A Maltese rabbit shaped almond cookie decorated with colorful icing

The BEST Figolli Recipe to bake this Easter

If you’re on the lookout for Easter baking ideas, look no further cause these Maltese Figolli are the perfect homemade Easter sweets! With an addictive fruity yet almondy taste and a soft center, you’ll have gone through a whole Figolla before you know it! Don’t leave it on your counter as this Easter cookie recipe is simply irresistible. 

Healthy Vegan Figolla Recipe

What are figolli?

Figolli are a Maltese traditional Easter dessert. They consist of a marzipan-like ground almond filling, sandwiched between 2 cookie layers. They’re cut out in plenty of different shapes and covered in a rich chocolate coating or decorated with royal icing.  

They’re ideal homemade easter treats for kids since they do require some time to make, meaning your kids will be kept busy. Kids will love modeling and decorating these Easter baked goods in colorful icing and decorations. Don’t be surprised if your kids come up with a little masterpiece! 

How to make Figolli 

There are 3 steps to making a Figolla. First off, you prepare a sweet shortcrust pastry for the outer casing which you cut out into different shapes using a ‘Figolli cutter’. This is simply a large cookie cutter. You then prepare the almond paste filling, which is very similar to marzipan. Place the almond paste in the centre of the cookie shape and sandwich it between cookie layers. You bake this for some 20 minutes and then decorate with melted chocolate, easter eggs and royal icing with different food colorings. 

We love our Maltese sweets around here, especially when they’re the type we eat once a year. As a matter of fact, there was a hilarious nationwide backlash over a Facebook post by an established nutritionist, warning everyone of the excessive amount of calories in Figolli.

I don’t particularly agree with the approach of completely eliminating something you love and not joining in on the Easter fun. This simply leaves you feeling frustrated and restrained. I, therefore, put my apron on and got my hands dirty creating a healthier alternative. As always, zero compromises on taste was the number one requirement. 

Healthy Maltese Figolli decorated in colorful icing

A Vegan Friendly Healthy Figolli Recipe 

This Figolla recipe makes for a healthy Easter sweet treat without making you feel like you’re missing out. It’s completely dairy free and plant based. Meaning no butter, no eggs and no sugar are used, only genuine nutritious ingredients. I did use some sweetener to make sure the taste is 100% authentic. 

So what’s inside these vegan Figolli and why are they healthier? Well, it’s quite simple! I subbed white flour with a blend of wholewheat flour and oats, switched margarine with yogurt, applesauce, and olive oil and replaced sugar with dried fruits and a small amount of stevia. I coated these lovely almond cookies with stevia sweetened dark chocolate and decorated them with a small amount of icing (which I removed before eating :))

Last Easter I served my creation at a family get-together, without telling anyone that it’s a healthy alternative. After the compliments started flooding in, I was quite amused at their reactions when I told them they were eating a wholemeal, no-sugar, lower fat Figolla! 

The biggest compliment came from my brother who simply loves eating, loves junk food, and rarely ever likes anything I make because it’s simply too healthy for him. My brother told me he absolutely couldn’t tell the difference between this version and a normal Figolla. Day made!  

Figolli Calories

A normal Figolla with a similar quantity of ingredients used contains 2700 – 3000 calories. Each Figolla also contains close to 150g of fat (65 of which are saturated), 290g of carbohydrates, 180g of which are sugar, 11g of fiber and 42g of protein. 

On the other hand, The Healthy Malteser Figolla contains 1378 calories. This is broken down as 86g of fat (14.7g of which are saturated), 183g of carbohydrates, 68g of sugar (from dates), an impressive 40g of fiber and 43g of protein. 

Anything containing a high quantity of almonds can never be low in calories. Additionally, a high calorie does not mean unhealthy and low calorie does not necessarily mean healthy either. It’s all about the quality of ingredients used. 

In this case, all calories come from cleaner ingredients such as wholemeal flour, yogurt, olive oil and dates. This means you’re getting plenty of nutritional benefits and not just ‘empty’ calories. 

Want more healthy and vegan Easter dessert recipes? Check out this Kwarezimal and Healthy Vegan Carrot Cake. These Maltese recipes are definitely among the best Easter desserts around! 

Healthy Maltese Figolli decorated in colorful icing

Healthy and Vegan Maltese Figolli

These traditional Maltese sweets are delectable pastries with a ground almond filling and coated in chocolate. You'll find these around all Malte close to Easter!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Maltese
Servings 5 Figolli
Calories 1378 kcal

Equipment

  • Food Processor
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Rolling Pin

Ingredients
  

Healthy Pastry Ingredients

  • 325 g Wholemeal Flour or gluten free
  • 250 g Gluten Free Oats ground to a flour consistency
  • 100 g Dates
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 100 g Soya Yogurt
  • 100 g Applesauce
  • 120 g Olive Oil
  • 100 g Sweetener of choice such as xylitol
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 20 g Agave Syrup

Filling Ingredients

  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 500 g Pure Ground Almonds
  • 80 g Sweetener of choice
  • 100 g Dates
  • 100 g Dried Fruit of choice I used Apricots
  • 20 g Linseeds optional
  • 2 tsp Bitter Almond Extract
  • 20 g Agave Syrup

Topping Ingredients

  • 150 g Stevia Sweetened Dark Chocolate

Instructions
 

How to make Healthy and Vegan Pastry

  • Grind dates and oats together, set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the yogurt, olive oil, applesauce, vanilla, agave, baking powder and sweetener.
  • Mix in the oats and dates and stir.
  • Add flour and keep stirring to form a dough ball.
  • Cover with plastic and place in the freezer for 15 minutes while you prepare your filling.

Prepare the filling

  • In the bowl of your mixer add in lemon zest, dates, fruits, sweetener, almond extract, almonds, linseeds and agave. Process until all ingredients are very well blended.
  • Slowly add in water and keep processing until the mixture forms a mushy paste.

Assemble your Figolla

  • Pre-heat oven to 180⁰C and prepare a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of approximately 1 cm.
  • Cut out shapes for your Figolli and add marzipan to the inside of the shape, leaving approximately 1cm from the side.
  • Brush the perimeter of the shape with water and cover with the matching pastry shape.
  • Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.
  • Melt the dark chocolate in your microwave and coat your Figolli (you can add a teaspoon of coconut oil to your chocolate to make it thinner and easier to coat).
  • Decorate to your liking. Enjoy your healthy treat!

Video

Notes

In case you’re wondering if these can be frozen – the answer is YES! Some have even told me they taste better after defrosting 🙂
One Figolla can easily be divided into 6 servings. Based on 6 servings per Figolla, you can follow the below nutritional info. 
Calories: 230 | Carbohydrates: 22.7g | Protein: 6.8g | Fat: 12g | Fiber: 3.9g


If you use My Fitness Pal to log your food, you can find this recipe listed on the database as ‘The Healthy Malteser Healthy Figolla (updated recipe)’ .


Did you make this recipe? Leave your comments and ratings below. Don’t forget to Tag @TheHealthyMalteser on Facebook and Instagram for a chance to have your recipe featured in our stories! 

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    2 thoughts on “The BEST Figolli Recipe to bake this Easter”

    1. Claudia Schembri

      5 stars
      I made these figolli in Easter and froze two not to binge eat them. It’s truly BEST figolli recipe! Super delicious and wholesome dessert. You have to try it!!

    2. Mary Louise Camilleri

      I am not a big fan of dates. Can I substitute with something else or they wouldn’t taste at all?

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