Fregolotta. Italian Crumb Cookie

Fregolotta, Italian Crumb Cookie

Fregolotta simply means one big crumb in Italian and that’s exactly what this cookie is. A huge Italian crumb cookie with mini chocolate chips, dried cranberries and roasted almonds nestled within.

There is such a playful appeal to this giant crumb cookie and its sure to bring out your inner child!

Fregolotta. Italian Crumb Cookie

Originating from Veneto in the northern part of Italy, Fregolotta is a simple and rustic crumb cookie resembling somewhat an English crumble topping. There is not much known by who invented this type of cookie but it dates back to a local baker from the Veneto region at the beginning of the 20th century.

As the story goes, the founder of this bakery had received the recipe from his sister who in turn was given the recipe by a childhood friend working as a cook for a noble family of Terraglio. This type of giant cookie is still being made today by the Zizzola family who own the bakery.

Fregolotta. Italian Crumb Cookie

Loaded with fragrant roasted almonds and perfumed with both vanilla and almond extracts, this crumbly cookie gets a gritty crunch from the addition of cornmeal. In texture, this giant cookie is crispy around the edges yet still maintains it’s chewiness once baked.

I’ve veered away a little from the more traditional Fregolotta by adding mini chocolate chips and the dried cranberries for a more festive feel. However, you can simply omit them for a more authentic Italian crumb cookie.

Fregolotta. Italian Crumb Cookie

It is customary to bring this giant cookie to the table whole. Once laid out in front of the guests place a few almonds underneath its’ center. Then with a wooden spoon, give it a few gentle wacks and watch it break off into pieces. And that my dearies, is how the cookie crumbles! Fun right!!

Fregolotta. Italian Crumb Cookie

Aside from being fun to eat, this baking venture is not very laborious. Sometimes throwing in a little simplicity during a baking marathon creates a perfect balance especially during the holiday season when our to do lists are a mile long and some. Having said that, I know you will appreciate how easy this recipe is and also how quickly it comes together in mere minutes especially when using a food processor. Another way of preparing the Fregolotta is simply using your hands. Both ways will truly produce delicious bites!

Fregolotta. Italian Crumb Cookie

Although perfect anytime of the day accompanied with tea or milk, this Fregolotta is exceptional as an after diner dessert, served alongside a small glass of Grappa for dipping into.

Happy baking!

Fregolotta, Italian Crumb Cookie
Fregolotta in Italian means one big crumb and that is exactly what this cookie is. One giant crumb cookie with chocolate chips, almonds and dried cranberries nestled within.
Recipe type: Cookie
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6
  • ⅔ cup almonds,roasted
  • 1 tablespoon fine cornmeal
  • ⅔ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt ( I used fine sea salt)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cold
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk ( or whole milk )
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
  • icing sugar ( for dusting)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Place the almonds, cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse together just until most of the almonds are finely chopped while leaving some coarsely chopped.
  4. Add the cold butter and pulse for a few seconds until combined.
  5. In a small bowl whisk together the egg yolks, vanilla and almond extracts and almond milk.
  6. Drizzle the egg yolk mixture over the almond and flour mixture.
  7. Pulse together just until the mixture has moistened and formed crumbs. (a few seconds)
  8. The mixture should look crumbly and moist, much like a crisp topping.
  9. Divide the mixture in half.
  10. Drop half the mixture by the teaspoonfuls, onto the prepared baking sheet and press the mixture lightly down to create a thin 8 inch round circle.
  11. Sprinkle the mini chocolate chips and the cranberries over the first layer.
  12. Repeat with the remaining mixture, drooping the crumbs by the teaspoonful over the chocolate chips and cranberries, distributing them evenly.
  13. Bake in preheated oven on the middle rack for 25 minutes, until golden brown around the edges.
  14. Remove from oven and let the cookie rest on the baking sheet for a few minutes so that the cookie firms up.
  15. When easy to handle, transfer the cookie to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
  16. Once cooled, sift the icing sugar over the fregolotta.
  17. When ready to serve place a few whole almonds underneath the middle of the cookie and smack the fregolotta in the center with the back of a wooden spoon.
  18. The cookie will crumble in several pieces and will then be ready to be devoured.



  1. Hadn’t heard of this before. Italy is an endless treasure trove of traditional recipes. Molto carino il modo di servire! Credo che preferirei la versione originale, a fine pasto con un bicchiere di passito veneto 🙂

    • Ci sono mille ricette di questa fregolotta, ogni ricetta ha ingrediente diversi. Era Buonissima! With so many different ways of preparing this crumb cookie there is certainly a flavor combination to please everyone. Thanks Stefan 🙂

  2. I love the texture of these; perfect for crumbling up alongside a cup of coffee, or I could even see mixing the cookie into yogurt or ice cream 😀

  3. I’ve had this once with jam, and loved it, but I can see how your version with the dried cranberries works even better in keeping the crumbliness. Hope to try it soon! 🙂

  4. That is definitely a fun-looking cookie, Marisa!

  5. Marisa, I make a version of Fregolatta, but to be honest yours looks much more enticing. So festive with the addition of the dried cranberries and chocolate.

    • Hi Paula, there are so many different ways of preparing this special treat. I’ve always enjoyed adding a little spin on a more traditional recipe to suit a particular holiday. So simple and delicious! 🙂

  6. Wow this is just beautiful and so interesting. I have never had nor made this cookie and you know I love learning about new foods more than just about anything. I hope you and your family have a Happpy, Happy Holiday. T

    • Hi Teresa, you will find this treat to be quite simple to make and quite delightful to both kids and adults. How fun it is to serve this giant cookie whole and then have your guests gently wack it before serving it! Thanks so much and wishing you and yours a very happy holiday 🙂

  7. I loved its texture! Marisa, happy holidays!

  8. I’ve never heard of this before but it sounds amazing! I’ll have to add it to my ‘must-try’ list!

    • There is much to love about this giant cookie! It’s so easy to put together, fun to eat, especially dipped in Grappa….for the adults of course! Thanks so much😊

  9. You brought me back to my relatives in Veneto, Marisa, where I had the fregolotta. It is really good, especially because I love any sweets that are crunchy, crumbly and yummy. Great job, again! 🙂 Happy New Year! Buon Anno!

    • I am happy to hear that it brought back nice memories for you! I will be serving the fregolotta again on New Years Day, it will be fun munching on this crumb cookie while playing a good game of cards! Buon Anno to you and your family and all the best for the coming New Year😊

  10. What a fun recipe! I love that it has cornmeal, so I can imagine the toothsome texture, and the fact you need to whack it with the back of a wooden spoon to break it into pieces! 🙂

  11. mmm. . . the cookies look wonderful

  12. This sounds like a fun cooke to nibble on…so different from most Italian cookies I’ve had. Thanks for sharing your version Marisa. Happy New Year.

  13. Wow that looks amazingly delicious!!!!! Now, if only I could take a bite from it right now 🙂

  14. I’ve nominated you and your beautiful blog for the Blogger Recognition Award. I love your blog!

  15. Hi there 🙂 Greetings from Portugal. this cookies look delicious, great pictures. Look forward to reading more posts 🙂