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Lemon lovers will LOVE these sweet, crisp lemon biscotti. The crunchy texture and the bright lemon flavor are just incredible!
They are delicious with a cup of coffee and perfect for sharing.
I love biscotti, or cantucci. These twice-baked Italian biscuits are one of my favorite Italian treats. They are wonderfully simple, light, and totally moreish.
Inspired by my almond biscotti, chocolate dipped biscotti, and chocolate chip biscotti, today’s biscotti recipe has all the crunchy, sweet goodness of classic biscotti, but with a sophisticated lemon flavor.
The combination of fresh lemon juice and zest with the honey infuses the biscotti with a sensational complex flavor in every bite.
Everything is also enhanced by the delicious chopped almonds mixed into the dough for extra texture. But you are welcome to make nut-free biscotti as the recipe can be easily customized (I’ve also included some ideas for alternative mix-ins!).
These lemon biscotti are also economical and keep exceptionally well. You can double the recipe and make several dozens of these amazing Italian cookies to share with family and friends.
So if you’re looking for sweet treats to give as homemade gifts this year, this lemon biscotti recipe is simply perfect!
List of the ingredients
- All-purpose flour
- Almonds (optional)
- Lemon juice & zest
- Vanilla extract
- Baking powder
How to make Italian lemon biscotti recipe
(Note: this is a quick description, the full recipe is at the bottom of the page)
- Whisk flour, salt and baking powder. Chop the almonds if you’re using them.
- Using a stand mixer or an hand electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar until pale.
- Reduce the speed and add the butter, vanilla, honey, lemon zest and juice.
- Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until combined.
- Add the chopped almonds, mix again.
- Shape the dough into two logs and place them on a baking tray.
- For a nice finish, brush the logs with an egg wash and sprinkle with white pearl sugar for a more sophisticated look. This step is totally optional, but perfect if you want to gift these lemon almond biscotti.
- Bake for 30 minutes until golden firm and brown.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and reduce the temperature.
- Using a sharp serrated knife and a sawing motion cut them diagonally.
- Return the slices to the baking sheet, and bake again for 10 mins per each side until nice and crispy.
- Transfer the biscotti to a wire rack to cool.
Lemon biscotti ingredients & substitutions
Flour + baking powder: Start by mixing flour with baking powder and about 1/4 teaspoon salt for flavor.
Eggs: You need one egg and an egg yolk for the biscotti dough. But if wish to give biscotti as a homemade gift, I recommend brushing the logs with an egg wash for beautiful shiny finish (I also love a sprinkle of these white pearl sugar!).
Sugar: I used unrefined caster sugar as it incorporates well into batter (here in the UK caster sugar has finer grains than regular sugar), but also powdered sugar works well. However, regular sugar (granulated sugar) is fine too if it’s all you have on hand.
Almonds: I added some toasted chopped almonds for texture. However, you can load them with whatever nuts you have in hand (pistachios, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans), delicious dried fruit (sultanas or cranberries) or you’re welcome to skip the nuts to make simple nut-free lemon biscotti. I’ve also tested this lemon biscotti recipe using white chocolate chips instead of almonds, and it was delicious.
Butter: This biscotti recipe only calls for 2 Tbsp of butter and strikes the perfect balance to make perfectly crunchy biscotti, not too hard.
Flavor: Apart from honey, vanilla, the recipe uses plenty of lemon zest and juice to maximise the flavor. I prefer the scent of fresh lemons, but you can use about 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract if more convenient.
Baking powder: 1 tsp of baking powder is enough to keep the right balance between lightness and their typical dense texture. I don’t recommend using self-raising flour for this biscotti recipe.
- Don’t over-bake them or they will break your teeth!
- The dough is a bit sticky, but don’t add extra flour.
- Wet your hands to avoid the dough sticking to them.
- Make sure the two logs have the same size and shape.
- Allow room between the two logs – they spread in the oven.
- Brush the logs with beaten egg for a beautiful finish.
- Slice the logs when they’re still warm – not hot or they will crumble!
- Use a sharp knife for a clear cut.
- Try to get uniform sized biscotti.
Cookies you’ll love!
- Fig cookies (Italian cucciddati)
- Chocolate orange cookies
- Vegan biscotti with almonds
- 1-bowl Orange chocolate cookies
- Vegan almond biscotti
- 4-ingredient coconut cookies
Don’t forget to check out also this amazing list of Christmas cookies!
If you make this amazing italian lemon biscotti recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it or tag a photo #theclevermeal on Instagram. I would love to hear from you!
- 1 medium-sized egg
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ cup (100 grams) sugar
- 2 tablespoons (30 grams) butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from a large lemon)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoon honey
- 2 cups + 1 Tbsp (260 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 100 grams toasted almonds, slivered or chopped (optional)
- 1 egg (to brush the biscotti logs)
- 3 tablespoons pearl sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk the flour and the baking powder in a bowl. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or an electric beater (or a whisk) beat 1 egg, egg yolk, and the sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 1 or 2 minutes.
- Reduce the speed, and add gradually the melted butter, then vanilla, honey, lemon juice and zest. Mix until combined.
- With the motor running, add the flour in a few steps, not all in one go. Add the almonds if using them, and mix until just combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed during this step.
- Remove the dough from the bowl, transfer onto a surface, and shape it into two equal logs (possibly same size and shape). If the dough is sticky, don't add any flour, simply wet your hands to handle it.
- Place the two logs onto the prepared baking sheet well apart from each other (they will spread once in the oven), press gently with your hands flattening them a little bit. For a shiny finish, I recommend brushing the logs with a beaten egg (aka egg wash) and sprinkle with pearl sugar if desired.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes until firm and golden.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven, place it on a rack, let cool down for about 10 minutes and reduce the oven temperature to 250℉-120℃.
- Transfer the logs on a cutting board and using a sharp knife, with a sewing motion, slice the logs diagonally into about ½ inch thick slices (or thicker, if desired).
- Return the biscotti slices to the baking sheet, cut side up, and bake them again for 10 minutes per side, total 20 minutes.
- Let the lemon biscotti cool. They keep well in airtight containers or metal tin for about 10 days.