Italian Sprinkle Cookies

Total Time

Prep: 25 min. Bake: 15 min./batch + standing


about 7 dozen

Updated: Sep. 21, 2023
Of all the Italian cookie recipes I make, this is my favorite. These sprinkle cookies take some time, but, believe me, they are well worth it! My husband and I used to operate an Italian American restaurant, and this recipe goes back generations. —Gloria Cracchiolo, Newburgh, New York
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  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 3 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • GLAZE:
  • 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Colored sprinkles


  1. Using a heavy-duty mixer, beat eggs on high speed until light and foamy, about 5 minutes; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, confectioners' sugar and baking powder; on low speed, gradually beat in shortening and extracts until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Gradually add beaten eggs (dough will be stiff).
  2. Roll dough into 1-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 12-14 minutes (tops of the cookies will not brown, but bottoms should brown slightly).
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, milk and extracts until smooth. As soon as cookies are removed from the oven, quickly dip 2 or 3 at a time into glaze. Remove with a slotted spoon or tongs; place on wire racks to drain. Immediately top with sprinkles. Let dry for 24 hours before storing in airtight containers.

Italian Sprinkle Cookies Tips

How do you get sprinkles to stick to cookies?

For this cookie recipe, applying the sprinkles immediately after glazing helps them adhere as the glaze dries. For cookies that are unglazed, gently brush the cookies with a thin layer of water, milk, or lightly beaten egg white to provide a "glue" for the sprinkles. It will allow the sprinkles to stick to the cookies without affecting the overall taste.

Can you add sprinkles before baking?

Sprinkles can be added to your baked goods prior to baking, but some sprinkles may have properties which cause them to melt. Most coarse or sanding sugars hold up well and do not melt in the oven’s heat, while sprinkles made from a combination of sugars and starches are softer and may break down more easily when hot. Here's how to make your own colored sugar.

What are Italian Easter cookies?

These Italian Sprinkles Cookies are very similar to Italian Easter Cookies, which are also called taralli or uncinetti. Italian Easter Cookies are traditionally made in the spring around Easter time and consist of a shaped or rolled vanilla cookie coated with citrus icing and sprinkles. For more inspiration, take a look at these traditional Italian cookie recipes.

Research contributed by Mark Neufang, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

Nutrition Facts

1 cookie: 87 calories, 3g fat (1g saturated fat), 13mg cholesterol, 49mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.