Pizzelle Recipe

An easy Pizzelle recipe for the classic Italian cookie. Lightly sweetened and flavored with vanilla or anise, they are perfect for holiday gift-giving!

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.

It reminded me of a campfire pie iron.

Put away your kindling, though. These days, buttery, crispy, and perfectly-sweetened Pizzelle are easier than ever to make.

An easy Pizzelle recipe for the classic Italian cookie. Lightly sweetened and flavored with vanilla or anise, they are perfect for holiday gift-giving!

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What does the word Pizzelle mean?

Loosely translated, Pizzelle means “small, flat, and round” and that’s exactly what these cookies are. (Thanks to my assistant Jana who happens to be fluent in Italian).

How to make Pizzelle

If you love tossing all your ingredients together in a bowl, this recipe is for you. 6 ingredients, 1 bowl, and a partridge in a pair tree. No mixer of any kind required!

You do, however, need an iron. Modern pizzelle irons are just like a waffle maker. A silvery, shiny, beautiful waffle maker that makes cookies.

Pizzelle are nothing short of delightful. They are lightly sweetened with a crisp texture, easy to make, and perfect for holiday gift-giving.

One of the most common flavors of Pizzelle is anise (black licorice). However, some of my favorite flavors include vanilla, almond, lemon, and even chocolate!

You can also roll Pizzelle into tubes for cannoli (or whatever else you can dream up).

Pizzelle are ideal for a bake sale or cookie swap because they are more rare 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.

An easy Pizzelle recipe for the classic Italian cookie. Lightly sweetened and flavored with vanilla or anise, they are perfect for holiday gift-giving!

Save this Pizzelle Italian Cookies to your “Cookies” Pinterest board!

And let’s be friends on Pinterest! I’m always pinning tasty recipes!

An easy Pizzelle recipe for the classic Italian cookie. Lightly sweetened and flavored with vanilla or anise, they are perfect for holiday gift-giving!
5 from 14 votes
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Pizzelle Recipe

An easy Pizzelle recipe for the classic Italian cookie. Lightly sweetened and flavored with vanilla or anise, they are perfect for holiday gift-giving!

Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 36 to 40 cookies
Calories 82 kcal

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  1. Preheat pizzelle iron and lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. 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.

  3. 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.
  4. Cool completely and dust with powdered sugar if desired.

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An easy Pizzelle recipe for the classic Italian cookie. Lightly sweetened and flavored with vanilla or anise, they are perfect for holiday gift-giving!

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41 comments

  1. I am definetely going to try this recipe.Got to add the powdered sugar.

  2. My uncle uses a waffle iron to make these, they lack the all important pizzelle iron!

  3. They look very cute.. I think if they wouldn’t be made with pizzelle iron they wouldn’t look that good.. :)

  4. I bet these pizelles smell amazing when they’re cooking up. I’m looking into a pizelle iron…thanks for the inspiration and friend invite on FoodBuzz! ;)

  5. I like pizzelles. I haven’t had any in a very long time. Now I have a recipe I can make my own. Thanks for sharing!

  6. These pizelles were AMAZING! My kids were fighting over them!

  7. These cookies are so pretty. I’ve never heard of a pizelle iron – I’ll probably see them everywhere now. But now I’ll know! All the flavor possibilities with extract sound yummy. Could you do a cocoa version?

    Luci’s Morsels – fashion. food. frivolity.

    • Luci, I have done (and loved!) a chocolate Pizzelle with cocoa powder. So delicious! I will look for my chocolate version and comment again once I find it, it should be something like “use x-cups of cocoa powder in place of y ingredients” or something like that. Or pinterest will have a bazillion options I’m sure! I saw a version on Pinterest that was chocolate and orange, sounds pretty good to me! Thank you so much for stopping by! :)

    • Lucy I’ve made chocolate ones and honestly I prefer the ones made with anise.  You can but a pizelle iron from many places.  I would not recommend the teflon coated ones.  I love my pizelles.

  8. I have a granddaughter that is allergic to eggs– Is there any way pizzelle could be made without using eggs?? I have a pizzelle iron but have never been able to find an eggless recipe Thank you!

    • Hi Mary! I have never tried to make egg-less pizzelle. I am certainly willing to try it out and report back to you, but I won’t have access to my pizzelle iron until after the holidays (I’m visiting family right now). But, in this recipe, eggs are being used as a binder more than a leavening agent (in my opinion). So I feel like you could substitute applesauce or bananas to go egg-less the way cake mixes do it. To replace 4 eggs, you’d want to use 2 medium bananas, mashed, or 1 cup of applesauce. Feel free to give it a try if you are adventurous, or I will tackle it in January and let you know! Such a shame to not be able to use your pizzelle maker otherwise!

      Thank you so much for your question.

