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Is Lotus Biscoff the same as speculoos?

Quick Answer

Lotus Biscoff and speculoos are very similar spiced biscuits, but they are not exactly the same. The main differences are:

  • Biscoff is a brand name, while speculoos is the general name for this style of cookie.
  • Lotus Biscoff cookies are made by Lotus Bakeries, while speculoos can be made by various brands.
  • The recipes are slightly different, with speculoos traditionally containing more spice flavors like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
  • Biscoff has a more caramelized flavor from being baked longer, while speculoos is often crunchier.
  • Biscoff are only made in a windmill shaped cookie, while speculoos come in various shapes like windmills, people, animals, etc.

So in summary, Biscoff and speculoos have a very similar taste and texture, but Biscoff refers specifically to the Lotus brand version of this spiced cookie.

Origin and History

Both Biscoff and speculoos originate from a traditional Dutch and Belgian cookie known as “speculaas” or “speculoos”. These cookies were traditionally baked for the feast of Sinterklaas in early December. Here is a brief history of each:

Speculoos History

  • Speculoos dates back to at least the late 1400s in Europe.
  • Traditionally made with flour, brown sugar, butter, spices like cinnamon, ginger, clove, cardamom and nutmeg.
  • Often shaped into windmills or figures like Sinterklaas, animals, and shapes representing cities.
  • Each region developed their own versions with distinct spice blends and shapes.
  • Became popular to eat year round by the 1800s, not just at the December feast.

Lotus Biscoff History

  • Lotus Bakeries in Belgium started making speculoos cookies in 1932.
  • In 1970s they began exporting them under the brand name “Lotus Biscoff”.
  • The Lotus brand cookies were tweaked to be more crisp and caramelized with a distinct roasted flavor.
  • Biscoff are only made in the traditional windmill shape to differentiate them.
  • Biscoff first arrived in the US in the 1980s and grew steadily popular since.

So in essence, Biscoff is a branded version of speculoos that was developed for broader commercial appeal and distribution.


Both Biscoff and speculoos contain very similar ingredients, but the proportions differ slightly.

Lotus Biscoff Ingredients

  • Wheat flour
  • Sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Butter
  • Cinnamon
  • Lemon juice concentrate
  • Natural vanilla flavor

Traditional Speculoos Ingredients

  • Wheat flour
  • Brown sugar
  • Butter
  • Baking powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves
  • Cardamom
  • White pepper

So while Biscoff focuses on cinnamon for spice, traditional speculoos recipes have a more complex blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and other spices.

Speculoos also sometimes includes almond flour or nuts, and occasionally a dash of milk. Biscoff sticks to the simpler ingredients list optimized for mass production.

Flavor and Texture

The flavors and textures of Lotus Biscoff and speculoos have some subtle differences:

Lotus Biscoff

  • Distinctive caramelized, roasted flavor from baking process
  • Crunchy and crispy texture due to low moisture content
  • Prevalent cinnamon and vanilla flavor
  • Sweet with a slightly salty balance
  • Smooth, almost creamy mouthfeel from fat content

Traditional Speculoos

  • More complex blend of spices like cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg
  • Crunchier and drier than Biscoff
  • Grainier texture
  • More buttery/shortbread-like flavor
  • Darker brown color

Speculoos has a more artisanal, old-world style flavor profile compared to the distinct roasted caramel taste of Biscoff. But both provide a satisfying crunchy and mildly spiced cookie experience.


Both Biscoff and speculoos have a similar high sugar and fat content, as they are indulgent cookies. However, Biscoff tends to be slightly lower in fat and calories.

Here is a nutritional comparison per cookie (25g):

Nutrition Facts Lotus Biscoff Traditional Speculoos
Calories 127 140
Fat 5g 7g
Saturated Fat 2.4g 4g
Sodium 107mg 114mg
Carbs 20g 18g
Sugar 12g 10g
Protein 1.5g 1.7g

As you can see, the differences are minor. The higher fat content in speculoos comes from the traditionally higher butter content. Overall, both provide a decadent treat in moderation.


One of the biggest differences between the two cookies comes down to availability:

  • Lotus Biscoff – Sold internationally in stores and online across the globe. Widely available.
  • Speculoos – Primarily found in Belgium and the Netherlands. Sometimes available in specialty European food stores. Can be ordered online.

Biscoff has seen much wider distribution and popularity outside Europe compared to traditional speculoos. This comes down to Lotus Bakeries commercializing it. But speculoos is still cherished in its homeland Belgium.


The prices also differ based on the artisanal versus mass produced nature:

  • Lotus Biscoff – Around $3.50 for a 8.8oz package. Lower cost for mass production.
  • Speculoos – Around $6+ for an 8oz package of artisanal speculoos. Higher cost for small batch production.

However, the prices vary by brand. Small batch speculoos in Europe are even more expensive. So Biscoff offers a lower cost commercial product compared to artisanal speculoos.

Recipes and Uses

Both Biscoff and speculoos are versatile cookies that can be used in a variety of recipes:

Popular Recipe Uses

  • Crumbled on top of ice cream or yogurt
  • Mix into milkshakes
  • Layer into parfaits
  • Add to cookies, cakes, pies for flavor and texture
  • Use as a crust for cheesecakes or tartlets
  • Blend into coffee drinks

The caramelized cookie crumbs add sweetness, spice, and crunch however they are used.


  • Biscoff and speculoos can generally be used interchangeably in recipes.
  • Adjust other sugars in recipes to account for Biscoff being slightly sweeter.
  • Add extra cinnamon and spices if substituting into a recipe developed for speculoos.
  • May want to use traditional speculoos for authentic European cuisine.

So while they can be swapped in most recipes, the flavors may need slight adjusting based on the intended dish.

Popularity and Trends

Speculoos maintains popularity in Belgium and the Netherlands as a traditional cookie. But globally, Lotus Biscoff has seen much wider popularity and success as an international commercial brand. Some trends include:

Lotus Biscoff Trends

  • Grown into a mainstream cookie brand sold in stores worldwide
  • Become a popular coffeehouse addition for drinks
  • Inspired many recipes and YouTube videos
  • Biscoff cookie butter spread has a cult following
  • Increased use in desserts, milkshakes, ice creams

Speculoos Trends

  • Maintained as a specialty traditional cookie in Belgium and the Netherlands
  • Some increased commercialization with more brands emerging
  • More variety of shapes and flavors
  • Stable popularity at European Christmas markets

Biscoff has certainly seen more worldwide fame. But speculoos retains an authentic charm in Europe.

Which is Better?

Whether Lotus Biscoff or speculoos is “better” ultimately comes down to personal preference:

  • Biscoff offers a more mass market, globally available option.
  • Speculoos provides a traditional, artisanal European cookie.
  • Biscoff has a nice balance of crispy texture and spice.
  • Speculoos gives a more old world, spice forward experience.
  • The windmill shape of Biscoff is quite recognizable.
  • The seasonal shapes and flavors of speculoos add variety.

For maximum authenticity, speculoos wins. But for convenience and widespread availability, Biscoff can’t be beat. No matter your choice, both provide an indulgent spiced cookie any time of year.


Lotus Biscoff and speculoos share many similarities as caramelized, cinnamon-forward cookies from Belgium. But some key differences come down to ingredients, texture, availability and brand recognition. While Biscoff has achieved global dominance, speculoos retains an old-world Belgian charm. Their versatile flavors lend well to everything from treats to coffee. So whether you prefer an artisanal European treat or commercial cookie classic, both Biscoff and speculoos deliver on a satisfying crunchy, spiced appeal.