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Italian Christmas Cookies

By December 17, 2022 No Comments

These light and tender cake-like cookies are so delicious! Topped with a thick, creamy yummy frosting, they taste like something baked from a fancy bakery. This cookie recipe is super easy to make and you can enjoy them for any holiday or occasion!

I discovered these cookies a few years ago and have been making them ever since. There are so many things that I love about these cookies-from the tender cake-like texture to the delicious sweet creamy frosting to the bright colored sprinkles!! They are just Devine!

These Italian cookies have become a Christmas tradition at our house, but they most certainly can be enjoyed on any occasion. They would be perfect for weddings, springtime tea parties, or for a bridal or baby shower. 

Sprinkles come in all different colors so you can have fun making them pretty for any party! 

These cookies are super easy to make and are made with simple ingredients that you probably have in your pantry right now. 

Traditionally Italian Christmas has a touch of anise flavor but I prefer the almond and vanilla flavoring. I added almond extract to the dough and to the icing as well. For something different, you could add lemon or orange extract to the dough as well.


Ingredients that you will need to make Italian Christmas Cookies (Be sure to see the full printable recipe below this post.)

  • All-purpose flour or plain flour 
  • Baking powder 
  • Salt 
  • White granulated sugar
  • Salted butter 
  • Large eggs 
  • Pure almond extract 
  • Pure vanilla extract 
  • Powdered sugar 
  • Milk 
  • Nonpareil sprinkles


How to make Italian Christmas Cookies 

  1. In a medium size mixing bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
  2. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla and almond extract. Slowly add the flour mixture. Be sure not to over beat at this point. Chill dough for at least an hour in the refrigerator. 
  3. After chilling the dough, roll it into small balls. It is very important to keep all the dough chilled. I only take out a little bit at a time to roll and bake.
  4. After the cookies are done, dip them in the icing and immediately sprinkle them with sprinkles.

These cookies will keep up to 7 days at room temperature. Store in an airtight container or Christmas tin.



  • Use real butter. I like to use salted butter in this recipe. But anyway, the real butter taste can’t be compared to margarine. 
  • Make the cookies small. You will only need about 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons of dough to form a ball. After forming the cookie dough ball, shape it into a cone. This will make the cookies taller. 
  • Don’t bake cookies on a hot baking pan. It’s easy to get into a hurry when you are baking batches but take the time to cool the baking pan in between batches of baking. Rinse with cold water to cool faster. 
  • Don’t overbake the cookies. Overbaking will make the cookies dry and tough. 
  • Use whole milk or heavy cream in the icing. The icing needs to be thick and creamy. 
  • Use pure almond extract and vanilla extract. Imitation flavors won’t give the cookies enough flavor. 
  • Sprinkle the sprinkles on immediately after icing the cookies. 

It’s a pleasure to share this recipe with you. I hope you add them to your Christmas cookie tray I know that Santa will love these cookies so be sure to leave some out for him and don’t forget to leave him a tall glass of cold milk as well. 


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family!!

Thank you for stopping by. I’ll be back soon with more delicious recipes!




Be sure to check out these delicious cookie recipes too!

Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Best Ooey Gooey Chocolate Chip Snicker Bar Cookies

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Italian Christmas Cookies

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 to 10 minutes
  • Total Time: -28651896.65 minute
  • Yield: 30 to 35 cookies


These light and tender cake-like cookies are so delicious! Topped with a thick, cream yummy frosting, they taste like something baked from a fancy bakery. This cookie recipe is super easy to make and you can enjoy them for any holiday or occasion!



  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (I use White Lily) Be sure to sift flour before measuring 
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt 
  • ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened at room
  • temperature 
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons of white granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs 
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure almond extract
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract 


  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted 
  • 4 ½ Tablespoons milk, preferably whole milk or heavy cream 
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½  teaspoon pure almond extract
  • Nonpareil sprinkles


  1. In a medium mixing bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside. 
  2. In a stand-up mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluff. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition; add the almond and vanilla extract to the mixing bowl.
  3. Next, gradually add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix until just combined. Be careful not to over-mix because gluten will form in the dough and the cookies will be tough.
  4. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. 
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or line with a silicone baking mat. I absolutely love to use a silicone baking mat. It really helps to keep the cookies from getting too brown on the bottom. 
  6. After one hour, take the cookie dough out of the refrigerator and roll in one-inch balls. (About 2 teaspoons of dough to form a ball.) Note: Top make the cookie taller, shape it into a cone shape after rolling them into a ball.)
  7. Place cookie dough balls one inch apart and bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Be careful not to overbake. Overbaking will make the cookies taste dry and tough. When the cookies are done, place them on a wire rack to cool. Note/tip: Keep the remaining dough chill in between baking at all times and cool the baking pan before baking the remaining batches. I run cold water on the baking pan to cool it down. It’s a faster way to cool the pan. 
  8. For the icing, mix the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and almond extract until smooth. Icing should be thick and creamy Dip each cookie into the icing or spoon the icing over the cookie. Immediately sprinkle the colored sprinkles over the iced cookies and place back on the wire rack to dry. 
  9. Place cookies in an airtight container or Christmas tin. They will keep up for 7 days at room temperature in an airtight container.


Do ahead/freeze tip:  Uncooked cookie dough can be frozen for up to 3 months. Also, baked cookies can be frozen as well for up to 3 months. It’s better to freeze the baked cookies before icing.



Hi, my name is Aletia. I am a true blue Southern girl, cookbook author, entrepreneur, self-taught food photographer and lover of chocolate.