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Buying guide for Best pizzelle makers

If you’re from an Italian family, chances are you’ve enjoyed pizzelle cookies for special occasions. If you want to maintain those holiday traditions, you don’t have to be a professional baker to pull off perfect pizzelle, as long as you have a pizzelle maker to give these crispy treats their classic waffle design.

However, with a plethora of pizzelle makers available, how do you find the right one for you? It’s important to choose the right type, capacity, and plate design to ensure that a pizzelle maker is the best fit for your baking needs.

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Pizzelle originated in Ortona, in the Abruzzo region of southern Italy.

What are pizzelle?

Pizzelle are classic Italian waffle cookies made from flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and usually anise flavoring. Some recipes substitute vanilla or lemon zest for the anise.

Once the batter is mixed, it’s transferred to the plates of a pizzelle maker or iron. Manual irons are held over a hot burner to bake the cookies, while electric pizzelle makers bake the cookies themselves.

The plates of the pizzelle maker traditionally imprint the cookies with a snowflake pattern. Sometimes, two pizzelle cookies are sandwiched together with cannoli cream or hazelnut spread.

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For your safety
For a pizzelle maker with a nonstick finish, always use a nylon brush to clean it. A wire brush can damage the finish.

Basic pizzelle recipe


  • 3 large eggs

  • ¾ cup sugar

  • ⅜ teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon anise, vanilla, or lemon extract

  • 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • ½ cup melted butter


  1. Combine the eggs, sugar, salt, and anise, vanilla, or lemon extract in an electric mixer until fully blended.

  2. Mix in the flour and baking powder until smooth.

3.  Stir in the melted butter and mix until combined. You should have a             thick, soft batter.

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Did you know?
Most pizzelle recipes feature anise flavoring, but some substitute vanilla or lemon zest.

How do you use a pizzelle maker?

Start by properly greasing the pizzelle maker’s plates. Brushing the plates with oil or melted butter usually works well.

Heat up the pizzelle maker. For an electric model, plug in the pizzelle maker and turn it on to preheat. A light will let you know when the pizzelle maker is hot. For a handheld model, hold the plates over medium heat on your stove until water beads immediately when sprinkled on the plates.

Drop a ball of dough that’s roughly the size of a golf ball onto the hot pizzelle plates. Close the plates, and allow the dough to cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Usually it takes 45 seconds to two-and-a-half minutes for the pizzelle to brown. With a handheld pizzelle maker, heat both sides of the pizzelle maker over the stove according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Once the pizzelle are finished cooking, carefully remove them from the pizzelle maker and place them on a wire rack to cool. When cool, dust the pizzelle with powdered sugar if you like.

"A handheld, cast-iron pizzelle maker is the traditional way to bake pizzelle, but electric models are often easier to use."

What to look for when choosing a pizzelle maker


There are two types of pizzelle makers: electric and handheld.

  • Electric: An electric pizzelle maker has a built-in heating element. It bakes the cookies when the unit is plugged in and turned on. An electric pizzelle maker is easier to use than a handheld model and requires less hands-on work.

  • Handheld: A handheld pizzelle maker is cast-iron and has a handle. You hold the plates over a burner on your stove to bake the cookies. A handheld model is more durable and will last longer than an electric pizzelle maker.

Temperature control

If you choose an electric pizzelle maker, look for one that offers temperature control. A precise temperature setting means the pizzelle will bake more evenly, and you won’t wind up with burnt edges.

Overflow allowance

Because of the texture of pizzelle batter, it’s easy for a pizzelle maker to overflow when you close the plates. To avoid a mess, look for a model that has higher edges or a large lip along the edge to accommodate any potential overflow.

Plate design

Pizzelle makers traditionally have plates with a snowflake design. However, some pizzelle makers have interchangeable plates with a variety of designs that allow you to switch up the look of the cookies.

Ease of cleaning

The residue left behind by pizzelle batter can be difficult to wash off. To ensure that your pizzelle maker is easy to clean, opt for a model with a nonstick surface. That way, you can simply wipe the pizzelle maker clean with soap and water. You can also find pizzelle makers with removable plates, so you can bring the plates right to the sink for cleaning.


Some pizzelle makers only allow you to make one cookie at a time, which means it can take a long time to make an entire batch. Other models allow you to make two or more cookies at a time, so you can prepare a batch more quickly.


Pizzelle makers vary in price based on type and size, but you can typically expect to pay between $40 and $75.

For an electric pizzelle maker, you’ll usually pay between $40 and $60.

For a handheld pizzelle maker, you’ll usually pay between $50 and $75.

Tips and tricks for using a pizzelle maker

  • To avoid overflow when you’re making pizzelle, drop the batter as close to the center of the plates as possible.

  • If you want to decorate the pizzelle, roll the batter into a ball and then in a bowl of sprinkles before adding it to the pizzelle maker.

  • Powdered sugar is a common topping for pizzelle, but you shouldn’t sprinkle it on the cookies until right before you’re going to eat them.

  • Even if you have a nonstick pizzelle maker, grease the plates lightly before adding the batter.

  • A teaspoon cookie scoop works wells for measuring out pizzelle batter. Dip it in water between each scoop, so the dough doesn’t stick.

  • All the finished pizzelle won’t have perfect edges. You can trim misshapen ones with kitchen scissors while they’re still warm.

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If you want your pizzelle to last longer, you can freeze them. Place the cookies in a freezer bag, carefully squeeze out the air, and store them in the freezer for up to three months.


Q. I bake pizzelle frequently. Which type of pizzelle maker is best?

A. If you make pizzelle often, a handheld pizzelle maker is often the best bet. Handheld pizzelle makers tend to be more durable, so they hold up better to heavy use. However, if you make large batches, an electric model with a greater capacity may be a better option because you can prepare batches more quickly.

Q. What features should I look for in a pizzelle maker if I’m new to making pizzelle?

A. An electric pizzelle maker is best for beginners because it takes out all the guesswork. Look for a machine that offers precise temperature control and lights up to alert you when the cookies are finished.

Q. What else can I do with a pizzelle maker?

A. Some pizzelle makers also function as waffle makers. If you get a wooden dowel for rolling cannoli shells, you can use your pizzelle maker to make cannoli. You can also roll up your waffles to form waffle cones.

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