Festive Gingerbread Pizzelle Recipe (2024)

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This gingerbread pizzelle recipe makes authentic Italian Christmas pizzelles. These holiday cookies have a crisp texture and delicious ginger snaps flavour. Aromatic cinnamon, ginger and cloves add a spicy touch to the pizzelle cookies, while molasses gives them a rich sweetness. This Christmas cookie is a holiday tradition.

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Looking for a holiday season Italian cookie that everyone will love? Try this gingerbread pizzelle recipe and you will find they make amazing gifts as well as delicious treats for everyone at home. This is a classic Italian Christmas cookie you’ll love!

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Ingredients for Italian Pizzelle Cookies

The basic staples of eggs, sugar, melted butter or margarine, flour, and baking soda combine for the perfect pizzelles. And then you have cinnamon, clove, ginger, and molasses adding that authentic, delicious and festive flavor.

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The last ingredients are some salt, vinegar, non-stick oil for cooking, and some powdered sugar for decorating them.

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How to Make Christmas Pizzelles

Are you ready to make a batch of classic Italian pizzelle cookie treats as one of your Italian Christmas Eve recipes?

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The first step is to preheat a pizzelle iron. Next mix the eggs with the sugar, and then blend in the salt and spices. Add the butter or margarine, molasses and vinegar and stir well, before adding the flour and baking soda dry ingredients.

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Grease your preheated pizzelle press and add some of the batter. Close the lid and cook for about 45 seconds or until the cookie is golden brown. Remove the cookie with a spatula and it let cool on a cooling rack, where it will crisp up.

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Repeat with the rest of the pizzelle batter until you have all your hot pizzelles cooling on the rack. And you must use a wire rack here, so air can circulate all the way around the cookies and crisp them up.

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Once they’re completely cool, you can dust each Italian cookie with powdered sugar if you want. Keep them in an airtight container if you can resist eating the warm pizzelle cookies!

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Pizzelle Recipe Variations

If you love this gingerbread pizzelle recipe, I expect you’ll also love the variations! Some people like to make them with vanilla extract and almond extract, while others go for anise seeds or anise extract (which tastes like black licorice). Others like to experiment with ground cardamom or even cocoa powder for a chocolate taste. Brown sugar can also be used instead of granulated sugar. There is nothing better than a savory pizzelle!

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Some bakers even like to dip their batch of pizzelles in chocolate bark or melted chocolate.

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So if you want to try some of these, divide the pizzelle dough up and flavour each one differently. That way, you can make different flavours of these traditional Italian waffle cookies in the same batch.

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For a gluten free version, use gluten-free flour instead of all purpose flour. This authentic Italian pizzelle recipe tastes just as good when made gluten free.

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How to Use a Pizzelle Iron

Although most can be simply closed and left alone for 45 seconds, some (including the Dash brand) should be pressed down for the first half of the cooking time. This is so the lid doesn’t rise up and produce a less crispy cookie. Check the manufacturer’s directions before using.

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If they aren’t coming out crispy, you either aren’t leaving them in there for long enough or else you’re in a humid climate, in which case pop them in a 200 degrees F oven to dry them out a little more.

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Gingerbread Pizzelle Recipe FAQs

How do you keep pizzelles crispy?

The crisp texture is one of the best thing about this Christmas cookie. But they won’t stay crispy for long. Cover them lightly and store them at room temperature.

A paper or plastic bag would work. They should stay crispy all week if you make sure you don’t store them until completely cooled. Else the steam will still come out and this will lead to them getting soggy.

Something else you might like to do is prepare the Italian cookie dough ahead and keep it in the refrigerator for up to three days before bring the pizzelle batter back up to room temperature. You can then proceed with the recipe.

If your pizzelles have gone soft, you can put them on a sheet pan and bake in an oven that’s been preheated to 300 degrees F. Just turn the oven off when you put the cookies in there and leave them in there for an hour, so some of the crispiness is restored.

Can I use something other than a pizzelle iron?

