Italian Wedding Cakes

"This cookie pretty much retains whatever shape you make it. You can use vanilla or anise extract, depending on your preference. It's a not-too-sweet, cakey cookie. They are my husband's favorite cookie."
photo by HisPixie photo by HisPixie
photo by HisPixie
Ready In:
3 dozen




  • Combine flour and shortening as if for pie crust. Add baking powder and combine.
  • In a separate bowl, beat eggs and then add sugar and vanilla.
  • Add flour mixture to egg mixture.
  • To shape cookies, you can simply roll them into 1-inch balls or you can roll them into logs and fold them into pretzel shapes. They will puff up some but will mostly retain whatever shape you form them into.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes. They will not brown much.
  • Cool and frost with your favorite glaze and add sprinkles. For convenience, you can melt store-bought frosting.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Very good and easy!!
  2. This is a delicious, beautiful cookie. I was in a baking group this morning with about a dozen women, and we were trying to get all the baking done for the next 2 months for our congregation. Everyone ooohed and aaahed over these cookies. I love the anise flavor, which is subtle and not at all overwhelming. A real treat. Thanks for a delicious cookie, Zee RN!!
  3. Incredible! Anise is my favorite, so I knew I'd love these. Description is right on, a cakey, not too sweet cookie. Used butter rather than shortening, anise extract, and a simple powdered sugar glaze with half and half and anise extract. Did chill a bit so rolling would be easier. The entire family loved these! I do think the flavor gets better if they have time to sit, we'll see if any make it through the night so I can sample one tomorrow. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe! Made for PAC Fall 2007.


I'm the mother of triplet daughters and now 4 grandchildren; 2 step-grandchildren. I'm a critical care nurse by background, as well as hospice nursing. I love to cook and bake. My husband is a wonderful taste tester for me and never, ever complains about my many experiments and new dishes. Love that man. We have 4 cats: a neurotic gray calico named Cupcake, a kitten named RubyMae, a Maine coon named Arwen, a short-haired dilute torti Gigi,. One dog...a shepherd/sheltie, Greta. I been her since RecipeZaar days (miss that place). I'm from Pittsburgh, PA.
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