two cookies next to a cup of espresso with coffee maker in background

Italian Orange Juice Cookies

Italian Orange Juice Cookies: another traditional cookie that's a must in any complete collection of Italian cookie recipes!
Course Dessert
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 7 minutes
Servings 72 cookies
Calories 78kcal
Author Nadia Fazio


  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 225 grams (1/2 lb) vegetable shortening (I use Crisco)
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 tsp baking powder
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • marschino cherry halves or almonds for topping (optional)


  • Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350F.  Have maraschino cherries and/or almonds ready, if using. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, use a fork to beat together the eggs, sugar and vegetable shortening. 
  • Stir in the orange juice and vanilla.
  • Combine the flour and baking powder and gradually stir into the egg mixture until incorporated. You'll have a sticky, thick dough.
  • Shape the cookies by using two spoons to scrape one heaping teaspoon full of dough into a bowl of powdered sugar. Turn over to coat both sides. Carefully pick up the dough, shake off the excess sugar, and roll gently into a ball. Place on the baking sheet approximately two inches apart.
  • Press half a maraschino cherry or a whole almond in the center of the cookie. Alternately, you can leave the cookie plain if you prefer.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes until lightly browned underneath and golden on top. Cool before serving.


-Please note that nutritional information is not completely accurate and may vary according to the size of your cookies and whether you add maraschino cherries or almonds to your cookies.
-If you are using maraschino cherries, slice in half and place on a paper towel in order to absorb the excess liquid.  Otherwise they will bleed on the cookie.
-You can replace vegetable shortening with butter, however it may slightly alter the texture.
-The dough is quite sticky so avoid over handling it.
-These cookies will spread while baking so be sure to space two inches apart on the baking sheet.
-Italian Orange Juice Cookies can be frozen in a tightly sealed container.  Defrost about an hour before serving.


Calories: 78kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 74mg | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 0.4mg