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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.


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.

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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 112 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


  • 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


  • cups powdered 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 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.


  • 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.


  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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Recipe Rating


  1. 3 stars
    the dough was so sticky could not even roll it. had to add about 1/3 c additional flour now taste dry. I followed the recipe exactly. does it matter what kind of olive oil you use? mine was not extra virgin. it was olive oil for sauteing and grilling

    1. Diane, the oil should not make a difference. As the recipe says, the dough will be “soft and sticky”. The resting time will help the dough become a little easier to roll but it should still be soft. You found out the adding extra flour makes these cookies dry as does overcooking. Sounds to me like you did make the dough correctly. If you really had trouble you could have added a spoonful of flour but not a lot more. The oil in the dough helps to keep it from sticking to your hands though it can be a bit messy…that’s what makes moist cookies! Use a cookie scoop or two teaspoons to shape the dough. You can also oil your palms to help the dough not stick too much.

  2. 5 stars
    I made these cookies on cookie making day at my daughter’s for Xmas, my recipe for these calls for crisco, we didn’t have any so I looked on Pinterest for an alternative
    and found this recipe! I like it better than my old one they are so good! I added a bit more flour to handle them. They were perfect!

  3. 5 stars
    Made them this evening and froze some for Christmas but I’m sure we will eat them all before that. Delicious!

    1. Yes, you can leave out the nuts, Susan. Also, you could replace the nuts with more chocolate (maybe white chocolate chips?), chopped candied fruit, dried cranberries or raisins.

  4. 5 stars
    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!

      1. My nonna used raisins. She would always rehydrate them, simply in a bowl of water for about 20 minutes or while you prep the batter, before adding them to the mix. It worked. They were so moist that way!

    1. hello
      Can you freeze these already iced? or should you freeze plain and ice them when thawed? grazie!

      1. 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!

      1. 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.

  5. 5 stars
    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

  6. 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!

    1. 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.

  7. I love the chunky look of these biscuits Marcellina, and your presentation sells them so well. A must try.

  8. 5 stars
    Loving these italian chocolate cookies! They remind me of what my grandma used to make!

  9. I love chunky tall look of these chocolate cookies. The icing and sprinkles make them even more tempting.

  10. I always thought these cookies were Sicilian or from Calabria. I grew up eating something very similar and they're on my blog as Italian Christmas "brownies."