Italian Christmas Cookies

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 to 10 minutes
  • Total Time: -28612868.683333 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.