Italian Almond Cookies, also known as pasticcini di mandorla, are made with just a few ingredients, are naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, and taste like they came from a Sicilian bakery. You won’t believe how easy these are!

Blue plate with Italian almond cookies.


These Italian almond cookies are a cookie lover’s dream!

Not only are they incredibly easy to make (with just 6 main ingredients), they’re loaded with wonderful almond flavor, and have a perfect chewy texture.

While we make these Sicilian almond cookies with a few different toppings of whole almonds, sliced almonds, or maraschino cherries, feel free to leave them plain if you prefer.

These cookies, also known as paste di mandorla, are great with coffee or tea and are a must for holiday cookie platters alongside cuccidati, pignoli, and reginelle cookies.

Recipe Ingredients

All ingredients for this recipe are shown in the pic below and special notes are made in this bulleted list to assist you.

Ingredients shown: sugar, almond extract, powdered sugar, almond flour, eggs, salt, almonds, and cherries.
  • Almond flour. Almond flour isn’t flour at all, rather it’s made from ground almonds and is therefore naturally gluten-free. It’s great in many desserts, such as flourless chocolate torta caprese.
  • Egg whites. At room temperature. Save the yolks and use them for a different recipe, such as creamy lemon chicken pasta.
  • Almond extract. For extra almond flavor.
  • Toppings. We used sliced almonds, whole almonds, and maraschino cherries. Feel free to omit these if you prefer.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to make it

Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350f and set the rack to the middle level. In a large bowl combine 2 cups (230g) of almond flour, 1 cup (200g) of granulated sugar, and a pinch of sea salt. (Photo #1)
Italian almond cookies recipe collage group one showing mixing of almond flour and beating egg whites.
  1. In a medium bowl, beat 2 room-temperature egg whites and 1 teaspoon of almond extract until soft peaks form. (Photo #2)
  2. Gently fold the egg whites into the almond flour mixture. (Photo #3)
Recipe collage group two showing adding egg whites to almond flour and forming of dough.
  1. Mix just until a dough forms. (Photo #4)
  2. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats and place 1/4 cup of powdered sugar onto a small plate. Using a small cookie scoop, collect a ball of dough. (Photo #5)
Recipe collage group three showing balling of dough into cookies.
  1. Use your hands to compress the dough ball together, then roll it into a ball. Roll the ball in the powdered sugar. (Photo #6)
  2. Place the ball on the cookie sheet leaving 2 inches between each cookie. Use your hands to press a small whole almond or cherry onto the top of each cookie ball. Alternatively, you can press the cookie slightly and leave plain, or coat it with sliced almonds. Bake the cookies for ~15 minutes or until the cookies turn lightly golden on the edges and start to crack on top, but are still soft on the inside (Photo #7)
Recipe collage group four showing adding cookies to cooking sheets and cooling of cookies on wire rack.
  1. Remove the Sicilian almond cookies from the oven and after 5 minutes transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling. (Photo #8) Enjoy!
Wire rack with assorted Italian almond cookies.

Top tips

  • Separating the egg whites. Take care when separating the egg whites from the yolks. Any fat or yolk remnant will impact the egg whites’ ability to form peaks. For the same reason, be sure to use a clean bowl that’s free of any oil residue, etc.
  • Use a cookie scoop. This will ensure consistent sizes for your almond cookies.
  • Baking pans. I recommend using 3 separate pans for these cookies, however, if you only have 1 cookie sheet, be sure to let it cool down before placing the next batch of cookies on them to bake.
Black plate with Italian almond cookies.

More Italian desserts

Here are a few more of our favorite desserts! These are great for holidays or anytime you’re craving a sweet treat!

If you’ve enjoyed this Italian Almond Cookies Recipe or any recipe on this site, give it a 5-star rating and tell us about it in the comments below.

We strive to satisfy a number of learning styles.  If you are someone who prefers to learn by watching, you can find most of our recipes on YouTube and our Facebook Page.

Italian Almond Cookies

5 from 30 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 30 cookies
Italian Almond Cookies are soft and chewy on the inside and slight cracked and crisp on the outside. They're so easy to make and loaded with delicious almond flavor!

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups (230g) almond flour
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 pinch fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

optional toppings (use 1 or a mix)

  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • amarena or maraschino cherries
  • 1/4 cup whole almonds

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350f and set the rack on the middle level.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the almond flour, salt, and sugar and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites and almond extract with an electric hand mixer until soft peaks form.
  • Fold egg whites into the large bowl and mix until a crumbly dough forms.
  • Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats. Using a small cookie scoop, grab a ball of dough. Use your hands and compress it together then roll it into a ball. Roll the ball into the powdered sugar.
  • Place the dough ball onto the cookie sheet, leaving 2 inches between each cookie. Press a whole almond or cherry into the top of the dough ball. Alternatively, press down and leave empty or coat with sliced almonds.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until the cookies turn lightly golden on the edges and start to crack but are still soft on the inside. Remove from the oven and after 5 minutes transfer the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Notes

  • If you can not find almond flour in the store, use a food processor to pulverize whole almonds until it is finely ground.
  • All of the optional toppings can be used or none at all.
  • Almond cookies should be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week or they can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • This recipe was written for a conventional oven.  For convection ovens, reduce the temperature by 25 degrees and begin checking for doneness at the 75% mark.

Nutrition

Calories: 96kcal | Carbohydrates: 8.1g | Protein: 3.2g | Fat: 5.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Sodium: 110mg | Potassium: 20mg | Fiber: 1.1g | Sugar: 6.2g | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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29 Comments

  1. Shelly says:

    5 stars
    Love these! Have tried several other recipes that weren’t quite right. These bring back childhood memories. They are easy enough for novice bakers and absolutely delicious! Definitely a keeper. Thank you for sharing

  2. Joe M says:

    These cookies were super easy and delicious. I topped them with amarena cherries. The cherries were too wet and those cookies came out a bit soggy. Any recommendations on getting the syrup off of the cherries?

    1. James says:

      Hi Joe. Glad you liked the flavor of the cookies. You can rinse the cherries to remove the liquid which can blead onto the cookies and then dry them off thoroughly before using.

  3. Jeanine Sanders says:

    I love the recipe easy step buy step always wanted to make them but it seems so hard you made it easy going to try it thank you

  4. Michelle Marquard-Lakhani says:

    5 stars
    These are delish! I made these for the holidays and received rave reviews. My husband loved them and my friends sister asked her “can you call and order more!” That was a first! 😊

  5. Diane Celia says:

    Hello again. I just left a review my name is Diane celia. What size cookie scoop. I I know you said small scoop, but there are different sizes. And I am new to baking cookies! Thank you.

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Diane, the small cookie scoop Jim uses for this recipe is linked in the shop here on the website if you’d like to reference it. It holds 1 tablespoon of dough.

  6. Diane Celia says:

    5 stars
    These cookies were easy to make and delicious. ! My Italian father in law loved them. I recently became gluten sensitive. . So these were great cookies to make and eat. !! I will definitely be making these again. Has anyone top them with pinenuts?

  7. Debbie says:

    5 stars
    Love all cookies recipes!