What is a Pizzelle and How do you Make Them?

How to make Italian pizzelles

Have you ever wondered what a pizzelle is?  Or maybe you’ve been in a store and saw these snowflake looking Italian wafer cookies and wondered what they are?  In this post, I’ll provide our homemade traditional recipe as well as explain what is needed to make these awesome cookies!

Pizzelles are Italian, and they are often referred to as Italian cookies, Italian snowflake cookies, or Italian waffle cookies.  I grew up having these every Christmas!  These cookies also great  to use in any Italian food gift baskets for friends and family, but be careful, they WILL ask you to make them again each year!

Most recipes are almost identical to each other, the biggest difference in ingredients I’ve found are either baking soda vs baking powder (our Italian family recipe uses neither), and the use of either anise or vanilla.

The most popular and traditional type of pizzelle uses anise. You can check out my anise pizzelle recipe along with step by step instructions.

Pizzelles are crispy and thin, but not paper wafer thin.   They are usually enjoyed during Christmas and the holidays.

An Original Italian Pizzelle Recipe

Italian PIzzelles

This is one dessert that I remember my mother making every year.  The recipe is from my Italian grandmother and it made its way into our family recipe box.  A few years ago I was visiting my parents and made a xerox copy of her recipe which I’m sharing with you today.

However, I will admit I’ve made a few adjustments to make it a little less “not-healthy”.  What that means is I’d be lying if I said these were healthy, but they are not as un-healthy as the original!

This recipe makes approximately 18 pizzelles.

Using a Pizzelle Maker

You’ll need a pizzelle maker.    Don’t worry there are lots of pizzelle makers on Amazon.  Many double as pancake or tortilla presses so you’re not stuck with buying a piece of kitchenware that only gets used once a year for a single purpose.

Here’s photo of the one we use.

pizzelle maker

It uses non-stick tephlon so there is no need to keep oiling it down during presses.  I’m not a fan of tephlon, but in this case I make an exception.

The plates are easy to clean, they pop out and can be run through the dishwasher.

Tips for How to Make Italian Pizzelles

As mentioned, use a pizzelle maker.   Secondly, I love, yes LOVE my dough scooper.  They are available in different sizes and you never get your hands or fingers sticky whatsoever.

They work just like an ice cream scooper and they are will save you time and make the process very pleasant!   Here’s a picture I took for you so you can see what I’m talking about!

pizzelle balls

How far in Advance Can you Make Pizzelles?

Pizzelles are just like any other cookie.  So I’d say no more than a week really.   However, when you make them in advance, do not coat them with the confectioners sugar until the day of serving.

Also do not coat the pizzelles when they are warm.  Otherwise the sugar may just melt/blend into the cookie.

Can Pizzelles Be Frozen?

Yes, you can freeze pizzelles.  I tested this myself so I could speak from experience, and they were fine.

I do not freeze mine typically, but if you do, just remember what I said about the sugar above, and make sure you allow enough time for these beautiful Italian cookies to get to room temp before applying the sugar and serving.  You could also freeze them after putting the sugar on them.

Let me know what you think if you try the recipe and if you agree these are the best Italian pizzelles ever!

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also enjoy:

Ciao Friend! I’d like to send you my FREE mini-digital cookbook featuring 5 Italian Holiday Cookies & Desserts. Plus, you’ll receive easy and delicious Italian recipes every week just for signing up!

If you want in please use this form. I’d love to start sharing my recipes with you!

how to make italian pizzelles

Best Italian Pizzelle Cookies Recipes

These homemade Italian pizzelles are easy to make and delicious! We grew up with him every Christmas and they were and still are a family tradition.
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes


  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 Cup sugar
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil
  • 1/4 Cup butter melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 Cup flour
  • pinch salt
  • 3 tsp anise extract or you can use Vanilla extract
  • confectioners sugar for coating


  • Mix all the wet ingredients in a large bowl until well blended (eggs, extract, oil and butter). I used a handheld blender with the mixing attachment.
  • Mix the dry ingredients in a smaller bowl (flour and salt). You'll notice I don't use baking powder or soda. Many recipes do, but we never have.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until smooth. It should resemble a wet cookie dough texture
    wet pizzelle batter
  • Ladle a small amount into each pizzelle imprint/plate
    pizzelle balls
  • Lower the lid and let cook until the pizzelle wafer is light but not too brown
    pressed pizzelles
  • Place on a cookie rack to cool.
  • Pour the confectioners sugar onto a plate
  • When the pizzelles are cool, dip the pizzelle in the confectioners sugar on both sides to fully coat. Tap off excess sugar.
  • Place in a container or plastic ziplock back to store. Or simply keep piled on a plate for everyone to enjoy right away!

Welcome! This post may contain affiliate links which means I may earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. You can read my disclosure for more details.

What is a Pizzelle and How do you Make Them?


  1. You list regular sugar and confectioners sugar in the list of ingredients but the regular sugar is not mentioned in the instructions. When does the sugar come in to play when mixing the batter?

  2. Love ur recipes..every Nov I have a pizzelle party with friends. We all make them in my kitchen then have lunch! Can I make batter ahead and freeze it til party?

  3. 5 stars
    Can you make the batter ahead and just keep in the refrigerator for a few days before making them? Thanks for sharing your recipe and tips.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating