This speculoos cake with chocolate ganache combines Christmas flavors of speculoos cookies with dark chocolate for a truly unique holiday dessert.
Speculoos cookies are a European Christmas classic. They are crunchy cinnamon spiced cookies that taste like caramelized gingerbread. What could be better?
This recipe started as a quest to bake a gingerbread cake. I wanted to combine traditional Christmas flavors with a moist sponge and a chocolate frosting. Upon inspection of my pantry staples I noticed a package of speculoos cookies calling to me. Instead of fidgeting with various portions of cinnamon and ginger to create a balanced gingerbread flavor, I decided to grind up the perfectly spiced cookies and bake them right into the cake.
The resulting cake is delicious, moist, and wonderfully unique. My dad even requested this cake for his 60th birthday party!
Pin this Speculoos Cookie Cake with Chocolate Ganache recipe to your holiday baking board and delight your Christmas guests!
Cinnamon spiced speculoos cookie cake with a dark chocolate ganache frosting.
3.5 ounces speculoos cookies plus extra for decorating the sides of the cake
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 ½ cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
8 ounces dark chocolate (50-70% dark), chopped
¾ cups heavy cream
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Remove the butter and eggs from the refrigerator. Unwrap the butter (keep the paper).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line the bottom of 2 9- inch round baking pans with parchment paper and butter the bottom and sides of the pans using the paper from the sticks of butter. Set aside.
Break the speculoos cookies in half and place in a food processor.
Pulse for 20-30 seconds, until the cookies are finely ground and look like sand.
In a large bowl mix together ¾ cup of the ground speculoos cookies (reserving the rest for decorating the cake), the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
Combine the buttermilk and vanilla in a large measuring cup or medium bowl. Set aside.
With the paddle attachment in place, whip the butter for about a minute just to soften it.
Add the sugar to the butter and cream together on medium speed for about 5 minutes, until the ingredients are well mixed, the butter is pale, and the mixture looks like frosting. Stop the mixer a couple times to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Add the eggs and mix until combined, 2-3 min.
Stop the mixer and add ⅓ of the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed until just incorporated, about 30 seconds.
Stop the mixer again and add ½ of the wet ingredients. Mix on low speed until just incorporated, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Continue to add the dry and wet ingredients, alternating and ending with the dry ingredients.
Using the rubber spatula, fold the batter by hand a couple times just to completely mix all the ingredients.
Evenly pour the batter into the two cake pans, bake side-by-side on the center rack for 20-25 minutes until the top is springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Rotate and switch the cake pans halfway through baking.
Place the baked cakes inside the pans on a cooling rack until warm, about 20 minutes.
Remove the cakes from the pans and place the cakes onto the cooling rack until completely cooled, about an hour.
While the cakes cool, make the ganache.
Bring 2 inches of water to a simmer in a small saucepan.
Place a large heatproof bowl on top of the saucepan and add the chocolate and cream to the bowl.
Stir over the simmering water until the chocolate melts, about 5 minutes.
Remove the bowl of ganache form the heat and add the salt. Whisk and set aside until cooled and spreadable, about 15 – 20 minutes.
Place one cooled cake on a serving platter, with the bottom of the cake up so that the flat surface is facing up.
Spread a third of the ganache on the cake and top with the other cooled cake.
Evenly spread the rest of the ganache over the top and sides of the cake.
Sprinkle the reserved ground speculoos cookie dust over the top of the cake.
Stick the speculoos cookies around the outside of the cake.
Refrigerate until the ganache is set.
Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Bring the refrigerated cake to room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.