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Italian Chocolate Cookies

These Italian Chocolate Cookies are so easy to make and your kitchen will be filled with wonderful baking smells!

Blending TWO types of chocolate with the crunchiness of walnuts, these cookies are a must for lovers of chocolate. And a surprising ingredient ensures moist cookies!!

three chocolate cookies with white frosting and sprinkles stacked with extra cookies around all on a wire rack.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Italian chocolate cookies are rich, lightly spiced and perfect for gift giving. Moist and almost cake-like, these cookies are prettily decorated with white icing and colored sprinkles.

Just like other Italian cookies (think baci di dama, cuccidati, pignoli cookies or Italian peach cookies), these cookies are super flavorful and fun to make and eat!!

Packed with crunchy walnuts and lots of chocolate chips, these Italian chocolate cookies are popular during the holidays but also ideal year round. Make a batch to share today!

For complete ingredient quantities and full instructions, please scroll to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.

Ingredient notes

Here’s what you’ll need.

  • all purpose plain flour – nothing fancy here
  • superfine (castor) sugar – dissolves much more easily
  • cocoa powder – dutch processed for extra dark chocolateyness
  • baking powder – to give just the correct amount of rise
  • spices – cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg
  • eggs, milk and vanilla extract
  • walnuts – you’ll want some texture so don’t chop these too fine
  • mini dark chocolate chips – or use regular chocolate chips in dark, milk or white
  • extra virgin olive oil – the surprising ingredient that add so much moisture and flavor

Plus powdered (icing) sugar with a little bit of milk for the icing. Colored sprinkles are a must!

ingredient for italian chocolate cookies as shown in the recipe card.

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350ºF/160ºC and line two large baking trays with non stick baking paper.

6-step photo collage showing how to make italian chocolate cookies.
  1. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, spices and salt.
  2. Beat eggs. Add sugar and beat until pale then drizzle in olive oil, milk and vanilla.
  3. Stir in flour mixture in two lots.
  4. Then add walnuts and mini chocolate chips and mix to combine.
  5. After resting, form balls and place on lined baking sheet. Bake and cool.
  6. Combine icing ingredients. Spread a little icing on each cookie and decorate with colored sprinkles.

Tips for success and FAQ’s

white frosting covered chocolate cookies on wire rack with retro knife.

To make really good Italian Chocolate Cookies it’s really important not to over-bake otherwise they will be dry. These cookies should be soft and moist.

Use large or extra large eggs and fresh walnuts for best results. And don’t omit the resting – it’s essential for this recipe.

How do I store these cookies?

Store at room temperature in an airtight container with non stick or wax paper between the layers for 5 days.

Can Italian Chocolate Cookies be frozen?

Yes! Freeze in an airtight container for up to one month (possibly longer). When thawing, don’t remove instead thaw cookies completely in the container.

More recipes like this

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Sponge Fingers (Savoiardi)
Gingerbread Pizzelle
Italian Anise Cookies
Chocolate Pizzelle

Made this recipe?
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This updated recipe was first published on June 25, 2012.

white frosting covered chocolate cookies on wire rack.

Italian Chocolate Cookies Recipe

Rich chocolate cookies packed with crunchy walnuts and lots of chocolate chips then topped with icing and sprinkles.
4.99 from 111 votes
Print Pin Review
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 57 minutes
Servings:36 cookies
Author: Marcellina

Ingredients

  • 2⅓ cups (290 grams) all (plain) purpose flour
  • cup (32.5 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon See Note 1
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg See Note 1
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves See Note 1
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup white granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (120mls) extra virgin olive oil See Note 2
  • ½ cup (120mls) whole milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup walnuts chopped medium fine
  • 1 cup mini choc chips

Icing

  • cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk more if necessary
  • sprinkles for decorating

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF/160ºC and line two large baking trays with non stick baking paper.
  • Whisk (or sieve) together flour, cocoa, baking powder, spices and salt.
  • With  a whisk attachment on the an electric mixer beat together eggs until frothy then slowly add sugar. Beat until pale and thick.
  • Slowly drizzle in the olive oil followed by milk and vanilla.
  • Using a wooden spoon, add the flour mixture in two lots, stirring until smooth.
  • Stir through the walnuts and mini choc chips.
  • The dough will be soft and sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Take a rounded teaspoonful of the dough and roll between your palms into a ball. If the dough is impossible to roll add a spoonful of flour but not a lot – this dough is meant to be sticky. Check the photos above to compare with your dough.
  • Place the balls on the prepared trays allowing room for spreading and rising.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes. Don't over bake – these are meant to be soft and moist. The cookies will rise and form a few cracks. Cool on the trays for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool.
  • Spread a small amount of icing on each cookie and decorate with coloured sprinkles. Allow icing to set before serving or storing.

Icing

  • If the sugar has lumps, sieve before using.
  • Mix the powdered (icing) sugar and milk together to form a thick but spreadable icing. Add more milk if needed.

Notes

  1. If you prefer a spicier cookies, slightly increase either or all of the ground cinnamon, grated nutmeg or ground cloves.
  2. Use light flavored  or regular olive oil instead of extra virgin olive oil.
Tips for success
  • It’s really important not to over-bake otherwise they will be dry. These cookies should be soft and moist.
  • Use large eggs.
  • Fresh walnuts for best results.
  • Be sure to rest the dough before forming cookies and baking.
  • Use a cookie scoop or two teaspoons to help shape the dough. 
  • Lightly oil your hands to help the dough not stick too much. It will be a bit messy but that means that your cookies will be deliciously moist!
How to store
Store at room temperature in an airtight container with non stick or wax paper between the layers for 5 days.
How to freeze
Yes! Freeze in an airtight container for up to one month (possibly longer). When thawing, don’t remove instead thaw cookies completely in the container.
These cookies have be adapted from a recipe for Roman Chocolate Cookies in Greg Patent’s cookbook “A Baker’s Odyssey”.
Tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and leave a comment below!

Nutritional Estimate Per Serving

Calories: 5138kcal | Carbohydrates: 729g | Protein: 74g | Fat: 228g | Saturated Fat: 55g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 370mg | Sodium: 926mg | Potassium: 2499mg | Fiber: 29g | Sugar: 460g | Vitamin A: 1148IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 1049mg | Iron: 26mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

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.

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53 Comments

    1. This recipe can easily be made dairy free by substituting the dairy milk for any non dairy milk and using dairy free chocolate chips. While I have never tested this recipe using 1:1 gluten free flour, it is quite possible that it will work. I hope that helps, Jill.

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious moist cookie with a decadent chocolate taste. The cookie was perfectly moist ! I did oil my palms when rolling due to the stickiness of the dough , and they rolled with ease . The only thing I would change is to add a pinch more clove spice if you want to taste the clove . Otherwise , couldn’t be a more perfect cookie !

    1. Thank you for your wonderful comment, Natalie! Yes, oiling will definitely help when rolling the cookies. I have to agree. I enjoy a bit of extra clove spice too. I’ll make that note in the recipe just in case there are others like us!

  2. 5 stars
    These biscuits (Aussie here) are delicious. I enjoyed making them and just a tiny bit wish I was not on the No Sugar Low Carb way of eating. Naturally I had to sample one. Wow! I will try to make the ingredients suit MWE so I can enjoy the beautiful flavours. I am sure my friends who will be the recipients will also love them. Thank you Marcellina.

      1. 5 stars
        Marcelina,

        I would love to make these cookies for Easter.

        My grandson has a dairy allergy. I noticed on a prior post that the cookies should be fine if 2% milk was used. Would that hold true for almond milk and/or oat milk?

        Thank you,
        Joanna

    1. This cookie recipe is good just not as amped up as I want a chocolate meatball cookie. Next time I’ll use 1/2 tsp of ground cloves at least.

    1. Either way, Lori. You can leave the ground cloves out altogether or substitute with ground cinnamon or another spice that you like – maybe ground ginger?