Easy Speculoos or Nutella Braided Bread

Bring sweet flavor to your breakfast or brunch with this deceptively easy Speculoos or Nutella Braided Bread. Bring sweet flavor to your breakfast or brunch with this deceptively easy Speculoos or Nutella Braided Bread.I love fresh bread. It’s a perfect addition to a home-cooked meal and—with the right loaf–a sure-fire hit at a brunch or dinner party.

Of course when it comes to your typical give me the energy to wake up morning meal, a sweeter bread hits the spot. Like this Speculoos or Nutella Braided Bread! And it’s no slouch on the “impressive” scale either! 

Yes, this Braided Bread was an interesting find, almost like a cross between a yeasted bread and a coffee cake. Bringing together the lightness of yeast and the flavor of a quick bread, it’s sure to please everyone at your table!  Speculoos Braided Bread

What is Speculoos or Nutella Braided Bread

Now that’s a question with a lot of parts!

The short answer is that this a twisted loaf filled with sweet creamy Nutella or Speculoos–kind of like a simplified Babka. Of course a Babka has a richer, brioche-like dough (containing eggs), a homemade chocolate filling, and streusel topping.  But this loaf has easier preparation on it’s side.

What is Speculoos (or Speculoos Cookie Buttter)?

Speculoos is a European holiday spice cookie—if you ate Windmill cookies growing up, you know the flavor. And someone got the brilliant idea to turn it into a spread which means there are even more fun things to do with it! Try to imagine a decadent peanut butter or spreadable cookie! Then feel free to use it anywhere you’d put (a sweeter) peanut butter.

Speculoos cookie butter

What is Nutella?

Nutella is a classic chocolate hazelnut spread. According to the Nutella website, “After World War II, cocoa was extremely scarce. Ferrero, originally from Piedmont in Italy, turned this tricky problem into a smart solution, creating a sweet paste made from hazelnuts, sugar and just a little of the rare cocoa. The ancestor of Nutella® was born.”

Like the Speculoos Cookie Butter, Nutella is sweet, spreadable and fun!

Is braided bread hard?

Now technically speaking this isn’t a regular braid since it has just two “strands.” But that means it’s easier! Basically you turn the strands cut side up, then alternate putting one on top of the other. Take a look at the pictures in the Step by Step Directions if this seems confusing.

Yes, if I can do it, it’s not really any harder than making a loaf of bread. Take the word of someone known for ugly baked goods!  Bring sweet flavor to your breakfast or brunch with this deceptively easy Speculoos or Nutella Braided Bread.

Why You’ll Love This!

Tasty. The sweet taste of Nutella or Speculoos blends perfectly with the warm yeasty bread for a delicious loaf.

Fun and Unique. No boring breakfast bread here. Whether it’s for guests or just you and your family, this loaf will bring a smile to your table.

Easy. It’s not much harder than a loaf of bread. Which means it’s easy enough for a weekend breakfast even when there is no special occasion!

Bring sweet flavor to your breakfast or brunch with this deceptively easy Speculoos or Nutella Braided Bread.

What You Need

Ingredients

  • Yeast provides the rise in the bread
  • Milk makes the loaf more tender
  • All purpose flour forms the bulk of the loaf
  • Whole wheat flour provides a little extra health value.  But you can use an extra cup of all purpose if you prefer
  • Salt adds flavor and influences the rise
  • Sugar helps the yeast mulitply
  • Nutella spread or Speculoos cookie butter provides the filling and flavor.
  • Optional egg wash (egg beaten with water) helps the loaf brown

No special tools are needed.

Step by Step Instructions

To begin, you just roll out the dough into a rectangle on parchment and top with your choice of spread.

roll out dough

Using  the parchment to help, roll into a long tube.

Roll up into tube

Slice down the middle or cut with a scissors to form two “strands”. 

cut into two strands

Turn the filling sides to face up, then braid/twist the two sides together, keeping the cut sides up.

braid the strandsBake the bread

Then serve!

Baked braided bread

How to Serve

This is delicious with breakfast, as a snack or for dessert. It would also be fun for a coffee or tea get together.

Variations

I added cinnamon chips to my speculoos loaf, sprinkling them over the cookie butter on the dough. I think that pecans would be delicious with this too!

The Nutella Braided Bread would be great with the addition of chopped hazelnuts, chocolate chips or even chocolate chunks. Imagine biting into a melty piece of chocolate—yum!

For a Cheater Braided Bread (in other words, super easy), I once even used a bakery pizza dough instead of making bread dough! Pizza dough is slightly less rich and tender due to absence of milk, but it’s still tasty!

The bread you see here is formed into a straight line. But sometime these braided loaves are formed into a circle instead.  To do this just put the two ends together in a circle and . In fact I almost did this when I feared my long loaf wouldn’t fit the baking sheet.  Sometime this is also formed into a star shape. Bring sweet flavor to your breakfast or brunch with this deceptively easy Speculoos or Nutella Braided Bread.

Leftovers

Wrap any leftovers tightly, store at room temperature and try to eat within a few days. This bread is good cold, but consider rewarming your leftover slices to bring back some of the oven fresh flavor.
You can also freeze the leftovers. Wrap tightly to avoid freezer burn and use within 2-3 months.

It is possible to pre-make a loaf, store in the refrigerator overnight for the final rise, then bring up to room temperature and bake the next morning. In practice I’ve found this more problem prone than it sounds, so I am not including instructions. If you have expertise in this area, please share in the comments!

Tips & FAQs

If your Speculoos or Nutella spread is too hard to spread over the bread dough, heat it briefly in the microwave then stir vigorously. Repeat as needed.

Many recipes include an egg wash, which is a tablespoon or so of beaten egg mixed with a little water. Brushed on a baked good like bread or pie crust, this can help them achieve an even golden brown color. Since I used part whole wheat flour, which has more natural color I skipped the egg wash. Bring sweet flavor to your breakfast or brunch with this deceptively easy Speculoos or Nutella Braided Bread.

Sweet Doughs and Breads

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Speculoos Cookie Butter Braided Bread

Speculoos Cookie Butter Braided Bread

Yield: 14
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Inactive Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Bring the sweet gingerbread flavor of speculoos to your breakfast or brunch with this cookie butter braided bread.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 cup warm water or milk
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour, or you can use an extra cup of all purpose
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup Nutella spread or Speculoos cookie butter
  • optional egg wash, egg beaten with 1 T water

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, warm milk (or water) to about 110 F. Add yeast and sugar stirring to dissolve. Let sit for a few minutes until bubbles form.
  2. Combine the flours and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the milk mixture and mix on low with the dough hook. Turn speed up to medium, and knead dough for about 7 minutes, adding additional flour if too moist.
  3. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover bowl loosely with a wet dish towel, and then set in a warm place. The dough is ready when doubled in size - about an hour.
  4. On wax paper or parchment, roll dough to form a rectangle, roughly 12 x 15”. Spread Speculoos or Nutella in an even layer on the surface, leaving a ½ inch border of dough. You can heat the cookie butter in a microwave-safe bowl for about 20 seconds, then stir to make spreading easier.
  5. Using the wax paper to help, roll up the loaf into a long tube. Cut the dough down the middle with a sharp knife or scissors to form two strands with one end uncut.
  6. Turn each strand so the filling faces up. Alternate moving one strand over the other, making sure to keep the cut side facing upwards.
  7. Let rest 15-20 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 350°F. If desired, brush surface of the bread with egg wash to aid browning. Bake bread for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 14 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 207Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 209mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 5g

Nutrition data accuracy may vary with product selection, calculator accuracy, etc. Consult a professional for the best information.

Originally published July, 2014. Adapted from a recipe in the deleted blog, Bake Away with Me.

24 thoughts on “Easy Speculoos or Nutella Braided Bread

  1. gloria

    Inger I love this lookamazing.
    And here in a super I find they have speculoos and have some recipes.
    Your bread look amazing I will save this recipe really lovely Inger!

    1. Inger Post author

      You should try it Geraldine. I thought there was a lot of result for the effort involved and my mom (who was visiting) keeps talking about wanting to come over when I make it again.

  2. Beth

    I haven’t tried baking with Speculoos yet, but I do love watching what everyone else does with it. This bread looks amazing!

  3. Louise

    I never got on the Speculoos band wagon, Inger. I’m not quite sure why because I often see it at Trader Joe’s. If I could bake a bread like that, I sure would be one happy girl! (or I could be invited over for breakfast too:)

    How gorgeous is that bread, Inger. Speculously Spectacular! Thank you so much for sharing, Inger…A taste would be nice too, lol…

    1. Inger Post author

      I would love to have you over for breakfast Louise! We could even sit in the garden!

  4. grace

    DYNAMITE use for cookie butter! the cinnamon chips would be a great addition, but you’d better believe this is awesome as-is! 🙂

    1. Inger Post author

      We have some maple chips too (I went on a bit of a chip buying binge) that I may try in the future.

  5. Kathy

    Ooooo Inger…. love the use of the speculoos butter! I even have a jar in my pantry. Looks simply gorgeous!! Thanks for mentioning my blog! Have a great weekend!

    1. Inger Post author

      Thanks for the inspiration Kathy. This was so popular I think I need to try it with the Nutella too!

  6. Karis

    Love the look of this! I haven’t had cookie butter in a long time. This recipe makes me think it’s time to purchase it again.

    1. Inger Post author

      It never quite took off at my house–at least until I tried it this way! Got those kids too trained to eat healthy I guess 😉

  7. Ivy Sew

    Hi Inger, my goodness! This Speculoos Cookie Butter Braided Bread of yours looks so gorgeous and delish! I can almost smell the sweet fragrant of the cookie butter and the freshly baked bread! Awesome! Great to have it with a cup of hot coffee in the morning. Thanks for sharing and warmest regards 🙂

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