If you're looking for an easy-to-make cooking that's guaranteed to look beautiful on your Easter dessert table, these Italian Easter Cookies are perfect. No cookie cutters are required! You simply scoop and gently roll. A sugary glaze, pastel drizzle, and sprinkles make them truly shine!
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When it comes to baking for Easter I find it's always nice to add something homemade along with all the Easter treats you can buy! These Easter Italian cookies are the best because they're so easy yet look amazing. Everyone will think you spent hours baking.
These Easter cookies have a simple, sweet, and delicate flavor everyone loves and they're perfect for all your Spring celebrations or even for a bake sale! Other Spring favorites to try are my easy Lemon Dump Cake and these brilliantly green Matcha Cupcakes.
Every great recipe starts with the ingredients you need to prepare it! Here's a look at the main ingredients you need to have to make these cookies.
- All-purpose flour: Use a quality flour that you've used before for baking!
- Baking powder: Gives your cookies the perfect amount of lift they need.
- Granulated sugar: Sweetens and tenderizes our Italian cookies making them delicately delicious.
- Unsalted butter: Using unsalted butter when making gives you much more control over the saltiness of your cookies. If you decide to use salted butter I would recommend decreasing the amount of salt added slightly.
- Flavoring: Vanilla and almond extract give these cookies their traditional flavors. If you don't want to use almond extract you can replace it with vanilla extract.
- Eggs: Give these cookies their texture and add moisture to the dough. For the best results, your eggs should be at room temperature before mixing. Remove them from the fridge at least 30 minutes before you start mixing.
- Confectioner sugar: Best for making the cookie glaze as it dissolves easily into the liquid for a smooth icing. Make sure you sift it prior to mixing to avoid any lumps.
- Milk: Adjust with more or less milk to achieve the texture you prefer for your Easter cookies.
- Decorations: Use your favorite sprinkles on top of the glaze and colorful drizzles of food coloring if you want. You can find links to the brands I used in the recipe card.
See the recipe card at the end of the post for the full ingredient list and the quantities of each.
Substitutions and Variations
- Change the Decorations: I've chosen pastel colors for decorating my Easter Italian Cookies but you can use any colored sprinkles and food coloring to create your desired look.
- Try Different Flavors: Citrus flavors such as lemon and orange will work great with these cookies. You can replace the vanilla or almond extract with it to achieve your desired flavor profile. Lemon and vanilla is one of my favorite combinations!
How to Make Italian Easter Cookies
Gather up all your ingredients before you get started, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Once that's done, let's start mixing.
Make the Cookie Dough
Step 1: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
Step 2: Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy in a larger bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed.
Step 3: Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture and continue to beat until everything is mixed together very well.
Step 4: Reduce the electric mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture mixing just until it is well incorporated.
PRO TIP: Do not over-mix your cookie dough at this point. Once the flour is added the gluten begins to activate and mixing too much may result in an undesirable texture. Use low speed and mix just until everything is mixed together.
Shape and Bake
Step 1: Scoop the dough to make small dough balls. Roll each of the balls between your palms for perfectly shaped cookies. I tested these both as drop cookies and rolled and the rolled ones looked a bit better. Place them evenly apart on the prepared baking sheet after rolling.
PRO TIP: Use a one-tablespoon cookie scoop to shape your dough into balls. Using a scoop keeps the size consistent for more even cooking. You can use a larger cookie scoop to make larger cookies but will need to extend the baking time slightly.
Step 2: Bake the cookies in your preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until the bottoms are light golden brown. Transfer the cookies to the cooling rack until completely cool.
Decorate Easter Italian Cookies
Step 1: Whisk together the confectioner's sugar, milk, and vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth. If you want to do a colored drizzle, set aside one tablespoon of glaze for each desired color.
PRO TIP: You can easily adjust the thickness of the glaze to your desired consistency. If you prefer it a little thicker, add more sugar or if you want to make it thinner, add more milk. If you plan to drizzle over the cookies you will want it on the slightly thinner side.
