Dec 2

How To Make Pizzelles + Recipe

Pizzelles Recipe

My husband has been begging me to make pizzelles for weeks, telling me all about how his grandmother made them every year for Christmas. How an Italian cookie became a Polish family tradition is beyond me...

So I scoured the Internet for a pizzelle recipe and using several different sites created one that sounded like what he'd described. Only problem? We didn't own a pizzelle iron.

Traditionally pizzelles were baked over an open fire, a hot and tedious undertaking. Thank goodness for modern conveniences -- we can now purchase electric pizzelle irons that make baking pizzelles simple and easy. After a little research, I settled on this CucinaPro Non-Stick Pizzelle Baker. Wow, is it ever shiny and pretty!

If you're not a fan of the flavor of anise, a common spice in pizzelles that has a flavor akin to licorice, don't worry. Pizzelles are wonderfully flexible when it comes to both flavoring and shaping them. Vanilla, chocolate, almond, citrus, these are all fabulous flavors to add, and warm pizzelles can be shaped into cones, cannoli, bowls, tacos, and more.

I opted to keep my cookies simple, just flavoring them with Scharffen Berger Natural Cocoa Powder and Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract. When you're making a recipe as simple as this, high-quality ingredients make all the difference!

Basic Vanilla Pizzelles Recipe

Yield: 2 dozen

Basic Vanilla Pizzelles Recipe


  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder


  1. Beat eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl approximately 2 to 3 minutes, until they're fluffy and a light yellow color.
  2. Slowly drizzle in melted and cooled butter and add vanilla extract.
  3. Using a spatula, fold in flour and baking powder just until incorporated into the wet ingredients.
  4. Bake one tablespoon per mold in pizzelle maker until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Remove and cool on rack.
  5. Chocolate Pizzelles Variation
  6. Omit vanilla in recipe above, adding 3 tablespoons of quality unsweetened cocoa powder sifted and 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar.

Tips for making perfect pizzelles:

  • Even though I used a non-stick pizzelle maker, I still recommend misting the molds lightly with oil before the first use.
  • Place your tablespoon of batter slightly behind the center of the mold because it will spread forward as you close the lid. It may help to have a second spoon to help scoop the batter off the tablespoon.
  • Speaking of closing the lid, do it slowly to allow steam to escape easily and not burn the heck out of your fingers. Don't ask...
  • Have a cooling rack easily accessible next to the pizzelle maker. I found the best process for me was to use a wooden spatula to remove the pizzelles from the maker to the cooling rack, start the next batch of pizzelles cooking, and then move the cooled pizzelles to a stack to make room for the next round of hot ones.
  • The pizzelles will be very flexible when you remove them from the pizzelle iron. They will stiffen up as they cool. I actually prefer them after they sit for about a day, but they don't often last that long!
  • If you want to mold your pizzelles into a different shape, do it while they're still warm and flexible. Get creative!

Making pizzelles on Christmas Eve is a tradition for our family!

by Tara | 79 comments

  • Jodi

    Thank you so much for this post! I've been craving pizzelles and thinking about buying a maker. The CucinaPro maker you got is the exact one I was looking at! I'd love to know what you think of it! Thanks!!

    • Tara

      I was very pleased with it, Jodi! I don't really have anything to compare it to, but I found it very simple to use. The pizzelles turned out excellent, and cleaning it up when I was done was super easy -- always important to me!

    • Anne

      I have the CucinaPro pizzelle baker and have been using it for over 2 years. It is wonderful, every pizzelle comes out beautifully and I have been very happy with it. It seems to be a heavy duty design (my last one was plastic and burned out in a year) and I would highly recommended this pizzelle maker if anyone is looking to buy one.

      • Suzanne

        Hi I just bought the Cucina Pro pizzelle maker and tried a batch with the recipe in the book. They tasted great, but not pretty - I tried different amounts of batter, placing it in different places on the grid, etc., and they are either lopsided, or run over the edge. Any sugestions? Do you use a level tablespoon of batter? Thanks!

        • Tara

          I found that they did have a tendency to run over the edges, especially with the chocolate batter because it had a slightly runnier consistency. I used a rounded tablespoon of batter and placed it just behind the center of the grid since it pushes the batter forward as you close it. As long as it fills the mold evenly, runover should be okay because it's pretty easy to break it off once they cool.

