Vanilla Pizzelles

vanillapizzelleMy Budapest-born grandma Zella made pizzelles throughout my childhood. I like to think that, in a city with proud ethnic heritage like Pittsburgh, she learned to make them from an Italian friend from her neighborhood or local church. In my imagination Zella and this friend swapped recipes, and right now there’s a girl of Italian heritage making apricot kolaches for her family’s Thanksgiving desserts, just as I’ve made pizzelles for ours.

However she learned to make them, Zella’s pizzelles were absolutely delicious. I have her recipe around here somewhere, and am determined to find it now that I’ve given these treats a try. I used the recipe that came with my pizzelle iron, and while they have a long way to go in terms of even color they do taste very good. I started with a basic vanilla, but plan to branch out to anise and almond, and perhaps even chocolate, over the holidays. We’ll see how it goes.


  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder


Heat and prep your pizzelle maker according to the manufacturer’s directions; I let mine heat up while I made my batter and brushed it with vegetable oil just before making my first pizzelles.

In a mixer, beat eggs and butter until light and almost lemon-colored, about 3 minutes. Add melted butter and vanilla and beat until blended. Sift together 1 cup flour and baking powder, then fold into the egg mixture. Sift the remaining flour over the batter and fold in to combine; the batter will become thick and fluffy.

Using two tablespoons from your flatware, drop a rounded tablespoon* of batter onto the center of the pattern; close the lid and bake for about 1 minute and 30 seconds. Remove using kitchen tongs and cool on a wire rack, then store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. My recipe yielded 15 pizzelles.

*The original recipe called for placing 2 tablespoons of batter on each pattern, but when I did that they were far too large and spread out beyond the pattern part of my pizzelle iron. I recommend testing out what amount works for you based on your machine. 


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