These Italian Easter cookies are soft, light, buttery, and sweet, with a delicious touch of lemon and colored sprinkles that make them perfect for the holiday. They are made a little healthier with the use of gluten-free flour and greek yogurt but are still perfectly classic and flavorful!
Italian sour cream cookies were always a special dessert my mom would make for almost every holiday, including Easter! Everyone loves them because they are incredibly easy to make and are so light and delicious.
In true PMG fashion, I have made a few small updates to our traditional family recipe to make it a healthier, gluten-free cookie that everyone can enjoy. I used gluten-free 1:1 flour instead of regular white flour and plain greek yogurt in place of the sour cream. Which makes these cookies lower in fat and calories and higher in protein. The end result is a super light, fluffy, cookie with the perfect touch of sweetness and a hint of lemon that you are going to love!
Why you’ll love these Easter Cookies
- Healthy-ish: They are made slightly healthier with greek yogurt and gluten-free flour, with less fat and calories than the traditional version.
- Quick and easy: They come together in about 20 minutes! No chilling of the dough is required.
- Light and delicious: These Easter cookies are like little sweet clouds that are fluffy, and full of flavor, with a perfect balance of sweetness and texture.
- Festive: You can decorate them with colorful sprinkles or other festive decorations, making them a fun and delicious addition to any Easter celebration.
Ingredients you will need
- Gluten-free 1:1 flour – I used King Arthurs, but any brand will work. You want to make sure to use flour that contains xanthan gum, which should be indicated in the listed ingredients on the flour’s package. Regular all-purpose flour can also be used if you do not need to keep this recipe gluten-free.
- Baking powder + baking soda – to help the cookies rise and get perfectly round and beautiful.
- Butter – unsalted butter works best in this cookie recipe.
- Sugar – I recommend organic white sugar like Wholesome.
- Eggs – large eggs work best and help bind the dough together and give the cookies some moisture.
- Greek yogurt – plain, full-fat greek yogurt like Stonyfield. That makes these Easer cookies perfectly light and fluffy. Sour cream can also be used but should be real sour cream and not light sour cream.
- Lemon juice – freshly squeezed lemon juice is best (my mom’s recommendation) but bottled lemon juice can be used in a pinch.
- Icing – powdered sugar + lemon extract + milk. Any type of milk works fine. I used soy milk.
- Sprinkles – optional for decorating the cookies.
How to make homemade easter cookies
- Mix wet ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, until well combined. Then add in the greek yogurt and lemon juice.
- Mix dry ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
- Combine: Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until a soft, thick dough forms.
- Form the cookies: Divide the dough into small balls, about 1.5-2 inches in diameter, and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking mat. Press down gently on each ball to flatten it slightly.
- Bake: Place the cookies into a preheated oven and bake at 325°F for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
- Cool: Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Decorate and enjoy: Mix up the icing by combining all of the icing ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Once the Easter cookies are completely cooled, generously ice each one and top with sprinkles if desired.
Substitutions and Variations
- You can use sour cream or plain greek yogurt in this Easter cookies recipe. If you are using greek yogurt as I did then the cookies may take slightly longer to cook, so watch them closely. Once they start to get lightly golden brown, they are done.
- Monkfruit can be used in place of the white sugar in this recipe but will slightly alter the taste. I did not test this variation but I am sure it would work. Madhava zero calorie sweetener is also a great substitution.
- Use any icing you like. The icing in this recipe is wonderful and really takes these easter cookies to a whole new level. Some other options would be cream cheese frosting or strawberry frosting.
- Skip the sprinkles. If you prefer not to use sprinkles then that is fine too. My family likes to add a little lemon zest on top of the cookies, which is a nice, more natural alternative to sprinkles.
Tips for making gluten-free Italian easter cookies
- Use gluten-free flour: any 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose flour will work in this recipe.
- Don’t overmix: When working with gluten-free flour, avoid overmixing the dough, as this can cause the cookies to become tough or gummy.
- Form the cookies into even sizes: use a small ice cream scoop to form the cookies into even sizes so they all cook at the same time, ensuring you do not overcook any of them. This could lead to dry, crumbly cookies, which nobody wants. I measured them into about 1.5-2 inch diameter circles.
- Decorate with sprinkles: Many commercial sprinkles contain gluten, so look for certified gluten-free sprinkles to use for decorating your Easter cookies, if necessary. You can find them on Amazon, Target, or at Thrive Market.
How to store these Easter Cookies
Proper storage is essential to keep your Italian Easter cookies fresh and delicious for as long as possible. Here are some tips on how to store your Easter cookies:
- Airtight Container: Once your cookies have cooled completely, place them in an airtight container with a tight-fitting lid. This will help to keep air and moisture out, which can cause the cookies to become stale and dry out quickly.
- Refrigerate: These cookies will need to be refrigerated since they contain dairy. If stored in an airtight container, they should last up to a week in the fridge.
- Layering: If you need to stack your cookies on top of each other in the container, separate each layer with a piece of parchment paper or wax paper. This will help to prevent the cookies from sticking together or becoming misshapen.
- Freeze: If you want to store your cookies for a longer period of time, you can freeze them. Place the cookies in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 2-3 months. To thaw, simply remove them from the freezer and let them come to room temperature before serving.
I hope you try these Easter Cookies and love them as much as my family and I do! They are slightly more indulgent than some of my other PMG Desserts but that is what holidays are for so enjoy!
More healthy desserts to try!
- Healthy Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs
- Double Chocolate Air Fryer Cookies
- Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
Did you try this Easter Cookies Recipe? If you did, then please leave a rating and comment below. I would love to hear how yours turned out!Print