Taralluci Al Limone

Taralluci al Limone

Taralluci al limone are traditional lemon cookies from southern Italy. They are also referred to by other names, such as Italian love knots and are very popular at weddings as they symbolize two people “tying the knot” in holy matrimony.

Taralluci Al Limone

Today you will find them at most holidays and family gatherings. Other shapes may also be formed such as the twist or a single ring form such as the ciambelle cookies.

They were not a typical cookie from my childhood, however most Italian families have a version of these taralluci al limone.

My first encounter with these soft lemon cookies came from a local bakery and I fell in love with them at first bite and set out to make my very own.

After a few enquiries, I quickly came to realize that there are many ways to make them. Some, use butter or crisco shortening and others a vegetable oil. I opted for the oil version as I did not have any shortening on hand and I wanted an alternative to butter.

My first try was an epic failure, as I could not get my dough to come together!

Thankfully I did not give up! After the fourth attempt, I got them just right.

These taralluci al limone are soft, ever so tender with a sweet lemon kick.

Taralluci Al Limone

You can start forming the knots as soon as your taralluci dough is ready, however if your dough is too soft simply cover it with a plastic wrap and set it aside for 15 minutes. This will make it easier to roll out and it bears mentioning that the dough is very forgiving. So if you mess up the knots at the beginning, simply re-roll them!

If the dough is still too soft after the resting time, work in a little more flour, just enough to to be able to roll the taralluci.

Taralluci Al Limone

Place them about 2 inches apart on your cookie sheet to give them room to grow. They do not spread out too much but puff up rather prettily. When ready they will look pale golden in color with a slight browning on the outer edges.

Taralluci Al Limone

The taralluci can also be topped with sprinkles of your choice. I love them just the way they are!!

Taralluci Al Limone

The dough can also be mixed together entirely by hand and then kneaded til soft and pliable but requires a lot more elbow work. A stand mixer or hand held mixer works just wonderfully and is faster and easier…a win, win for busy moms!

Taralluci Al Limone

Whichever way you make them, enjoy these yummy cookies with coffee, tea or even a cold glass of milk!

Taralluci al Limone
A soft and tender Italian cookie, lemon flavored and topped with a lemony glaze.
Recipe type: Cookie
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 24
  • 2½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup canola oil (vegetable or sunflower oil is also fine)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2½ cups icing sugar
  • 5 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  4. With a stand mixer or hand held mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together for about 1 minute.
  5. Add the oil, vanilla extract, the lemon zest, lemon juice and mix until combined.
  6. Mix in the flour mixture beating for 1 minute til the dough is thoroughly combined.
  7. The dough should be soft and pliable at this time.
  8. Cover with saran wrap and let the dough rest for 15 minutes. (this will make it easier to roll)
  9. If the dough is still too soft, after the resting time, simply work in a little more flour, just enough to roll the taralluci.
  10. Transfer the dough to a work surface.
  11. Cut off pieces of dough, about the size of a golf ball and roll out into a log about a ½ inch wide and 6 inches long.
  12. Twist the dough to form a loop inserting one end through the loop while forming a knot.
  13. Place on prepared cookie sheet;
  14. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet.
  15. I was able to fit 12 onto each pan.
  16. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes. When done the cookies should be pale in color with edges slightly brown.
  17. Let cool on wire rack.
  19. In a medium size bowl, whisk together the icing sugar and lemon juice.
  20. Transfer the lemon glaze to a smaller bowl for easy dipping.
  21. Dip cookies one at at time in lemon glaze, letting excess glaze drip off.
  22. Place cookies on cookie rack till glaze is completely set.
Keep stored in an airtight container.
Cookies freeze extremely well.



  1. These look lovely Marisa! very light and tasty 🙂

  2. Absolutely my favorite cookie from childhood, we called them Anginette. Sometime back I wrote a post about them as well and the response from the Italian American community continues to be strong. We also added black anise seed, typical of Calabria when they were available. During my visit to Italy in April, my wonderful cousin flew to Rome with a supply of these tiny seeds to keep me stocked for some time. Your cookies turned our beautifully!

