Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies

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5 from 1 vote
Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies will be your new favorite flavor of cookie when you try these sweet, fluffy, and lemony bites of goodness. Plus, this recipe wields a large amount of so you're sure to have plenty for all!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 25 minutes

Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies will be your new favorite flavor of cookie when you try these sweet, fluffy, and lemony bites of goodness. Plus, this recipe wields a large amount of so you’re sure to have plenty for all!

Italian Lemon Ricotta cookies on a white plate.

Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies are the perfect combo for the holidays for those who love a sweet but tangy treat. With its delicious glaze and light, airy texture, this ricotta cookies recipe is a must-add to your dessert table. Its especially great for a larger crowd and everyone will be delighted to try this lemon cookie!

Did you know that the ricotta in these Italian ricotta cookies is made from whey leftover from the milk of sheep, goats, cows, and buffalo? This cheese is a healthier option for making cookies. Learn more about ricotta here.


MORE LEMON TREAT RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Lemon Pecan Sandwich Cookies | Starbucks Lemon Loaf | Lemon Meringue Poke Cake


What We Love About This Recipe

What makes this recipe great? Ricotta cheese cookies are sweet, tangy, zesty, and so delicious! You’ll absolutely crave more of these treats once they’re gone.

  • Serving Size: This recipe yields many cookies so everyone is bound to get a taste.
  • Easy Ingredients: All the ingredients for Italian ricotta cookies can be easily found in your grocery store.
  • Flavor: If you’re looking for a cookie with lots of flavor then these cookies are a must!
  • Easy Glaze: The glaze for ricotta lemon cookies is so easy and simple to make!
CLose up of ricotta lemon cookies with a bite missing

Ingredient Notes

  • Lemon zest: Lemon zest is the shredded outside portion of a lemon. It is used to provide strong, tangy flavors to baked goods.
  • Whole milk ricotta cheese: This ricotta adds texture, moisture, and richness to the recipe.
  • Vanilla extract: Extract is used add flavor to the cookies with ricotta.
  • Lemon juice: Not only does lemon juice add a citrusy flavor, but it also helps for baked goods to rise.
Ingredients for easy ricotta cookies

Equipment Needed

How to Make Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies

These are the basic steps for making cookies with ricotta cheese. Please refer to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.

Step by step process for making Italian Ricotta cookies

STEP 1: Add and Mix

Add the butter, granulated sugar, and lemon zest in a bowl. Mix until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Mix in the ricotta cheese and vanilla extract.

STEP 2: Add

Add the eggs one at a time until they are fully mixed in the mixture. In another bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together.

STEP 3: Mix

Slowly mix in the flour mixture and continue until combined. Cover a bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Step by step process for making Italian Ricotta cookies

STEP 4: Prep and Scoop

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop 1 tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. Place the dough balls on the baking sheet one inch apart.

STEP 5: Bake

Bake for 12-14 minutes until cookies are golden. Let the cookies cool and then transfer them onto a cooling rack.

STEP 6: For the Glaze

Whisk together the melted butter, powdered sugar, lemon juice, and 4 tablespoons of milk. Whisk until smooth. Dip the tops of the cooled cookies into the glaze and place on rimmed baking sheets. Add sprinkles immediately.

Prep and Storage Tips

HOW TO FREEZE THE RICOTTA COOKIE DOUGH

Wrap the dough thoroughly in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container. Leave in the freezer for up to three months.

HOW TO FREEZE BAKED RICOTTA COOKIES

Before glazing the cookies, wrap thoroughly in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container for up to three months. Thaw at room temperature when you’re ready to glaze and serve the cookies.

HOW TO STORE THIS RECIPE

Let the ricotta lemon cookies set completely after glazing. Transfer to an airtight container before placing them in the fridge.

Frequently Asked Questions

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE GLUTEN FREE?

It is not recommended to substitute the flour used in this recipe. The flour helps with texture and adds to the flavor.

CAN I SUBSTITUTE ALMOND EXTRACT IN PLACE OF VANILLA EXTRACT?

You can but the almond flavoring will be stronger than the more subtle vanilla.

CAN I SUBSITIUTE THE LEMON ZEST FOR ORANGE ZEST?

Yes, the Italian ricotta cookies will have a different taste.

CAN I MAKE LARGER LEMON RICOTTA COOKIES?

Cookies should not be any larger than a tablespoon or else the cookies could come out flat.

Ricotta cheese cookies on a plate

Expert Tips for Making This Recipe

  • This Recipe Can be Doubled: If you’re looking to feed a large crowd then simply double the ingredients needed for this recipe and bake per the instructions.
  • Decoration: If sprinkles aren’t your favorite topping, add almond shavings instead.
  • Chill the Dough: Don’t skip out on chilling the dough. Doing so helps the cookies keep from flattening in the oven.

What to Serve with Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies

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5 from 1 vote

Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Yield: 48 cookies
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 25 minutes
Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies will be your new favorite flavor of cookie when you try these sweet, fluffy, and lemony bites of goodness. Plus, this recipe wields a large amount of so you're sure to have plenty for all!
Print Recipe Pin Recipe Rate Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 ¾ cups 15oz whole milk ricotta cheese ,whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4-6 Tablespoons milk
  • Sprinkles for topping, optional

Instructions

Cookies

  • In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter, granulated sugar and lemon zest.
  • Use an electric mixer to beat together until the mixture is pale and fluffy.
  • Mix in the ricotta cheese and vanilla extract until fully combined.
  • Add the eggs to the mixture, one at a time, making sure each one is fully mixed in before adding the next.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  • With the mixer set to low, slowly add in flour mixture and mix until combined.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Scoop 1 tablespoon of chilled dough and roll into a ball; Place rolled dough onto prepared baking sheets at least 1 inch apart. Repeat with remaining dough.
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes until the bottoms are golden.
  • Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack to completely cool.

Glaze

  • Meanwhile, prepare glaze by whisking together the melted butter, powdered sugar, lemon juice and 4 tablespoons of milk.
  • Whisk until smooth. The glaze should be thicker than traditional glaze. If glaze is too thick, add one tablespoon of milk at a time until desired consistency.
  • Once cookies have completely cooled, dip the tops into the glaze and place on wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet (to catch the drips).
  • If adding sprinkles, do so immediately after dipping.
  • Allow glaze to fully dry before storing.

Video

Expert Tips

  • This Recipe Can be Doubled: If you’re looking to feed a large crowd then simply double the ingredients needed for this recipe and bake per the instructions.
  • Decoration: If sprinkles aren’t your favorite topping, add an almond shaving to the top of your lemon ricotta.
  • Chill the Dough: Make sure you don’t skip out on chilling the dough. Doing so helps the cookies keep from spreading out too much when in the oven.

Estimated Nutritional Information

Calories: 154kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 48mg | Potassium: 47mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 177IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information provided are estimates. To learn more about how I calculate this information go to www.itisakeeper.com/about-its-a-keeper/privacy-disclosure-policies/
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Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: cookies, italian, italian cookies, italian lemon ricotta cookies, italian ricotta cookies, lemon, lemons, ricotta, zest

This recipe is my personal adaption of an ethnic inspired recipe. It is not intended to be an authentic recipe.  I’ve recreated this recipe because I enjoy the flavors and I want to encourage my readers to expand their tastes and try new flavor combinations. The recipe, ingredients and processes may have been adapted to make the recipe accessible for the average American. I have provided links to authentic versions of the recipe in the post above. I encourage you to visit these pages and learn more about the traditional version(s) of this recipe.

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1 thought on “Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies”

  1. 5 stars
    We make these each Christmas and it is a FAVORITE! This year we substituted ORANGE and it was a huge hit. This is a versatile recipe that deserves to be in any everyday rotation!

    Reply

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