Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies

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5 from 6 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 25 minutes

Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies are an amazing cookie for the holidays for those who love a sweet, fluffy cookie. 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 as it makes a lot of cookies. Everyone will be delighted to try this lemon cookie!

A dish of Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Adding the ricotta to these Italian Ricotta Cookies make it a soft, moist, cake-like cookies. Then add the zesty lemon glaze and this cookie is truly addictive.

If you are looking for more unique and delicious recipes for the holiday season, check this guide for more glorious recipes.


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This ricotta cookie is not a savory cookie. It is more a creamy pillowy cookie with a cake-like texture that is accented with lemon. They are so tender and refreshing with the lemon flavor. The are definitely irresistable.

  • 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!
A hand holding up a cookie.

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.
  • Lemon juice: Not only does lemon juice add a citrusy flavor, but it also helps for baked goods to rise.
Flour, sugar, lemon juice, cream cheese etc.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Almond Extract – Replace the almond extract with almond extract, anise extract or even lemon extract.
  • Low Fat Ricotta – Substitute the whole milk ricotta with a low fat version.

How to Make Italian Ricotta Cookies

These are the basic steps for making Ricotta Cookies Recipe. Please refer to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions and calorie estimate.

Mixing the cookie dough and placing on a baking tray.

STEP 1: CREAM

First, 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. Then add the eggs one at a time until they are fully mixed in the mixture. In a medium bowl combine the dry ingredients, the flour, baking powder, and salt together.

STEP 2: MIX

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

STEP 3:

Then preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a small cookie Scoop 1 tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. Place the dough balls on the baking sheet one inch apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes until cookies are golden. Let the cookies cool and then transfer them onto a cooling rack.

Icing and decorating the lemon ricotta cookies.

STEP 4: GLAZE

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

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE AHEAD OF TIME

Make the dough ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours in an airtight container.

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.

HOW TO FREEZE THIS RECIPE

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE HEALTHIER?

Truly, this is a recipe that you need to stick to the recipe and ingredients as they are to get the best cookie. However, you can try using a sugar substitute and a sugar free sprinkle for on top.

CAN I MAKE LARGER LEMON RICOTTA COOKIES?

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

CAN THIS RECIPE BE DOUBLED OR HALVED?

Of course, but be warned that this recipe makes a lot of cookies. Therefore, before you double it, see how many you need.

CAN I SUBSITIUTE THE LEMON ZEST FOR ORANGE ZEST?

Yes, the Italian ricotta cookies will have a different taste but it is a nice change. Make both.

A platter of Lemon Ricotta Cookies.

Expert Tips for Making This Recipe

  • Chill the Dough: Don’t skip out on chilling the dough. Doing so helps the cookies keep from flattening in the oven.
  • Add Food Coloring: The glaze can be made a lot of festive colors for even prettier cookies all ready for instagram.
  • Flavored: Try flavored sprinkles for even more lemon goodness.
  • Variation tip: Try orange zest and juice in place of the lemon.

What to Serve with Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies

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A dish of Lemon Ricotta Cookies
5 from 6 votes

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 are an amazing cookie for the holidays for those who love a sweet, fluffy cookie. 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!
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

  • Chill the Dough: Don’t skip out on chilling the dough. Doing so helps the cookies keep from flattening in the oven.
  • Add Food Coloring: The glaze can be made a lot of festive colors for even prettier cookies all ready for instagram.
  • Flavored: Try flavored sprinkles for even more lemon goodness.
  • Variation tip: Try orange zest and juice in place of the lemon.

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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2 thoughts 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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