These limoncello amaretti cookies are a twist on the classic Italian amaretti cookies. They’re soft, chewy, and bursting with flavor from the limoncello and almond extract. Plus, they’re small size makes them great for dipping into tea or coffee!
If you’ve never had amaretti cookies before, they’re small Italian cookies made with almond flour, sugar, and egg whites then rolled in powdered sugar. The ones we made here are amaretti morbidi which have a crackly exterior and a soft and chewy center that’s super addicting!
To add an extra element of flavor, we added a splash of limoncello and fresh lemon zest. So each bite is full of sweet almond flavor and a touch of lemon.
These cookies are super simple to make and are best eaten with a cup of hot tea or coffee!
- Egg Whites: You’ll need 3 large egg whites.
- Almond Flour: This makes amaretti cookies naturally gluten free and help give them structure and texture.
- Salt: This enhances the other flavors.
- Granulated Sugar: You’ll need some for the dough and for rolling.
- Almond Extract: This gives amaretti cookies their intense almond flavor similar to marzipan.
- Lemon Zest: You’ll need about 2-3 large lemons to get 2 tbsp of zest.
- Limoncello: This adds a unique sweet lemon flavor different to lemon juice.
- Powdered Sugar/Icing Sugar: A must for getting that pretty powdered look on the outside.
Instructions (with photos)
Step 1: Massage the lemon zest into the sugar to release the natural oils.
Step 2: Combine the lemon sugar with the sifted almond flour.
Step 3: Whip the egg whites and salt with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
Step 4: Fold in the almond extract, limoncello, and ⅓ of the almond flour. Continue to fold the remaining ⅔ of almond flour in two more additions.
Step 5: Use a 1 ½ tbsp cookie scoop to portion out the cookies. Then roll them in granulated sugar followed by powdered sugar.
Step 6: Place them on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and gently press down on the tops just until the edges have cracks. You’re barely going to press down. This helps the cracks to form a bit better, but you want to be careful not to flatten them.
Step 7: Bake for 22-25 minutes or until the inside of the cracks have set and the bottoms are lightly golden. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Use room temperature egg whites. They whip up much better than cold egg whites so leave them covered on the counter for at least 30 minutes before using.
- Separate the eggs while cold. While you want your egg whites to be room temperature, it’s best to separate the eggs while they’re still cold. This is because the yolk is much less susceptible to breaking into the whites.
- Don’t skip making the lemon sugar! Massaging the lemon zest into the sugar helps to release the lemon oil inside the zest. This gives your baked goods a more intense lemon flavor that you wouldn’t get from just adding it straight to the batter. It’s the little things that count!
- Use pure almond extract. If the ingredients don’t list bitter almond oil, then it most likely has synthetic ingredients used to mimic the taste of almond. Pure is best!
- Roll the cookies in granulated sugar first. Doing so prevents the powdered sugar from melting into the cookies and gives them that bright white look on the outside. It also creates a drier surface, making room for more cracks on top which is what gives amaretti cookies their signature look.
Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur that tastes sweet and has an intense lemon flavor. It’s made from lemon zest, water, sugar, and alcohol such as vodka. You can find it at pretty much any liquor store with one of the most popular brands being Pallini. We don’t drink alcohol, but we love adding it to lemony desserts for a unique flavor.
Yes. The ingredients including the almond flour used to make these cookies are naturally gluten free.
You’ll know they’re done baking, when the cracks are no longer glossy looking and the bottoms are golden brown. The edges of the cracks might also be slightly golden.
Put them in an airtight container or Ziploc bag and store them at room temperature for 2-3 days.
More Lemon Recipes You’ll Love
If you’re looking for other gluten free lemon desserts, try our Lavender Lemon Cake. Just like these limoncello amaretti cookies, it’s made with almond flour instead of all-purpose flour.
These soft and chewy limoncello amaretti cookies are made with almond extract, fresh lemon zest, and a splash of limoncello. Enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea!
- 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon zest (from 2–3 large lemons)
- 270 g (3 cups) almond flour, spooned and leveled
- 3 large egg whites, room temp
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp pure almond extract
- 3 tbsp limoncello
- 50 g (¼ cup) granulated sugar
- 30 g (¼ cup) powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, use clean hands to massage the lemon zest into the granulated sugar until there are no white patches left.
- In a large bowl, sift the almond flour and whisk in the lemon sugar.
- In another large bowl, add the egg whites and salt. Whip with an electric mixer on high until stiff peaks form (2-5 minutes). Be careful not to over whip your egg whites as they may start to clump.
- Using a silicone spatula, fold in the almond extract, limoncello, and ⅓ of the almond flour mixture until combined.
- Fold in another ⅓ of the almond flour then add the remaining ⅓, folding until fully combined. The batter will resemble a thick paste.
- For rolling, add the granulated sugar and powdered sugar into two separate shallow bowls.
- Use a 1 ½ tbsp cookie scoop to scoop out the dough.
- Roll each cookie into the granulated sugar then roll into a ball with your hands.
- Roll in the powdered until completely coated. Roll into a ball with your hands again to create a uniform shape.* Place on the prepared baking sheet about 1 ½-2 inches apart.
- Gently press on the tops of the cookies just until cracks form on the edges. You’re barely going to press down. This step helps to form better cracks when baking, but you want to avoid flattening them.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes or until the cracks are set (they should not be gooey) and the bottoms are golden brown.
- Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Separate the eggs while they’re cold. The yolks hold their shape better, making it less likely for them to break into the egg whites.
Since the batter is very soft, rolling the cookies twice while coating in both sugars helps to shape them and ensures that they’re evenly coated in sugar.
Nutrition information does not include limoncello and is only an estimate.
- Serving Size: 1 cookie
- Calories: 90
- Sugar: 9.7 g
- Sodium: 25 mg
- Fat: 1.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 11.1 g
- Fiber: 0.4 g
- Protein: 1.7 g
Keywords: limoncello amaretti cookies, lemon amaretti cookies, limoncello biscuits, amaretti biscuits