Italian Easter Cookies have a hint of sweetness with a delicious lemon glaze. These knot cookies are easy to make and topped with pastel sprinkles.

Italian cookie on spatula.
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Italian Easter Cookies look so festive and taste great for easy Easter Desserts. They are absolutely delicious and so pretty! If you need a dessert for parties or Easter lunch, this is a great recipe that I have made for years. I also love to make Easter Cookie Cake and Easter Rice Krispie Treats.

What are Italian Easter Cookies?

They are delicious cookies commonly seen around Easter. You might also hear them called Taralli Dolci. They are lightly sweetened and shaped into knots.

Italian cookies are not overly sweet and can be served not only as dessert but with brunch. The fresh lemon glaze gives the cookies the best flavor.

The pretty pastel sprinkles make the cookies so festive for Easter. Everyone will love the simple powdered sugar glaze on top. It really is delicious.

Ingredients

Ingredients for recipe - butter, vanilla, lemon.

Cookies 

  • Butter. Make sure to soften at room temperature.
  • Vanilla Extract. Pure Vanilla Extract is best.
  • zest of 1 Lemon. This gives the cookies such a fresh citrus taste.

GLAZE

  • Powdered Sugar. It is important to sift the flour before using to remove any lumps. 
  • Lemon Juice. Fresh is best and will result in better flavor.  

The complete ingredient list and recipe card can be found at the bottom.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Vanilla and almond extract. You can try other flavors with these cookies. Some ideas include almond, Anise and lemon extract.
  • Try other types of sprinkles. While these are traditional Easter cookies, they are so good you will want to enjoy year round. Simply substitute other types of sprinkles to enjoy for other occasions.
  • Food coloring. Feel free to add any color of food dye to the glaze. I think any pastel Easter egg shade would be pretty.

How to make Italian Easter cookies

Bowl with butter and sugar.

Step 1. Cream the butter and sugar with a stand mixer or a hand mixer. Next, add the eggs, vanilla extract and lemon zest.  Combine until light and fluffy with a paddle attachment.

Ingredients combined.

Step 2. Mix the milk into the other ingredients until combined.

Dry ingredients combined with wet ingredients.

Step 3. Get out a separate bowl. Mix together the combined flour and baking powder with the salt.

Batter in bowl.

Step 4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture.  Combine these together until just combined. Be careful not to overmix. Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least an hour.

Dough in knots on baking sheet.

Step 5. Take pieces of the dough from the bowl and roll them into 5 or 6 inch long ropes. Make sure the ropes are thin because they will rise as they bake.  Make knots out of the dough ropes. 

Dough on baking sheet risen.

Step 6. Put the cookies on the sheet and bake. Bake them for 15 to 18 minutes or until they are lightly golden brown. As the cookies bake, use this time to make the glaze. Get out a large bowl, whisk the powdered sugar, lemon juice and milk.  

Cookies topped with glaze and sprinkles.

Step 7. Put the cookies on the sheet and bake. Bake them for 15 to 18 minutes or until they are lightly golden brown. Allow to cool. Then add the glaze to each cookie.

Cookies on platter.

Step 8. Top with sprinkles and enjoy.

How to store

Place cookies inside an airtight container. They will last up to 1 week. 

Make sure to wait to store the cookies until completely cool and the glaze has set. If you do this too soon, the cookies will stick together in the container.

You don’t want to mess up your pretty cookies!

Also, you can place a piece of bread in the container with the cookies to help keep them moist. 

Expert Tips

  • Line baking sheets with parchment paper. This will make clean up easier with the glaze and sprinkles.
  • Add the sprinkles immediately. The sugar icing will harden quickly so the icing needs to be added right away. Otherwise the sprinkles will not stick.
  • Roll the ropes thin. Keep in mind they will rise, so you don’t want the ropes too large. Otherwise the knots will be too big.
Cookies on plate ready to serve.

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Italian Easter Cookies

4.94 from 29 votes
Italian Easter Cookies have a hint of sweetness with a delicious lemon glaze. These knot cookies are easy to make and topped with sprinkles.
Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Let cool 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 24
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 148

Ingredients

FOR THE COOKIES:

FOR THE GLAZE:

  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar shifted
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice fresh
  • 1 Tbsp Milk
  • Multi-Color Pastel Sprinkles

Instructions

  • Beat together the butter and sugar in a stand up mixer or with a hand held mixer until the ingredients are creamed together and smooth.
  • Then add in the eggs, vanilla extract and lemon zest.  Mix until combined and light and fluffy.
  • Then add in the milk and mix until incorporated.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt together.  Then gradually add these dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Mix together until the ingredients are just combined – do not over mix.
  • Then cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  • Then preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Remove pieces of dough from the bowl and roll into 5-6 inch long ropes (the ropes should be thin as they will rise as they bake).  Then form knots out of the dough ropes.  Place the formed knot cookies on the baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes until the cookies are lightly golden brown.
  • Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then move the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • While the cookies are cooling, make the glaze.  In a bowl, stir together the powdered sugar, lemon juice and milk.
  • Once the cookies are cool, cover them with the glaze and top  with the pastel sprinkles.
  • Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Store any leftover cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week.  You can also place a piece of bread in the container with the cookies to help keep them moist. 

Nutrition Facts

Calories 148kcal, Carbohydrates 25g, Protein 2g, Fat 5g, Saturated Fat 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 1g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 31mg, Sodium 121mg, Potassium 29mg, Fiber 1g, Sugar 14g, Vitamin A 153IU, Vitamin C 1mg, Calcium 39mg, Iron 1mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Desserts on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you create delicious desserts on a budget and do not require a ton of time. Together, we are going to make something sweet that the entire family will love!

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