Free UK delivery on orders above £40!

Speculaas cheesecake with applebutter

Sunday 14th June 2015

Speculaas cheesecake with applebutter

UK Award Winning British Pastry Chef Emma Carlton used some of our speculaas spice to create a speculaas cheesecake with apple butter and vanilla.

Emma created this recipe when she staid in The Netherlands one afternoon when her Dutch kitchen was full of delightful sweet aromas.

Emma's passion for baking started at the early age of four when she joined her mum in the kitchen, using scraps of pastry left over from the family meal's to make - usually - jam tarts.

A lifelong appreciation for simple, yet quality ingredients such as butter, cream, the humble egg, spices & vanilla and always finding an excuse to smell or taste, the excitement continues to inspire her to this very day.

Emma's Sticky Toffee Pudding, achieved a Great Taste Food Award of 3 Gold Stars in the UK of 2010 with The Guild of Fine Food.

Her desserts and awarding winning puddings have traveled the world; the use of cinnamon and other spices invariably creating depth of essential flavour and a pleasurable familiarity.

The Netherlands have a very special place for Emma. In her youth she would travel to the country as an eager child in anticipation of tasting new things.

Having re-discovered the wonders of “speculaas” in 2014 during her stay in The Netherlands and its important history and origins, it felt only right to bring the flavoursome experiences together once Emma returned to the United KIngdom.

Why did you use vandotsch speculaas spice mix for this cheesecake recipe?

"This recipe embraces the aromatics and warmth of this very special spice blend. The richness and tang of fresh cream cheese, finished with a sweet and sour apple butter is a delightful combination."

Do you like our spice mix?

"This family heritage spice mix will win your heart and I’m grateful that after searching within the UK, this unique mix is available for all."

By the way . . . what is apple butter?

Called “Appelstroop” in The Netherlands, applebutter is a highly concentrated form of apple sauce produced by long, slow cooking of apples with cider or water to a point where the sugar in the apples caramelizes, turning the apple butter a deep brown. Apple butter is available from good health food shops.

How to make Emma's luscious apple butter, speculaas & vanilla cheesecake

What follows is an overview of the ingredients that Emma used to make speculaas cheesecake with applebutte, including:

Makes approximately 8-10 slices

Ingredients for base

  • 250g plain flour
  • 5g fine sea salt
  • 150g soft light brown sugar
  • 5g baking powder
  • 20g vandotsch speculaas spice mix
  • 5ml vanilla extract
  • 175g unsalted butter

Ingredients for the cheesecake mixture

  • 540g full fat Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 10ml vanilla extract
  • 4 medium eggs (beaten)
  • 30g applebutter or Dutch sppelstroop


  • 18cm round spring-form baking tin
  • baking paper
  • food processor
  • large mixing bowl
  • small amount of flavourless cooking oil
  • ceramic baking beans
  • whisk


Using a food processor, place all of the biscuit ingredients into the bowl and pulse for several minutes until a dough starts to form. Immediately stop and remove the mixture onto a lightly floured surface, gently knead together to form a ball. Wrap in cling film and allow to rest in the fridge. Alternatively rub all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl with your fingertips.

Tip: The longer you can rest the speculaas dough the better, overnight is ideal however a few hours will be ok. Once rested remove from the fridge.

Pre-heat your oven to 180c (170 fan) and brush your spring-form tin with flavourless oil such as groundnut or sunflower. Next line the spring form tin with baking paper, on the bottom of the tin and sides.

Take half of the speculaas dough, freeze the other half for future use.

Roll out the dough to fit the diameter of the tin’s base and place it flat inside. Press the dough evenly into the lined tin, take a larger circle of baking paper and place on top. Carefully and evenly place the ceramic beans on top of the paper.

Bake the biscuit base for 15 minutes and then remove from the oven. Carefully lift the baking paper and ceramic beans out of the tin, place the biscuit back in the oven for a further 10 minutes. The base should be completely dry when removed from the oven to cool.

In a clean bowl add the cream cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk all together until everything is evenly blended.

Gently pour the mixture into the biscuit lined tin, give a slight tap on your work surface to settle the mixture.

Take the apple butter or appelstroop and stir well if it is thick and place into a piping bag or using a teaspoon, place little dollops of the butter onto the cheesecake.

Tip: It works better with a piping bag and you can push the nozzle into the cheese mixture, till it bursts out of the top of the cheesecake. Using a cocktail stick, use your artistic flair to create swirls of butter into the cheesecake.

Place in a pre-heated oven, bake at 180c (170c fan) for 50 minutes. The cheesecake should have a very slight wobble, remove it from the oven and set aside to cool.

Ideally chill the cheesecake overnight and remove from the fridge half an hour before serving. Release from the baking tin and place onto a serving plate.

Tip: add caramelised apples

Emma likes to serve her speculaas cheesecake with applebutter with warm caramelised apples.

Peel three eating apples, cut into even sized pieces and cook in a pan with a little butter.

Squeeze the juice of half a lemon and add two pinches of the vandotsch speculaas spice mix, cook for a further minute and set aside to cool a little.


Back to Speculaas Spice Recipes

The item has been added to your basket

Continue Shopping
Proceed To Checkout