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Italian Easter Cookies

  • Author: Lily Ernst
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 60 cookies


These Italian Easter cookies are soft, buttery, and lightly sweet. They are flavored with lemon zest and vanilla and topped with a thin layer of glaze and sprinkles for a perfect finish.



  • 6 tbsp (3oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 & 1/2 cups (315g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • 1 cup (120g) powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp milk or cream
  • 12 tbsp nonpareil sprinkles


  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment until combined.
  2. Mix in the eggs, one at a time. Add in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.
  3. In a separate bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined. Cover and chill the dough in the fridge for one hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 300F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  5. Scoop out small amounts of dough and roll them into 1″ balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into 5″ ropes. Tie each rope into a loose knot, roll into a pinwheel, or fold in half and twist. You can also simply leave them as 1″ balls (by the third batch, that’s what I usually do).
  6. Place the cookies 1″ apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden on the bottom. The cookies will remain pale on the surface. Let cool completely before glazing.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice and milk/cream until smooth. Dip the cookies face down into the glaze, let the excess drip off for a few seconds, and place the cookies on a wire rack. Top with sprinkles immediately before the glaze sets.


Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

  • Category: dessert
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Italian Easter cookies, Italian love knot cookies