Lemon Ricotta Cookies


5 from 50 votes
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These lemon ricotta cookies are soft and cake-like, and come together in minutes! Made without eggs, they are topped with a simple and delicious lemon glaze. 

ricotta cookies.

You do not often hear ricotta and cookies in the same sentence, but trust me, you will now.

Inspired by my cream cheese cookies, I recreated the popular Italian-inspired cookie that uses real ricotta cheese in the dough.

Now, don’t fret or think this is some odd combination. The ricotta dissolves with the sugar and butter, almost like it’s cream. When combined with some other fun ingredients and a touch of lemon, it makes the most incredible-tasting cookie that is perfect for Christmas, Easter, or any occasion. I promise you, you won’t taste it!

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe highlights
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make lemon ricotta cookies
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Storage instructions
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. More holiday cookies to try
  8. Lemon Ricotta Cookies (Recipe Card)

Recipe highlights

  • Simple pantry ingredients. Besides the ricotta cheese and butter, the rest of the ingredients are basic pantry staples. 
  • Minimal chill time. Unlike other cookie recipes that call for several hours of chilling, this recipe needs just 20 minutes in the freezer! 
  • Bakes in 13 minutes. The beauty of these cookies is just how fast they bake. The hard part is waiting for them to cool so you can glaze them. 
  • Perfect for cookie platters. If your family is anything like mine, the more variety on a cookie platter, the better. My lemon ricotta cookie recipe holds up very well and remains fresh for a very long time, so they’ll be a hit.

Ingredients needed

As mentioned earlier, this recipe calls for basic ingredients that you probably already have on hand. Here is what you’ll need:

  • All-purpose flour. Sifted to ensure there are no clumps. 
  • Cornstarch. A touch of cornstarch will help everything bind together. This is important because ricotta cheese is very smooth and has excess liquid, and I don’t want you to have soggy cookies.
  • Baking soda and baking powder. Gives rise and stability to them. 
  • Salt.
  • Butter. Unsalted and measured at room temperature. If you only have salted butter, just skip the salt.
  • Ricotta cheese. Choose a good quality ricotta cheese that is void of clumps. Also, opt for whole milk ricotta cheese because, trust me, it makes all the difference.
  • Sugar. I used white sugar, but brown sugar also works. Just note that the cookies will be darker.
  • Lemon juice. I prefer fresh lemon juice over the bottled kind. Besides, the zest is also used too.
  • Lemon zest. Optional, but intensifies the citrus notes.
  • Vanilla OR almond extract. Either extract works but I prefer the almond one because it yields a more authentic cookie flavor.
  • Glaze. A simple combination of powdered sugar, lemon juice, and some festive sprinkles.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

How to make lemon ricotta cookies

What I love about this recipe is that there is no need for a mixer or any hard-to-find kitchen gadgets- just a simple mixing bowl.

Step 1- Make the dough. Start by adding the dry ingredients into a large bowl and whisking together until combined. In a medium bowl, cream the butter, ricotta cheese, and sugar. Add in the lemon juice and zest and mix until combined. 

dry ingredients.

Step 2- Freeze the dough. Next, cover the mixing bowl and place it in the freezer for 20 minutes for a quick freeze.

ricotta cookie dough.

Step 3- Shape. Now, remove the dough from the freezer and shape them into 12 small balls, either using your hands or a cookie scoop.

ricotta cookies on tray.

Step 4- Bake. Place them on a lined baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until just cooked. Let the cookies cool on a wire rack completely.

Italian ricotta cookies.

Step 5- Glaze the cookies. Once the cookies are cooled, whisk together the glaze ingredients and spread them on top of each cookie. If desired, add some sprinkles. 

lemon ricotta cookies.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Do not overbake the cookies as they will continue to cook as they are cooling down on the baking sheet. Once the edges look a little golden, they are safe to be removed.
  • My recipe makes purposely thicker and fluffier cookies with a cake-like texture. I know not everyone loves that texture so if you’d like thinner and crispier cookies, increase the butter and sugar by two tablespoons each. 
  • If your ricotta cheese is thick and firm, I recommend blending it down until it’s mostly smooth.
  • The batter is stable enough to hold mix-ins, so try adding some mini chocolate chips and lime zest, or even dip them in white chocolate.

Storage instructions

To store: Leftover cookies will keep well at room temperature in an airtight container for up to one week. If you’d like them to keep longer, store them in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. 

To freeze: Place cookies in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months. 

Ricotta Italian cookies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which ricotta cheese is best?

Full-fat and low-moisture ricotta is best for baking. It doesn’t affect the other liquid ingredients and immerses itself well with the other ingredients.

What is Italian ricotta?

Italian ricotta is a whey-based cheese that comes from Italian cows, sheep, and/or water buffalo. It differs from other kinds of ricotta cheese as it is smoother and creamier.

How many calories are in a ricotta cookie?

Each ricotta cookie has 168 calories, including the glaze.

More holiday cookies to try

ricotta cookie recipe.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

5 from 50 votes
These lemon ricotta cookies are soft and cakey, and come together in minutes! Made without eggs, they are topped with a simple and delicious lemon glaze. 
Servings: 12 cookies
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 14 minutes
Total: 15 minutes


For the glaze

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sprinkles optional


  • In a small bowl, add the dry ingredients and mix well. In a separate bowl, add the butter, ricotta cheese, and sugar, and cream together. Add in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract.
  • Gently fold through the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. Cover the mixing bowl and place it in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Remove the cookie dough from the freezer and shape out 12 small balls. Place them on the lined sheet.
  • Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes, or until the edges just become firm. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the sheet completely.
  • Make the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar with lemon juice. Drop spoonfuls of the glaze on the cookies then add sprinkles.


TO STORE: Leftover cookies will keep well at room temperature, covered, for up to one week. If you’d like them to keep longer, store them in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. 
TO FREEZE: Place cookies in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months. 


Serving: 1cookieCalories: 168kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 3gFat: 6gSodium: 143mgPotassium: 40mgFiber: 1gVitamin A: 193IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 14mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 29g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Recipe originally published November 2022 but updated to include new information for your benefit.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Can’t do white sugar- what’s the best sub as I know coconut sugar can ‘stain’ the color of dough. These look perfect, as do all you post!😘