          • Suzanne

            Thank you Tara for the feedback about the trouble I'm having making pizzelles with the Cucina Pro. (issues with them being unevenly shaped, batter running over, etc.) I wondered if it was just this particular model, but they all seem to be designed the same. I did wonder if you have to trim the pizzelle while warm with kitchen scissors or something to make a nice edge. I guess I just need more practice in placing the batter in the correct place on the grid. Breaking off the excess after they cool is a good idea too.

        • Lynn

          While the pizzelles are hot from the iron I use scissors to trim the edges. my grandchildren love to nibble on the scraps and my pizzelles are picture perfect with scallopped edges.

  • Heather

    Somehow my Polish family also created a tradition for these Italian cookies. And my husband's family too. We're having a cookie exchange in a couple weeks and I am gearing up for a long day infront of my pizzelle iron.

    • Megan

      Thanks for another great post! Making pizzelles is something my Polish family also did/does. I'm keeping the tradition alive and made a batch this year using vanilla, though I also really like using almond extract, too. However, the pizzelle iron I borrowed from my mom makes smaller pizzelles than the ones my grandma used to make, and the edges aren't as pretty as yours (or hers). Maybe I'll have to invest in my own pizzelle iron soon. ;-) Oh, and I've never tried/made the chocolate version, so that's another thing on my to-do list!

  • Deb

    We love Pizzelles. I think that they are traditionally made with Anise extract, but I hate licorice anything, so we always go with vanilla. They are wonderful with coffee. =) We aren't Polish or Italian....

    • Tara

      Yep, they do use anise seeds or anise extract traditionally, but we don't care for licorice either.


    This looks like it will be a fun newsletter/website! I just signed up so please don't forget to enter me to win that gorgeous Scanpan CTX 5-Piece Cookware set! Best wishes!

  • Trish

    thank you! I will be adding a pizzelle maker to my dear santa list this year. lol

  • Katie | GoodLife Eats

    I have never made these before, but they look and sound really yummy! And your pictures look great. :)

  • krista

    Thanks so much for the recipe!!

  • Gabriela

    I love the anise flavor. I've been making these cookies for years. Have worn out 2 pizzelle makers. We sprinkle ours with powdered sugar.

  • briskmamma

    Interesting recipe. I have eaten similar cookie in Prague. I think it is their traditional cookie...

  • heather

    I had a pizzelle for the first time on holiday in Maine this summer, and as one who knows about pizzelles might expect, fell in love immediately. A pizzelle maker would be great and having the treat fresh even more so, but for now I'll have to search out an Italian bakery!



  • Kasey Angle

    I am excited to see your recipes....I am always up for new ideas. First time here, please dont forget to enter me in the drawing for the ScanPan CTX 5 piece cookware. I was really impressed with it being nonstick and you can use metal utensils!!!! HOw exciting.....I dont kow how many times I have cringed over my pans when someone comes to use a metal utensils. EEEKS....Thank you and look forward to great recipes!

  • Dianna

    Oh thank you! I haven't had a pizelle in years!

  • Tricia P.

    I am also polish, and you guessed it, theses were a holiday tradition in our house. Dust them with powered sugar as they cool.

  • Gianna

    I make these often. My favorite way to make them is to replace the vanilla with some annisette liquor.

  • Kasey

    I love vanilla pizelles, and I wish I had the space for one of those pizelle makers! I'm going to have to ask around and see if I can borrow one...

  • Rina

    FYI, Poland had an Italian Queen in the Renaissance. Hence, things like borcht with cheese stuffed tortellini, and pizelli are found throughout Poland. Pizelli is the plural of pizelle. Also, I would like to mention that in my family's dialect, Pizelli is also called "Ciarle" I don't know how to spell it because my Nonna immigrated as a child and was illiterate, but as children, we used to call it "Charlie". And, in the 60's it was popular to roll the pizelli in the oven and fill with cream, peasant canolli, I think.

    • Tara

      Wow, thanks for the quick history lesson, Rina. That's fascinating stuff! I know what you mean about not knowing how to spell things. My great-grandma emigrated from Hungary, so there are a good many dishes that I know by their Hungarian names but have no clue how to spell.

