Donna Hay’s Vanilla & Almond Biscotti

Donna Hay Biscotti

If you asked me to pick a favourite homemade cookie, I’d say Donna Hay’s Biscotti would be right up there. This was one of the first recipes I ever published here on the blog all the way back in 2007, and I still love it. I make it exactly the same way to this day. I could never get tired of these crunchy, nutty biscuits that are perfect with a cup of coffee for afternoon tea. Luckily, this recipe makes about 40, because it’s impossible to stop at just one.

The original Vanilla and Almond Biscotti recipe came from my favourite Donna Hay cookbook, which will always have a special place in my heart. Donna Hay is Australian cookbook royalty and I learned a lot from trying her recipes over and over. Modern Classics was one of my most loved books when I first started learning how to bake. I swear, I’ve cooked most of the recipes from it in the years since!

Donna Hay Biscotti

So, what are Biscotti?

Biscotti are crunchy biscuits that originated in Tuscany. When translated from Italian, the word means ‘twice baked’ which perfectly describes the process of making these. They come together with a few basic pantry ingredients like flour, sugar and baking powder, combined with vanilla, eggs and almonds. You might even have everything you need already on hand!

The more traditional Italian version of these biscuits uses eggs and no butter for a crunchier biscuit – the perfect accompaniment to dip into dessert wine or coffee. But a quick Google search also finds an Americanised version that contains butter and often more sugar and chocolate. They’re still crunchy, but eaten more like a traditional cookie.

Donna Hay Biscotti

The dough is formed into two log shapes and then baked for the first time. When cooled, it’s sliced and baked again to form the crunchy cookies. My biggest tip is to allow the baked logs to cool before trying to slice them, otherwise they will be too crumbly.

Also using a serrated knife is key. I’m pretty terrible at cutting things straight, but just go slow and try to keep them as even as possible. It doesn’t matter if they’re not completely perfect. I’m all about that home-made rustic vibe.

Donna Hay Biscotti

This is also a really adaptable recipe. Try using different nuts like hazelnuts or pistachios or your favourite dried fruit. You can also change up flavourings like citrus zest, spices or vanilla. In fact, I have published several variations over the years, like this Sour Cherry and Cocoa Nib version. I love them all but this classic combination of Vanilla and Almonds will always have my heart.

The chocolate dip or drizzle is optional but highly recommended! I used a 70% dark chocolate but depending on the flavours you’ve used, white chocolate could be lovely too. I hope you’ll give Donna Hay’s Biscotti a try next time you feel like baking!

Related Post: Chai, Fig and Almond Biscotti

Donna Hay Biscotti

Donna Hay’s Vanilla and Almond Biscotti

Donna Hay's Vanilla and Almond Biscotti are crunchy biscuits made with simple pantry ingredients and are delicious with a cup of coffee!

Course Dessert
Keyword Cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 40 biscotti


  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup almonds
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (320°F).

  2. Sift the flour and baking powder together in a bowl. Add sugar and almonds and stir together. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well to form a dough. Divide the dough in two.

  3. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead each piece until smooth. Shape into logs and flatten slightly.

  4. Place the logs on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely. If not completely cool, it will be crumbly when you slice it.

  5. Cut the logs into 5mm thick slices with a serrated knife and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the biscotti are crisp. Store in an airtight container and serve with espresso or liqueur.

6 Comments on “Donna Hay’s Vanilla & Almond Biscotti”

  1. i agree, i can never name utter favourites. it depends on my mood, the weather, what i’ve eaten lately, how i feel.

    i haven’t tried this biscotti recipe even though i have the cookbook. i love your pic though, and your blog so far. gorgeous pics and wonderful opening paragraphs 🙂

  2. Thanks Helen, I’m very new to this blogging thing clearly, but after so long being amazed and inspired by yours and others’ blogs, I thought I would give it a go! You should try the biscotti, its seriously amazing 🙂

  3. I’ve made this many times although I double the amount of almonds because I just love them 😀

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