Luscious Lemon Ricotta Cookies: Perfect for Any Occasion

As a baker and food enthusiast, I have come across many recipes that promise to be delicious but often end up underwhelming. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for a recipe that combines simplicity, unique flavors, and a delightful taste. And I’ve finally found it with these lemon ricotta cookies! Trust me; when I first stumbled upon this recipe, I was in awe of how simple the ingredient list was, yet the end result blew me away.

The secret to these delightful treats is the combination of fresh lemon zest and juice with creamy ricotta cheese, which creates a light and fluffy cookie texture that melts in your mouth. The addition of powdered sugar makes them just the right amount of sweetness that will make you want to reach for more!

In contrast to some other dessert options, these cookies are perfect for any occasion—the busy weekdays, long weekends or even a lazy Sunday afternoon. They are quick and easy to make and do not require any specialized skills or fancy ingredients. Whether you’re an experienced baker or just starting your journey in the kitchen, this recipe is one worth trying!

The Italian version of these cookies is widely known as “Italian lemon ricotta cookies,” which origins trace back to the Italian kitchen. So not only are you getting taste-bud pleasing cookies, but they come backed by rich cultural heritage too! In this recipe article, I’ll be sharing tips on variations and substitutions, step-by-step instructions on how to make these cookies perfectly each time, as well as an FAQ section to answer any potential questions. So join me on this journey as we bring some Italian-inspired sweetness into your home with these fantastic lemon ricotta cookies!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Lemon Ricotta Cookies
Lemon Ricotta Cookies

If you’re a lover of all things lemon, then this recipe is for you! These Lemon Ricotta Cookies are the perfect treat for any occasion. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or just looking to treat yourself, these cookies are sure to impress.

These cookies are soft and chewy, with just the right amount of sweetness and tangy lemon flavor. The ricotta cheese adds richness and depth to the cookies, making them extra moist and flavorful.

One thing that sets these cookies apart is their versatility. They can be enjoyed on their own as a sweet snack, or paired with a hot cup of tea or coffee for an afternoon pick-me-up. They also make a great dessert option when served with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Moreover, they are easy to make and require ingredients that are easy to source at your nearest grocery store. Baking these cookies will be an enjoyable experience that results in delicious Italian-style treats.

So, whether you’re an experienced baker or just starting out, these Lemon Ricotta Cookies are the perfect recipe to add to your baking arsenal. Trust me, everyone who tastes them will love them – they’re simply irresistible!

Ingredient List

 These vibrant and zesty cookies will brighten up your day! ????????
These vibrant and zesty cookies will brighten up your day! ????????

Get ready to create these delicious lemon ricotta cookies with a list of easy-to-find ingredients!

Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

For the Lemon Ricotta Cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened.
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 (15 oz.) container ricotta cheese
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Juice of half a lemon

For the Lemon Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Juice of half a lemon

These simple ingredients will make irresistibly soft and lemony cookies that you can enjoy with a sweet glaze on top. You might already have most of these items in your pantry or refrigerator. So, let’s head to the kitchen and start baking!

The Recipe How-To

 Ricotta cheese is the secret ingredient for the perfect soft and fluffy cookie texture.
Ricotta cheese is the secret ingredient for the perfect soft and fluffy cookie texture.

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy

To begin making these Lemon Ricotta Cookies, you’ll need to preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using an electric mixer, cream 1 cup (2 sticks) of softened unsalted butter and 2 cups of granulated sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.

Add and mix ingredients gradually

Once the butter and sugar have been well creamed, add 2 eggs, one at a time, then mix well after each addition. Next up, add 2 teaspoons of lemon zest, 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

In another mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Gradually add this mixture to the wet ingredients mixture in the first mixing bowl while stirring simultaneously.

Fold in ricotta cheese

Using a rubber spatula, fold in a whole container (about 15 ounces) of ricotta cheese into the mixture. Mix it until it blends with the other ingredients.