    • Hi … I was also looking for egg free recipe and I found one using pizza doug (for 1 third cup of dough – add 3 tble sugar and lemon for flavour. What I am not sure of is if the dough needs to rise or use it as soon as it is mixed …

    • Hi Diane, I cannot say for sure whether you should let the dough rise or not. With regular pizzelle dough you just use it right away. I think trial and error will be your friend here. You could set half of the dough aside and let it rise, and proceed immediately with the other half? Good luck to you, and thank you for stopping by!

  9. Thanks for posting this recipe.

  10. Ahhhh! Love these, Meggan! Why have I never heard of pizzelle before?
    I love love love that you can keep them as simple cookies or make canoli (& ice cream cones!) with them. 
    Merry Christmas! :-)

  11. Dang, I wish you’d gotten my name for the swap–I would have loved to try your pizelles! So pretty and delicate and they just scream “Christmas” to me. :)

  12. Just a caution…depending on where you get your pizza dough, it may contain egg.  It shouldn’t, but I bought frozen once (I was traveling, so didn’t want it to go bad on the 10 hour drive.) and I noticed the ingredients included eggs.  If you purchase from a real pizzaria, it shouldn’t…but ask!

  13. Been eating and making pizzelles for many years.  My iron was a gift from my grandmother on my first wedding anniversary. My 30th anniversary is on April 5, and it is still going strong, knock on wood. We use it at least twice a year (Christmas and Easter) and crank out many dozen when we do.  After moving to four states over those 29 years, it’s one of my favorite reminder of home…… :)

    • What a lovely story, Diane! So you probably have a traditional pizzelle iron, then. It’s the kind of thing where once you get going, it’s really easy to just make tons of them, isn’t it? And they are just so good. Thanks so much for sharing your story. :) I hope mine is still working when I get to my 30th anniversary (will be 7 years married this year so I still have a long way to go)!

  14. I love pizzelles I add anise.

  15. Hello! I am brand new to the pizzelle world. I have a stainless steel pizzelle maker, and I am having trouble with sticking. Orginally I used vegetable oil (poured it on the maker), and the cookies came out great, but made a HUGE mess. I then tried butter spray, and I didn’t like the texture and it discolored the cookie, as well as it completely absorbed the powered sugar (even after it cooled). Do you have any suggestions of how to keep the cookies from sticking without making a big mess?
    Also, keeping them for long term (A week or 2), I’ve heard to not freeze them…could I refrigerate? Or just put them in an airtight container in the cupboard?
    Thank you! I’m very excited to try this recipe!

    • Hi Isabelle! I have always used just regular Pam nonstick spray, not anything flavored. When you say Stainless Steel, though, do you mean the cooking surface is stainless steel? Or just the outside like mine? I would say that if regular nonstick spray still gives you problems, I would put vegetable oil in a bowl and get a brush and just brush the surface with it. Hopefully that keeps the mess down but gives you the results you want. That’s probably what I’d do. Regarding keeping them long term, I have not heard about the no-freezing rule, but I haven’t frozen them either. You could try the refrigerator but not sure I’d do more than a week. They might be fine in the cupboard but I feel like the quality will suffer over time. I will look into the freezing thing and comment again if I find any info!! Good luck and thanks for your question. :)

    • I have found that storing in an air tight container the cookies go soft.  To keep them crisp my mom used a cardboard box, they have nice ones at Joanns,  they have a clear window so the cookies show through.

    • We’ve been making pizzerias for ever. My mom taught me to store in a tin can—we use an old plaid thermos can—it’s pretty large and holds many dozen. We usually make 12 dozen at a time. Can also use popcorn tins. The pizzelles literally last a year,,, don’t soften and still taste wonderful —found this out accidentally one year 

  16. Meggan.   This recipe is amazing.  Thank u so much making my second batch because the first is almost gone

  17. Hi Megan,
    Every time i make pizzalles they smell like eggs.  How do I avoid that smell.
    Jyothy

    • Hi Jyothy, have you tried using more vanilla or almond extract? Or you could try a stronger flavor such as lemon or anise. Good luck!

  18. Have you had any luck on the applesauce or banana? I have a granddaughter who is dairy free?

  19. This recipe turned out really well! Thanks for sharing it :D

  20. It just would not be Christmas without pizzelle. I still have my grandmother’s original pizzelle iron… not with plates as you describe, but a singular iron with long handles. I can still remember her making pizzelles one at a time… it was definitely a labor of love! Great post! Wishing you all the best during this holiday season!

  21. I found this website while trying to find out whether pizzelle dough could be stored in the fridge overnight and then baked the next day; so if anyone has experience with this, I’d love to know. I grew up in a duplex, next door to my Italian Grandparents, and I was always enlisted to help my Nonna make pizzelles.  Back then we used the long handled cast iron pizzelle irons on the flames of a gas stove; but today I use a Palmer Electric Pizzelle Iron; Model 1000…as does all of my family who carry on the tradition. There is a newer teflon coated version of this iron  (model 1000T) but all who have tried this have gone back to using the model with the bare cast aluminum plates. My Nonna always used anise oil flavoring; but there are lots of flavored oils to try. Check out the Lorann Oils website for ideas. My mother’s favorite flavor to use when she bakes pizzelles is coconut and my family loves cinnamon flavor.  My mother also stores them in a large tin and keeps them in her freezer. It always surprises me that they are still crisp after freezing; but I haven’t tried it yet myself. Enjoyed reading all the postings here. I think I’ll try chocolate this year! 

