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How to make citrus biscotti

Citrus biscotti are a delicious anytime treat. Full of bright, citrus flavor, they are light and delicate. Biscotti are the perfect treat alongside a cup of coffee or tea. They are made for dunking. They are also a lovely homemade gift to bring to friends and family.

I’ll give you variations and substitutions where I can, plus helpful tips and tricks for success. Read on for this info as well as the recipe. If you’d like to skip straight to the recipe, use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post.

You may also be interested in my cranberry pistachio biscotti and my butter pecan biscotti recipes. For ease of browsing, you can find all of my biscotti recipes in one place.

Citrus biscotti with white and dark chocolate drizzle on white platter. There are citrus fruits and a bright yellow towel in the background.

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Why you should make this recipe

  • Perfect for holiday gatherings – A great addition to Spring holiday dinners or celebrations. The recipe makes 2 dozen, enough to share with friends and family.
  • Sturdy – You can toss these biscotti into the cookie jar and they will be just fine. You don’t have to be delicate with them – they can take it.
  • Make ahead – Biscotti can be made ahead. It will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Chocolate drizzled lemon biscotti on white plate with citrus fruits in the background.

Citrus biscotti

These crunchy Italian cookies are one of my favorite treats. Biscotti are great for any special occasion or no occasion at all. They are just slightly sweet and are the perfect cookie for shipping to friends and family.

As much as I love chocolate, citrus will always win if there is a choice to be made. The citrus flavors in these cookies is amped up with zest from 4 fruits, a bit of juice and lemon extract. They are citrusy!

Citrus zest with a microplane zester in the background and citrus fruits.


Easy to make, with common pantry ingredients, you will be enjoying homemade biscotti in no time.

Ingredients for lemon biscotti on white background.
  • All purpose flour – Weighing your flour is the most accurate way to measure. I highly recommend using a scale to measure flour. 
  • Sugar – Provides just enough sweetness to the biscotti and helps to balance the tartness of the citrus.
  • Baking powder and baking soda – These ingredients give the biscotti a bit of lift.
  • Salt – All baked goods need salt.
  • Eggs – Provide moisture and structure to the dough.
  • Butter – Use unsalted butter so you can control the amount of salt in your baked goods.
  • Lemon, orange, lime and/or grapefruit
  • Lemon extract – A teaspoon of extract will bump up the citrus flavor.
    • Substitutions: A drop or two of lemon oil would work if you don’t have extract.
  • Chocolate – This is optional. If you want to add a chocolate drizzle, this is the chocolate I use. I don’t recommend melting chocolate chips.
Best for home use
Escali Digital Food Scale
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This is the scale that I own and use daily. It is easy to use, plus it measures in pounds, ounces and grams.

Measuring ingredients by weight, ESPECIALLY in baking, is much more accurate than cup measurement.

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03/17/2024 02:11 pm GMT
Overhead view of biscotti drizzled with white and dark chocolate.

How to make citrus biscotti

Here’s a quick summary of how to make citrus biscotti. Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full recipe. 

Making biscotti is really no different than making any other cookie, other than it gets baked twice. This biscotti is loaded with a hefty amount of zest. I used a combination of lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit. A Microplane zester makes quick work of it.

Step by step photos showing how to make citrus biscotti.
  1. Prep – Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl. Beat butter, sugar, eggs and citrus together in a larger bowl.
  2. Form – Once you have your dough made, you’ll divide it in half and form it into rectangles. The citrus biscotti dough is slightly sticky, so using damp hands to form the loaves can be helpful.
  3. Slice – After the first bake, you’ll need to let it cool for 10 – 15 minutes, or until you can comfortably handle it. Slice biscotti loaves into 12 pieces each and place them back on the pan for the second bake.
  4. Cool – Finally, place the biscotti on a rack to cool completely.
Close up of dark chocolate and white chocolate drizzle on citrus biscotti on white platter.

If you want to add a chocolate drizzle to your citrus biscotti, place the completely cooled cookies back on the lined sheet pan. Pour melted chocolate into a disposable piping bag. Snip the smallest bit of the tip off to make a very small opening for a fine drizzle, or larger for a thicker drizzle.

Leave the cookies on the tray for about 30 minutes for the chocolate to set before moving them. You can slide them into the fridge for 5 – 10 minutes if you’re in a rush, but don’t leave them for too long. The refrigerator will make them soft instead of crunchy.

Pro Tip: If you want to make your biscotti extra crunchy, let them dry out in a warm oven with the door cracked open.

