Italian Cookies

Soft Italian Cookies are dipped in a creamy glaze and topped with colorful sprinkles. They are perfect for holidays and special occasions!!

These tasty Italian Cookies are easy to make, make a ton, and are the cutest little cookie for special occasions or to give out as gifts! For more giftable cookies try Spritz Cookies, No Roll Sugar Cookies, or Turtle Thumbprint Cookies.

Italian Cookies topped with glaze and sprinkles with one missing a bite.

Italian Wedding Cookies

Have you ever tried Italian Wedding Cookies before?

Italian Cookies are traditionally flavored with anise, but no one in my family likes the taste of black licorice, so I used almond instead.

Almond is a common substitute for a more Americanized Italian Cookie version. If you don’t like anise or almond, you can also just use vanilla.

We love that these Italian Butter Cookies are not only simple, but they are tasty and pretty! They’re a great dessert to serve at parties or even holiday functions. And who can deny a cookie covered in glaze and sprinkles?

How to make Italian Cookies

COOKIE DOUGH. Whisk together eggs, oil, sugar, and extract in a mixing bowl. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt.

CHILL. Roll dough by tablespoonfuls into balls. Chill balls of dough for at least an hour, or freeze for 15-20 minutes.  Place cold dough balls on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.

BAKE. Bake in the oven at 350°F for about 9 minutes, or till the tops are set. Bottoms will be lightly browned, but tops should still be white. Remove cookies to cooling racks and cool completely.

GLAZE. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk till smooth, adding enough warm cream to get a thin but creamy consistency.

Dip the tops of the cookies in the glaze, then top with sprinkles.

The cookies are best eaten within a day or two after they are glazed. After that, the color from the sprinkles starts to bleed. Pastel colors bleed less.

Close up of Italian cookie balls on a sheet pan ready to be baked.

Recipe Tips

Italian Sprinkle Cookies are an easy treat, but here are a few tips and variations to help!

Flavor. The vanilla extract can be substituted with almond extract, lemon extract, or anise extract which has a black licorice-like taste.

Flat cookies. If cookies end up being flat it is probably because the levitating ingredients weren’t sufficient. Try using less flour next time, the dough may have been too heavy for the egg, oil, and baking powder to lift.

Glaze. Make sure to let the glaze dry/harden a little bit before adding the sprinkles on top. Having the glaze be kind of “tacky” will help the sprinkles stick to the cookies better, rather than just having the glaze and the sprinkles fall off the cookies.

Nuts. Mix in up to 1 cup of chopped nuts (almond or walnuts) or mini chocolate chips. 

Different shapes. These cookies should hold their shape pretty well.

  • Round: Roll the dough into balls and they bake up with a nice, rounded top.
  • Flat: Place the dough balls on the baking tray and use a glass cup dipped in flour or powdered sugar to gently press the tops of the balls a bit flat.
  • Shape: Roll the dough balls into a short rope and form it into a squat “s” shape or tie it into a knot.  

Sprinkles. I love the classic nonpareils sprinkles but you can use any type of sprinkles, including holiday shapes or sugar crystals, making them a perfect cookie to serve year-round.

Chrismas Version

We sure do love these Italian cookies, and especially love that you can change up the colors of sprinkles to match any holiday or celebration. The kids love that they also taste great!

Since Christmas is just around the corner, I sprinkled a few of my cookies with green and red nonpareils. Be sure to check out our Italian Christmas Cookies recipe for more holiday specific tips there. 😉

If you don’t like the crunch that comes with nonpareils, you can also use jimmies (softer and longer sprinkles) too.

Topping Italian cookies with glaze and sprinkles.

SToring Info

STORE baked Italian Cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

FREEZE. Make these cookies ahead of time then freeze them without the glaze. Thaw before glazing.

Make the glaze up to 5 days ahead of time. Bring the glaze to room temperature before trying to dip the cookies.

STORE the dough. Roll the dough into a ball, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

FREEZE the dough in a large ball by wrapping it with plastic and again with aluminum foil. Or form the dough into balls and place them on a baking tray and into the freezer.

Once the dough balls are solid, transfer them to a freezer-safe Ziploc. The dough can keep in the freezer for 2-3 months. Thaw before baking.

A close up of glazed Italian cookies topped with sprinkles.

For more Christmas cookies:

Italian Cookies Recipe

4.94 from 163 votes
Soft Italian Cookies are dipped in a creamy glaze and topped with colorful sprinkles. They are perfect for holidays and special occasions!!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 30 cookies
Calories 106 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna

Ingredients

Glaze

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract, or vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3-4 Tbsp cream or milk, warmed

Instructions
 

  • Whisk together eggs, oil, sugar, and extract in a mixing bowl. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Roll dough by tablespoonfuls into balls. Chill balls of dough for at least an hour, or freeze for 15-20 minutes.  Place cold dough balls on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake at 350° for about 9 minutes, or till the tops are set. Bottoms will be lightly browned, but tops should still be white. Remove cookies to cooling racks and cool completely.
  • For the glaze, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk till smooth, adding enough warm cream to get a thin but creamy consistency.
  • Dip the tops of the cookies in the glaze, then top with sprinkles.

Video

Like this recipe?

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About Kara

Hi! I'm Kara from Creations by Kara, and I'm addicted to creating pretty and yummy things. I love sharing home decor ideas, DIY projects, tasty recipes, and simple tips! I hope that I am inspiring women everywhere to use their creativity to build a better life.

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    We absolutely love these cookies! We make them for Christmas and after the glaze sprinkle on red, white and green nonpareils. A family favorite for sure. I had an old recipe that used cream of tartar and it was fussy. Thank you for an easy, foolproof one. Merry Christmas!

  2. 5 stars
    We absolutely love these cookies! We make them for Christmas and after the glaze sprinkle on red, white and green nonpareils. A family favorite for sure. I had an old recipe that used cream of tartar and it was fussy. Thank you for an easy, foolproof one. Merry Christmas!

  3. Sorry- I didn’t care for these at all. The dough was dry and I had to add more oil. I much prefer the Italian cookie recipe by wishesndishes.

  4. 4 stars
    I used a one inch scoop and they definitely did not cook in 9 minutes, unless I read the time wrong. All of them were doughy in the middle so I couldn’t tell if they’d be good because I was turned off from the raw dough. I tried to put them back in the oven but that didn’t work. I ended up throwing them all out. 🙁

  5. 5 stars
    Fantastic cookies! I used avocado oil. I made the cookies for my 2-year-old grandson. I did not even need to frost them. They were perfect. I loved them without the icing. They did not need the extra sugar.

  6. 5 stars
    These are the Italian cookies I was hoping & searching for. I was so lucky to find this recipe a while back on my first attempt! After several perfect batches, I tried a few other recipes to see what I was missing (ricotta added, etc) and nope! This recipe cannot be improved upon. We also do not like anise so we use lemon. This recipe gives me grandma vibes and I was so happy to find it as I don’t have my husband’s late grandmother’s recipe. Thanks so much! Five stars for sure!

  7. 5 stars
    Kara your recipe is very easy to understand and follow and the cookies come out amazing I’m going to give a little secret out and I’m probably going to regret it and it’s probably not really that much of a secret you probably already know this but the best way to get the moist cookies is by adding a little extra butter or if there’s no butter in the recipe add a little bit of butter but I find that butter makes the biggest difference when it comes to moist cookies moist chewy cookies I should say thank you and have a good day

  8. 5 stars
    My first time making these from your recipe online and tasted great perfectly❣️❣️
    Glazed came out awesome ❤️

    P.S
    Wondering how many calories for 3 cookies??

    Thank You
    for sharing your
    wonderful recipe cookies ❣️❣️

  9. 5 stars
    I love this recipe and just made a large batch for a Valentine’s Day Family Social. Pink whipped icing and glitter pink sparkles with my Grandmother ‘Nanni Amelia’s’Large Metal Heart Cookie Cutter. I hope I can quit sharing them with my friends before the event, so I best make another 2 batches. Everyone raves about the creamy deliciousness of the moist delights!! Thank you so much for sharing your Lil Luna Recipes and keep them coming!!

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