This Basic Biscotti Dough is a blank canvas to create a variety of different flavors. Read all the tips to master this classic recipe. Crunchy and sweet biscotti are a lovely treat to dunk into a warm drink. They are easy to make and keep well when stored in an airtight container. This is a basic biscotti dough that is ideal for adding any mix-ins you desire.

Cantucci or Biscotti di Prato are crunchy almond cookies from Tuscany. Biscotti literally means twice (bis) cooked (cotti), the word “biscotti” is a generic term for cookies in Italian.

0Z4A1283 683x1024, CucinaByElena

Easy and Simple Biscotti

Once you master this simple dough and twice-bake technique you can flavor the biscotti with any of your favorite flavors. Personally, I like to keep it simple! I love simple sweet almond and vanilla flavored dough. During the holiday season it is fun to add cranberries and pistachios for color and festive flavor. The great thing about biscotti is you can make them your own by adding what you love!

0Z4A1265 683x1024, CucinaByElena

What are Italian biscotti or cantucci cookies?

The word biscotti is derived from the Latin biscoctus, meaning twice baked or cooked. The dough is formed into logs, baked, cooled and baked again. Whereas Italians use the word “biscotti” to refer to various cookies, Americans use the term to refer to the singular long, crisp, twice-baked Italian cookie.

The twice-baked Italian cookies originate from the city of Prato. They are also called cantucci. Unlike most cookies that form a dough that gets sliced or cut out, biscotti bakes in two oblong-shaped logs. 

Basic Italian Biscotti (Cantucci) Dough dipped in chocolate

Simple Ingredients

Flour is the main structure of the biscotti.

Sugar sweetens the cookie.

Baking Powder leavens the biscotti, making it rise.

Eggs bind the biscotti and also help with leavening.

Butter adds tenderness and richness to the biscotti.

Salt, almond, and vanilla extract flavor the biscotti.

Add-ins. See suggestions below.

Basic Italian Biscotti (Cantucci) Dough

How do you bake biscotti?

Simple: Make dough, form it into two logs, and bake. Once they’re completely cool—this is an important step!—you slice them with a serrated knife at a slight angle and bake again. That is why they are “twice baked”. Here is the process.

IMG 1299 Rotated, CucinaByElena

The biscotti dough will be fairly sticky.

IMG 1302 Rotated, CucinaByElena

Divide the dough in two and form into logs. If adding mix-ins add them before forming into logs. Left- plain. Right- with whole almonds.

IMG 1305 768x1024, CucinaByElena

After the biscotti cookie loaves bake they are nice and puffy with a golden brown top. It is best to let cool a few minutes, but still cut while they cookie loaf is warm or it will be too hard to cut.

IMG 1322 768x1024, CucinaByElena

Cut biscotti cookie into slices and bake again. This is the “twice baked” part of the cookie that makes them special and unique. You will do this process with both loaves.

IMG 1312 768x1024, CucinaByElena
baking the biscotti two times

Bake cookies again until golden brown. If you like the cookies a little more crunchy cooke them longer. I prefer them still slightly soft in the middle with a crunch on the exterior.

IMG 1341 1 768x1024, CucinaByElena

Tips for Making The Best Biscotti Dough and Cookies


  • Use room temperature eggs and butter. This will help with a smooth dough and the cooking process.
  • Beat eggs and sugar until very fluffy and pale yellow. This is a step you don’t want to skip. It will make the biscotti tender, fluffy, and the perfect consistency for baking again.
  • If the dough is too sticky to handle after the wet ingredients have been added, then too much moisture is in the dough (this could be because eggs vary in weight and size, or the brand of butter you use). Mix in a small amount of flour until the dough can be handled.
  • This dough is a blank canvas to flavor with different extracts or to add mix-ins.
  • The key to making biscotti that aren’t so hard you feel like you might chip a tooth is to not bake them too long during the second bake. Pull them out of the oven when the outside feels toasted, but the cookie still has a bit of give when you press down on it.
  • Storing cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 month. The flavor gets better with time!
Basic Italian Biscotti (Cantucci) Dough with chocolate drizzle

Are biscotti supposed to be hard?

Yes! The cookie is hard and crumbly, which makes it perfect for dunking in warm beverages like hot cocoa.