Step 2: Dip each cookie top into the glaze then top with sprinkles. Make sure you add the sprinkles right away before the glaze starts to set.
Step 3: Mix your desired color of food coloring with the reserved glaze and use a piping bag to drizzle over the top.
Step 4: Allow the cookies to set before serving.
- Storing: Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days. I like to place a piece of parchment in between the layers to keep them looking fresh. If you want to extend the shelf life to five days you can place them in the fridge.
- Freezing: You can freeze baked cookies but I recommend freezing them without the glaze. Store them in a freezer-safe container for up to two months. Add the glaze when you're ready to serve them for best results.
- Make Ahead: You can prepare the Easter cookie dough the day before and refrigerate it overnight. Just make sure to bring it to room temperature before baking. You can also freeze the cookie dough. I suggest forming the dough balls, freeze them on a parchment-lined tray, and then transfer to a freezer bag. When ready to bake, transfer them to a baking tray and allow them to thaw before baking. Store the frozen balls for up to two months.
These cookies are perfect to serve for all your Spring and Easter celebrations. They also make a nice addition to Mother's Day brunch.
Enjoy them for other holidays by simply using different colors and festive sprinkles. Decorate your cookie tray with some chocolate-dipped berries such as these chocolate raspberries or chocolate blueberries!
Add them to your favorite cookie box for different holidays. For Spring combine them with these Bunny Cake Pops, for Christmas they go great with these Chocolate Snowball Cookies, and for Valentine's Day these Heart Cookies are always a hit!
- Add the Sprinkles Right Away. The glaze will harden up pretty quickly and they won't stick if you wait too long.
- Avoid Lumps in the Glaze. Pre-sift your confectioner's sugar to remove any lumps that may have formed during storage.
- Texture of the Dough. The dough should resemble play dough. It should feel soft enough to easily shape into balls without sticking to your hand. If your dough is cracking, it needs more moisture by adding some milk. If the dough is too sticky you can add a bit more flour.
- Cookie Doneness: To check whether your cookies are ready, take a peek at the bottoms to ensure done-ness. These cookies brown on the bottom before the top so the bottoms are the best place to check.
- Avoid Broken Cookies. I highly recommend parchment paper for this recipe. The cookies are delicate and this makes transferring easier.
Ovens can be finicky and each one may work slightly differently. First, ensure your oven is preheated accurately. You can check that the temperature in your oven is accurate using an oven thermometer. Also, the best place for cooking cookies is in the center of the oven which tends to have the most even heat. Last, if your oven tends to cook to hot from the bottom you can add an additional sheet underneath the baking sheet for insulation.
Liquid is perfect for getting beautiful pastel colors and since you aren't adding too much you don't have to worry about it altering the consistency of the glaze. Gel food coloring or natural alternatives can be used as well. Gel food coloring is perfect when you're looking for more vibrant colors. You can easily adjust the quantity of coloring you add to achieve the desired color intensity.
As long as your cookies are fully cooled the glaze will set in about 10-15 minutes.
More Cookie Recipes
Did you try this recipe? Please leave a star rating in the recipe card right below! You can also write a review in the comment section further down the page I always appreciate your feedback. And don’t forget to tag me @freshcoasteats in your photos on social media, I'd love to see your results!
Italian Easter Cookies
- Food Coloring
- 1 cup confectioners sugar sifted
- 3 tablespoons milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Optional: Sprinkles for cookies and food coloring if you want to add a colorful drizzle
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, continuing to beat until well mixed.
- Reduce the electric mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture until well incorporated.
- Use a Tablespoon sized cookie scoop to form small dough balls, then place them evenly apart on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until the bottoms are light golden brown.
- Transfer to the cooling rack until completely cool.
- Whisk together the confectioners sugar, milk and vanilla extract until smooth. If you want to do a colored drizzle, set aside 1 Tablespoon of glaze for each desired color.
- Dip each cookie top into the glaze then top, immediately top with sprinkles.
- For colored drizzle, mix food coloring with the reserved glaze and use a piping bag to drizzle over the top.
- Allow cookies to set before serving.