This Lemon Pizzelle Recipe is one of my favorite all time Christmas cookies and it will become yours too!
Thin and crispy, super light, I love serving these cookies over the holidays and gifting to family and friends.
Why you'll love this recipe
These are a classic Italian cookie with its origins in the regions of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise. There, the most traditional flavor is anise. This lemon pizzelle recipe is a variation on the classic without the liquorice flavor.
There is a beautiful tradition in Italy of family pizzelle irons having their own special designs. Maybe made especially for a bride and groom as a wedding gift and handed down from generation to generation.
You'll love how quick and easy these pizzells are to make. The batter is mixed by hand and comes together in just minutes. And cooking them on the pizzelle iron is just the easiest task.
Yes, you will need a pizzelle iron to make this lemon pizzelle recipe but you won't regret it. Mine is from Italy but there are many versions available with different designs. There are also a stovetop variation.
I make these delicious pizzells for gifts, parties and anytime I need a sweet treat that's not going to take too much time. My Gingerbread Pizzelle have been a hit at Christmas and Chocolate Pizzelle are welcomed year round! While an electric pizzelle iron is a single use appliance I have also made Norwegian krumkake with it with great results.
For complete ingredient quantities and full instructions, please scroll to the printable recipe card bottom of the page.
- Eggs - I like to use large, free range eggs that have lovely yellow yolks.
- Sugar - My preference is superfine sugar but regular white sugar is fine.
- Oil - I always use light olive oil. Be sure to use an oil you like the taste of and check that it is fresh. You could also substitute melted, cooled butter or vegetable oil but either way the pizzells won't last as long.
- Lemon Zest - Finely grated lemon zest contains all the flavorful oils. If you don't have a lemon on hand, use ½ teaspoon of lemon oil or extract. You may even prefer it if you like a dominant lemon flavor.
- All Purpose Flour - Regular flour is all the is required.
- Salt - Just a pinch to bring out the flavor of the lemon.
- Powdered Sugar - I like to dust my lemon pizzelle with powdered sugar but it's not necessary nor traditional.
You may wonder why there is no baking powder in this recipe. This is the traditional recipe for pizzelle from Abruzzo. I have tested this recipe with and without baking powder and found no difference. However if you wish you can add 2 teaspoons of baking powder along with the flour.
Making these lemon pizzelle couldn't be easier! You don't need an electric mixer to prepare the batter - just a bowl and a whisk.
- Preheat the pizzelle iron according to manufacture's instructions.
- In a bowl using a hand whisk, combine the eggs, sugar, light olive oil and lemon zest. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
- Gently whisk in the flour and salt. The batter should be a thick cake batter consistency which falls easily from a spoon. It shouldn't be thin enough to pour off a spoon. If necessary, incorporate a little more flour.
- Place a heaped tablespoon (the amount of batter will depend on the size of your iron - you may need to experiment with quantity of batter) on the hot pizzelle iron. Don't place it quite in the centre - the batter should be a little towards the back because as you close the iron it will push the batter towards the front.
- Close the lid and bake for 30 seconds/1 minute depending on the size of your iron. The cookie should be light golden. Some spots will be lighter and some will be darker.
- Remove carefully with a silcone spatula and cool completely on a wire rack.
Tips for Success and FAQ's
Firstly, it's really important to preheat the pizzelle iron thoroughly. This will prevent sticking. Non-stick pizzelle irons don't cause too much trouble. I like to use a light film of oil rubbed onto the plates of the iron before heating. Like a wok a good pizzelle iron becomes "seasoned" after several uses)
Set aside a little bit of time. Don't rush. These pizzelle cookies are made individually but they do cook quickly. Stay close to the pizzelle iron, keeping an eye on the cookies so that they don't burn.
Expect that the first couple may not work out. These are the cook's treat!
Don't make this lemon pizzelle recipe on a humid day. This may cause the pizzells to be soft and not crispy.
Once baked, remove from the pizzelle iron and cool completely on a wire rack. Don't stack cookies on top of each other until completely cooled. If the weather is very humid or rainy, this may cause lemon pizzelle to be soft.
The batter is not thick like a cookie nor is it as thin as pouring cream. It is spoonable. Use my measurements to ensure perfect results.
Possibly the pizzelle maker has not be heated sufficiently. Set the batter aside and allow the iron to come fully to temperature. Also lightly oil the pizzelle maker removing any excess with kitchen paper towel.
Made this recipe?
Let me know if you liked it by leaving a ★★★★★ star rating and a review below. Please share a photo of your creation by tagging me on Instagram @marcellina.in.cucina!
- 3 eggs
- ⅔ cup superfine (castor) sugar superfine
- ½ cup light tasting olive oil see "ingredients" section above
- zest of 1 lemon finely grated see notes for variations
- 1½ cups (200 grams) all purpose (plain) flour more if needed to achieve correct consistency
- pinch salt
- powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat pizzelle iron according to manufacture's instructions.
- In a medium bowl lightly whisk together eggs, sugar, olive oil and lemon zest until combined. Stir in flour and salt.
- The batter should be a thick cake batter consistency which falls easily from a spoon. It shouldn't be thin enough to pour off a spoon. If necessary, incorporate a little more flour.
- Cook pizzelle according to instruction supplied with your pizzelle iron.
- Allow to cool and dust with powdered sugar if desired. Store in airtight container.
- Orange Pizzelle - Substitute orange zest for lemon zest.
Nutritional Information Per Serving
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. For accurate results, it is recommended that the nutritional information be calculated based on the ingredients and brands you use.