      • Rina

        Your most welcome, Online interaction is my favourite bedside activity, I have been sick for over a week! And in my clogged-minded state, I forgot to mention that I love your blog! I just found it and am quite pleased. I have already Evernoted some of your urls for future dinner parties. Thanks, and hopefully you will be up for my ongoing banter ;-)

        • Tara

          I'm glad to have you here, Rina! I'm not new to blogging (my other site is ), but Unsophisticook and food blogging is a new venture for me. I love it so far!

  • lala

    Sorry, I believe that they should only be made with anise; anything is an abomination. I too dislike licorice, but I love pizzelles. If they are made properly, the anise flavor is not overpowering.

    • Tracy B.

      I agree, however, most everybody i know doesn't like black licorice, so why not try different flavors for different tastes?

  • Linda davis

    I had these in France served with ice-cream ! They were wonderful ! I must buy a pizzelle maker. Thanks for the pizzelle recipe !

  • Elizabeth

    Cześć, jeśli nie mam maszyny do pieczenia pizzelle czy mogę upiec ciasteczka na patelni?

  • Katherine

    I'm jut amazed that I just in the past few weks FOUND a cookie called Pizzelle... what rock have I been hiding under! My Goodness! I'm ADDICTED! The heck with Christmas, I'll eat them YEAR ROUND! I just can't seem to find a iron anywhere near me and HATE to order off the internet. Yes, I'm chicken to give out my card numbers to websites. I did see one recipie that absolutely did NOT call for baking soda. They said it would make the cookie tough. But the batter was awfully thin! I think if I ever find a cookie maker, I'll use your recipie instead. Thank you so much for the information. And please! enter me in your contest! Thanks again so much!

  • JA

    Can I make pizzelle without a pizzelle cooker???? Can I just bake them in an oven or in a skillet on top of the stove

    • Tara @ Unsophisticook

      The original pizzelle irons were used on the stovetop, but I don't think you could make them successfully in just a skillet. They're similar to a waffle and need to be pressed to achieve this.

    • Donna

      No you must have a Pizzelle iron to make these cookies. I bought mine on ebay and I have a villaware iron.

  • kristen

    I made these last night and they turned out soft and had no flavor. I threw the batter away.

    • Tara @ Unsophisticook

      Hi Kristen! If you followed the recipe exactly, it sounds like maybe they were slightly undercooked. They will be super soft coming off the press (this is what allows you to form them into shapes as I mentioned in the post), but they should become crisp as they cool. If they don't crisp up, they probably weren't cooked long enough.

      It usually takes me a few tries to find the perfect timing. Thirty seconds is a good rule, but I also watch for the steam to stop escaping from the sides of the press. I don't ever use the sensor light on the press as this typically does not provide good results.

      You can definitely add more vanilla to the recipe if you prefer a stronger flavor. Make sure you use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.

  • Camilo

    I love pizzelles and thought I'd add a little tip. Adding the juice of a whole lemon, as well as a little bit of grated peel gives the pizzelles a nice tangy flavor. Everybody I've given these to loves this touch.
    Also, if people like the pizzelles a little cakier, not latching the press makes a nice fluffy pizzelle as opposed to a crispy one. It seems to stay warm longer and is a little more dessert-y.

  • Amanda

    Thank you so much for this receipe!! These were delicious!! I made them for my family and within two hours they were gone! I will definitely be making these again!!

  • Katie

    I just found this on pinterest and I can't wait to make it...I have to save up a bit for the pizzelle maker but it can be done. Thank you so much!

    Love, Katie

  • Kate

    In our family, we time the pizzelle by saying one "Hail Mary." Who knew Mary was Italian???

  • Randy

    Wow - used your recipe for my first go around with my pizzelle maker. Great!!!!

    • Tara @ Unsophisticook

      Glad you liked it, Randy!

  • Sheryl

    How is the best way to store pizzelles. How long a shelf life do they have.

    • Tara @ Unsophisticook

      Good question, Sheryl! You can store pizzelles in an airtight container for up to two weeks. They do have a tendency to absorb moisture from the air and soften up, but you can quickly remedy this by popping them back into a warm oven (about 350 degrees) for just a few minutes. Be sure to check on them frequently!

