Saturday, October 8, 2011

Five Spice Snickerdoodles

Pin It
Five. Spice. Baby. Dudun dududun dudu dun dun. I bet Vanilla Ice never saw that one coming.

You know what? Before I got sucked into the fast-paced and capturing world of food blogs, I have never heard of the miraculous concoction that is five spice powder. Then I read about it on several blogs, featured in both sweet and savory dishes. I was intrigued, yes, but never imagined ever getting my hands on it because I thought I would not be able to get where I live. I was wrong.

Five Spice Snickerdoodles

One day I was just sort of meandering through my go-to self-proclaimed 'international' shop – and with 'international' they mean mostly Asian and Oriental food with a bit of African thrown in – when I found a semi-transparent little plastic bag tightly stuffed between a plethora of other semi-transparent plastic bags filled with spices. This one, however had the unexpected printed on it in bold black letters on a baby blue background: 5 Spice. Jackpot.

Curiously, I sniffed the package – quickly checking whether anybody else is in sight because, you know, I don't want to be the weird person sniffing stuff in public except fruits maybe – and fell in love with what I was smelling. Usually, five spice powder consists of a combination of cinnamon, fennel seeds, star anise, sichuan pepper and ginger, each representing one element of the five element theory (Wu Xing). 
Probably one of the most famous dishes it is used in is peking duck.

So, as I have never used this spice mix before, I wanted to try something basic with the powder providing most of the flavour. I found this amazing quick recipe over at Dispatches From Whitcomb Street for snickerdoodles. Can it get more basic than that? I don't think so.

They turned out amazing. Crispy and airy on the outside but nice and chewy in the centre. Scrumptious.
My family liked them so much that I had to make them again two days later.

Five Spice Snickerdoodles

Five Spice Snickerdoodles
Adapted from here.

  • 1 cup (225g) of butter
  • 1.5 cups (340g) of sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2.75 (345g) cups flour
  • 2 ts of baking powder
  • 1/2 ts salt
  • 1/2 ts five spice powder

  1. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in eggs.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and five spice and fold into wet ingredients until just incorporated.
  4. Roll dough into 1'' (about 2,5 cm) balls and roll in a mixture of sugar and five spice powder (the original recipe said 3 tbsp of each was enough but I almost used 6 tbsp of each)
  5. Put on lined or greased baking sheets at least 2'' (5cm) apart and bake at 400°F (about 200°C) for 8-10 minutes.


Five Spice Snickerdoodles


  1. Love 5 spice..but never thought of using them in snickerdoodles!!
    My mom used it a lot in making stewed pork belly and sausage..
    I am going to bake those cookies too.

  2. What a clever way to make snicker doodles! Unfortunately, I'm allergic to cinnamon and five spice, so I can't indulge (dang it), but I just love them!

  3. These cookies look delicious.

  4. This is gorgeous in every way. Simple in a really thoughtful way. Love it!

  5. I love accidentally finding things in stores which you think you've never thought of using because you've never thought you'd find it ;) I'm Asian, so we've had five spice powder in our kitchen all my life (it's pretty much the only type of spice we used to have in the kitchen before I started playing with them!) but I only heard about it for the first time a couple of years ago, from a cooking show and I'm still not too sure what it smells/tastes like! haha....

    I've never seen 5 spice used in cookies before- these sound really interesting! And they must be pretty damn good if you have to make them again two days later! ;)

  6. In Chinese cooking, we used a lot of 5 spice to marinade our meat too. Have not really used 5 spice in dessert before and in this case a snickerdoodle. Looks delish.. I must give it a try. I bet it goes really well with tea ;), Hugs Jo

  7. So glad you made these and enjoyed them!

  8. Mmm I might have to try this recipe.

  9. Haha love the name snickerdoodles! We dont really get them in Oz but these look delicious! Love how you've used the fice spice and now, thanks to you, I'll be singing Ice Ice Baby all day hahaha

  10. Fantastic recipe! I have never thought of using five spice in baking, very interesting indeed. Must give this a go :D

  11. Cool...! 5 spices in Snickerdoodles! This sounds so intriguing but I can somehow imagine that the taste must be wonderful :)!!

  12. Sounds like a really creative way to use 5 spice - I'm intrigued!

  13. Five spice and snickerdoodles? Brilliant! I will be trying these... Nice job!

  14. Since we are Norwegian, our family tends to experiment with Cardamom. These sounds wonderful. I have never tried Snickerdoodles with Cardamom. Off to the kitchen we go!

  15. Wow I have never seen 5 spices in cookies or dessert (maybe I might have seen in dessert, but don't remember). I love the photography of the snickerdoodles - they look really delicious! You have Asian mug cup too! =)

  16. Hello,

    We bumped into your blog and we really liked it.
    We would like to add it to the

    We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
    enjoy it.

    Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
    and benefit from their exposure on

    To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use or just go to and click on "Add your site"

    Best regards,


I am eager to know what you have to say! Feed me comments.