We are huge pizzelle lovers in our family! We have never tried them with lemon before though! Such a delight!
I was unhappy with this recipe using olive oil. It leaves a terrible taste in your mouth. I've made biscotti for years, several recipes with vegetable oil or butter and they are delicious.
I'm sorry to hear that, Joan. I love the taste of olive oil so it doesn't bother me or has ever bother any of my family and friends who eat these lemon pizzelle in abundance!! As I specify in the recipe, I always use light olive oil - that mean light tasting olive oil. Did you check the taste and freshness of the olive oil you used? Olive oil can become rancid and will leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth. You need to use something you like the taste of. Of course, as I specified in the ingredients section above the recipe, you can use melted cooled butter if you prefer. Olive oil is authentic in pizzelle recipes from Abruzzo where they originate. I do hope you try this recipe again using a delicious and light tasting olive oil.
this classic Italian cookie is so delicious!!
Hello Kathleen, so sorry about that. I was in the process of updating the recipe which has now been done with lots more information. I have added the variation for the chocolate pizzelle in the notes section of the recipe card. Hope that helps!
Thanks so much, Marcellina. I have a brand new Pizzelle machine and I can't wait to use it. I'm going to try your gingerbread pizzelles. Can't wait for next weekend.
That's great, Kathleen! I love making pizzelle. Actually making some this week as a gift. They're always well received! Enjoy using your new Pizzelle machine!
I have made both the plain and gingerbread pizzelle and love both! So simple but so tasty! I didn’t have molasses so I substituted with maple syrup when I made the gingerbread version and they were amazing. Will definitely be making another batch for Christmas as they have disappeared already!
Thankyou for the amazing recipes.
Hi there Marcellina my in-laws were from Pescara Abruzzo and my MIL had a manual iron she would make her pizzelle with over a gas burner turning manually. She made them regularly. I wish she was able to see these new electric machines like the one I purchased from Costante. My family were from Calabria and we never heard of them Now I make them for my family (husband) and they are devoured.
Sarina Melchiorre xx
Hi Sarina! How lovely to hear from you. My mum was from Calabria too! I only heard of pizzelle from US websites about 10 years ago. Once I got my machine, I couldn't stop making them. You'll be the same, for sure! I'd love to see a photo of your pizzelle. It's so easy with the electric machine but I would love to see a manual one in action. It must be such an art to cooking the pizzelle just right and not burning them. Do you still have the manual iron? Thanks for your message. I really love hearing from my readers xx
Sadly I don't have the manual pizzelle maker. I was young and didnt appreciate the tradition. At the time I remember thinking how on earth can you be bothered to make these cookies one by one and standing over the the gas cooker cooking them individually.
She would have loved these fancy electric makers that are out now. Now my kids and husband get to enjoy them like the old days.
Ciao bella xx
i LIVE IN ARIZONA AND MY IRON IS 40 YEARS OLD AND IF IT EVER STOPS WORKING I WANT ANOTHER ONE LIKE THE ONE I HAVE. IT BRAKES I WIOUK TO KNOW WHER I CAN FIND ONE. THANKS INES TILGHMAN
Hello Ines! I'm not sure which iron you have. Here in Australia I get mine from Costante Imports a business which imports Italian products. I would think you should be able to get an iron from Amazon. Good luck but I hope your iron keeps working for many years! xx
As an Italo Australian I never heard of them until a few weeks ago on the italian American Facebook page. I would like ot buy a pizzelle maker and found them at the place you recommended in Melbourne.
As this appliance doesn't seem to be a non stick opne, my question is, do you just put abit of butter on the pan to ensure that the pizzelle don't stick to the mould?
Hi Mina! Welcome to Marcellina in Cucina, I'm so glad you dropped by! I'm in the same boat as you - my family never made them. In fact, even my cousins in Italy don't make them. Pizzelle are very particular to a couple of areas of Italy.
Don't worry about the iron not being non-stick. I usually use a little bit of oil and brush the pizzelle iron however that's just precautionary. If you use my recipe, you'll find the oil in the batter ensure nothing gets stuck. Don't wash the cooking surface when you are finished. Just wipe well with paper towel and the outside of the appliance with a damp cloth once it has cooled. I store my pizzelle iron with a sheet of paper towel between the cooking surface to absorb any oil that I may have missed.
Enjoy your pizzelle iron and and enjoy eating lots of pizzelle! If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to contact me.
I do hope to see you back here soon!
Hello Marcelina: my husbands family is from Cozenza, Calabria. My mother in law made these and taught me how to make them as well as many other yummy dishes. So glad I found your website. We still have cousins in the Colac area outside of Melbourne! Happy holidays!
Hello Barbara! I am so happy to hear from you! I have friends who are from Cosenza though I have never been there. Calabria is intriguing and I would love to get back to explore further. That's wonderful that your mother-in-law taught you so many of her recipes. I've been lucky with my mother-in-law as well (she is from Piedmont). My daughter lives in Melbourne! What a coincidence! Happy holidays to you and your family!
I’m onto my second pizzelle maker. Second one I found at a second hand store.
That's a great find! Hang onto it!
I love Pizzelle but admit to only buying them, as I don't have the equipment needed to make them.
Love this version with olive oil. It's now my new baking oil! 🙂
Berny @ I Only Eat Desserts
Yumm these look so tasty and pretty - that iron is gorgeous too 🙂
I must say I don't have one of those irons, but now I want one. Those wafers looks beautiful.
Marcellina In Cucina
Frank, this iron is one of my favourite kitchen appliances! And yes, these are delicious! Thank you for your kind comment!