Classic Pizzelle Recipe For Italian Waffle Cookies - Unsophisticook (2024)

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This easy classic pizzelle recipe produces light and crispy vanilla Italian waffle cookies using a pizzelle iron! Includes tips for how to make pizzelles + variations for making traditional anise, almond, lemon, and chocolate pizzelle cookies.

Classic Pizzelle Recipe For Italian Waffle Cookies - Unsophisticook (1)

Pizzelle Recipe For Italian Waffle Cookies

So here’s the thing — pizzelle cookies were never really on my radar until I got married. Oh, I’m sure I’d eaten them before, but I’d never made them.

As a newlywed, my husband begged me for weeks to make pizzelles for Christmas. I kind of smiled and nodded and said I’d look into making them — you know, brushed him off, basically… I mean, I had no idea how to make them!

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Then one day he mentioned that his grandmother made them every single year for Christmas. How an Italian waffle cookie became a Polish family tradition is beyond me… But at that point, I knew I couldn’t keep putting him off.

So I scoured the Internet for a pizzelle recipe — because, of course, he didn’t have his grandmother’s recipe. Using several different sites, I created one that sounded like what he’d described.

Only problem? We didn’t own a pizzelle iron.

Classic Pizzelle Recipe For Italian Waffle Cookies - Unsophisticook (2)

Electric Pizzelle Iron

Traditionally, pizzelles were baked with a cast iron pizzelle iron over an open fire, a hot and tedious undertaking.

Thank goodness for modern conveniences! We can now purchase electric pizzelle irons that make baking pizzelles simple and easy.

After a little research, I settled on this nonstick pizzelle maker. The price was slightly more than I was hoping to spend, but I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth from it over the years… We only pull it out a couple times a year, but it’s still as shiny and pretty as ever!

Classic Pizzelle Recipe For Italian Waffle Cookies - Unsophisticook (3)

Vanilla Pizzelle Recipe

The most common flavor used in pizzelle recipes is anise, which is a spice that tastes a bit like black licorice. If you’re not a fan of the flavor of anise (I am decidedly NOT), don’t worry… Pizzelles are wonderfully flexible when it comes to both flavoring and shaping them.

Vanilla, chocolate, almond, citrus — these are all fabulous flavors to add to the pizzelle cookie batter. And warm pizzelles can be shaped into cones or cannoli shells, formed into bowls or tacos, and much more.

I really need to start using my pizzelle iron more throughout the year!

I opted to keep these pizzelle cookies very simple, just flavoring them with pure vanilla extract. Sometimes, I’ll change it up and use a vanilla bean paste — the flecks of vanilla bean are SO pretty.

This recipe is also easily adapted into a chocolate pizzelle recipe, and my kids are always thrilled when I make chocolate pizzelles.

Whatever flavor you fancy, when you’re making a recipe as simple as this, high-quality ingredients make ALL the difference. So choose the best you can afford!

Classic Pizzelle Recipe For Italian Waffle Cookies - Unsophisticook (4)

Pizzelle Making Tips For Perfect Cookies

Just like when you make pancakes or waffles, it’s not unusual for your first couple of pizzelles to turn out a little wonky. They will still TASTE good, they just may not be as pretty as you’d like.

Here are a few tips for making pizzelles that will help you turn out the most perfect pizzelle cookies!

1| Even if you’re using a nonstick pizzelle maker, you may still need to mist it lightly with oil before the first use.

2| Place your batter slightly behind the center of the mold because it will spread forward as you close the lid. I highly recommend this medium cookie scoop for measuring perfect portions and releasing the batter easily.

3| Speaking of closing the lid, do it slowly to allow steam to escape easily and not burn the heck out of your fingers. Don’t ask…

4| Have a couple of wire cooling racks easily accessible next to the pizzelle maker to keep things moving.

5| It’s virtually impossible to achieve perfect edges on pizzelle straight from the iron. Any excess pieces can be trimmed with kitchen scissors while the pizzelle are still warm. Or you can carefully break off the ragged edges once the pizzelles have cooled.

RELATED: Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies Recipe

Best Pizzelle Recipe Workflow

I’ve found that the best workflow for me is to use a wooden spatula to remove the cooked pizzelles from the pizzelle maker to the cooling rack.

Then I start another batch of pizzelles cooking in the iron. When the new batch is almost done cooking, I move the cooled pizzelles to a stack to make room for the next round of fresh and hot cookies.

