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!!
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 bottom of the page.
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!
Preheat the oven to 350ºF/160ºC and line two large baking trays with non stick baking paper.
- Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, spices and salt.
- Beat eggs. Add sugar and beat until pale then drizzle in olive oil, milk and vanilla.
- Stir in flour mixture in two lots.
- Then add walnuts and mini chocolate chips and mix to combine.
- After resting, form balls and place on lined baking sheet. Bake and cool.
- Combine icing ingredients. Spread a little icing on each cookie and decorate with colored sprinkles.
Tips for success and FAQ's
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.
Store at room temperature in an airtight container with non stick or wax paper between the layers for 5 days.
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
Cantuccini (Almond Biscotti)
Sponge Fingers (Savoiardi)
Italian Anise Cookies
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!
This updated recipe was first published on June 25, 2012.
Italian Chocolate Cookies Recipe
- 2⅓ cups all (plain) purpose flour
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup milk
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup walnuts chopped medium fine
- 1 cup mini choc chips
- 1½ cups powdered (icing) sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk more if necessary
- sprinkles for decorating
- 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 rounded teaspoonsful of the dough and roll between your palms into a ball. 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.
- 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.
- 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
- fresh walnuts for best results
- be sure to rest the dough before forming cookies and baking
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.
can I use canola oil instead of olive oil
Yes, you can. The flavor will be slightly different but they will still work.
These cookies are absolutely amazing! I added 1/2 cold coffee and swapped out the olive oil for 1/2 crisco only because that’s what my grandmother used! Thank you for sharing!
I'm happy you loved these so much, Marlena! Thank you for coming back to leave feedback. I always appreciate it!
Can you add raisins to these?
I can't see why not, Cathy. That'd be delicious!
Can you freeze these already iced? or should you freeze plain and ice them when thawed? grazie!
Michele, it's best to freeze uniced. However, I have frozen these chocolate cookies iced and the results are quite good. The important thing is that when thawing, don't take the cookies out of the sealed container that they are in. Hope that helps!
How do I make these less sticky? The dough is almost impossible to work with
Bethany, you can add a little more flour to make this dough not as soft. This dough is meant to be soft and sticky because these cookies bake up with a beautiful soft texture. Let the dough sit for 20-30 minutes so that the flour absorbs as much liquid as possible. Even though the dough is soft, the oil in the dough will help is not stick to your hands. If it's still too sticky for you - add a little flour. Hope that helps.
i made these today and put in freezer for xmass .wow they are really good .i have a few chocolate italian cookies i make every year which are very good .but these were extra good and so soft i am putting them in my xmass cookie file for next next too.my huband ate five
before i froze them
Great idea to start getting ready for Christmas, Judi! Glad your husband enjoyed them too!
How are the these cookies different from the Italian chocolate cookie recipe that’s extremely similar with no chocolate chips, no olive oil, but the other recipe does contain one cup of coffee. Has anyone made both recipes and compared them? Thanks!
Hi Maria, I don't know which recipe you are talking about but it does seem rather different. This recipe is adapted from one that my friend Greg Patent learnt from an Italian lady. Certainly the chocolate chips are optional but my Italian cousins love chocolate chips so I include them. The olive oil in this recipe creates a soft and moist cookie which may be different to the recipe you're talking about. These are nutty, sweetly spiced and chocolatey. I think you like them.
I love the chunky look of these biscuits Marcellina, and your presentation sells them so well. A must try.
Thank you Pauline! These are really tasty too!