Walking through the streets of Siena you see Ricciarelli on the bar of every cafe and in the windows of every food shop.

These traditional biscuits are soft, chewy, coated in powdered sugar, with a subtle flavour of almonds and orange.

We make Ricciarelli in our pastry kitchen at The River Cafe and they are available in our Shop

But you might enjoy making them at home⁠—especially with a child as your Sous Chef.

You will need ground almonds, icing sugar, orange zest, and beaten egg whites⁠—then just a bit of mixing, rolling and slicing. 

Makes 36 biscuits
2-3 (75g/ 2 ¾ oz) egg whites
dash of lemon juice
220g (1⅔ cups) icing (confectioners') sugar,
plus extra for rolling
435g (3 ½ cups) ground almonds
(almond meal)
pinch of salt
grated zest of 2 oranges

measuring cups
metal spoon
baking sheet
baking (parchment) paper


It's best to eat these right away as they don't last long and will lose their chewiness.
  • In a bowl, whisk the egg whites with the lemon juice until soft peaks form. 
  • A little at a time, whisk in the icing (confectioners') sugar until the mixture is shiny and stiff
  • Fold in the ground almonds, salt and orange zest with a metal spoon. Work gently so you do not deflate the mixture. 
  • Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 
  • Preheat the oven to 160°C /Gas Mark 3 (325°F)
  • Generously dust a work counter with icing sugar.
  • Using your hands, roll a handful of the dough into a soft cylinder, 6cm (2½ inches) thick.
  • Cut into 1cm (½ inch) thick slices and roll in more icing sugar.
  • Repeat the last two steps for the remaining batter.
  • Place the biscuits on a baking sheet lined with  baking (parchment) paper. 
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. 

Explore more

Share this