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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5 from 30 votes (20 ratings without comment)

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29 Comments

  1. Rosina Scotto says:

    Love you recipes. Italian almond were delicious.
    Question. How do prevent the cherry juice on cookies. Sorry can’t sent photo. Can’t wait for your cook book

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Rosina, you can try blotting the cherries before you put them on the cookies. Glad you’re enjoying the recipes!

  2. Linda says:

    5 stars
    Delicious but I didn’t get the same appearance yours did. They were simply plain. What could I have done wrong

  3. Catherine wong says:

    Question: do you need to put the dough in the fridge before bake the cookies like other recipe? Thanks

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Catherine, almond cookies do not need to be chilled prior to baking.

  4. Anthony P says:

    5 stars
    Jim, like all your other recipes–absolutely amazing! 1 bite & I thought I had walked back into my favorite Long Island Italian bakery (which happened to be Sapienza’s in Elmont). Since I now live north of Tampa, getting good Italian foods is difficult if not impossible. Yeah, there are a few Italian bakeries in the region but even the best just don’t come close. Between your amazing main dishes, desserts & now cookies too I’ve been able to treat my family to some of the great Italian foods we used to get in NY!

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Anthony, we’re so happy you loved the cookies. Thanks so much for the great comment!

  5. Debbie Koczela says:

    These cookies are the bomb. Finishing up a second batch today. Gifting to my neighbor but taste tested the first batch. Yummy! Merry Christmas and thank you.

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Debbie, we’re so happy you enjoyed these! Thanks for the comment!

  6. Jane says:

    5 stars
    Delicious cookies!! My family loves the flavor! Thank you for sharing! Happy Holidays!!

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Jane, thanks for the comment and so happy you enjoyed!

  7. Kathy says:

    5 stars
    Just made these and they’er great despite my goof! I somehow read one tsp salt instead of a pinch. I realized my mistake early on but decided to give it a whirl and continue! although I can taste a bit of salt it didn’t ruin the cookie!
    Since my daughter is GF/DF this will be a keeper!

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Kathy, we’re so happy you enjoyed. These are a great gf/df option!

  8. Sondra Perrotta says:

    What are Amerana cherries?

  9. Rose says:

    Can I freeze the dough to bake later?

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Rose, yes, you can freeze the dough and bake later.

    2. Meg Sav says:

      5 stars
      Wow. I never made these before thinking I’d needed to Use almond paste !! These turned out perfect! I left some plain and some with cherries and some with a few pine nuts on top !!

      Every recipe I try from you is perfect. Your directions are easy to follow and the pics are great !! I hope a cookbook is in your future !!

      1. Tara says:

        Hi Meg, thanks for the comment and we’re so happy you enjoyed these! A cookbook is in the works! We’ll share more information via email and social as we have it.

  10. Angela D'Oria says:

    5 stars
    Your recipes are simple and delicious! Thank you

    1. Tara says:

      Thanks, Angela! Glad you’re enjoying the recipes!