    • Thank-you Bella! How wonderful your cousin is… and yes, I have heard of the same cookies referred to as Anginetti! All delightful names for such a delicious cookie😊

  3. Mind you this is my own personal taste, but I think they look soooo much nicer without the sticky glaze, but then the question is, how will they taste?? 🙂 🙂

    • Even without the glaze they are delicious and truly, they are not an overly sweet cookie. If you are not a fan of lemon, anise or almond extracts are wonderful substitutions! 😊

  4. How have I never had this Italian cookie before? I love everything lemon and these sound great…especially with a cup of afternoon tea.

  5. I’m a total addict when it comes to lemon cookies. These look amazing! 🙂

  6. Gorgeous little lemon cookies! Hey did you see I made your Shrimp and Pepper pasta? It was a hit! xoxo

  7. I love these cookies Marisa, they are beautiful and delicious. It’s been such a long time since I’ve had one. Saved the recipe!!

  8. Thanks Suzanne!! These have became a new favourite in my family!😊

  9. I have to try these Marisa so lovely looking and I am sure they are delicious!

  10. Lovely simple yet flavorful cookies! I love that you opted for vegetable oil instead of butter. They look beautiful and their taste is just what I like in a cookie.

  11. I’ve never heard of these! Of course, I’m not from southern Italy! (I am half Italian, though!) Thank you for this recipe!

  12. We had visitors to the house this past weekend and we got to talking about some of our favorite Italian recipes and this very cookie came up in conversation! I think it was meant to be that I stumbled upon this! They look divine!

    • Thank-you Annie! Isn’t it wonderful that with just a few simple ingredients and some gorgeous lemons, one can bake such delicious cookies…thanks so much for dropping by 🙂

  13. Nice presentation , good lemon taste , the next batch you make add some blueberry jam on the top center

  14. More stunning baking beauties, Marisa! My mom used to make anise ones similar, but lemon is the way to go with these lovely knots of love 🙂 xoxo

  15. Marisa I just adore these little lemon cookies. So pretty with the icing running down the sides. I can almost taste them! Just lovely.

  16. I think I’ve had these before…in a little Italian grocery store in Australia! I haven’t seen them at our Italian Centre Shop so I guess I should try making my own. They are so good with tea. Thank you for this recipe, they look perfect!

    • They are really quite simple to make and the dough is very forgiving if you mess up the knots! They are keeper! Thanks for dropping by Bernice😊

  17. Marisa these cookies are just gorgeous! We love lemon anything and this looks like a fun recipe to try, especially since you’ve already worked out all the kinks!

  18. I used to help my Mother make these cookies, we all loved them. We made them especially for Italian weddings,
    I lost the recipe, thanks now I can make them again.

  19. Yum! These cookies are amazing! Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  20. I love these cookies, one of my favorite cookie!!

  21. This is great, Marisa! I’ve had these cookies before but not with this particular recipe so I’m going to try it thank you so much for posting this❤️

    • Hi Margie, I’m glad to hear you like it. Its not a difficult recipe by all means and it just takes a little practice in making the knots but the dough is also very forgiving. Enjoy and thanks for dropping by 🙂

  22. Made these yesterday and had a difficult time getting the dough to come together. Ended up adding a lot more flour, about 1/2 to 2/3 cup and then cookies tasted a little doughy. Since you tried 4 times with this dough you must have hints/advice! Wonder if refrigeration might help vs adding all the extra flour?

    • Hi Lee, I’m just wondering…did you use an electric beater or the hand method? Some people have no issues with the hand method, I however prefer using a mixer because the dough comes together much nicer.
      The dough itself is a soft cookie dough and shaping the knots simply takes a little practice. If you mess the knot shape, re-roll the piece with dusted hands and shape the knot again. This has always worked for me. Hope this helps and feel free to ask any other questions. Thanks for reaching out and have a great day!

  23. What lovely lemon cookies Marisa! Love reading about traditional Italian baking. 🙂