Stack of lemon pizzelle cookies with lemon curd and powdered sugar.

The Best Italian Lemon Pizzelle Cookie Recipe

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The Best Italian Lemon Pizzelle Cookie Recipe

Our lemon pizzelle recipe packs a lot of lemon flavor in a traditional Italian waffle cookie.

We love to serve this traditional recipe with powdered sugar and a little bit of lemon curd drizzled on top.

It’s crisp, bright, and totally snackable.

Stack of lemon pizzelle cookies being dusted with powdered sugar.

What is a Pizzelle?

A pizzelle is a classic Italian cookie that is made in a special pizzelle press.

The press creates a festive pattern reminiscent of a snowflake.

The cookies are thin, crisp, and not too sweet.

Make a big batch of pizzelles before holiday gatherings or for a cookie exchange!

They’re a taste of Italy. For another traditional italian cookie, you might like Pignoli cookies.

Pizzelle cookie iron machine.

Equipment Needed for Pizzelle Cookies

Before you start making this lemon pizzelle recipe, make sure you have all the required equipment. 

  • Pizzelle Maker: A special pizzelle iron is needed to make these cookies. We use a non-stick electric pizzelle maker, which is a great option because it doesn’t require you to use vegetable oil cooking spray for each batch.
  • Mixer: A stand mixer or hand mixer will ensure your pizzelle batter is the perfect consistency.
  • Cooling Rack: The pizzelles only get crisp after cooling so it’s important to immediately place the cookies on a cooling rack after removing them from the pizzelle iron. A multirack cooling rack is a great kitchen accessory to have on hand when making pizzelles.
  • Mesh Sieve: Pizzelles are often served with powdered sugar on top. For a perfect sprinkle, use a mesh sieve filled with powdered sugar and tap the sides of the sieve for a light dusting.
  • Microplane: Invest in a high quality microplane zester and grater to easily zest lemons for your citrus pizzelles.
  • Cookie Scoop: A small cookie scoop helps you to place dollops of batter into the center of the waffle maker without it getting stuck on the spoon.
Lemon pizzelle cookie batter in a mixer.

Pizzelle Cookie Flavor Options

While this recipe focuses on our lemon pizzelle recipe, there are a number of different flavors you can make with a pizzelle maker.

  • Classic Pizzelles: A classic pizzelle recipe is a simple, yet scrumptious cookie that is flavored with pure vanilla extract and uses an anise extract that creates a flavor that is similar to black licorice.  
  • Lemon Pizzelles: This is the flavor that we created for our recipe. We omitted the anise and vanilla and used both meyer lemon zest and fresh lemon juice to create a bright, citrus cookie. You could also substitute lemon for orange zest.
  • Chocolate Pizzelles: Omit the vanilla and anise and add in cocoa powder. Add a few more tablespoons of sugar and you have a sweet, chocolatey pizzelle.
  • Almond Pizzelles: Swap out the vanilla and anise extracts for almond extract or amaretto. Then add more almond flavor by mixing in a cup of ground almonds to the batter.
Lemon pizzelle cookie batter in a pizzelle waffle iron.

How to Keep Pizzelle Cookies Crisp

Right when you remove the hot cookies from the waffle iron, place the cookies on a cooling rack. 

Avoid stacking the cookies on top of each other in order to get truly crispy cookies. 

If you don’t have a multirack cooling rack this will likely require multiple cooling racks. You can also use oven grates as makeshift cooling racks.

Lemon pizzelle cookies on a cooling rack getting dusted with powdered sugar.

How to Store Pizzelle Cookies

The secret to keeping your cookies fresh is to use an airtight container. 

Only put the cookies into an airtight container once they are completely cooled and crisp.

Stack of lemon pizzelle cookies next to a pizzelle iron.

Other Ways to Use a Pizzelle Machine

The fun doesn’t stop at traditional pizzelles! Here are other ways to use to pizzelle maker:

  • Ice Cream Cones: Roll a hot pizzelle into a cone shape and let cool. Stuff the bottom with a piece of chocolate or a mini marshmallow (use our Homemade Marshmallow Recipe) then use it as a fresh, homemade ice cream cone.
  • Sundae Bowls: Shape the warm pizzelles over a small upside down bowl and let cool to create a cookie bowl for ice cream, pudding, or yogurt with fresh fruit. These would be a great addition to an Ice Cream Sundae Party.
  • Cannolis: Wrap a hot pizzelle around a rolling pin or dowel, let cool and remove. Fill the cylinder with cannoli pastry cream or other fillings.
  • Stroopwaffles: Add a layer of caramel, jam, or lemon curd between two pizzelles and place on top of a hot cup of coffee or tea for a variation on a dutch stroopwaffle.
  • Ice Cream Sandwiches: Add softened ice cream between two pizzelles for an ice cream sandwich.
Stack of lemon pizzelle cookies topped with powdered sugar and lemon curd.

The Best Lemon Pizzelle Recipe

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Cook Time: 1-2 Minutes per cookie

Serves: 12 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3 Large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 stick of butter, melted, then cooled
  • 1 ¾ cups of all purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Using a mixer, beat the eggs and sugar on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until light yellow in color.
  2. Add the melted butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the mixing bowl with the egg mixture and mix until combined.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together 1 cup of flour with the baking powder.
  4. On low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl with the wet ingredients.
  5. Once combined, add the remaining ¾ cup of flour until just incorporated.
  6. Preheat the pizzelle iron and scoop about 2 tablespoons of batter into the center. We use a small cookie scoop. If you have a larger pizzelle iron size, you may need to add more batter to ensure there is enough batter in the iron for a full cookie.
  7. Cook for 1:30 to 2 minutes until light brown.
  8. Remove the cookies, cool on a rack, and break off any excess cookie outside of the mold pattern.
  9. Repeat with remaining batter until all cookies are cooked.
  10. Top with powdered sugar or lemon curd, if desired.
Stack of lemon pizzelle cookies with lemon curd and powdered sugar.

The Best Lemon Pizzelle Recipe

Yield: 12 Cookies
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes

After trying a number of lemon pizzelle recipes that just weren't lemony enough, we perfected the perfect lemon pizzelle recipe!

Ingredients

  • 3 Large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 stick of butter, melted, then cooled
  • 1 ¾ cups of all purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Using a mixer, beat the eggs and sugar on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until light yellow in color.
  2. Add the melted butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the mixing bowl with the egg mixture and mix until combined.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together 1 cup of flour with the baking powder.
  4. On low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl with the wet ingredients.
  5. Once combined, add the remaining ¾ cup of flour until just incorporated.
  6. Preheat the pizzelle iron and scoop about 2 tablespoons of batter into the center. We use a small cookie scoop. If you have a larger pizzelle iron size, you may need to add more batter to ensure there is enough batter in the iron for a full cookie.
  7. Cook for 1:30 to 2 minutes until light brown.
  8. Remove the cookies, cool on a rack, and break off any excess cookie outside of the mold pattern.
  9. Repeat with remaining batter until all cookies are cooked.
  10. Top with powdered sugar or lemon curd, if desired.

Notes

Do not stack the cookies when cooling, use a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container.

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