      • Donna

        hello, so glad to find this recipe, i have a pizzelle maker and for the first tme in over 12 years , i lost my recipe book tha with it, OMG i was lost. but thought i'd add a few tips as long as i was here just to show my for storing them, yes you can put them in air tight container and they will last probably up to 2 weeks providing your not in humid weather, humidity will make they soggy, still good to eat but they lose the crispy-ness. i make these every christmas along with a few other occassions during the year. at christmas i make so many i have to start early, like November, i store them in ziplock bags, making sue you get the air out and put them in the freezer. DONOT powder sugar them until your ready to take out and serve, the defrost quickly so 1/2 before serving is close enough. I have kept these in my freezer up to 4-6 months. sometimes when i know theweather is going to get hot i make them and then i have them for the summer and don't have to stand over the steam. also i have been creative and taken half the batter or 1/3 of the batter and colored it with food coloring for the occassion, christmas - red green, halloween - orange, baby shower - blue/pink/white and i put a little dap of each color in the center of the press and they just blend nicely while they bake. i've made the chocolate and yes the batter consistancy is a little different but you'll get the hang of it after a few tries. i've also made the regular all white batter and after cooling i melt chocolate disc and white chocolate discs and drizzel them over the pizzelles and place them in the feezer for a few minutes to chill, you can leave themthere until ready to serve and then powder sugar them. i have such fun making my pizzelles and get so many compliments on the variatons...only your imagination can stop you. i hope this has been a help to someone...thanks again for posting, helping my granddaughter make these tonite for school tomorrow

        • Tara @ Unsophisticook

          So many great suggestions, Donna -- thank you!

  • Ana

    used the recipe last night instead of Grandmas, It turned out GREAT! I followed the instructions and the kids went through them ALL last night... None left this morning..

  • Diana

    Just found your the info I gathered....and added a pizzelle maker to my wish list! If Santa doesn't think I need it, I will just get it. Love making cookies at Christmas and always looking for new ideas! Bookmarked your site! Thanks for the info

  • Allyson

    About how many pizzelles does this recipe make?

    • Tara @ Unsophisticook

      Hmm, I haven't made them yet this year, so I'm having trouble visualizing just how many it makes (plus we eat so many as we're making them, LOL). I'd estimate it's about 2 dozen or so, but I will update the post for sure later this week.

    • Tara @ Unsophisticook

      Sorry it took me so long to get a figure, Allyson. A single batch of the recipe makes about 2 dozen pizzelles.

  • rita sullivan

    Can I use splenda instead of sugar?

    • Tara @ Unsophisticook

      I don't use Splenda in my baking, so I really can't say, Rita. Sorry!

  • sally ingram

    I have a villaware pizzelle iron but i keep losing my recipies

  • Bob meadows

    I make the best pizzelle !

    • adrienne

      so where is the recipe?

  • Don Eubank

    I have been making pizzelles now for about 50 years, I'm on my second iron. Anyway for Christmas and parities, when the batter is all mixed up I divide it in half. Then I put some red food coloring in half, then green in the other half. It takes about 12 drops each. Make small balls of each color press them side by side then bake it. It sure make a beautiful cookie for Christmas. And for July 4, do the same thing only make them red, white and blue. The white is just the natural of the batter. A few time you will catch on and they are well received by all. Enjoy. I always make about 10 doz.

    • Tara @ Unsophisticook

      Love this idea -- thanks for sharing!

  • Donna F

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I have the CucinaPro Pizzelle Baker and just love it, but have misplaced (lost) the recipe book. Today is Christmas Eve and my grandkids are coming on Weds and I need pizzelles for them, but you have saved me.

    Again thanks and Merry Christmas.

    • Tara @ Unsophisticook

      We made them tonight, Donna! It's our Christmas Eve tradition.

  • Diana

    Santa thought I was a god girl and delivered a Chef Choice Pixxelle Maker under my tree....vunderbar

    • Tara @ Unsophisticook

      Nice -- enjoy your pizzelles!

  • Marge Fredrickson

    I love pizzels so much! My batter always seems to be to thick. What am I doing wrong? I use a Wilton Cookie Scoop and it is just the right amount, but my batter seems to thick, and I like my pizzels thin. Any suggestions?
    Thanking you in advance.

