Vanilla Tutu Cookies

I make Vanilla Tutu Cookies every year at Christmas time. They are a moist, yet dense vanilla cookie covered with icing and decorated with sprinkles. They’re the perfect cookie to dunk into a cup of coffee.

I learned how to make Vanilla Tutu Cookies from my Sicilian mother-in-law, Anna Rose, when Joe and I first started dating. They are the sister cookie of Chocolate Tutu Cookies. The only real difference is the chocolate tutu cookies have cocoa powder in them and the vanilla tutu cookies do not. Also, I like to add sprinkles to the vanilla tutu cookies to make them look a little more festive. You can add Christmas colored nonpareils or red and green sprinkles. Not only are they Christmas colors, but they’re also the color of the Italian flag!

Make Vanilla Tutu Cookies a Holiday Tradition

Joe’s family makes these for every holiday you can possibly imagine (not just Christmas). I sent some of these cookies to my Italian family for Christmas one year. They told me Nonna (my great grandmother) used to make these at Christmas! I never knew that as I grew in Florida. They were in New York and we never visited at Christmas time. Since Nonna passed away, I don’t think anyone in the family made these anymore. It was interesting to know how things can come full circle.

When I first posted that I was going to share the recipe for this cookie, I was surprised by how many people wanted it. They remembered eating these at Christmas with their family, but didn’t have the recipe. I’m happy to be able to share this with you. Then you can create your own holiday memories. Whether you’ve eaten this cookie in the past or, like me, never had them before, I know you’ll enjoy them.

Vanilla Tutu Cookies

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Recipe by Margaret Sanfelippo Course: DessertsCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


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Vanilla Tutu Cookies are Italian Christmas cookies. They’re a moist, yet dense vanilla cookie covered with icing and decorated with sprinkles.


  • Cookie Ingredients
  • 1 cup 1 unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature

  • 2 cups 2 sugar

  • 3 3 large eggs

  • 1 tbsp 1 vanilla extract

  • 4 3/4 cups 4 3/4 flour

  • 3 1/2 tsp 3 1/2 baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp 1/4 salt

  • Frosting Ingredients
  • 4 cups 4 powdered sugar

  • 6 tbsp 6 milk

  • Sprinkles for decorating (if desired)


  • Preheat the oven to 375F. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the side of the bowl, as necessary. Add the eggs one at a time, and mix well to combine. Next add the vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and gradually add the flour mixture until just combined. The dough should come together in a dry ball and leave the side of the bowl clean. You can add a little more flour if the dough seems too soft or a little milk if it seems to dry.
  • Roll into small balls and place 1 inch apart on baking sheet lined with a silpat silicone liner or parchment paper. Bake approximately 11-15 minutes, until set and just slightly golden. Do not over bake or they will become very dry. Cool on wire racks.
  • To make the icing, mix powdered sugar and milk in a large bowl. The frosting should be somewhat thick. Next, dip the tops of the cooled cookies into the frosting and decorate with sprinkles (if desired). Let dry on a wire rack with aluminum foil underneath (on the counter) to catch the excess frosting.

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