How do I even start to explain the strange relationship I have with these flat crispy sweet cookies.  Let me first tell you that I am not Italian (not even close), but I can find one if the occasion calls for it.  I'm not entirely sure that I even know how to pronounce the word "Pizzelle," but that doesn't stop me from trying.  I actually came across my very first pizzelle press at a garage sale when I was a teenager.  When I saw that shiny black press with a small recipe on the handle I knew that I had to have it.  It's just what every teenager wants, right?  Well one pizzelle press and....blah blah....years later, I still have an undying love for these wonderfully flat waffle-like cookies. 

    Pizzelle are traditionally made at Christmas, but I normally make them for every other occasion in the calendar year.  It has actually been a year or two since I have made them last, but for a few months I have been thinking about trying to make a gluten-free version.  Now that I have a much better understanding of gluten-free baking I knew that modifying this recipe would be a piece of cake...errrr...cookie.  Pizzelles are easy to make and even easier to eat, so you might want to double up the batch on this recipe.  If you have eaten your fill and dread the thought of leftovers, bring them to work.  They won't survive the morning, but the good thing is that you'll have made plenty of new friends to go out to lunch with.  A few people have told me that they eat these with powdered sugar sprinkled on top, but I never felt like these cookies needed anymore sweetness. They are quite perfect all on their own.                  
    Pizzelles taste almost like waffle cones.  One of the ways we use pizzelles in the summer time is to make cups out of them for fruit salad or ice cream.  All you have to do is put the warm cookie straight from the press inside of a small bowl and let it cool down.  Once cooled, the cookie will stay in the shape of a bowl and you can fill it with all sorts of yummy desserts.     

Gluten-Free Pizzelles

makes about 30-40 cookies

3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar (I use unrefined cane sugar)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons anise extract (optional)
1 cup white or brown rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour/starch

2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
pinch of salt

Plug in the pizzelle press and allow it to heat up completely before using.  Whisk the eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, anise extract together in a large bowl.  In another bowl whisk the rice, sorghum and tapioca flour with the baking powder and a pinch of salt.  Using a wooden spoon incorporate the flour into the cookie batter a little at a time.  Once the dough is completely mixed it will be thick and sticky.  Spoon a tablespoon size amount onto each spot on your press and close the top.  Squeeze it down slowly and once the cookies are slightly brown they are ready to be taken off the press.  Let them cool down on a flat sheet or plate.

"Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation."   -Henri Cartier-Bresson



05/20/2013 6:25pm

oh Sandra, this looks sooo pretty and delicious!! You are totally right, it doesn't need to Christmas!!
xxx Amy

05/20/2013 6:54pm

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look Amy!

05/20/2013 8:22pm

My grandma used to make these all the time! Such great memories. Making them into a vessel for fruit salad or ice cream sounds like the perfect idea!

And who knew you were such a great artist :)

05/20/2013 9:11pm

Thanks Chris, you just further supported my theory that probably no one makes these things anymore....well I think we all need to take a lesson from our grandmothers and break out the pizzelle presses and knitting needles. (I knit and crochet too...yikes...I'm like an 80 year old woman in a...twenty-ishes woman's body)

Great artist...I'm not so sure about...but it keeps me busy so I like it!!!

12/14/2013 8:09am

I use 4 tsp. Tipu's Chai (ground black tea w/spices) for flavoring. Very good!

12/23/2013 12:33pm

Hi! I just wanted to say thanks for the gf recipe for these! I've made them for years and have developed a gluten sensitivity so I haven't been able to partake! Also, I'm not Italian either but my ex was and I just loved the community of women from whom I learned not only how to make killer sauce, but some of the best baked treats I've ever had! Anywhere there is an Italian community you will find these being made, not just for Christmas but for Easter, weddings, or just anytime a quick tasty cookie is needed! Again, Thank you and Merry Christmas!

05/21/2013 12:27am

I love that you used anise in this recipe -- what a lovely touch! Your pizzelles look gorgeous! Seriously, if I attempted these, half would stay on deck and the other half would crumble in my hand ;-). Yours look perfect and how nice to see you incorporating some drawing Sandra. Your artistry expresses itself in everything you do.

05/21/2013 1:16am

Thanks Kelly, I think the anise is more traditional in pizzelles. I never liked to add it because I didn't think I would like the flavor, but in fact it makes them taste even better :)

05/21/2013 12:53pm

such a lovely post and such pretty little cookies!

05/21/2013 1:22pm

Thanks Gretchen! They are so much fun to make and I love the pattern :)

05/21/2013 8:04pm

These are just beautiful Sandra! My favorite photos is the 1/2 cookie 1/2 drawing- so pleasing to the eye! And I love that these are gluten-free. Have you ever tried pizzeles stuffed with ice cream? Mmm...

05/21/2013 10:33pm

Thanks Emilie! We have definitely had them with ice cream...dipped in chocolate....pumpkin flavored...just about everything you could think of. This batch that I made didn't even last 24 hours :) I guess that is why I haven't made them in a while...we eat them too fast!

05/22/2013 12:43pm

Uh oh. I swore I was done buying single-use, small appliances but seeing your beautiful pictures is making me want to run out and buy a pizzelle press!

