These ricotta cookies are soft and cakey, and come together in minutes! Made without eggs, they are topped with a simple and delicious lemon glaze.
It’s no secret that we love a good cookie recipe.
What we love even more is using unique ingredients in the dough. If you’ve tried our cream cheese cookies before, you will love this twist on them: lemon ricotta cookies.
Why this recipe works
- 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.
What I love about this recipe is just how authentic they taste. As someone who spent years in Italy, they taste exactly like the classic Italian ricotta cookies they are.
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. Helps the cookies have a tender texture.
- Baking soda. Gives rise and stability to them.
- Butter. Unsalted and measured at room temperature.
- Ricotta cheese. Choose a good quality ricotta cheese that is void of clumps. Also, try and choose the full-fat variety as they yield a richer flavor.
- Sugar. White or raw.
- Lemon juice. Fresh or bottled.
- Lemon zest. Optional, but adds a lovely lemon flavor.
- Vanilla OR almond extract. Either extract works with the almond one having a more authentic Italian flavor.
- Powdered sugar.
- Lemon juice.
How to make them
Step 1- Make the dough
Start by adding the dry ingredients into a bowl and whisking together until combined. In a separate bowl, cream the butter, ricotta cheese, and sugar. Add in the lemon juice and zest and mix until combined.
Step 2- Freeze the dough
Next, cover the mixing bowl and place it in the freezer for 20 minutes for a quick freeze.
Step 3- Roll into balls and bake
Now, remove the dough from the freezer and shape them into 12 small balls.
Place them on a lined baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until just cooked. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet completely.
Step 4- 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.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Do not overbake the cookies as they will continue to cook as they are cooling down on the baking sheet.
- This recipe makes thicker and fluffier cookies. If you’d like thinner and crispier cookies, increase the butter and sugar by two tablespoons each.
- Always use a good quality ricotta cheese that crumbles easily. If the cheese is a little firm or stiff, it’s best to blend it until smooth before adding it to the dough.
- If you’d like authentic Italian ricotta cookies, add the almond extract.
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.
- Sugar free cookies
- Healthy chocolate chip cookies
- Keto chocolate chip cookies
- 3 ingredient chocolate chip cookies
- 2 ingredient cookies
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
Each ricotta cookie has 168 calories, including the glaze.
Ricotta Cookies | The BEST Italian Recipe
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.
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