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Five Spice Powder Frosting Recipe

What are the Five Spices in Five Spice Powder?

My first question when considering a five spice frosting recipe was, “What are the five spices in five spice powder?”
The five spices in the Frontier Seasoning Blends five spice powder are:
  • Cinnamon
  • Fennel
  • Cloves
  • Star Anise
  • White Pepper

However, much to my shock and awe, I learned that five spice powder actually has nothing to do with the number of spices!

If Five Spice Powder Isn’t About Five Spices, What is it About?

According to the fabulous food blogger Chez Pim:

The “five” in Five Spice actually refers to the balance of five basic elements: earth, fire, water, air, and metal. The Five Spice powder was originally used in Chinese medicine to restore the balance of the five elements in the Chi or the life energy in our bodies. So, besides the five basic spices, Five Spice powder may contain other spices such as coriander seeds, cumin or anise seeds (instead of fennel seeds), black or green cardamom, and even nutmeg.

Also on Chez Pim, there is a recipe to make your own five spice powder and I must admit that I am now feeling like a bit of a slacker for not making my own.

Why Five Spice Frosting?

The five spice frosting was inspired by pork. Pork inspires all kinds of people to do all kinds of things. I’ve already been inspired by pork once before – remember the bacon cheddar frosting? This time, I didn’t put any pork in the frosting. I just used the five spice powder, a prominent element of the rhubarb pulled pork that I made for Taste & Create.

How Did Five Spice Frosting Taste?

The five spice frosting was mellow and tasted like Fall. I suppose it wasn’t the best choice for a summer cupcake, but sometimes it’s nice to have Fall flavors in the Summer, too. It would go really well on most Fall cupcakes and especially well on rhubarb cupcakes.

Five Spice Frosting Recipe

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5 from 1 vote

Five Spice Powder Frosting Recipe

My first question when considering a five spice frosting recipe was, "What are the five spices in five spice powder?" However, I learned that the name doesn't refer to the quantity of spices!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword five spice frosting, five spice frosting recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 218kcal
Author Stef


  • 1/4 C 1/2 stick butter, room temperature
  • 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 3 C powdered sugar sifted
  • 2 t five spice powder
  • 1 t vanilla extract


  • Beat the butter and cream cheese until combined.
  • Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until creamy.
  • Add the five spice powder and vanilla extract.


Nutrition Facts
Five Spice Powder Frosting Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 218 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 6g30%
Cholesterol 30mg10%
Sodium 95mg4%
Potassium 35mg1%
Carbohydrates 31g10%
Sugar 29g32%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 370IU7%
Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
Calcium 24mg2%
Iron 0.3mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Have you tried this recipe?Click here to leave a comment and rating!


A Question for You

I like doing posts specifically about frosting. It’s especially useful if I use the same frosting on more than one cupcake. However, frosting doesn’t look that great when it isn’t frosting something. There are only so many “frosting on the spatula” or “frosting in the beaters” photos I can see before getting bored with them. Anyone have any ideas?

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17 comments on “Five Spice Powder Frosting Recipe”

  1. Five-spice frosting sounds intriguing! I can’t wait for the cupcake it will grace.

  2. Gigisays:

    The frosting sounds delicious and exotic!

  3. Rachelsays:

    I have the same issue with frosting posts! Some times I do an arial view of whatever is frosted were only the frosting is showing.

  4. Anonymoussays:

    Frosting in a shot glass seems to be the thing to do lately…??

  5. your frosting sounds delicious… how about on finger about to be eaten? sorry, just dreaming for a minute. yum!

    you could put it in your frosting bag, press out a few stars, shells, or rosettes, etc. on a plate or some other surface and have the frosting bag placed nearby.

  6. replace your moses action figure’s beard with frosting!

  7. Jensays:

    How about frosting designs on a pretty piece of cloth or wallpaper?

  8. Cheshersays:

    Frosting on graham crackers! The ultimate after-school snack!

    Well, but I guess that will pretty much look like frosting a plate… A square, brown, crunchy plate.

  9. uhmmm, you have worn a costume before…how about frosting worn Madonna style? ;-)
    sorry couldn’t resist.
    I do think the picture is important tho because I personally find it valuable to get a sense of the structure/ texture. (did that sound grown-up enough to make up for he previous comment?)

  10. Pinkysays:

    Why not just pipe a cupcake-esque swirl on the plate?
    I love the bit about being inspired by pork. And I couldn’t help but think of a strange but entertaining cartoon on pork, the meat of kings.

  11. Frosting on Graham Crackers was a favorite when I was a kid. Or maybe pretty saucers. Or a plastic cupcake for the whole Demo mode. Maybe on the fingers of a lovely model (by which I mean, whomever you can rope into doing it)?

  12. Stefsays:

    Eating club – The cupcakes are coming as soon as I can write them up!

    Gigi – Thanks! It was tasty!

    Rachel – Thanks – I actually looked at your blog for ideas since you are one of the few who does frosting posts. I like the top down idea.

    Anon – Hmm.. I should buy some cool shot glasses! Goodwill here I come!

    Krstl – Hah! The finger is great idea!

    Steph – I LOVE it!! That would rock! I actually have a bearded cupcake coming up. :)

    Jen – Interesting idea. Hmm… Goodwill and then a fabric store.

    Chesher – Graham crackers don’t look quite like a table, they have texture. That could work.

    TW – Do you want to volunteer your pregnant body to do a Demi Moore frosting shot?

    Pinky – Thanks so much for sharing that cartoon. That is hilarious! I sent it on to all of my pork loving friends.

    Bldrn – I think I could rope lots of people into doing it for free cupcakes!

  13. Delicious!
    A definite keeper for Christmas time.

  14. Maybe making a mini frosting sculpture? I like the photo you took of this frosting, especially the colors. I usually correlate five spices with warm tones so seeing the blue as an accent makes me happy. I love five spice anything! there’s a chicken recipe I want to post that my baba gave to me to cherish. Five spice is fabulous, therefore your frosting is fabulous. :)

  15. I love 5-spice anything! I use it a lot on things like squash and other savory foods, but never thought to incorporate it into something sweet. Thanks for the idea!

  16. Stefsays:

    Blood – You could use a red or green wrapper then too which would make it more snazzy looking!

    Vir – A frosting sculpture? Hmm.. What shall I sculpt? I’ll have to ponder. I’ve never encountered such a five spice fan! Glad you like it so.

    Jen – Any time! Hadn’t thought about five spice on squash. Yum!

  17. This is first time I visit this post. I collected so many interesting things from your site especially its discussion.

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