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How To Make Pizzelles Crispy

Don’t expect your pizzelles to be crispy when you remove them from the pizzelle iron. They will actually be super flexible, and this is totally normal. If you want to mold your pizzelles into a different shape, it’s ideal to do it now while they’re still warm and pliable.

Pizzelle cookies will crisp up as they cool. And the real secret to perfect pizzelles is that you should allow them to cool completely before stacking them. If you stack them too soon, they will basically steam each other.

Spreading them out on wire racks allows the air to circulate around them, making for the crispiest cookies. I actually prefer my pizzelle after they sit for about a day, but they don’t often last that long!

If you live in a humid area or your pizzelles are still not as crispy as you’d like, you can crisp them up in your oven. Place the pizzelles on a cookie sheet and bake them at 350 degrees for about 2 minutes.

How To Store Pizzelles

The best way to keep pizzelles crisp is to store them in an airtight container. They will keep at room temperature for up to two weeks. If they do happen to soften up, you can restore them by baking them in the oven as outlined above.

You can also store pizzelle in a ziploc bag in the freezer. Thaw them on a wire cooling rack, and they should be as crisp as when they’re freshly made!

Classic Pizzelle Recipe For Italian Waffle Cookies - Unsophisticook (6)
Over the years, making this classic pizzelle cookie recipe has become a Christmas Eve tradition. When they were younger, my kids would help by pulling the cooked pizzelles off the pizzelle iron, while I started another batch cooking. Then they’d stack the cooled pizzelles up to make room for the next batch.

Now that my girls are older, they make the pizzelle batter earlier in the day and pop it in the fridge for later. Then we can just pull the pizzelle dough out and let it warm up for a few minutes before we cook the pizzelles later in the evening.

I’m hoping they continue this tradition with their own kids someday!

Classic Pizzelle Recipe For Italian Waffle Cookies - Unsophisticook (7)

Classic Pizzelle Recipe for Italian Waffle Cookies

Yield: 24 pizzelle cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

This easy classic pizzelle recipe produces light and crispy vanilla Italian waffle cookies using a pizzelle iron! Includes tips for how to make pizzelles + variations for making traditional anise, almond, lemon, and chocolate pizzelle cookies.



  1. Beat eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl for approximately 2 to 3 minutes, until they're fluffy and a light yellow color.
  2. While still beating, slowly drizzle in the melted and cooled butter. Then add the vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the baking powder into the flour. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just incorporated.
  4. Bake one medium cookie scoop of batter (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) per mold in a pizzelle maker until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Remove with a wooden spatula to a cooling rack and cool completely.
  5. Dust cooled pizzelles with powdered sugar, as desired.



  • chocolate pizzelle recipe -- omit the vanilla, and add 3 tablespoons cocoa powder + an additional 1/4 cup granulated sugar.
  • almond pizzelle recipe-- substitute 1 tablespoon pure almond extract for the vanilla extract in recipe above.
  • lemon pizzelle recipe -- reduce the pure vanilla extract to 1 teaspoon, and add 2 teaspoons of finely grated lemon zest.
  • traditional anise pizzelle recipe-- add 1/2 teaspoon anise seed to recipe above.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield: 24Serving Size: 1 pizzelle
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 95.8Total Fat: 4.4gSaturated Fat: 2.6gCholesterol: 37.2mgSodium: 49.3mgCarbohydrates: 12.8gFiber: 0.3gSugar: 6.2gProtein: 1.7g

Have you tried this recipe?

Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag it @unsophisticook and hashtag it #unsophisticook!

Classic Pizzelle Recipe For Italian Waffle Cookies - Unsophisticook (14)

Variations On Classic Pizzelle Cookies

Want to try a new take on this pizzelle cookie recipe? In addition to the chocolate pizzelle pictured above, you can easily modify this vanilla pizzelle recipe to make the flavor variations below:

almond pizzelle recipe

— substitute 1 tablespoon of pure almond extract for the vanilla extract in the recipe above.

lemon pizzelle recipe

— reduce the pure vanilla extract to 1 teaspoon, and add 2 teaspoons of finely grated lemon zest.

traditional anise pizzelle recipe

— add 1/2 teaspoon anise seed to recipe above.

I’d love to see how your pizzelle cookies turn out… Tag me @Unsophisticook on Instagram or use the hashtag #Unsophisticook so I can check it out. Enjoy!

Classic Pizzelle Recipe For Italian Waffle Cookies - Unsophisticook (2024)


Why are my pizzelles not crunchy? ›

Pizzelles should be crunchy! They're a thin, light, crispy cookie. If your pizelles are soft, it means they have absorbed moisture from the air or they weren't cooked enough.