    • Tara @ Unsophisticook

      My batter is thick, but I've never had a problem with my pizzelles turning out too thick. Does your pizzelle iron have a lock on the handle? I don't use the one on mine, but it would probably ensure a thinner pizzelle if you use it to compress them while cooking.

  • Nora Levine

    Too funny to read about your Polish family and Italian cookies! My grandmother was Czech, and she made them every Christmas. I use a small cookie scooper to get the batter to the iron, and an offset spatula to get the cookie from the iron to the rack. Makes for fewer sticky fingers.
    The cookies last forever, if sealed in an airtight container. My husband loves the batch that is from 2 Christmas' ago! They are delish!

  • Kasandra

    Made some last night with an old recipe calling for 1 1/2 sticks of butter, I will try yours next, a little less fat!!!
    I always use anise. I never tell anyone anything other than it is traditional flavor. My boyfriend who HATES licorice flavor anything devours my cookies!!!
    What they don't know won't hurt them.

    Thanks for the new recipe!

  • Ray

    Hi All! I have been making pizzelles for a few years. Like a few of you on this post, I am of Polish decent and my family has made them a tradition as well. I usually make 3 different flavors! Ones with Anise, vanilla and chocolate. I am going to try to make some tomorrow and add some crushed/chopped walnuts to them. I use the Cucina Pro. Wish me luck!

  • daniel

    Love making pizzelle;s.....Take you time and experiment with different flavors..and dont rush....Iam Italian

  • Jess

    I don't own a pizzelle iron but I wanted to make cannoli shells without having to fry them. After a failed attempt at cooking them on a crepe pan and trying to press them down, I decided to use a sandwich press. They weren't as pretty as those made in a proper iron, but when I rolled them up it didn't matter. After about 15 minutes they were nice and crispy.

    Also, I added a little milk to my mixture as the first few were quite thick and wouldn't crisp up.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  • Lydia

    My first pizzelle's were soggy. More like pancakes than cookies. They were thin and tasted good just not crisp. What did I do wrong?

    • Tara @ Unsophisticook

      Lydia, were they still soggy after letting them sit for a few minutes? They will be soft when you first pull them off the iron, but they should crisp up after a few minutes when you transfer them to a wire cooling rack. Don't stack them until they've cooled.

  • adrienne

    so glad you printed this recipe just got my cucina pro on amazon but it had no instructions or recipes and its new! so I will be using your recipe and I am sure they will be great thanks again Adrienne

  • Dan Lebano

    Been making pizzelles for over 25 yrs. between family,1st and 2nd cousins
    And friends I usually make them a week or 10 days before Christmas. I've
    Been useing my same receip every year and have not changed one thing in it.
    Over the years, I've heard the compliment many times, and sometime in a
    Whisper, "they're better than wife's or my grandmothers" my receip calls
    For 6 eggs. With my iron ,i make 4 at a time and use between 5 or 6 dozen eggs. That usually takes care of everybody. I rarely,rarely,give my receip to
    Any one! ! Have a happy holiday and healthy new year.

  • lori

    well im 52 and have been making these for 40 years,,,mine r a little different,,cause i leave mine sit overnite in the fridge. So they r not runny,,i use no baking powder,and i use orange, anise,and lemon flavoring equal parts of each,,,,

  • gloria

    I use Splenda to make pizzelles and the pizzell maker leaks an oil like substan ce out the sides. Could this be caused by using the Splenda?

  • Margaret Till

    You mention to re-shape the pizzelles while they are warm. Have you ever rolled them into tubes, sort of like a non-fried cannoli? I want to make these for the grandchildren for Easter. I know they will not like anise, so I wanted to do something different. I thought of making them into tubes and stuffing like a cannoli.
    Do you have any suggestions on the best way to roll them into tubes?
    Thank you, Margaret

    • Tara @ Unsophisticook

      Hi Margaret! Yes, when they're hot off the pizzelle press, you can easily form them into shapes. I have a cone-shaped wooden form that I use to make waffle cones. You can also purchase cannoli forms, or just use any tube you have around the house that's about the size you need. Just hold one side of the pizzelle against the tube and start rolling it around it. After it cools for a minute, you can pull the tube out of the side.

  • Rhonda

    If you shape the pizzelle in a tube shape, can you tell me how far in advance you can stuff them with a cannoli type filling without the pizzelle becoming soggy? Thank you!

Previous post:

Next post: