Ricotta Cookies

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5 from 22 votes
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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. 

ricotta cookies.

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. 

What are ricotta cookies made of?

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

Cookies:

  • 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. 
  • Salt.
  • 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. 

Glaze:

  • Powdered sugar.
  • Lemon juice.
  • Sprinkles

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. 

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- Roll into balls and bake

Now, remove the dough from the freezer and shape them into 12 small balls.

ricotta cookies on tray.

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. 

Italian ricotta cookies.

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. 

lemon ricotta cookies.

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. 

Storage instructions

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. 

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.

ricotta cookie recipe.

Ricotta Cookies | The BEST Italian Recipe

5 from 22 votes
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. 
Servings: 12 cookies
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 14 minutes
Total: 15 minutes

Ingredients  

For the glaze

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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

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. 

Nutrition

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

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

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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  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!😘