Lemon Pizzelle Cookies

Lemon Pizzelle Cookies

Lemon pizzelle cookies are thin and crisp waffle cookies, made with butter, lemon zest and vanilla extract.  Often made at Christmas and Easter in Italy, pizzelle cookies are easy and fun to make!  If you’ve ever had a pizzelle cookie before, you know how beautiful and delicious they are.  This version is even better than the ones you can pick up at the store, infused with a subtle lemon flavor and dusted with powdered sugar.  Tie up a bundle of these snowflake-shaped cookies with a bow and impress your loved ones!

finished lemon pizzelle cookies dusted with powdered sugar

Lemon Pizzelle Cookie Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter, melted and cooled – If you’re using salted butter, you can omit the salt below.
  • Granulated sugar 
  • Large eggs – These should be at room temperature ideally.
  • Vanilla extract – Just a hint of vanilla flavor goes well with the lemon zest.
  • Lemon zest – Use a micro plane zester or grater.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt 
  • Powdered sugar – This is for dusting on cookies once they’ve cooled.

How to make lemon pizzelle cookies

Make Pizzelle Batter:

Whisk flour and salt in a medium bowl.  Beat eggs and sugar with a paddle attachment in a stand mixer or beat by hand with a whisk until a little paler in color and creamy.  Stir in melted butter, zest, and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients (switch to a spatula if stirring by hand) and stir until just combined.  The consistency should be like cake batter. 

lemon pizzelle batter in bowl

Plug in pizzelle iron or preheat according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Scoop & Press Pizzelle Cookies:

scoop lemon pizzelle batter

Spoon about 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons of batter into each of the two sides of your iron.  I aim for the back center of each snowflake design as the batter tends to move forward when you close the lid.  Some irons have lights to direct when they’re done, but I don’t trust mine. Just open the lid after about 20 seconds to gauge doneness. You want them to be perfectly golden.  Remove both cookies from the iron and cool completely on a cooling rack.  Repeat with the remaining batter. 

pizzelle press or pizelle pan
scoop batter into pizzelle press
cooked lemon pizzelles in pizelle iron or pizzelle press

Cool and enjoy

Wait to serve cookies until they’ve cooled to room temperature. Dust with powdered sugar if desired!

lemon pizzelle cookies with powdered sugar dusting

Tips for Making Beautiful Pizzelle Cookies

  • If pizzelles are sticking, try rubbing a dab of olive oil or avocado oil on a paper towel and lightly greasing your iron on both sides.  If iron is sufficiently pre-heated, the butter in the batter should keep them from sticking.
  • Error on the side of under filling the press rather than overfilling.  The extra batter will spread over the edges of the mold.  This is OK but will make things messy.  If the uneven edges bother you, trim them with a knife after removing from the cookie press.
  • Cool completely before storing to ensure they stay crisp.
  • Spoon batter toward back/center of the press as the dough will be pushed forward slightly as you close the press.
  • Don’t be afraid to let them get golden brown. I even find I like the taste and texture of the darker ones better, and they’re extra pretty when there is some color variation in the snowflake design.

Mixing Things up

There are countless variations and ways to flavor pizzelle cookies! A few other ideas to try:

  • Swap out vanilla extract for ½ teaspoon of almond extract
  • Add 1 tablespoon of poppyseeds for lemon-poppyseed variation
  • Add 1 teaspoon fennel seeds to batter for a more traditional anise flavor
  • Try orange zest instead of lemon zest (use about 1 tablespoon)
lemon pizzelle cookies ready to enjoy!

How To Store lemon pizzelle cookies

Pizzelle cookies keep well and can be stored in a tin or cookie jar for up to one week in a dry climate.  If it’s humid where you are, make sure you keep them in a tightly sealed container.  Or pizzelles can be frozen up to 2 months in an air-tight container, wrapped well. 

What if my pizzelles become soft?

If your pizzelles lose their lovely crisp texture, you can “re-crisp” them in a 300-degree oven by arranging them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and baking for 3 to 5 minutes.

Looking for more fun cookie recipes?

lemon pizzelle cookies
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Lemon Pizzelle Cookies

Italian Waffle Cookies with Lemon, Butter & Vanilla
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: lemon pizzelle cookies, lemon waffle cookies
Servings: 26 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest from one large lemon
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • powdered sugar for dusting finished cookies

Instructions

  • Make Pizzelle Batter: Whisk flour and salt in a medium bowl.  Beat eggs and sugar with a paddle attachment in a stand mixer or beat by hand with a whisk until a little paler in color and creamy.  Stir in melted butter, zest, and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients (switch to a spatula if stirring by hand) and stir until just combined.  The consistency should be like cake batter. 
  • Plug in pizzelle iron or preheat according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Scoop & Press Pizzelle Cookies: Spoon about 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons of batter into each of the two sides of your iron.  Aim for the back center of each snowflake design as the batter tends to move forward when you close the lid.  Open the lid after about 20 seconds to gauge doneness and add more time as needed, in about 10 second intervals. You want them to be perfectly golden.  Remove both cookies from the iron and cool completely on a cooling rack.  Repeat with the remaining batter. 
  • Wait to serve cookies until they’ve cooled to room temperature. Dust with powdered sugar if desired!


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