Chinese Five-Spice Cookies

These Chinese five-spice cookies get their kick from the traditional components of five-spice powder, which may include ginger, cinnamon, star anise, fennel, Szechuan peppercorns, and cloves. (Yes, that’s six spices, not five. What can we say? We’re overachievers.) Say hello to your newest holiday tradition.

Star-shaped cookies on a piece of parchment paper

These Chinese five-spice cookies are gonna make you say bye-bye-bye to boring plain sugar cookies and nǐ hǎo to these crisp and spiced lovelies. They’re sugar cookies and so, so much more. Depending upon your five spice blend, it may include ground star anise, cinnamon, ginger, fennel seeds, Szechuan peppercorns, and cloves. Perfect at the holidays or any time of year, actually. And perfect with tea thanks to the crisp texture that stands up to dunking.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Chinese Five-Spice Cookies

  • Quick Glance
  • (7)
  • 20 M
  • 1 H, 40 M
  • Makes about twenty cookies
4.9/5 - 7 reviews
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Special Equipment: 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter or favorite holiday-shaped cutter



Dump the flour, Chinese five-spice powder, and salt in a small bowl and whisk thoroughly.

Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter in a large bowl until creamy and well combined. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until fluffy, about 1 minute more.

Stir in the flour mixture, combing just until everything is incorporated and a soft dough forms. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and adjust the rack to the center position.

Unwrap the dough, place it on a fresh piece of plastic wrap, and roll the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Slide the wrap and the dough onto a baking sheet and place the whole shebang in the freezer for 5 minutes to firm it slightly.

Remove the dough from the freezer and quickly cut out the spice cookies with a 2 1/2-inch round cookie biscuit cutter (or if it’s the holidays, your favorite cookie cutter) spacing them 1/2-inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until the edges are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Immediately transfer the spice cookies to a wire rack to cool. (The cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.) Find more information on storing and freezing your cookies here.

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  1. Was looking for something different to bring to a Halloween party, just need to keep the dough cold while shaping the cookies. Getting ready to make another batch, there mysteriously disappearing before the party!

  2. I made this recipe a few days ago and it was a hit. It was not cloyingly sweet. It was crisp at the edges and tender in the middle. Everyone except one picky eater who preferred less spicy cookies loved these cookies. This is a holiday must-have.

    A kitchen tool with five flower-shaped Chinese five-spice cookies topped with powdered sugar

    1. Wonderful to her, Mide! We so appreciate you taking the time to let us know! Yes, they’re a slightly sophisticated cookie, forgive the term. Less sweet, more spice, a little something unusual. So glad you loved!

  3. Amazing cookie! We added ~ 1 tablespoon candied ginger, diced, and ~ 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped. This will be one of our go-to henceforth! Thank you very much, David!

  4. Just made these for Christmas and they were a hit! I made a few alterations just for simplicity’s sake. After my dough was combined, I simply took a teaspoon and made small mounds on my pan, which I then pushed into small rounds with a fork. After baking, I placed a small amount of chocolate glaze on each one since they were destined to be stand alone Christmas cookies. End result: delicious. Even my little nieces loved them.

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