Although there are replacements, only a pizzelle iron or pizzelle maker will make authentic Christmas pizzelles because it presses them to the right shape, gets them nice and thin (to make them crispy!) and has the right baking time to cook them right without burning them. You can use a pizzelle press to make cannoli shells, so they are good for more than Italian cookies.

If you don’t have one, you could try a griddle and pressing the cookies down or even a waffle iron. But again you aren’t going to get the right pattern on the cookies and they won’t be thin and crispy either.

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Festive Gingerbread Pizzelle Recipe (19)

Festive Gingerbread Pizzelle Recipe

Festive Gingerbread Pizzelle Recipe (20)

Festive Gingerbread Pizzelle Recipe

5 from 7 votes

Course: Sweets

Cuisine: Italian

Keyword: Christmas, Cookies

Prep Time: 40 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes minutes

Total Time: 1 hour hour 30 minutes minutes

Servings: 30

Calories: 74kcal

Author: Bella Bucchiotti

This gingerbread pizzelle recipe makes authentic Italian Christmas pizzelles. These holiday cookies have a crisp texture and a ginger snaps flavour. Cinnamon, ginger and cloves add a spicy touch to the pizzelle cookies, while molasses gives them a rich sweetness.

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  • 2 eggs
  • ½ Cup sugar
  • ½ Teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon ginger
  • ½ Teaspoon clove
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • ½ Cup margarine melted
  • ¼ Cup molasses
  • 1 ¾ Cups flour
  • ½ Teaspoon baking soda
  • icing sugar for dusting
  • spray oil for cooking on iron


  • Preheat your pizzelle iron.

  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until it becomes slightly frothy.

  • Add in the spices and salt, mix well.

  • Add the melted butter, vinegar, and molasses, mix again.

  • Add the flour and baking soda, mix until fully combined.

  • Lightly oil the pizzelle iron

  • Scoop about one tablespoon of batter onto the open iron, you may need to adjust how much batter you use per cookie based on the iron you’re using. Close the lid and cook the pizzelle for approximately 45 seconds, check and cook longer as needed. The cookies should be golden when they are done.

  • Use a thin heat safe spatula (a pie server works well) and gently lift the pizzelle off of the iron. Place the cookie onto a wire cooling rack. As the cookie cools it will become crisp.

  • When cooled, eat as-is or dust with a generous amount of powdered sugar.

  • Store in an airtight container.


Calories: 74kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 67mg | Potassium: 54mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 160IU | Vitamin C: 0.003mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg

Join me on Facebook!Like @XOXOBellaBucchiotti on Facebook for more recipe ideas

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

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A gingerbread pizzelle recipe isn’t something to omit from your Christmas time baking. They’re perfect for Christmas gift giving and this classic pizzelle recipe is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face. Enjoy gingerbread pizzelles with ice cream or just as they are.

This classic Italian cookie recipe will be a cookie that you make year after year. Tasty thin Italian waffle cookies are perfect with a cup of coffee or hot cocoa. These classic pizzelles are a great idea for holiday gifts.

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Festive Gingerbread Pizzelle Recipe (35)

Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause.

Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts. As well, Bella celebrates her Italian heritage with tasty dishes inspired by her favorite Italian foods. She has been featured in publications such as MSN, Self, Well + Good, New York Post, Salon, and more.

As a social media influencer, Bella can be found on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. Since 2015, she has partnered with international brands and Fortune 500 companies. Living with celiac disease and Type 1 diabetes, Bella takes every opportunity to share her experiences with T1D and educate others about these autoimmune diseases.

Festive Gingerbread Pizzelle Recipe (2024)


Why are my pizzelles not crunchy? ›

Pizzelles should be crunchy! They're a thin, light, crispy cookie. If your pizelles are soft, it means they have absorbed moisture from the air or they weren't cooked enough.

Why is my pizzelle batter so thick? ›

Some recipes use baking powder in their batter – this gives a slightly softer, thicker pizzelle.

How do you keep Pizzelle cookies crisp? ›

The best way to keep pizzelle cookies nice and crisp is to make sure they are cooled completely before storing or stacking. They're best stored wrapped in aluminum foil but you can also use plastic bags, containers, or cookie tins once cooled.