05/22/2013 3:47pm

I wish I could tell you that you don't need a Pizzelle press Sarah, but I think EVERYONE should have one. If I had to pick between my pasta maker and my pizzelle press I would toss the pasta maker hands down.

07/09/2013 2:06pm

What a wonderful recipe! I have never heard of this confection before and certainly have never seen the cooking vessell you mention. I will be looking at the antique stores, garage and yard sales as I live in Kentucky, so there is plenty of places to go. One question though, in the mean time I only have a waffle maker, can one use a waffle maker to make these???
Thanks Barb

07/09/2013 2:45pm

Hi Barbara, Unfortunately I don't think you can't use a waffle maker to make pizzelles. If you have a waffle CONE maker then you could definitely use that. Definitely check out yard sales but you could also pick up a new Pizzelle maker on They are lot of fun to make and worth having another appliance in your kitchen! Hope you find one :)

07/25/2013 3:35am

Wow super psyched at a gluten free recipe for one of my favorite cookies. These are very popular, for grocery stores sell them. But being Itaian, nothing beats homemade, can't wait to see how it compares to my grandmother's recipe. Thanks a bunch

07/27/2013 11:53pm

Thanks Anne, I agree with you...nothing beats homemade!!!

07/25/2013 6:19am

These have been a staple in our family for generations. I am now teaching my grand daughters & grandsons ( 5th) generation how to make them. I love the gluten free recipe. I was wondering did you try almond flour? I think that would be a great taste.

07/27/2013 11:54pm

Hi Mella, I didn't try using almond flour but now that you mentioned it, that sounds like a great idea. Next time I make a batch I'm going to test out some almond flour....Thanks so much for the idea :)

07/27/2013 10:51pm

Great post. I am trying to cut out wheat and this has always been my favorite cookie as mom comes from an Italian family. My great aunt used to be the family's Pizzelles maker but I have now taken over that role. I found this great little extract called Fiori di Sicilia years ago that smells like a creamsicle. Makes them taste amazing! Can't wait to try your gf version. Thank you!

07/27/2013 11:55pm

Thanks Marisa, Fiori di Sicilia sounds delicious...I have never heard of it before but from your description it sounds like something I need to find and give a try myself. Thanks for leaving a comment, I'm going to see if I can find it now.

12/06/2013 1:08am

Just made them, turned out great!!!!! Will make them all the time now. Thank you.

12/09/2013 12:23am

Thanks for letting me know Loree'Anne!!! I'm so glad you liked them :)

12/09/2013 12:16am

what is the nutritional value?

12/26/2013 9:43am

I love this post! Thank you so much for a gf recipe version of this! I LOVE your pizzelle shape; where did you get this particular iron from? Who makes it? *-*

01/03/2014 9:50pm

Hi Caroline, I picked up my pizzelle press on I don't remember the brand name but there are many to choose from and they all have different patterns. If you pick one up make sure to get one that has a non-stick surface because they are easier to use.

01/06/2014 11:04pm

THANK YOU! I bought the Cuisinart...was on sale at Macy's!!! :) Cannot wait!

05/16/2014 8:16am

I make these all the time. Always a batch in the freezer. I love using lemon zest and lemon juice for flavouring.

05/16/2014 10:36am

I love to make these all the time too! I've never tired lemon flavored ones but it sounds delicious! I'll have to give that a try :)

07/11/2014 11:00pm

This is a family tradition in my family and I've made them for years. Now I have two adult children who are sensitive to wheat. They'll be surprised when I make them so they can eat them. I have Bob's Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose flour. Can I substitute it for the flours in your recipe? Also, substitute xanthan gum for the tapioca starch?

11/17/2014 10:17pm

I used my regular recipe and just used GF flour instead of regular flour plus some xanthan gum. They turned out great.

Kristine Angelo
11/17/2014 10:01pm

Hi Sandra, so happy to find a GF pizzelle recipe. Can you tell me what brand pizzelle press you use? I want to buy a good one. but there is such conflicting reviews on the internet I am not sure which type is better, non stick or polished. Would love to hear your opinion.
Thank you, Kris

01/04/2015 7:59pm

Hi Kristine. I like to use the non stick irons. I got mine on amazon and the brand name is Prego.

12/15/2014 4:37am

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12/27/2014 3:03pm

I received a pizzelle machine for Christmas, and my daughter, who is gluten free, and not by choice, said it was too bad she wouldn't be able to have any. It's good to see that she will. Some recipes don't transfer easily to gluten free, so I hope this works as well as I think it should. I hate to see her having to miss out on everything, and so far if she wants something sweet, she has to bring it herself.

01/04/2015 8:01pm

I hope she enjoys these Pizzelle's. I agree that there are some recipes that don't transfer that easily, but I thought these pizzelles came out great. Thanks for stopping by!

01/04/2015 1:00am

Thank you for the recipe.I made some salty ones a few years ago gluten free using only buckwheat flour,eggs,butter ,feta cheese and anise.My mom's recipe ,only gluten free.I plan on trying this recipe but unfortunately I'm out of sorghum flour,any chance I could use buckwheat instead?

01/04/2015 8:05pm

Hi Ann, I think you could definitely give the buckwheat flour a try. The pizzelles will come out darker in color. If you are looking to make a sweeter cookie then you probably don't want to use all buckwheat. Hope you like them!!!


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