Grandma's Soft Italian Wedding Cookies

Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Grandma's Soft Italian Wedding Cookies also called Genetti, are soft drop cookies often found on Italian wedding trays and Italian party events.

These cookies are always decorated with the theme of any party tray in colorful sprinkles, sometimes tinted doughs or tinted frosting.

This soft cookie with sprinkles is the most popular cookie on the assorted cookie tray for Italian family events, holidays, and special parties.

My mom and grandma made these delicious cookies in large quantities for many family members that asked for them for anniversaries, baby showers, graduations, and any other events.

This is a very versatile cookie dough that can be changed just by adding a tint for colorful doughs, flavored cookie dough, and or theme colored frostings to be the all-around perfect cookie every time you need something special to match any party theme.

Our cookie recipe is over 100 years old and still, the best go-to recipe in my collection year after year.

You may also see cookies like Italian Fudge Rolls, Pistachio Ricotta Cookies, Anisette Biscotti, and Almond Paste Cookies on the trays!

This is my number one most asked for cookie recipe on this blog and views and reposted from 2009 to updated photos and current information.

I also left some of the photos from years gone by to see the difference.

Scroll down to the printable recipe card for this easy simple recipe you will cherish as I do and let's make some memories together!

old fashioned Italian soft cookies with frosting and assorted candies on top

Wedding Tray Cookies

One of the traditions for an Italian wedding is to have a sweet tray and dessert table at the reception.

These soft Italian cookies are the most popular found on that try and just one of the many assortments of cookies that are on that Italian wedding cookie tray.

The cookie tray is piled high with assorted cookies often with candy-coated colorful almonds and silver tinsel.

these are cookies made from scratch frosted with little colorful sprinkles on top an Italian wedding tray cookie and perfect for any occasion

Cookies Theme Ideas

  • Baby showers or gender reveals
  • Christmas red and green
  • Easter pastel frosting
  • St. Patrick's Day green
  • Patriotic holidays red, white and blue
  • Wedding, Anniversaries or and other important events using white, silver, gold candy beads

lemon italian cookies with Christmas red and green candies on top frosted

Flavor These Soft Wedding Cookie Suggestions

(Extracts to use)

  • Lemon
  • Anisette
  • Orange
  • Vanilla
  • Maple
  • Coconut
  • Almond

these are an Italian wedding cookie that you will see on all cookie trays at the wedding. These are how to make Italian soft cookies for an Italian wedding that have anise flavoring or lemon flavoring. These are an assortment of both with candy sprinkles on top and frosting. These are round in size and always on the cookie tray at an Italian wedding and an authentic version of this old vintage cookie.


  1. These freeze well as I said up to 3 months to make ahead of time
  2. The cookies are sturdy so they can just be put in freezer bags.
  3. Do not frost them, the frosting will be wet and not look freshly made as it dries blotchy.

this is an Italian wedding cookie with Christmas sprinkles on top in red and green

Decorating the Soft Wedding Cookies

  1. Sprinkles
  2. Chopped Cherries
  3. Chopped Nuts
  4. Colorful tiny candies balls
  5. Solid color tiny candy balls
  6. Mini chocolate chips
  7. Tinted frosting to match the theme of the party

these are wedding tray cookie batter on a silipat mat being molded by a ice cream scoop


  • to make perfectly round cookies use a melon ball scoop or the next size up
  • cookie sheet
  • parchment paper or Silpat mat
  • several bowls for different colored frosting
  • spatula
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • offset spatula for frosting cookies

these are pink green and yellow frosted cookies for Easter with sprinkles on top

Ingredients You Will Need to Make Grandma's Soft Wedding Cookies

  • butter
  • sugar
  • eggs
  • vanilla
  • flour
  • baking powder
  • Optional flavored extracts: lemon, almond, vanilla, maple, coconut, orange or anise extract

the is the batter to make wedding tray cookies

Dough Additions

  1. 1/2 cup additions to the dough
  2. Chopped nuts
  3. Chocolate chips
  4. Coconut
  5. Maraschino cherries chopped and blotted dry
  6. Raisins or other dried fruits
  7. Sprinkles in colors for a funfetti look inside
  8. Food coloring to tint dough to match the theme

these are purple green pink and blue frosted Italian Wedding tray vanilla and almond flavored Cookies

Try Some Other Favorite Cookie Recipes

Rum Balls
All Souls Day Cookies
Italian Rainbow
25 Holiday Favorite Cookies

Grandma's Soft Italian Wedding Cookies Pin for later

this is a pin for later soft Italian Wedding Cookie

Recipe to Try

25 Holiday Cookies

Italian Dessert Recipes

One Stop Cookie Shop


Grandma's Soft Italian Wedding Cookies

Yield: 25
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 8 Mtotal time: 18 M
These are a soft Italian cookies found at most Italian weddings on a tray of assorted cookies. These can also be bought at many Italian specialty bakery shops and ordered to match the party theme. These cookies are also called Genetti cookies.


