Fave Dei Morti Recipe: A Sweet Taste of Tradition

If you’re looking to add a touch of Italian tradition to your dessert repertoire, look no further than the delightful Fave Dei Morti Recipe. These charming little treats, also known as “Beans of the Dead” or “Sweets of the Dead,” are a beloved part of Italy’s culinary heritage, particularly popular during the celebration of All Souls’ Day. But don’t let the name fool you – these cookies are far from morbid. Instead, they’re a deliciously sweet and almond-flavored delight that’s perfect for any occasion.

A Brief History and Significance

Fave Dei Morti have a rich history steeped in Italian folklore and tradition. Legend has it that these cookies were originally made as an offering to the departed souls during the commemoration of All Souls’ Day, a solemn occasion in the Catholic calendar. The name “Fave Dei Morti” translates to “Beans of the Dead,” with the round, bean-like shape of the cookies symbolizing the cycle of life and death. Over time, however, these treats have become more associated with celebration rather than mourning, and they are now enjoyed throughout Italy as a delicious autumnal delicacy.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Making Fave Dei Morti is surprisingly simple, and you’ll only need a handful of ingredients to whip up a batch of these delectable cookies. Here’s what you’ll need:

For the Cookies:

  • 200g almond flour
  • 200g powdered sugar
  • 100g all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Pinch of cinnamon

For Decorating (Optional):

  • Whole almonds
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Step-by-Step Instructions

Now that you’ve gathered your ingredients, it’s time to get baking! Follow these simple steps to create your own batch of Fave Dei Morti:

  1. Preheat Your Oven: Start by preheating your oven to 160°C (320°F) and lining a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, powdered sugar, all-purpose flour, lemon zest, and cinnamon. Mix until well combined.
  3. Add Wet Ingredients: Once your dry ingredients are mixed, add the egg and vanilla extract to the bowl. Use your hands or a wooden spoon to mix everything together until a dough forms. If the dough is too dry, you can add a splash of milk to help bring it together.
  4. Shape the Cookies: Take small pieces of dough and roll them into small balls, about the size of a marble. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them slightly apart.
  5. Decorate (Optional): If desired, press a whole almond into the center of each cookie to create a decorative pattern. You can also use the tines of a fork to gently flatten the cookies slightly.
  6. Bake: Transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven and bake the cookies for 15-18 minutes, or until they are lightly golden brown around the edges.
  7. Cool and Serve: Once baked, remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cooled, dust the cookies with powdered sugar for an extra touch of sweetness.

Serving Suggestions

Fave Dei Morti are best enjoyed alongside a cup of freshly brewed coffee or a glass of Vin Santo, a sweet Italian dessert wine. They make a perfect after-dinner treat or a delightful accompaniment to an afternoon tea party. You can also package them up in a decorative tin or box to give as homemade gifts to friends and family during the holiday season.


In conclusion, Fave Dei Morti are a deliciously sweet and symbolic treat that holds a special place in Italian culinary tradition. With their simple ingredients and straightforward preparation, they’re the perfect recipe to try your hand at baking something a little bit different. So why not channel your inner nonna and whip up a batch of these delightful cookies today?

For more ideas, recipes, and cooking tips and tricks, please visit us at Southern Haunts Blog.

FAQs About Fave Dei Morti Recipe

Q1: Can I substitute almond flour with regular flour?

A1: While almond flour is traditionally used in Fave Dei Morti recipes for its nutty flavor and texture, you can substitute it with regular flour if needed. However, keep in mind that the taste and texture of the cookies may be slightly different.

Q2: How long do Fave Dei Morti cookies last?

A2: When stored in an airtight container at room temperature, Fave Dei Morti cookies can last for up to two weeks. However, they are best enjoyed fresh within the first few days of baking.

Q3: Can I freeze Fave Dei Morti dough?

A3: Yes, you can freeze Fave Dei Morti dough for future use. Simply shape the dough into balls as directed in the recipe, then place them on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer the dough balls to a freezer bag or container and store them in the freezer for up to three months. When ready to bake, simply thaw the dough balls in the refrigerator overnight before baking as usual.

Q4: Can I omit the lemon zest from the recipe?

A4: While lemon zest adds a lovely citrusy flavor to the cookies, you can omit it if you prefer. The cookies will still turn out deliciously almond-flavored without it.

Q5: Are Fave Dei Morti cookies gluten-free?

A5: Yes, Fave Dei Morti cookies are naturally gluten-free since they are made with almond flour and do not contain any wheat or gluten-containing ingredients.