If you don’t like quite as much zing in your cookies, you can go with two or three fruits instead of all of them. More isn’t always better, but in this case, it is. It’s like a flavor explosion and I’m all in.

Slicing biscotti

The key to slicing biscotti without breaking them is a two-parter. First, you must be gentle. They will still be slightly warm when you are slicing them, which means they are delicate at this stage.

Think about trying to pick up a hot cookie right out of the oven. It usually falls apart, doesn’t it? Same concept here, you need to let them cool enough to handle before trying to slice.

Secondly, the knife you use is really important. I use a thin, serrated blade that glides through the dough like butter. One of the reasons I prefer this particular knife to other serrated knives is the blade. It is thinner than many other knives, which means it easily goes through whatever you’re slicing – in this case, delicate biscotti.

Helpful tip: Avoid too much “sawing” through the cookie. Position the front of the blade where you want to start cutting and slice through in a smooth motion. Don’t apply too much downward pressure – let the knife do the work.

Twice baked Italian cookies on white platter with lemons, limes, and oranges in the background.

Citrus biscotti FAQ’s

Can I freeze them?

Yes! You can freeze the dough and the baked biscotti (without chocolate drizzle) for up to 3 months. Store in an airtight container, or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.

Can these citrus biscotti be made ahead of time?

The plain biscotti will last up to 2 weeks, so you can make them ahead of time and drizzle with chocolate later, if you like.

Variations and substitutions

  • Lemon – Omit the other citrus fruits and use just lemon zest to make a lemon biscotti. Replace the zest from the lime and orange with the same amount of lemon zest.
  • Lemon glaze – Swap out the chocolate drizzle for a lemon glaze. Use 1 cup of powdered sugar mixed with 1 1 /2 tbsp. of fresh lemon juice.

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There you have it, friends! An easy, perfect for Spring cookie that’s a snap to make, is super delicious and earns bonus points for a chocolate drizzle.

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More biscotti recipes

Citrus biscotti

Cheryl Bennett
Citrus biscotti are a delicious spring treat. Full of bright, citrus flavor – they are light, delicate and full of fresh citrus zest.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Biscotti recipes
Cuisine Italian-American
Servings 2 dozen
Calories 123 kcal


  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour // 300g
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. sugar // 200g
  • 8 tbsp. 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled // 113g
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp. orange zest
  • 1 tbsp. lime and/or grapefruit zest
  • white and dark chocolate for drizzling optional


  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter, sugar and eggs. Beat for 3 – 4 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  • Add lemon juice, lemon extract and citrus zests. Mix to combine.
  • Add dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  • Divide the dough in half. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, form each half into a rectangle of dough approximately an inch thick. **Dough will be slightly sticky. Use damp (not wet!) hands to form the dough into rectangles.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 – 30 minutes.
  • While dough is chilling, preheat oven to 350°F / 325°F with convection fan / 177°C / Gas Mark 4.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes.
  • Gently slice biscotti into 1/4" pieces and lay them back on the sheet pan on their sides. Bake for an additional 10 minutes for crispy biscotti. *See notes for extra crunchy cookies.
  • Cool on wire cooling rack completely before drizzling with chocolate if desired.
  • To drizzle with chocolate: Melt 1/3 cup chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments, stirring between each. When there are pea-sized pieces of chocolate left, you're done. Let the chocolate sit, the heat will continue melting it. Stir until smooth, then transfer melted chocolate into pastry bag or zip-top bag with a corner snipped off to pipe melted chocolate on top of cookies.



  • I love the burst of citrus flavor in these cookies, so I used 3 full tbsp. of zest. If you prefer a more subtle flavor, choose either lime or grapefruit instead of both.
  • For EXTRA crunchy biscotti – lower the temperature of the oven to 300°F and continue baking for an additional 15 – 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the cookies so they don't brown too much. If they still aren't as hard as you'd like them, crack the oven door and let them sit in a warm oven for 20 minutes longer to dry out.
  • White chocolate can be difficult to melt – add a tablespoon of coconut oil to the chocolate and stir to combine. It will magically become smooth and pipeable.
  • You can freeze the biscotti dough for up to 3 months. Wrap tightly in plastic and place in a freezer bag or in a food-sealer bag.


Serving: 1biscottiCalories: 123kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 2gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 180mgSugar: 9g
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Originally published 3/26/21. Most recent update 3/20/24.


  1. I am going to need this with my coffee this weekend. The citrus and chocolate are calling my name!

  2. These are just the cutest biscotti! And I’ll bet they taste as good as they look!

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