Scoop dough onto baking sheet

Scoop out tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, making sure they’re spaced about one inch apart. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Drizzle lemon glaze on top of cookies for an extra tangy flavor

Once they’re baked and removed from the oven, allow to cool on the baking sheet for around five minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the lemon glaze, simply whisk together 1 cup of powdered sugar with some fresh lemon juice until smooth. Drizzle over your cooled cookies for that extra tangy flavor. You can also sprinkle some lemon zest over them for added zing. Enjoy your delicious Lemon Ricotta Cookies!

Substitutions and Variations

 Adding freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest gives these cookies a tangy and refreshing flavor.
Adding freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest gives these cookies a tangy and refreshing flavor.

Are you looking to put a unique spin on these delightful lemon ricotta cookies? Here are some substitutions and variations that will give your cookies a different taste:

– Flour: Swap out the all-purpose flour for either whole wheat flour or gluten-free flour to make these cookies suitable for those with dietary restrictions. Keep in mind, however, that this substitution may affect the texture of the cookies.

– Lemon Zest and Juice: For a subtler citrus flavor, cut the amount of lemon zest and juice in half. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a stronger citrus taste, add more lemon zest and juice to the mix.

– Ricotta Cheese: Instead of ricotta cheese, try using drained Greek yogurt or cottage cheese as a substitute. This will change the texture and flavor considerably but still results in a tasty cookie.

– Sugar: If you’re looking to make these cookies less sweet, swap granulated sugar with light brown sugar or coconut sugar. Alternatively, you can use honey or maple syrup as a natural sweetener.

– Glaze: Instead of making the simple lemon glaze that’s included in this recipe, try experimenting with other flavors such as vanilla, almond, or cinnamon. You can also add food coloring to achieve your preferred hue.

Just keep in mind that any substitution or variation may result in a different texture or taste from the original recipe.

Serving and Pairing

 A dusting of powdered sugar on top adds just the right amount of sweetness.
A dusting of powdered sugar on top adds just the right amount of sweetness.

These delightful Lemon Ricotta Cookies are just perfect for serving as a light dessert or for a much-needed tasty break. I recommend pairing these cookies with your favorite cup of tea or coffee, which will complement the zesty lemon flavor beautifully.

I also recommend sprinkling some powdered sugar over the cookies right before serving, as it is not only visually pleasing but also adds an extra touch of sweetness. I suggest arranging them on a nice platter or serving dish and displaying them at your next gathering – this treat is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Another great way to serve these cookies is to stack them up into small “sandwiches” with a dollop of whipped cream, honey or jam in the middle. It’s simple and yet decadent – a real treat! You can even get creative by adding your favorite fruit preserves between two cookies.

And if you are feeling adventurous, try making a Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake by crushing the cookies and using them for the crust instead of graham crackers. Top the cake with some fresh berries and a dollop of whipped cream, and voilà – you have a masterpiece!

The Lemon Ricotta Cookies also make great edible gifts that you can pack in pretty little jars or bags with ribbon ties. They’re perfect favors for weddings, baby showers, and other festive events.

Serve these tasty treats and leave your guests in awe of your Italian-inspired culinary prowess!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Perfect for a sunny day picnic or a cozy afternoon tea time.
Perfect for a sunny day picnic or a cozy afternoon tea time.

When it comes to these lemon ricotta cookies, they are definitely best enjoyed fresh out of the oven. However, that’s not always possible, so here’s some advice on how to store and reheat them effectively.

If you’re planning on making these cookies ahead of time, you have a couple of options. Firstly, you can store the uncooked dough in the fridge for up to 24 hours before baking. Alternatively, you can bake the cookies as normal and store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Just make sure to let them cool completely before storing!

When it comes to reheating your cookies, there’s no need to overcomplicate things. Simply pop them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 3-5 minutes, or until they are warm and slightly crisp on the outside. If you’re only reheating one cookie, then just stick it in the microwave for a few seconds with a cup of water next to it to keep it moist.

Now, onto storage. To preserve your cookies for as long as possible, always ensure that they are cooled completely before storing them. You can then pop them into an airtight container or resealable plastic bag with a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture.

If you’d like to freeze your cookies for later use, place them in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Just remember that when you thaw them out, they will not be quite as soft and chewy as when they were freshly baked.

