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If you’re planning to do some baking for Easter, you might like to consider these Italian Easter cookies. They offer a symphony of flavors and a soft, crumbly texture that will make it impossible to limit yourself to just one! Vanilla and almond flavor the cookies and they are topped with a sweet glaze and festive sprinkles. You can jazz the cookies up further with drizzled icing in contrasting colors and customize them.

A plate of Italian Easter cookies with icing and sprinkles on top.

These mouthwatering Italian Easter cookies are perfect for your Easter baking list. Known as uncinetti, anginetti, Italian love knot cookies, or taralli dolci, they taste of vanilla and almond and they are sometimes shaped into a knot.

If you have other favorites for Easter, such as Nonna’s lemon cookies, carrot cake bunny tails or Easter sugar cookies, make some of each and create an Easter cookie tray! I love this lemon poppy seed loaf as well. This tissue box Easter basket is a fun project to make too!

An Italian Easter cookie with white frosting and sprinkles.

Why You’ll Love These

Delicious:  If you like delicate, light, soft cookies that boast vanilla and almond flavors in each bite and have a sweet glaze and sprinkles on top, then these are going to taste like heaven!
Simple to make: This is quite a standard cookie recipe, in that you need to mix the dry ingredients, add in the wet ingredients, shape the cookies and bake them.
Fun and festive: If you only bake cookies for the holidays, these are automatically a special treat. Even if you regularly bake, these delicate soft cookies with their pretty glaze and festive sprinkles are definitely special!

A plate of Italian Easter cookies with white frosting and sprinkles.

A complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below

All-purpose flour: Regular flour works well to make Italian Easter cookies. You can try gluten-free flour if you’re gluten-intolerant.
Butter: Unsalted butter works well but it’s not the end of the world if you only have salted butter because the salt flavor in the finished cookies is barely discernible.
Vanilla and almond extracts: To add subtle flavors to the cookies. Feel free to use different extracts if you want to experiment.
Baking powder: To get the perfect consistency. This helps with the light, delicate texture of the cookies and without it they would come out heavy and dense.
Eggs: To hold the batter together. It doesn’t make much difference whether you use medium or large eggs, as you can always add a little more liquid or flour to the dough if it’s too sticky or too dry.
Confectioner’s sugar: Also known as powdered sugar or icing sugar. Don’t use regular white granulated sugar or else your glaze will be grainy.
Milk: To make the glaze. Use any kind of milk you like.

A group of white bowls filled with various ingredients for making Italian Easter cookies.

How to Make Italian Easter Cookies

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card

Combine the dry ingredients:  Whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt.
Cream the butter and sugar: Use an electric mixer to cream the butter with the sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
Mix in the eggs and flour: Beat in the eggs and then mix in the flour mixture (turn the mixer speed down to low or else you will end up with flour all over the kitchen!)
Shape the cookies: Shape little dough balls with a medium cookie scoop and arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake them: Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes or until they’re golden brown underneath.
Make the glaze: While the cookies cool completely on a wire rack, whisk the glaze ingredients together, reserving a tablespoon of glaze for each color of drizzle (if you want to do a drizzle).
Decorate them: Dip each cookie into the glaze and then add sprinkles on top. Mix the reserved glaze with food coloring and pipe on top, if you want to add drizzle. Once they’re fully set, you can serve them.

Icing Italian Easter cookies with sprinkles on a pink baking sheet.

Substitutions and Variations

Gluten-free option:  If you want a gluten-free version, use gluten-free flour (results may vary depending on brand).
Adjust the size: Make the Italian Easter cookies bigger or smaller, as you prefer, adjusting the cooking time accordingly.
Change the flavor: Feel free to change or adjust the extracts. Vanilla extract and almond extract taste really good but you might like to use only vanilla or only almond or even try a different one altogether.
Add a citrusy zing: Add a dash of fresh lemon juice and/or lemon zest for a zesty tang. This is a very traditional flavor for these Italian cookies.

Italian Easter cookies with frosting and sprinkles on top.

Serving Suggestions

Appetizers and snacks:  Great nibbles for Easter include rosemary cheddar crackers or any of these easy one-bite appetizers. And smoked brats in beer always go down well.
Other sweet treats:
Lemon curd berry pavlova is a lovely Easter dessert (and it’s gluten-free) or perhaps you want to make one of these chocolate cherry recipes.
Easter drinks:  Peach black tea lemonade is a refreshing choice, or you could indulge in a coconut cottontail margarita!

An Italian Easter cookie with sprinkles on it.
Italian Easter cookies topped with frosting and sprinkles make a delightful treat.

How to Store Italian Easter Cookies

Store:  The cookies will keep for about 5 days in the fridge or up to 3 days at room temperature. Make sure they’re in an airtight container.
Freeze:  You can freeze the cookie dough until you want to make Italian Easter cookies, then just thaw and proceed with the recipe.

Italian Easter cookies on a cooling rack.

Top Tips

Ideal dough consistency: The dough should be soft enough to shape into dough balls but not stick to your hand. Add flour if it’s too sticky or a little water or milk if it’s cracking.
Shape them like a pro: It’s better to roll the dough balls between your palms than making them drop cookies which don’t look as pretty.
Sift the sugar: Sift the powdered sugar through a fine sieve before mixing, to prevent clumps.
Easy transfers: If you use parchment paper, you’ll find it easier to transfer cookies, as they are quite delicate.
Be patient! You need to let the cookies cool completely before glazing them and let the glazing set before munching them! Your mouth will be watering but remember: patience is a virtue (especially during Lent and Easter!)
Bakery quality glazing: You can make the glaze as thin (with more milk) or as thick (with more sugar) as you want. Remember to add the sprinkles immediately because the glaze starts to set as soon as it’s on, and if the sprinkles don’t stick they’ll fall off! And if you are adding a colored drizzle on top, you’ll only need about a tablespoon for each of the 3 colors.

A plate of Italian Easter cookies with sprinkles and a glass of milk.

Italian Easter Cookies FAQs

Can you make the dough ahead?

Yes, you can make it up to a day in advance and keep it wrapped in plastic wrap or in an airtight container and refrigerated. Don’t forget to bring it to room temperature (about 45 minutes on the countertop) before proceeding with the recipe or else it might crack and be difficult to work with. As for the glaze, it’s best to make it just before using so it doesn’t separate.

How can you tell when the Easter cookies are done?

Look at the bottom of one of them. The bottoms brown before the tops so if it’s golden the cookies are done. If the bottoms brown too quickly, put an extra baking sheet underneath to provide some insulation.

How long does it take the glaze to fully set?

Allow 15 minutes for the glaze to set, before serving the Italian Easter cookies.

Italian Easter cookies with frosting and sprinkles on top.

Classic Italian Easter Cookies

5 from 53 votes

Italian Easter Cookies

By: Bella Bucchiotti
These mouthwatering Italian Easter cookies are perfect for your Easter baking list. They taste of vanilla and almond, and are wonderfully light and sweet.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Cooling Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 24

Ingredients 

For the Cookies:

For the Glaze:

  • 1 Cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • ½ Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • sprinkles and food coloring, (for optional drizzle)

Instructions 

Make the Cookies:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, continuing to beat until well mixed.
  • Reduce the electric mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture until well incorporated.
  • Use a tablespoon-sized cookie scoop to form small dough balls, then place them evenly apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until the bottoms are light golden brown.
  • Transfer to the cooling rack until completely cool.

Make the Glaze:

  • Whisk together the confectioners sugar, milk and vanilla extract until smooth. If you want to do a colored drizzle, set aside 1 tablespoon of glaze for each desired color.
  • Dip each cookie top into the glaze then top, immediately top with sprinkles.
  • For colored drizzle, mix food coloring with the reserved glaze and use a piping bag to drizzle over the top.
  • Allow cookies to set before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 153kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 93mg | Potassium: 29mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 149IU | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Italian Easter cookies are soft, crumbly and sweet. They’re delicate and delicious, and topped with a glaze and festive colorful sprinkles. Subtle vanilla and almond extracts flavor the cookies beautifully. You might want to make more than one batch because they make lovely gifts and these cookies tend to disappear fast because they’re so delicious.

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.

 

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