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Amaretti Cookies (Soft)

Soft amaretti cookies (amaretti morbidi) are another classic Italian cookie that makes you feel like you’re strolling through Italy. A close cousin to pignoli cookies, all you need is some almond flour (or peeled almonds), sugar, egg whites, and almond extract (optimally bitter almond extract too but that’s very hard to find) to whip up a batch of these soft amaretti cookies. With a crackly outside and a chewy, marzipan-like middle that’s just to die for, these are very easy to make but look so fancy.

Amaretti cookies on wire rack


The ingredients are basic and simple: almond flour, sugar, egg white, and almond extract for the dough, and powdered sugar to roll the shaped cookies.

I must mention that true authentic amaretti cookies contain bitter almond extract (just a few drops!!) – hence the name amaretti (amaro or amara = bitter in Italian).

However, bitter almond is hard to find due to its high content of amygdalin, which can release cyanide when metabolized, making it toxic and subject to strict regulation and control. If you want to increase the authenticity of these cookies, search online for bitter almond extract (which can still be found via online specialty stores) and add no more than 1/8 teaspoon to the recipe.

Ingredients for amaretti cookies measured out in bowls.

A few fun twists might be to add some grated citrus, to dip one end in melted chocolate, or to flatten them a bit and add a cherry on top.

How to Make

These couldn’t be easier to make. The only caveat is that they will need to rest for about 30 minutes in the fridge before you bake them to keep their shape. They keep fresh for a while, which is another nice thing about these cookies.

Ingredients for making cookies in a bowl.
Dough for cookies in bowl.

You can simply mix all the ingredients until a dough is formed, but I recently discovered that for a lighter cookie, start by whipping your egg whites until stiff and then adding the almond flour, sugar, and extract.

Dough ready to be cut into pieces.
Dough cut into flour pieces.

Pat the dough down on a surface sprinkled with powdered sugar and cut into four pieces.

Cutting smalls of rolled dough before shaping.
Shaping cookies in balls and coating in powdered sugar.

For each piece of dough, roll it into a rope and then cut it into pieces about 1 or 1.5 inches in length. Roll the pieces into balls and then roll them in powdered sugar to coat them.

Freshly rolled cookies ready to rest before baking.
Baked cookies on cookie sheet.

Place the cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes if you’d like to keep the ball shape, and then bake for about 20 to 25 minutes.


To make amaretti duri (hard amaretti) you should add about 5 to 10 minutes of bake time to the recipe.

Other variations can include lemon, orange, chocolate, or coffee flavors and adding a tablespoon of Amaretto liquor much like our favorite tiramisu!

More Italian Cookies

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📖 Recipe

Amaretti cookies on wire rack

Soft Amaretti Cookies

Homemade soft amaretti cookies – simple yet fancy. Only four ingredients for an elegant chewy, marzipan-like cookie!
5 from 1 vote
Author: Marie
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 108 kcal


  • 2 1/2 cups (250 g) Almond flour See notes for using peeled almonds
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 g) Granulated sugar
  • 2 large (70 g) Egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon Almond extract
  • 2 drops Bitter almond extract (OPTIONAL) completely optional (hard to find)
  • 1 cup Powdered sugar or as needed (for working the dough and rolling)


To Make the Dough and Shape the Cookies

  • In the bowl of a standing mixer or using a large mixing bowl and a hand mixer, whip the egg whites until stiff on high speed.
  • In another bowl, combine the almond flour and granulated sugar.
  • Add the sugar and almond flour mixture to the egg white and mix until well combined. If needed, squeeze the mixture into a dough.
  • Sprinkle a clean work surface generously with powdered sugar. Transfer the dough onto the sugared surface and divide into 4 equal pieces.
  • Dust each piece in the powdered sugar to coat. Shape the dough into long ropes about 1 to 1.5 inches thick. Cut the cylinders into pieces approximately 1 to 1.5 inches long.
  • Roll the cylinder shapes into balls using the palms of your hands, like shaping a meatball.
  • Add the powdered sugar to a small bowl and roll each cookie into the powdered sugar to coat.
  • Place the sugar-coated balls about 1.5 inches apart on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate them for at least a half hour or overnight.

To Bake the Cookies

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C) (static setting, not convection) and bring the cookies back to room temperature while the oven is heating up.
  • Lightly roll your amaretti in another layer of powdered sugar. Place them on the prepared baking tray.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, possibly longer if the cookies are still cold. The cookies should not darken, but they will pick up color on the bottom, so be sure to check the bottoms before removing them from the oven.
  • If you make smaller cookies, 13 to 15 minutes should be sufficient (again, check for light golden color on bottoms).
  • The longer baked, the firmer they will get, so aim for a shorter baking time if you like them softer and vice versa if you want harder cookies.
  • Once baked and completely cooled, transfer the amaretti to tin boxes to store them. This helps prevent them from absorbing moisture and keeps them soft and delicious. Do not store while still warm.


The best way to make these is to weigh the ingredients on a kitchen scale (and it’s easier, too!).
If you have a scale, you may use peeled almonds instead of almond flour. Weigh the equivalent amount of almonds to flour needed, and process in a blender with a few tablespoons of the sugar in the recipe until the mixture turns into flour. 


Calories: 108kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 3gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 0.4gSodium: 5mgPotassium: 5mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11gCalcium: 25mgIron: 0.4mg
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