Lucy's Bakes
10 mins
Cooking time
12 mins
Jacqui Melville

Originally from Tuscany, Italy, this is a truly lovely little mouthful, somewhere between a lump of cooked marzipan (almond paste) and a macaroon. Ricciarelli traditionally contain candied peel and are eaten at Christmas, but I don’t use the peel and serve them all year. I like the addition of vanilla and, sometimes, I add a few toasted fennel or caraway seeds for a really continental taste. I love to dip mine into a sticky liqueur but they are often served with sweet dessert wine or a really good espresso.


Quantity Ingredient
1 egg white
150g ground almonds
100g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
5g vanilla extract


  1. Whisk the egg white until stiff in a clean bowl.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well – do not worry about folding in or retaining the air from the egg white.
  3. Cover the mixture in the bowl with cling film and put the mixture into the freezer for 1 hour (or leave in the fridge overnight). It needs chilling before it can be rolled.
  4. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  5. When thoroughly chilled, dust a work surface with a little icing sugar and use your hands to roll the mixture into a 3 cm diameter log. Flatten the log slightly, then dust the top with icing sugar. Cut it into 1 cm pieces and place on a baking sheet covered in baking paper.
  6. Bake for 12–15 minutes or until risen and slightly browned. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.


  • This recipe is vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free.

What the testers say

  • BEN COLEBY – ‘I added fennel seeds and served them with a sticky liqueur – would also be great with a small coffee after dinner.’

    DI PALUMBO – ‘I added lemon zest to the recipe and offered them to friends after dinner with a glass of limoncello – and, of course, a little espresso – I am half Italian!’

    JOVANKA BJELIC – ‘I love these – they are small but really satisfying, so I save them in a little tin just for me and have 1 or 2 when I need something sweet.’


  • For a Christmas treat, half-dip these into some very dark, melted chocolate.
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