering and refrigerating for a few hours or overnight.  When it's completely chilled, cut into bars. Enjoy!

2 Responses to “Delicious Cravings: Speculoos Cheesecake Bars”

  1. Sabbio says:

    I adore speculoos and I adore cheesecakes SO I definitely must try this one ^^

  2. Anastasia says:

    I love these cookies. I lived in Brussels many years ago and there was a bakery on the Rue au Beurre, just off the Gran Plas going toward the Bourse that made me crazy good Speculoos. The smell of these cookies was so strong I could smell them blocks away – no small feat in a city like Brussels!
    I’ve been craving them for a while now and haven’t been able to locate any locally and may have to resort to ordering online. When I do find them I will be sure to try this recipe.
    By the way, the Biscoff brand is actually Lotus. I think Biscoff is used in the USA due to brand name infringement.
    Here’s their website:

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