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Italian Almond Cookies (Vegan + Gluten Free)

These vegan soft, Italian cookies are perfect for parties, holidays, or just a sweet after-dinner treat. 

I recently went to my parents’ house to spend the weekend with them and my mom was so excited to show me her newfound baking skills. Growing up in Italy, she’s always been a great cook, but never dabbled too much in baking. However, she decided that she really wanted to try making traditional Italian almond cookies, most often found in her local pastry shops in Italy, or in Italian specialty stores here in America. Dolcetti alla Mandorla (as they’re called in the Italian language) are powdered, soft dough, cracked cookies with a skinless almond nudged into the center. They sound quite normal, but trust me, they’re so good for holidays, or even when you’re looking for a sweet treat. 

When I came to visit, my mom was telling me she was beyond happy with how the cookies turned out the first time she tried them and was raving about how simple and quick it was to make them. She insisted that I go to the store to grab almond flour so that we could make them together. They are most commonly made with egg whites, however I’m sharing the vegan version with you all today which involved swapping the egg whites for aquafaba (chickpea water). Needless to say, we were NOT disappointed! Our vegan version tastes exactly like the original cookie! My mom approved of the taste, and my dad even took one without realizing it was vegan. That’s a win in my book! 

Plus I almost forgot to mention: you only need SIX ingredients to make them! 

This is no joke! These vegan almond cookies truly only require five ingredients to make. It involves almond flour, sugar, unsalted almonds, powdered sugar, almond essence, and of course, aquafaba to replace the egg whites. They’re super easy AND delicious.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

  • “If I don’t have a mixer, can I use a bowl to whip the aquafaba?” 

Yes! Obviously a mixer works better, but not everyone owns one. To whip it without a mixer, you need a small bowl and an egg beater. It will take awhile for you to get the whipped consistency from using a bowl, but keep at it and eventually you’ll see the white, stiff texture you need. 

  • “Since there are no egg whites involved, will the cookies fall apart easily once I take them out of the oven?” 

To keep the cookies from falling apart, you will have to remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for a while. I’m talking like maybe 15-20 minutes before they harden a bit. This makes it easier to take the cookies off the pan without them breaking apart. The longer you wait, the better. 

Have you ever had Italian almond cookies? If not, now’s your chance! And this time, they’re all vegan! So let’s get to it:

Italian Almond Cookies 


1/2 cup chickpea water (aquafaba) 

4 cups almond flour (1 lb) 

1 & 1/2 cups sugar 

• Handful of unsalted almonds 

• A few drops of almond essence

• Water for boiling 

• Powdered sugar (2 cups or preferred amount)


  • Preheat the oven to 355 degrees F 

  • Measure out your chickpea water and add it into your mixer. Beat it until it turns into a stiff, white consistency. Don’t let it turn into liquid again, make sure to use it right away! This is what keeps the cookies together. 

  • In a separate bowl, mix your dry ingredients: almond flour and sugar 

  • Slowly mix the whipped aquafaba into the dry ingredients. Mix it until the texture feels grainy like a sandy paste. 

  • Add in the almond essence and keep mixing.

  • Put about 1 to 1 and a half cups of water in a pot. Add in the unsalted almonds and bring them to a boil. This will make them soft. 

  • Once you drain the water and take the almonds out of the pot, remove all the skins from the almonds. 

  • Go back to your dough. Roll the paste into small balls. 

  • Add the powdered sugar to a separate bowl or container. Lightly roll the balls in the powdered sugar, covering them. 

  • When you put the dough on the parchment lined pan, thumb them down LIGHTLY. Not flat, just pat it down slightly. 

  • Stick the almonds in the middle of each cookie dough, putting it slightly sideways. 

  • Put the cookies in the oven on the middle rack and leave them in for 12-14 minutes. 

  • Allow the cookies to cool for 15-20 minutes or as long as possible so that they don’t fall apart when you take them off the pan.

Buon appetito! I hope you enjoy these Italian almond cookies that my mom taught me how to make! They’re the perfect addition to the holiday dessert tables or to give as a sweet gift.

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