Amazing Anginetti Italian Lemon Cookies Recipe

Known by many names, this recipe for anginetti Italian lemon cookies is a family favorite that we enjoy every year. Anginetti cookies are easy to make and are commonly used for many occasions including Christmas, Easter and weddings.

how to make Italian anginetti lemon cookies
These are anginetti cookies with lemon icing I made.

I first had these when my in-laws made them for my wedding and they were enjoyed by everyone! I soon learned the recipe and now make them mostly at Christmas.

I’m excited to share this recipe with you, especially since I have modified it slightly to include butter, not margarine or Crisco. This post also includes some tips to ensure they come out perfect each time for you.

Making Anginetti Italian Lemon Cookies

The recipe I’m sharing makes approximately 72 anginetti cookies. This requires 7 cups of flour.

However, not everyone wants to make such a large batch.

this recipe makes 72 cookies
This is a batch of 72 cookies. It seems like a lot, but they won’t last through one of our holiday get togethers!

So simply take what I’ve provided and divide everything in half. I’m aware with baking this is not always a good rule to follow, but in this case for this lemon recipe it actually works out perfectly.

These delicious anginetti Italian lemon cookies can be decorated as needed for the appropriate holiday occasion. Simply add some sprinkles and you’re all set.

For example, at Christmas use green and red or multi-colored sprinkles but for weddings use pink, white, or leave plain with the white icing.  

In a hurry? Skip the cookie tips and jump to recipe here.

What are Anginetti Lemon Cookies?

Anginetti means egg biscuit or egg cookie in Italian. Since we are adding lemon to the recipe, these are anginetti Italian lemon cookies.

They go by other names as well such as Italian lemon cookies or lemon drop cookies.

what are anginetti cookies

To describe what they are like isn’t easy because the more I think about it the more I want to get up and make a batch! 😂

  • These cookies are soft not crispy. They are cake-like and moist, meaning they don’t crumble. 
  • Lemon extract is used for the lemon flavor which is mild and not overpowering or tart.
  • When baking, these cookies puff up so expect them to increase in size due to the baking powder, baking soda and eggs.
  • These lemon cookies are very sweet due to the sugar.

Are Lemon Anginetti Cookies an Easy Recipe?

This Italian recipe is simple to make. I’ve never tried another version and don’t plan on it either, so I can’t compare how easy it is to others. However, I’ve made this recipe many times without fail, so do not be intimidated!   

The recipe I have is from my Italian family and when I researched online the variations of the cookie, I find that mine uses more eggs than most others. This contributes to the extra light and soft texture of the cookie.

Our anginetti recipe also includes dipping the cookies in a sweet frosting made of confectioners sugar, water, and lemon extract.

How to Make Anginetti Lemon Cookies

Italian anginetti lemon cookies recipe

I’ve written out the recipe process for making anginetti lemon cookies just like we do in our family.

Here is the ingredients list and quantity you’ll need for 72 cookies (6 dozen). To reduce the batch by half, use 1/2 the quantity of each ingredient.

Ingredients for 6 dozen

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 2 Cups butter
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 6 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp pure lemon extract
  • 7 Cups Flour – this is never exact, you may need a little less or a little more


  • 4 Cups Confectioners sugar (adjust as needed)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp pure lemon extract (more or less to taste)
  • sprinkles optional

Step 1 – Mix the wet ingredients

mix wet ingredients

You first work the wet ingredients by beating the eggs in a large bowl. Then add the milk, butter and sugar and beat until it is fully blended.

Step 2 – Add the dry ingredients in this order

mix dry ingredients

Add in the baking soda, baking powder and lemon, and beat again until it is well blended.

At this point you want to gradually add in the flour and mix until a cookie dough appearance is visible. It should be smooth and slightly sticky as shown in the image below.

Step 3 – How to bake anginetti cookies

Critical baking tip: It is important to first test one or two cookies before you bake the whole batch. This tip has saved me from ruining multiple batches. Variations in consistency with the dough will impact the timing. Even a few minutes can prevent you from the best outcome.

how to bake the cookies

Drop the cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet allowing enough room for them to spread. Don’t worry if they don’t drop into balls, you can see in the image above that as they expand they will form a perfect shape.

Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes.  You want the bottoms to be slightly brown.

The tops of the anginetti cookies will start to split open a little. This is normal.

When finished baking, cool on cookie racks..

Step 4 – Frost the cookies

Only dip the cookies in the frosting when they are 100% cooled, even waiting until the next day to dip them.

