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Italian Cookies Recipe

A delicious classic cookie! This easy to make Italian Cookies Recipe is a soft butter cookie with sprinkles that everyone loves.

Easy Italian Cookies Recipe

When I was little it was always a special treat when we got one of those little cookie assortments with all of the delicious butter cookies inside. These Italian Cookies with the rainbow sprinkles were a favorite. These buttery shortbread like cookies with the light frosting and sprinkles will bring a smile to any face!

Italian Christmas cookies

Italian Christmas Cookies

These simple cookies are actually a classic Christmas cookie! Some people even call them Italian Christmas Cookies. If you choose you can change the classic rainbow nonpareil sprinkles to red and green to make them a little more christmassy.

How to Make Italian Cookies

Italian Cookie Dough

This is an easy cookie to make. Just cream together the butter and sugar until creamy. Next, Add in the eggs and the flavorings. These cookies are classically made with anise flavoring, but I also like to make them with almond flavoring (my personal favorite). If you aren’t a fan of either, you could just make them with vanilla extract.

Now mix in the dry ingredients until your dough forms. Wrap it and place it in the fridge for at least an hour. If you are in more of a hurry you can pop it in the freezer to chill for about 15 minutes. Do you really need to chill your dough? Yes, you can read more about chilling your dough here.

Italian cookie dough balls

Use a cookie scoop and form the dough into tablespoonful sized balls. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and use a glass dipped in powdered sugar to flatten them. Bake them at 350 degrees F for 9-11 minutes or until golden around the edges.

Italian Cookies on tray

Mix up a simple glaze with powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Dip each cookie while warm to coat and then top with sprinkles. Cool and enjoy!

What Kind of Sprinkles

These Italian Cookies are typically topped with rainbow nonpareils, but you could really use any type of sprinkle. For the holidays, I like to use red and green nonpareils.

Gluten Free Italian Cookies

Gluten Free Italian Cookies

This recipe is very easily converted to gluten free! Just substitute your favorite gluten free flour mix. I have recently started using King Arthur Gluten Free Flour Blend, and I am in LOVE with how my recipes turn out using it! It is a great cup for cup substitution.

Italian Cookies Recipe

A delicious classic cookie! This easy to make Italian Cookies Recipe is a soft butter cookie with sprinkles that everyone loves. 
Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:10 minutes
Chill time:1 hour
Total Time:1 hour 20 minutes


For the cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract or anise
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles

For the frosting


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick silicone baking mats.
  • Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer, then beat for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, vanilla extract and almond extract. Beat until smooth.
  • Add the flour and baking powder to the bowl. Beat until just combined.
  • Chill the dough in the fridge for an hour or the freezer for 15 minutes.
  • Use a cookie scoop to form dough balls. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.
  • Use a glass dipped in powdered sugar to flatten the dough balls.
  • Bake each pan of cookies for 9-11 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.
  • Transfer the cookies to a rack and cool completely.


  • For the frosting, place the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract and cream in a bowl, then whisk until smooth.
  • Dip the top of each cookie into the frosting, then add the sprinkles on top of the cookies.
  • Let the cookies sit for the frosting to harden, then serve.

Dairy Free

  • Substitute a dairy free margarine and use a dairy free milk like almond or coconut.
Servings: 30 cookies
Author: Amanda Carlisle

Italian Cookies Recipe

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