Spicy Chinese 5 Spice Gingerbread Stars

These cookies will punch you in the throat–in the best way. Think warm gingerbread spices, with an Asian twist–these cookies pack a fiery kick and will leave a zingy, lingering burn in your throat. These go well with a creamy glass of nondairy milk or a hot cup of peppermint tea!

Y’all know I have a well documented obsession with Chinese five spice, also known as ngũ vị hương in Vietnamese. I put it in everything, including banh mi bites, to bao, “beef” dishes, and even cookies! Today’s recipe is actually just a spicy remix of my Chinese 5 Spice Gingerbread Cookies.

I came up with this combination as I was finishing up my latest Bakers Against Racism sale–this time, it was a collaborative effort with Kowon Bakery and Mollycule428! We had such an amazing (and overwhelming) response from our ATX sale, and so much interest from DFW, that we extended the sale to DFW. This has been the most successful BAR event I’ve participated in this year, and I could not have done it without Angeline and Molly! Our group effort really made it all possible.

The support from both Austin and DFW has been incredible, and we are learning so much and getting energized for our next collaborative effort. We raised $1,400 to donate to efforts to flip the senate blue in Georgia! We decided the majority of our funds should go to grassroots efforts, so early last week, we sent $1,000 to Fair Fight, with the remaining $400 to be split between the two Democratic candidates. We are feeling so grateful and inspired by everyone’s energy–so if you supported or shared the sales, thank you so so much!!

Chinese Five Spice Gingerbread Cookies
makes 2 dozen, give or take, depending on cookie cutter size
I used small cookie cutters so this batch made about 40 little cookies

You can purchase Chinese five spice at any Asian supermarket, or you can DIY.
Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1.5 hours

  • 3 cups white flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese five spice
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon – 1 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil, softened (not totally melted)
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3/4 cups coconut sugar
  • 1 flax egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons almond milk


  1. Sift and whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl (I used my stand mixer), beat together the coconut oil and coconut sugar until fluffy. Beat in the maple syrup, flax egg, molasses, spices, and vanilla extract.
  3. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, until smoothly incorporated. During this process, add 2-3 tablespoons of almond milk, as needed.
  4. Divide the dough in half.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, form each half of the dough into a disc, about 1 1/2 inches in height. Wrap the discs in plastic and refrigerate for an hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take one of the discs out of the fridge. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness, or 1/8 inch thick if you want a crunchier cookie. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Place the cookies 1” apart on a baking tray (wiped with coconut oil).
  7. Place the baking tray into the fridge for 5-10 minutes, for the dough to firm up again (optional: this helps keep the cookie shapes intact).
  8. Repeat the process for the second disc of dough.
  9. Bake the cookies for 7-9 minutes. I baked mine for 7 because I like softer cookies, but 8-9 minutes will yield crunchy cookies! I’ve done it both ways with good results.
  10. Remove cookies from the oven and transfer to wire cooling racks.
  11. Enjoy as is, or decorate them with some vegan royal icing! I also topped each cookie with a sliver of candied ginger, but that’s optional!

I hope you all have a happy holiday and stay safe and warm!! Stay tuned for more recipes and an announcement about our upcoming Valentine’s themed bake sale! 😉