Overall, while these lemon ricotta cookies undoubtedly taste best straight out of the oven, careful storage and reheating can help maintain their delicious flavor for many days to come!

Tips for Perfect Results

 These lemon ricotta cookies are a crowd-pleaser and sure to impress your guests.
These lemon ricotta cookies are a crowd-pleaser and sure to impress your guests.

As someone who has been making these Lemon Ricotta Cookies for years, I have learned a few tips and tricks to ensure perfect results every time. Here are my top tips:

1. Don’t Overmix the Dough: Mix the cookie dough until everything is just combined. Overmixing can result in dense and tough cookies.

2. Use Room Temperature Ingredients: Make sure your butter, eggs, and ricotta cheese are at room temperature before baking. This will help the ingredients blend together smoothly and create a uniform texture.

3. Properly Measure Ingredients: Baking is a science, so it’s essential to measure your ingredients accurately. Use a kitchen scale if possible for the best results.

4. Chill the Dough: Chilling the dough for at least 30 minutes will ensure that the cookies hold their shape when baking.

5. Use Parchment Paper: Using parchment paper or a silicone baking mat will prevent the cookies from sticking to the baking sheet and make cleaning up easier.

6. Keep an Eye on Bake Time: Bake time may vary depending on your oven, so check the cookies frequently as they bake to avoid overcooking them.

7. Add Lemon Juice Gradually: When making the lemon glaze, add lemon juice slowly to get your desired consistency. If it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar; if it’s too thick, add more lemon juice.

8. Let Cookies Cool Before Glazing: Wait until the cookies have cooled completely before glazing them with icing; otherwise, the icing might melt and become too runny.

By following these tips and mastering this recipe’s simple process, you’ll be well on your way to making delicious Lemon Ricotta Cookies every time!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, it’s time to channel your inner Italian nonna and whip up a batch of these delightful lemon ricotta cookies. The soft and fluffy texture of the cookies paired with the tangy burst of lemon flavor will leave you craving more. This recipe is easy to follow and requires simple ingredients that can be found in any kitchen pantry.

If you’re looking for a quick and satisfying dessert or a homemade treat to brighten someone’s day, then this recipe is definitely worth trying. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations and substitutions to create your own unique twist on this Italian classic.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your apron, turn on your favorite music, and start baking these lemon ricotta cookies. Trust me, they will be a hit at any gathering or simply enjoyed as an indulgent snack with a cup of tea. After all, as Giada de Laurentiis once said, “Italian cookies are always a good idea.”

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Lemon Ricotta Cookies Recipe

Comes from Giada De Laurentiis. Had some ricotta cheese that I defrosted and never used so I looked for a dessert recipe and found this one. There were about 6 other recipes posted here but I wasn't sure about them because the ingredients list were different for each and I had never made this type of cookie before. They are very cakey cookies and the lemon glaze is very good. The cookies themselves also have a nice subtle lemon flavor. My family liked them alot hope you do too.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: < 60 Mins, Cookie and Brownie, Dessert, Drop Cookies, European
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 36 cookies
Calories: 142.7kcal


for cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, zest of

for glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, zest of


  • preheat oven to 375.
  • beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add eggs 1 at a time until encorporated, then add ricotta, lemon juice and zest until well blended.
  • stir in dry ingredients.
  • place parchment paper on cookie sheet and drop dough (I made heaping teaspoon sized ccokies, the original recipe called for 2 tablespoon sized but I think that is way to large) onto sheet. Bake cookies for about 15 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden brown.
  • let cookies cool for at least 15 minutes before spreading glaze on top.
  • for glaze: combine lemon juice, zest, and powdered sugar and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon full onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden about two hours before storing in an airtight container.
  • *** I ran out of glaze the first time I made these and it has a strong lemon flavor so use sparingly. The cooked cookies (before they're glazed) freeze well. If your ricotta cheese is very watery you may need to add an additional 1/4 cup of flour.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 1652g | Calories: 142.7kcal | Carbohydrates: 23.3g | Protein: 2.7g | Fat: 4.5g | Saturated Fat: 2.7g | Cholesterol: 23.4mg | Sodium: 111.9mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 16.1g

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