  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons lemon, almond, vanilla or anise extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Optional flavored extracts: lemon, almond, vanilla, maple, coconut, orange or anise extract
  • Optional Dough Additions: (1/2 cup) chocolate chips, chopped maraschino cherries blotted dry, raisins, any kinds of chopped nuts, coconut, food coloring to match the theme of the party
  • Frosting:
  • 2 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon of extract of your choice above (optional)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water to make a medium-thick frosting


How to cook Grandma's Soft Italian Wedding Cookies

  1. Mix all ingredients ( including flavorings you pick out or food coloring) in a bowl adding any additional ingredients to the dough at the end folded in.
  2. Note: you can do this by hand or with a mixer.
  3. The recipe can be doubled.
  4. Drop on cookie sheets by teaspoons. Bake at 350 till brown around 8 to 12 minutes. The tops will look dry and the bottoms will be brown. Cool.
  5. Frosting Instructions:
  6. Mix powdered sugar and add water a little at a time to reach desired consistency. If this is too thick to spread, add more water.
  7. If the frosting is too thin add more powdered sugar, beat till smooth. 
  8. Frost each cookie and immediately add the colored sprinkles, let dry.
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Wedding tray cookies, Italian wedding cookies, Genetti cookies, Italian soft cookies, soft cookies for wedding trays, wedding soft cookies, Italian soft frosted cookies
cookies, Italian cookies, Italian soft cookies, wedding tray cookies
Created using The Recipes Generator

Grandma's Soft Italian Wedding Cookies Pin for later

this is a pin for later how to make soft Italian cookies usually found at Italian weddings on a tray

Don't Forget To Try My Other Favorite Italian Chocolate Fudge Rolled Cookies

Disclosure: This recipe was originally posted to this blog on June 24th, 2009. It was edited and re-published in 2020.


  1. My mom use to make these cookies and it was a favorite. Well done!!

  2. My mom too! And my grandmother! Did we grow up in the same neighborhood?!

  3. Ooooohhh love this !!! Can you fedex this to me!!!

  4. it's so nice that you're making these cookies from your childhood, I love doing that too, reminds me of happy times with my family.

  5. looks so good -we still make many italian cookies during christmas. my fav time of year!

  6. These cookies looks so soft and highly addictive!

  7. They look delicious! I love food that has history...

  8. I like that you can flavor these anyway you want. I'd go almond!

  9. I have been asking everybody in my family for this recipe that my grandmother use to make--nobody has it! Thank you!!!!

  10. I have never come across anyone else with this recipe. My grandmother always made these with anise flavoring and taught me to make them when I was ten and I've been making them ever since. They are a family fave!

  11. Hi! I want to use these cookies for a school project but i need the nutritional info. Do you have it?

  12. Was 2 tablespoons of flavoring a mistake? I put in 1 Tbs. of anise and the smell was really strong so I didn't put in the second one. After tasting one, it was a bit too much flavoring I thought. Perhaps it should be 2 TEASPOONS of flavoring instead. These are too strong to give out on my cookie tray gifts but I'm hoping after putting on UNFLAVORED frosting these might be salvaged.

  13. very sorry about your cookies I do hope that not adding to the powdered sugar will salvage them too. I can't believe no one picked up on that since 2009 when it was posted... thanks again...

  14. I have an old recipe similar to this however, I've trashed it and plan to bake these soon. This is an all time favorite cookie of mine. Thanks ever so much for sharing your families wonderful recipe. I look forward to future recipes.

    1. hope you love them as much as we do its a family favorite. I always have to make all vanilla or lemon here. Enjoy Patty!

  15. I'm familiar with Italian wedding soup but not the cookies. interesting to learn about the traditions surrounding them.

  16. Love that you can add all different flavors in these! So delicious :-)

  17. Love the tradition behind these cookies.

  18. Italian wedding cookies! I love the name. These look so soft and gooey. Trying them right away!

  19. The sprinkles give them such a happy and festive look!

  20. Can't wait to make these with my little grandgirl Maxima !
    Thanks for sharing my friend. Pinning it.

  21. I love soft cookies. The frosting looks so good and festive, perfect for holidays.

  22. These cookies look and sound delicious! I love that that are soft, and my kids will love decorating them with the sprinkles, 😂😂😂
    Thanks so much for sharing.

  23. These cookies were indeed super soft and delicious! Everyone loved it :)

  24. I have an Italian friend that consider my sister she makes these cookies every year and I love them. Thanks for the recipe xoxoxo

  25. Grandmas always have the best recipes, right? These were a hit!

  26. These cookies are so absolutely delicious!! I love how light and fluffy they are and the icing is so festive! We had a blast making these this past weekend!

  27. Such a classic cookie recipe! Adding these to my holiday baking list. :)

  28. Such fun cookies! They look amazing and I definitely love how versatile they are. So perfect for any occasion!

  29. Love the versatility of these cookies! All the variations sound so good!

  30. Love the versatility of these cookies! All the variations sound so good!


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