Chinese Five Spice Cookies

One day, my friend sent me a picture of Old Bay cookies and I was slightly horrified. I couldn’t imagine how those would taste, using such a savory spice blend in a sweet cookie?? Wild to me. However, it did give me an idea – I have some Chinese 5 spice, which I love, but have always used in savory dishes. I wanted to find out how it would be, so I tried it, and y’all, they are GOOD. They’re like a snickerdoodle, but with more than just cinnamon. They also smell amazing, your whole home will smell like happiness when these are baking 🙂


I used my super soft cookie recipe here, and added a sugar coating before baking, just like a traditional snickerdoodle. Let’s look at what goes into these to make them so soft and flavorful:

  • cornstarch – cornstarch binds with the liquid in the dough, which does a couple of things: it keeps the cookies from spreading, so they stay thicker and softer instead of becoming thinner and crisp, especially on the edges. it also makes the cookies soft and tender, which is what I was after!
  • honey – honey actually holds onto moisture, it’s a humectant, which in turn makes the cookies more moist and soft! it doesn’t take a lot to get the results we’re after here
  • higher ratio of flour to butter – this also contributes to less spreading of the cookies! similar to the cornstarch, it keeps the cookies thick and soft
  • Chinese five spice – this is where most of the flavor comes from! You can buy it at any Asian market, or some grocery stores too. it’s usually a mix of star anise, chinese cinnamon, fennel seeds, sichuan pepper, and cloves. I’m a big fan! It smells very strong but mellows out in the oven

Those small changes applied to my usual cookie recipe created a totally different cookie that’s soft and so pleasant, and highly flavorful!


These cookies are unlike the other cookies I’ve got on the site because of their texture, but you can definitely apply the changes I made to these to any of the other cookie recipe I’ve shared to get a super soft cookie! Here are some options to get you started:

As with any cookie, you can switch up the mix ins and the spices to make any flavor that sounds good to you!

Chinese Five Spice Cookies
Yield: 30 cookies

Chinese Five Spice Cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

These Chinese Five Spice Cookies are such a treat. They're like a snickerdoodle, but with more than just cinnamon. They smell amazing, your whole home will smell like happiness when these are baking, and taste even better!


  • 240 g (2 cups) all purpose flour
  • 2 tp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 170 g (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 250 g (1 1/4 cup) sugar, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 21 g (1 Tbsp) honey
  • 1 Tbsp chinese five spice powder


  1. prep: preheat the oven to 350*
  2. combine the dry ingredients: in a medium bowl. combine the flour, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt. set aside
  3. cream the butter and sugar: in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and 200 g of sugar together until very soft and fluffy, about 5 minutes. scrape down the sides of the bowl every couple of minutes
  4. add the wet ingredients: once soft and fluffy, beat in the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. add in the honey and vanilla and mix to combine
  5. finish the dough: add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and, starting on the lowest speed, mix until just combined
  6. combine the remaining 50 g sugar with the chinese five spice. portion out cookies of 2 Tbsp of dough each and roll them in the sugar and five spice mixture
  7. bake: place the cooking onto a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. bake for 9-11 minutes until just set. let cool on a baking rack
  8. enjoy! store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days, if they last that long!


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