What is the original flavor of pizzelles? ›

Although Anise (Black licorice) is the “traditional” flavor of the pizzelle, modern options include vanilla, peppermint, anisette, lemon and chocolate but there are countless recipes and flavor combinations for this humble Italian cookie.

Can you use a waffle maker for pizzelles? ›

Heat a pizzelle, waffle iron over medium heat. Unless you're using a non-stick waffle iron, grease it with butter or, as my Nonna used to do, the fat from sliced prosciutto. Put 2 tablespoons of batter in the iron (depending on how big your waffle iron is), close the lid and cook until golden.

How do I make my cookies chewy instead of crunchy? ›

How To Make Cookies Chewy Without Cornstarch
  1. Go heavy on brown sugar. It has more moisture than its granulated counterpart, which means the cookie comes out less crispy. ...
  2. Choose margarine or shortening instead of butter. ...
  3. Use baking powder instead of baking soda. ...
  4. Rest your dough. ...
  5. Shorten baking time.
May 14, 2023

How do you make cookies soft instead of crunchy? ›

Brown Sugar

Adding moisture to your cookie dough can help make it softer and chewier, and stay soft for longer. That's why I use much more brown sugar than granulated sugar in this recipe.

How do Italians eat pizzelles? ›

Pizzelle are popular during Christmas and Easter. They are often found at Italian weddings, alongside other traditional pastries such as cannoli and traditional Italian cookies. It is also common to sandwich two pizzelle with cannoli cream (ricotta blended with sugar) or hazelnut spread.

How do you keep pizzelles crisp? ›

The best way to keep pizzelle cookies nice and crisp is to make sure they are cooled completely before storing or stacking. They're best stored wrapped in aluminum foil but you can also use plastic bags, containers, or cookie tins once cooled.

Should I spray my pizzelle maker? ›

Oil - it could very well be that modern pizzelle makers are so "nonstick" that you do not need to use any cooking spray. Am noting here that when you research recipes, you may encounter a debate about whether or not to use oil or butter. For years our family uses a light spray of cooking oil as needed - it's just fine.

What does pizzelle mean in Italian? ›

A Crispy History

Pizzelles, the oldest known waffle cookies, originated in Italy. The name pizzelle is based on the Italian word 'pizze' meaning round and flat, with the ending 'elle' referring to its small size.

Why is my pizzelle batter so thick? ›

Some recipes use baking powder in their batter – this gives a slightly softer, thicker pizzelle.

Why are my pizzelles sticking to the pizzelle maker? ›

A: Did you coat the pizzele maker with oil before starting to make a batch? That's the first thing you must do each time. Put a little oil on it, wipe up the excess and heat it up!

Do you grease a pizzelle iron? ›

Heat your pizzelle maker, grease it with a little olive oil and add a generous spoon of your batter. Remove the excess batter with a fork (and remember like Nonna to always clean the stove when you finish!). Lay the cooked pizzelle on the table as they will dry faster.

What is the difference between a waffle maker and a pizzelle maker? ›

Unlike waffles, the stamp in pizzelle is more decorative than functional. And, unlike waffle cone makers, pizzelle irons are outfitted with thicker plates, meaning the appliance is versatile enough to make a variety of different treats.

How can I crisp up my pizzelles? ›

If you have access to an oven, preheat it to 300 degrees. Stack the cookies on a sheet pan and place in the oven, then turn the oven off. Let cookies remain in warm oven for an hour or longer to dry out. This should help return some of the crispiness to the pizzelles.

How do you keep pizzelles hard? ›

*Tip: Make sure you fully cool your pizzelles and do not cover for several hours as they will get mushy and soft – you want them to stay crispy! That's why I love my metal tin or glass containers – they keep them nice and fresh! I never close the lid too tight – they need to breathe!

Why aren t my cookies crinkling? ›

The signature crinkle effect happens when the cookies spread and crack as they bake. If your cookies aren't crinkling, it might be because the dough is too warm (try chilling it for longer before baking), or the oven temperature might be too low (ensure your oven is correctly preheated).

Why did my cookies come out flat and crunchy? ›

Adding too little flour can cause cookies to be flat, greasy, and crispy. Most recipes assume you'll use all-purpose, but if you want a lighter, crumblier cookie texture, choose one with a lower protein content such as cake-and-pastry flour. Baking soda helps cookies spread outward and upward while cooking.

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