Also, allow 24-48 hours for the frosting to harden after dipping.

How to Make the Anginetti Lemon Frosting

frosting for italian anginetti lemon cookies
These are my anginetti cookies with frosting, no decorations. I didn’t use wax paper to catch the drippings.

Anginetti frosting is easy to make. For this recipe all you need to do is mix the confectioners sugar, lemon extract and water in a wide bowl.

The best way to coat the cookies is to dip the cookies in the frosting. That’s why I recommend a wide bowl. Once dipped, place on wax paper and add any sprinkles. The wax paper catches any frosting that drips and allows for easy clean up.

If you use colored sprinkles that dissolve easily, the color will bleed. You can see this somewhat in my photo below from a previous batch for Christmas.

colored sprinkles can bleed in the frosting

Allow the frosting to harden for 24 hours. Once they start to harden you can cover loosely on top with wax paper so they are not fully exposed.

Once they are fully hardened, you can store them in an air tight container.

How to Store and Freeze Anginetti Cookies

You can store these in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  However if you are concerned about them becoming stale or going to waste, you can freeze them in a freezer for up to a year.

Yes, you can freeze the lemon cookies for an entire 12 months however I’d recommend sticking to 6 months to avoid freezer burn or taking on any freezer odors.

You can freeze anginetti cookies before or after you coat with the icing/frosting. Store them in an airtight container and place parchment paper between the layers of cookies to prevent sticking.

Remove them from the freezer at least a day before you want to serve and let them thaw in the fridge.

Serve these Lemon Italian Cookies with Coffee

This cookie goes great with a fresh cup of coffee, latte or cup of espresso.   The sweetness makes it great for dipping in a slightly bitter brew such as espresso.  

If you want to impress your friends and family here’s a recipe to use!

Remember – cut the recipe in half for half the amount. Estimate 3 cookies per serving. No one will only eat one.

anginetti cookies

Anginetti Italian Lemon Cookies

This recipe is an Italian recipe for Anginetti Italian lemon cookies.  Use them for any holiday such as Christmas, Easter or weddings.
4.72 from 7 votes
Print Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes


  • 6 eggs
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 2 Cups butter
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 6 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp pure lemon extract
  • 7 Cups Flour this is never exact, you may need a little less or a little more


  • 4 Cups Confectioners sugar (approx – we really don’t measure)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp pure lemon extract (more or less to taste)
  • sprinkles optional


  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Beat eggs in large bowl.
    1 beat eggs
  • Add milk, butter, and sugar then beat until blended.
    2 beat wet ingredients
  • Add baking soda, baking powder and lemon and beat until blended. It will resemble cottage cheese texture.
    3 dry ingredients
  • Gradually add in flour and blend until the cookie dough is smooth and slightly sticky. It will not form a ball.
    5 blend flour
  • Drop onto cookie sheet in cookie size portions and bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes, until they start to turn a light brown on the bottom. Do not let them burn.
    6 drop on cookie sheet
  • Let cool on cookie racks and frost when fully cooled.


  • Mix confectioners sugar with water and lemon extract until smooth.   
  • Dip cookies into frosting and top immediately with sprinkles that don't dissolve easily. Otherwise they will not stick to the icing.


  1. I recommend testing the cooking time on a single cookie first.  The extra 10 minutes to test is so worth it!  You may find the cookie is too wet and need to add more flour, or the cooking time is too long or short.  Ovens vary and so do the quality of ingredients so you need to test to be safe.   
  2. Sugar – you can cut back on the sugar, but this will change the consistency so you may need to modify the other ingredients a bit to compensate, but I can’t state much more beyond that as I always use what is listed here.
  3. The frosting is a guideline to use.  Try it and add more or less depending on texture and preference
  4. This make a lot of cookies so if you don’t want to make such as large batch simply cut all the ingredient portions in half. 
  5. Estimate 3 cookies per serving.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. If you enjoy easy Italian desserts and cookies try my Italian chocolate toto cookies, and classic almond biscotti.



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This post was originally created in December 2019, and updated with new process images and content enhancements on January 16th, 2023.

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Amazing Anginetti Italian Lemon Cookies Recipe


  1. Is this for an army? Lol. 7 cups of flour, 4 cups of icing sugar! Can you condense this to make less? Thanks.

  2. 5 stars
    Made these today and they came out so good! Thank you for the recipe , I will be making them again ..

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