After moving to the Netherlands I discovered a variety of delicious treats, snacks and dishes. Not too long after I found myself needing something to satisfy my sweet tooth. Seriously, where have I been all my life? Dutch desserts are some of the best I’ve tried since relocating to Europe. If you don’t believe me read the following and you’ll see why you need to try these Dutch Desserts!
You can think of it as American apple pie but way more delicious (apologies)! In the Netherlands you will find it at every bakery and on most cafe menus. It’s buttery, generously filled with apples and resembles a cake. Instead of being made in the typical pie tin, Dutch appeltaart is made in a springform pan and covered with a beautiful dough lattice. What makes the filling so distinctive from the American apple pie are raisins and a Dutch spice mix called Speclaaskruiden. Eat it with a topping of fresh slagroom (whipped cream) and voilà your tastebuds will be soaring. It’s a great Dutch dessert that I’ve been guilty of eating for breakfast and before dinner!
I can eat this puff pastry dessert filled with cream every week! It’s very similar to the popular French pastry Mille-feuille but being the Dutch version, Tompouce has more of the delicious custard filling and is distinguished by the color and rectangle shape. It typically has a beautiful pink icing but on the Dutch Holiday Koningsdag (King’s Day) there will be orange variations to represent Dutch colors. In fact, the Tompouce in this photo is toffee flavor and absolutely delicious. I’ve been advised by many Dutchies that the proper way to eat tompouce is to take off the very first layer and place it under the pastry. You’ll have the soft and pillowy cream on top and this makes it much easier to eat since the biscuit layer is quite tough to cut through.
Trust me when I say that these soft and buttery almond cookies are addictive. The translation for this is ‘filled cookie or stuffed biscuit’ and surely it is with the most delectable and sweet almond paste. They are a popular product at petrol stations and kiosks and are easy to distinguish by the round disc shape that have an almond placed on top. Gevulde Koek is one of the most popular Dutch cookies and is the perfect snack to pair with a steaming cup of coffee or with afternoon tea.
You’ve probably already tried these windmill cookies before but may have not known that they are classical favorites in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. In the states the beloved supermarket chain Trader Joe’s sells it coined under the name ‘cookie butter’. So there’s a big chance you might have tried it from them first. Speculaas distinctly reminds of the holidays because of the aromatic flavors included: nutmeg, cloves, ginger and cinnamon. Traditionally, you will see Speculaas on December 6th for the Dutch holiday Sinterklaas which is similar to Santa during Christmas.
The first time I had this Dutch pie was at a birthday party and I always look forward to the next party so I can get a slice! It is a filled pastry pie and across stores in the Netherlands you will find the traditional flavor kersenvlaai (cherry vlaai) and others such as rice pudding, apricot, plums and strawberries. While Vlaai is Dutch it comes from the Southern parts of the Netherlands in the Limburg province. The history is very rich with Germanic tribes who were the first to eat it as a flat bread called vladel that was garnished with fruit or honey. Vlaai is so lekker (very delicious) and traditionally eaten for celebrations and milestones with visitors. Don’t forget a cup of coffee to accompany it!
I hope to have convinced your mind on why you need to try these Dutch desserts. While you may be wondering why the standard Stroopwafel and Poffertjes are not here. It’s because the above mentioned aren’t typically what most tourists and visitors to the Netherlands recognize. On your next visit here reconsider trying one of these traditional desserts and I promise you won’t be let down!