  22. Hi Meggan,

    This is a great recipe, thank you for sharing! Made our first batch this evening and they are amazing; just as my Mom used to make (I used the anise flavoring)!

    To prevent sticking I use a very light coat of coconut oil, it does not get gummy and handles the high-heat much better than most other oils (apply with a brush or paper towel).

    The “cleanup” crew always favors the one-bowl recipe since it allows them to get to the cookies quicker!!

    Merry Christmas and a Very Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year!

    • Hi Florence, thank you so much for this! I love the coconut oil tip, I don’t always like it in savory applications myself but for these cookies it sounds PERFECT! Glad the recipe worked out for you. I’m so grateful for your support! Merry Christmas to you too! Take care.

  23. My pizzelles start out crispy but in the cooling process they become soft. What am I doing wrong?

  24. Hi Everyone;
    I simply HAVE TO comment on a couple of posts in regard to Pizzelle problems, questions, and puzzlement! :
    One woman said her Pizzelle were crisp when removed from the iron, but got somewhat soggy after they cooled. I assume you’re cooling them on a regular cooling rack meant to cool cookies fairly quickly. Putting hot cookies onto a flat sheet pan, or similar,  to cool, could cause any remaining steam and/or heat in the cookie to collect in the cookie, making it soggy. There’s a reason why cooling racks are designed to be open-weave, which doesn’t hold heat or steam in the cookie, but allows it to escape and the cookie to remain crispy.
    Also, I would guess that perhaps you live in a humid/muggy part of the country or are liable to have occasional humid days here and there? Humidity plays a part in the science of baking and many different kinds of baking recipes have warnings about not trying to make them on very humid days, so maybe thats what’s happening?
    I live in Florida and on humid days if I find my pizzelle have lost their “crisp” a bit by the time I’ve completed my batch, I place them gehat’s directly on the slatted shelves of my counter-top Convection oven, on a low/warm setting for maybe 10 minutes, so that they would dry out some. They were perfectly light, crisp, and crunchy when I took them out!
    I cant imagine that another woman who mentioned trying to use pizza dough (??) to make eggless-pizzelle could POSSIBLY have any success! Just because pizza dough and Pizzelle sound similar, they have absolutely NOTHING in common!  Using pizza dough as an eggless substitute for pizzelle dough First off, pizzelle cookies don’t contain any yeast, nor di you want them ti rise or be fluffy! Some cooks question even using Baking Powder in Pizzelle recipes, as it helps make baked goods fluffy, and Pizzelle are NOT supposed to be fluffy, but light, flat, almost see-through, and crisp! That’s the antithesis of pizza dough!  All the butter in these recipes are what allow a light cooking-oil spray of the plates when you first start using a new iron; after that initial spraying, much the same way that a cast-iron skillet works, building a “seasoned” cooking surface which will ultimately provide an almost non-stick cooking e provide.  Added to that, the butter in the dough will allow the cookies to slide off the plates on their own as the iron is opened, or an edge-lift with a silicone spatula should coax the cookie to drop off the top plate if momentarily stuck there when the iron is opened. Since theres no butter in pizza dough, and since pizza dough  is meant to rise, while pizzelle are supposed to be almost see-through and so buttery that they melt in your mouth, your pizza dough isnt able to give you ANY help at all in making pizzelle. Maybe you could try “Better Than Eggs”, a product found in the butter and egg aisle instead of real eggs, and “I Cant Believe it’s Not Butter” in place of real butter for a dairy-free try. I have no idea if these substitutions would allow you to create a dairy-free cookie, but you could try – At least there will be the possibility of a crispy pizzelle resulting from the substitutions, where there’s a snowballs chance in hell of pizza dough making anything other than the bread it is meant to be. That will NEVER work!
    I cool my pizzelle on an open slatted cooling rack and store them between sheets of newspaper in a large flat cardboard box and they stay crispy and crunchy! I’ve kept both the cookies and their dough in the fridge with no ill-effects, and have heard that they freeze well. As suggested earlier, if your cookies become less crisp because of the weather in the part of the country where youre baking, to restore their.’crunch’ you can place them carefully right on the open metal shelves of your oven or convection oven on a Warm setting (around 150 degrees F, or your oven’s lowest setting) for 10 minutes or so until they ‘snap’ when you break one. That gentle heat will remove the humidity from your cookies, and they’ll taste like they just came off the iron again!!
    Great recipes on this site; thanks for sharing, everyone! 🙂👍🏼💕

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