Keto pizzelle capture the sweet, aromatic embrace of anise, vanilla, or maybe almond — your choice, dancing across a light, crisp cookie that’s as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate. Italians gifted us with this delightful treat, and I’ve created a keto-fied version with coconut flour that is sure to please.
Keto Pizzelle Recipe
I can’t wait to share this keto pizzelle recipe with you! My hope is that you add this to your sugar free holiday baking list this year.
If you’ve never tried pizzelle (pronounced pit-ZELL-ay), you just need to know that they’re a thin, crispy cookie with a slightly sweet, buttery flavor. While traditionally made with sugar and flour, I’ve swapped those out for more keto-friendly ingredients: coconut flour and a granulated Monk fruit and erythritol blend (or use your sugar-free sweetener of choice). And your holiday guests will have no idea!
I’m not Italian in the slightest (I’ve got that English/Irish background going on), but my husband has Italian roots and grew up in New York. He’s also not a fan of coconut, and even he loved these cookies and said they tasted traditional.
So we got that stamp of approval going for these cookies!
What are pizzelle?
Pizzelle are traditional Italian waffle cookies, which originate from the Abruzzo region of south-central Italy. They are particularly associated with the festive seasons, especially Christmas and Easter. The name “pizzelle” means small, flat, and round in Italian, akin to the word “pizza” for pie. The plural form is “pizzelle” and singular form is “pizzella.”
The history of pizzelle dates back to the 8th century, and they are considered one of the oldest cookie recipes. Originally made on cast iron grills over an open fire, these cookies featured family crests or local symbols, with the intricate designs meant to impress guests.
What they taste like: The texture of a pizzella is light and crisp, with a buttery, slightly sweet flavor. Anise-flavored pizzelle have a subtle licorice taste, which is traditional, while vanilla adds a bright, aromatic quality, and almond extract provides a nutty, warm note. When biting into a pizzella, one can expect a delicate crunch with that melt-in-the-mouth sensation due to their thinness.
Ingredients in Keto Pizzelle
Before I get into the ingredients, I need to mention the equipment: you will need a pizzelle iron or maker. I used a mini one from CucinaPro, and it worked great just like a mini waffle maker. You can still make this cookie if you don’t have one, but it won’t have the traditional appearance. Use a mini or standard waffle iron, or flatten and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes at 350°F (175°C).
This recipe has the standard cookie ingredients, and I just swapped out a couple to make it keto-friendly.
- Eggs – These are essential in baking for structure and leavening. They help bind the ingredients together and trap air when beaten, which adds lightness to the pizzelles. Make sure yours are room temperature!
- Sugar-Free Granulated Sweetener – A keto-friendly alternative to sugar, it provides the sweetness we crave in desserts without the carbs. It’s granulated, so it can blend well with the eggs and aerate when beaten. I used a Monk fruit extract and erythritol blend, but you can use your favorite keto-approved sweetener of choice.
- Coconut Oil or Unsalted Butter – Adds moisture and richness to the dough. When melted and cooled, it mixes easily with the other ingredients without cooking the eggs. It also helps in crisping up the pizzelles as they cook.
- Anise, Vanilla, or Almond Extract – These extracts are all about flavor. Anise gives a classic licorice-like taste, while vanilla and almond are milder and more widely appealing. It’s a choose-your-own-adventure situation here! I opted to use Anise for the more traditional flavor.
- Coconut Flour – A low-carb, gluten-free alternative to traditional flour, it’s super absorbent and helps create a dough that’ll hold together when pressed in the pizzelle iron. Careful not to overmix as this type of flour is super absorbent and will thicken as it stands.
- Baking Powder – This gives a little lift to the cookies, making them light rather than dense.
- Salt – It’s a flavor enhancer. Just a pinch makes all the sweet flavors in your pizzelles pop.
How to make Keto Pizzelle
When I conducted my research to keep this recipe traditional Italian, I found that the eggs and sweetener were beaten for several minutes and the dry ingredients were often sifted together. For this recipe, I followed these methods along with keto baking methods to be sure it came out tasting like the real thing.
- Beat eggs and sweetener together about 2-3 minutes.
- It should light and fluffy like this!
- Melt coconut oil and allow to cool. Add melted coconut oil and your extract of choice to the mix.
- Sift together coconut flour, baking powder, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix until it becomes a little thick like cookie dough. Careful not to overmix.
- Place about 2 tablespoons of dough into the upper center part of the pizzelle maker. Flatten slightly then press the lid down firmly.
- Cook about 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Trim away the edges if desired while still warm. Allow to cool completely on wire cooling rack.
Making your keto pizzelle presentable
I chose to trim away the edges to make them look presentable for you guys, and I figured you would want to know how to make yours look gift-worthy too since these are celebration cookies.
If you have a floral pattern pizzelle maker like mine, you’ll have to trim away the edges with a small knife. I didn’t do anything other than that!
But if you want perfectly round pizzelle, then you can use a small zester or grater to smooth the edges out after trimming away excess pieces.
Serving Keto Pizzelle
After trimming, sprinkle with powdered sugar-free sweetener and you are ready to serve these delicious little Italian cookies for your next holiday party or wrap up in plastic wrap as gifts for all your neighbors. Either way, they’re sure to be a hit.
Pizzelle can be served flat or rolled into cone shapes while still warm and then filled with various creams or mousses. In their basic form, they have a balanced sweetness, making them perfect for pairing with coffee, tea, or a dessert wine. Because of their versatility, pizzelle can be adapted to different tastes and occasions, from simple tea cookies to elaborate desserts.
Feel free to get creative with cocoa powder or use different extracts! I hope you enjoy making these for your family and you share them with everyone. See, keto baking can be fun.
- 4 eggs , room temperature
- ½ cup sugar-free granulated sweetener
- ½ cup coconut oil , or unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon anise extract , or vanilla extract or almond extract
- ¾ cup coconut flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- In a medium mixing bowl, use an electric hand mixer to beat eggs and sweetener on medium-high speed until yellow, light, and bubbly, about 2-3 minutes.
- Melt coconut oil in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Allow to cool slightly.
- Add coconut oil and anise extract to egg mixture. Beat on medium speed until incorporated.
- In a small mixing bowl, sift together coconut flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add coconut flour (dry) mixture to egg (wet) mixture. Combine on low speed until a moist dough forms. (See Note 1)
- Plug in pizzelle iron and allow it to heat according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Grease slightly with leftover coconut oil or butter.
- Using a medium cookie scoop (about 2 tablespoons in size) or a tablespoon, form about 10-12 dough balls. Place 1 dough ball in the pizzelle maker slightly above the floral pattern, flatten slightly before closing the lid. Press down on the pizzelle maker lid until completely flattened. Peek inside to make sure it’s completely covering the design. There may be a little spillage over the sides.
- Cook until lightly golden brown, usually 2-3 minutes. Lift the lid to check doneness.
- Remove from pizzelle maker with a small spatula and place on a wire cooling rack. Allow to cool completely. (See Note 3)
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar-free sweetener if desired before serving.
If you loved making this keto holiday cookie, you’ll love these other recipes: