An easy Pizzelle recipe for the classic Italian cookie, lightly sweetened and flavored with vanilla or anise. All you need are 6 ingredients and 1 pizzelle maker!

Pizzelle on a cooling rack being dusted with powdered sugar.

I learned about Pizzelle from one of my best childhood friends. Her family made Pizzelle the traditional way, with an iron that had engraved plates and a clamp to hold it together.

Loosely translated, Pizzelle means “small, flat, and round” and that’s exactly what these cookies are.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Equipment and ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Pizzelle Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for Pizzelle Italian cookies.

Equipment and ingredient notes

  • Pizzelle iron: Modern versions are just like a waffle maker: a silvery, shiny, beautiful waffle maker that makes cookies. I have this pizzelle iron (Culinary Hill may earn money if you buy through this link).
  • Anise: Anise (black licorice) is a common flavor, or you can use vanilla or almond extract. For lemon, use 1 teaspoon lemon oil instead of lemon extract (lemon extract doesn’t have enough flavor).

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Preheat pizzelle iron and lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, butter, anise or vanilla extract, baking powder, and eggs. Drop slightly rounded tablespoons of batter on to pizzelle iron and close.
Pizzele batter in a pizzele maker.
  1. Bake as directed by manufacturer or until golden brown, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Using a nonstick spatula, remove each pizzelle to a cooling rack; repeat with remaining batter. Cool completely and dust with powdered sugar if desired.
Pizzelle on a cooling rack being dusted with powdered sugar.

Recipe tips and variations

  1. Yield: This recipe makes about 36 cookies, 12 servings of 3 cookies each.
  2. Rolled: While the pizzelle are still warm from the iron, wrap them around a wooden dowel. You can even fill them with sweetened ricotta for a mock cannoli.
  3. Bake sale: Pizzelle are ideal for a bake sale or cookie swap because they are rarer than the usual chocolate chip cookies or brownies, and they look so fantastic wrapped in a small plastic treat bag tied with a pretty bow.

Mock Italian Cannoli with Pizzelle

Love Cannoli but don’t want to make and fry the shells yourself? Try this innovative variation with rolled Pizzelle cookies and sweetened ricotta cream instead. This cannoli recipe uses rolled up Pizzelle (the flat, waffle-like…

45 minutes
View Recipe

More sweet treats

Pizzelles stacked on a cooling rack.

Pizzelle

An easy Pizzelle recipe for the classic Italian cookie, lightly sweetened and flavored with vanilla or anise. All you need are 6 ingredients and 1 pizzelle maker!
4.99 from 261 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 12 servings (3 cookies each)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Calories 88

Equipment

  • Pizzelle iron (see note 1)

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter melted and cooled
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon anise or vanilla extract (see note 2)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Instructions 

  • Preheat pizzelle iron and lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, butter, eggs, anise or vanilla extract, and baking powder. Drop slightly rounded tablespoons of batter on to pizzelle iron and close.
  • Bake as directed by manufacturer or until golden brown, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Using a nonstick spatula, remove each pizzelle to a cooling rack; repeat with remaining batter.
  • Cool completely and dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Pizzelle iron: Modern versions are just like a waffle maker: a silvery, shiny, beautiful waffle maker that makes cookies. I have this pizzelle iron (Culinary Hill may earn money if you buy through this link).
  2. Anise: Anise (black licorice) is a common flavor, or you can use vanilla or almond extract. For lemon, use 1 teaspoon lemon oil instead of lemon extract (lemon extract doesn’t have enough flavor).
  3. Yield: This recipe makes about 36 cookies, 12 servings of 3 cookies each.
  4. Rolled: While the pizzelle are still warm from the iron, wrap them around a wooden dowel. You can even fill them with sweetened ricotta for a mock cannoli.
  5. Bake sale: Pizzelle are ideal for a bake sale or cookie swap because they are rarer than the usual chocolate chip cookies or brownies, and they look so fantastic wrapped in a small plastic treat bag tied with a pretty bow.

Nutrition

Serving: 3cookiesCalories: 88kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 64mgPotassium: 18mgFiber: 1gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 145IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 19mgIron: 1mg
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Meggan Hill

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Comments

  1. Have you ever frozen pizzelles to be eaten later? Would love to make some for my daughter’s wedding but also do not want to have too much to do the week of the wedding.

    1. Hi Terri, yes. These are probably some of the best cookies for freezing. Just keep them wrapped well so they don’t pick up any freezer flavors. Thanks for the great question! If you try them, I hope you love them. -Meggan

    1. Hi Angela, I’ve never tested this myself but another reader says they have and they were great! Let me know how it goes, hope this helps! – Meggan

  2. This recipe turns out perfect every time. I like to add almond extract or crushed fennel seeds and they give them amazing flavor.5 stars

  3. The pizzelles are so delicious.
    How do I keep them crisp to use during Christmas season?
    Again thank you for this recipe.5 stars

    1. Hi Jytte, I recommend storing them in an airtight container, for up to two weeks. If the moisture gets to them, they will lose their crispiness. I hope you enjoy them! – Meggan

    1. Hi Giuliana, I’m sorry but I haven’t tried this. You may want to find a recipe that includes that variation. Sorry about that! – Meggan

    2. We also have dairy allergies and I find Country Crock’s “plant butter” is essentially a 1:1 replacement. I cook with it all the time and we love it! Other great substitutions are oat milk and unsweetened dairy-free creamers. Target carries a lot of helpful DF foods 👍

  4. If I want to add anise seeds, would I add in addition to the anise extract? What would you suggest as the amount?

    1. Hi Kathleen, I haven’t tried anise seeds myself, but I would start with a teaspoon and add more to taste, and probably reduce the anise extract. I would suggest toasting the seeds and grinding them into a powder, also. Enjoy! – Meggan

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