Try our Homemade Chocolate Syrup (hot or cold)

What can I mix into the biscotti dough?

So many delicious variations to the classic biscotti! I love it simple with sliced almonds, but pistachios, pine nuts, raisins or dried cranberries, and chocolate chips are all great mix-ins. Add spices to like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom and even Italian fennel seeds are a classic variation. 

This dough is a blank canvas to flavor with different extracts or to add mix-ins. Mini chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or dried fruit can all be added to this dough.

Optional add ins you can even try mixing a couple:

  • pistachios
  • hazelnuts
  • anise seeds
  • dried cranberries
  • rasins
  • pine nuts
  • white or regular chocolate chips
  • chocolate chunks
  • dip them in melted white or regular chocolate
  • lemon or orange zest

See recipe for exact amounts to add in the dough.

0Z4A1410 683x1024, CucinaByElena

Dipping biscotti in melted chocolate

Biscotti are delicious plain. You can add a little extra by dipping the bottoms in melted chocolate. White chocolate also works here, as does sprinkling the chocolate with flaky sea salt, or chopped nuts.

How long do biscotti stay fresh?

Up to one month! This is what makes them so great. Store the cookies in a resealable container.

How can I make these Biscotti Gluten- Free?

One flour I recommend for this recipe is Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour. You can find it at most grocery stores or online. You use it cup for cup as you would the regular flour.

Biscotti or Cantucci make the perfect homemade gift for you friends and family any time of the year!

Basic Italian Biscotti (Cantucci) Dough with chocolate drizzle

From my cucina to your table… Mangia! Mangia! (Eat!)

Made with Amore, Elena

Basic Italian Biscotti (Cantucci) Dough with chocolate drizzle

Italian desserts you will also enjoy…

BEST Authentic Sicilian Cannoli Recipe

Simple Italian Apple Cake (one bowl)

Easy Almond Sponge Cake with Italian Cream

Vanilla Cake Roll with Cream and Berries

Easy Italian Pear Cake (Torta di Pere) Easy

Italian Crumble Cake Pastry Cream Filling


Basic Italian Biscotti (Cantucci) Dough with chocolate drizzle
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Basic Italian Biscotti (Cantucci) Dough with chocolate drizzle

Basic Italian Biscotti (Cantucci) Dough

  • Author: Elena Davis
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 24 servings 1x
  • Category: Sweet
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian


Cantucci or Biscotti di Prato are crunchy almond cookies from Tuscany. Biscotti literally means twice (bis) cooked (cotti), the word “biscotti” is a generic term for cookies in Italian.Crunchy and sweet biscotti are a lovely treat to dunk into a warm drink. They are easy to make and keep well when stored in an airtight container. This is a basic biscotti dough that is ideal for adding any mix-ins you desire.


Units Scale
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • (optional add ins about 1/2 for each add in. If doing 2 flavors 1/4 cup of each) : cranberries, pistachios, raisins, sliced almonds, chocolate chips, white chocolate chunks, 1 teaspoon for the: lemon zest or orange zest)


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C). Position rack in the center. Line a large 9X13 inch cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, or bowl of electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment beat the eggs on medium speed until light and frothy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the sugar gradually and whisk for another minute or so.
  4. Add the butter and extracts. Whisk for another minute. Incorporate the flour mixture. If adding mix-ins add them and combine. Mix until combined. 
  5. Divide dough in half. Flour hands and form dough into two slightly flattened logs on prepared baking sheets, each approximately 12 inches long and 2 inches wide.
  6.  Bake 30-35 minutes, or until slightly firm to the touch. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes.
  7.  Transfer to cutting board and cut diagonally into ¾-inch slices. Arrange biscotti, cut sides down, on baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, or until crisp. Cool on a rack.
  8. Remove from loaf pans and let cool for a few minutes. Transfer to cutting board. Using a serrated knife, slice cookies about 1/4 inch thick (or thicker).
  9. Place slices flat down on parchment lined baking sheets, and bake for about another 5-8 minutes or longer, depending on your personnel preference – the longer they stay in the oven, the crispier they get. Make sure to turn the slices over half way through second bake to ensure even toasting.
  10. Can be stored at room temperature for a few weeks…if they last that long.