Are pizzelles the oldest cookie? ›

Pizzelles are believed to be the oldest cookie in history, first made in the 8th century in south-central Italy. The traditional pizzelle cookie is made from a sugar/butter-based batter that is pressed between two hot irons, usually sporting a design.

Is butter or margarine better for pizzelles? ›

As far as the fat used in pizzelle, some recipes will call for oil, others margarine, lard or Crisco. But having tried other fats, I always return to unsalted butter. They crisp up nicely, don't have an oily aftertaste, and cook to perfection in their special pizzelle press.

How do I make my cookies chewy instead of crunchy? ›

How To Make Cookies Chewy Without Cornstarch
  1. Go heavy on brown sugar. It has more moisture than its granulated counterpart, which means the cookie comes out less crispy. ...
  2. Choose margarine or shortening instead of butter. ...
  3. Use baking powder instead of baking soda. ...
  4. Rest your dough. ...
  5. Shorten baking time.
May 14, 2023

Should I spray my pizzelle maker? ›

Oil - it could very well be that modern pizzelle makers are so "nonstick" that you do not need to use any cooking spray. Am noting here that when you research recipes, you may encounter a debate about whether or not to use oil or butter. For years our family uses a light spray of cooking oil as needed - it's just fine.

What do you grease a pizzelle iron with? ›

Heat your pizzelle maker, grease it with a little olive oil and add a generous spoon of your batter. Remove the excess batter with a fork (and remember like Nonna to always clean the stove when you finish!). Lay the cooked pizzelle on the table as they will dry faster.

Why are my pizzelles sticking to the pizzelle maker? ›

A: Did you coat the pizzele maker with oil before starting to make a batch? That's the first thing you must do each time. Put a little oil on it, wipe up the excess and heat it up!

What is the best container for pizzelles? ›

*Tip: Make sure you fully cool your pizzelles and do not cover for several hours as they will get mushy and soft – you want them to stay crispy! That's why I love my metal tin or glass containers – they keep them nice and fresh!

Do you have to grease a pizzelle iron? ›

You'll need to grease your uncoated pizzelle iron before getting the batter on there, and since we suggest using shortening or vegetable oil for best results, we always have a pastry brush on hand to get every little nook and cranny well coated.

What is the best container to store pizzelles in? ›

Recipe Notes

Storage: Store finished pizzelles in an airtight container at room temperature, where they will keep well for 7 days.

What does pizzelle mean in english? ›

Pizzelles, the oldest known waffle cookies, originated in Italy. The name pizzelle is based on the Italian word 'pizze' meaning round and flat, with the ending 'elle' referring to its small size.

How do Italians eat pizzelles? ›

Pizzelle are popular during Christmas and Easter. They are often found at Italian weddings, alongside other traditional pastries such as cannoli and traditional Italian cookies. It is also common to sandwich two pizzelle with cannoli cream (ricotta blended with sugar) or hazelnut spread.

Why are my cookies soft instead of crunchy? ›

Sugar dissolved in baking forms a syrup as the dough heats up. Different types of sugars affect the texture because they absorb different amounts of water. Remember moisture is the key! White sugar creates crispier cookies and brown sugar creates chewier cookies.

Why are my cookies soft instead of crispy? ›

Sugar: Using white sugar or corn syrup in a cookie produces a crisp end product. Corn syrup also browns more readily than some other sugars. Egg: Recipes without egg will yield a flatter, crisper cookie with more spread. Eggs provide moisture for steam which leavens the cookie dough.

Why aren t my cookies crinkling? ›

The signature crinkle effect happens when the cookies spread and crack as they bake. If your cookies aren't crinkling, it might be because the dough is too warm (try chilling it for longer before baking), or the oven temperature might be too low (ensure your oven is correctly preheated).

Why did my cookies come out flat and crunchy? ›

Adding too little flour can cause cookies to be flat, greasy, and crispy. Most recipes assume you'll use all-purpose, but if you want a lighter, crumblier cookie texture, choose one with a lower protein content such as cake-and-pastry flour. Baking soda helps cookies spread outward and upward while cooking.

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