Italian Ricotta Cookies

Soft, tender, cake-like cookies with a burst of lemon flavor and a simple icing on top. These Italian Ricotta Cookies are so easy to make any time of the year and a special treat for the holidays!

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Three Ricotta Cookies Stacked on top of each other.

If you’ve been looking for a cookie recipe that can make enough cookies for an army of kiddos, this is it! Italian ricotta cookies may sound super fancy, but really they’re just a cake-like sugar cookie that are perfectly moist and delicious. But the best part is that this recipe makes 60 cookies. That’s right, 60 glorious lemon ricotta cookies with a powdered sugar glaze and super fun sprinkles.

Us parents who host birthday parties, pool parties, school parties, sleepovers, etc. know how important it is to have a recipe that will make a ton of cookies. These adorable and tasty treats are a kid favorite and perfect for any occasion! They also make a great addition to your holiday cookie tray when you use red and green sprinkles with sweet glaze on top of the cookies.

Make some mini funfetti cheesecakes to go with them and you’ve got the cutest presentation of colorful sprinkles.

Why You’ll Love Italian Ricotta Cookies

  • These easy ricotta cookies can be made ahead of time. The dough has to be refrigerated for a minimum of an hour, so just make them early and refrigerate overnight and make them the next day.
  • This recipe is so simple that even older kids could make them on their own. No need to be a super skilled baker.
  • Make these cookies for bake sales. They are always a crowd hit and their presentation is so pretty!
Overhead Image of the Ricotta Cookies Ingredients

Ingredients for Ricotta Cookies

  • Flour – All-purpose flour is the base for these light and fluffy lemon ricotta cookies.
  • Granulated sugar – Use granulated white sugar to sweeten the ricotta cookies.
  • Baking soda – Baking soda is one of two rising agents in this recipe.
  • Baking powder – Since ricotta cheese adds a lot of moisture to these cookies, using two rising agents helps to ensure that the cookies are not dense and will rise well.
  • Kosher salt – A pinch of salt helps to balance out the sweetness of these delicious cookies.
  • Butter – Use unsalted butter for the best results. However, if you only have salted butter then just omit the kosher salt from the recipe and they’ll turn out great.
  • Eggs – For best results, allow eggs to come to room temperature so that they mix into the batter more easily
  • Vanilla extract – A splash of vanilla extract adds a lovely depth of favor to the cookies and the glaze.
  • Lemon zest – Give these tasty Italian ricotta cookies a light lemon flavor by adding fresh lemon zest to the cookie batter.
  • Ricotta cheese – Fresh ricotta cheese is the key ingredient to these lovely little cookies. Make sure you grab enough for this recipe.
  • Milk – You need just a splash of milk to make the glaze that will top the cookies. Any milk will work, though I prefer whole milk!
  • Powdered sugar – A powdered sugar glaze is the perfect topping for these sweet and creamy cookies.
  • Lemon juice – Use fresh lemon juice instead of bottled to give the best flavor to the glaze for these ricotta cookies.
  • Sprinkles – Choose your most favorite sprinkles and use them as a topping to make these cookies extra fun and exciting!

Helpful Tools

How to Make Italian Ricotta Cookies

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Whisk all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and kosher salt together in a medium bowl until well combined. Set aside flour mixture.
  3. In a separate bowl cream together butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a bowl with an electric mixer. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and then mix in two large eggs, all of the ricotta cheese, a splash of vanilla extract and fresh lemon zest. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  4. Scrape the sides again, and then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Be careful not to over-mix.
  5. Cover the bowl of dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for 1-2 hours. You can also chill overnight.
  6. After the ricotta cookie dough has had enough time to chill, use a cookie scoop to scoop the dough into small dough balls. Place them 2 inches apart on the previously prepared baking sheets.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the edges are set and have turned golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool a bit on the cookie sheet, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. While the cookies cool, mix together powdered sugar, milk, lemon juice and vanilla in a small bowl until thick and creamy.
  9. Dunk the cooled cookies into the glaze and place them onto the rack. Add sprinkles and let the glaze set for 10 minutes.
  10. Once set, serve and enjoy!

How to Store Italian Ricotta Cookies

Place leftover lemon ricotta cookies into an airtight container or a plastic freezer bag with the air squeezed out of it. Store at room temperature for 3 days.

FRIDGE: Extend the life of these cookies by storing in the refrigerator. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

FREEZER: It is best to freeze these cookies without a glaze. Place them into an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw in the fridge and then top with glaze and sprinkles when you’re ready to eat them!

What are Italian ricotta cookies?

Ricotta cheese cookies have a cake-like texture with a lemon flavor and are made with ricotta cheese. They are a popular Italian cookie because they are not too rich and have a light and airy texture. Think of them like a cakey sugar cookie that have a light lemon flavor!

Pro Tips for the Best Ricotta Cookies

  • If you have trouble dunking the cookies, just use a spoon to drizzle the glaze over them instead.
  • Place parchment paper or a baking sheet under the wire rack to catch any drips of powdered sugar glaze while it sets.
  • When zesting a lemon, make sure you only zest the yellow part of the peel and not any of the white rind. The white part will be really bitter!
a Plate full of Ricotta Cookies stacked on top of one another.

These easy ricotta cookies are perfect for any occasion! Change up the sprinkles and theme them for your favorite holiday.

More Cookie Recipes You’ll Love

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Italian Ricotta Cookies Square Image

Italian Ricotta Cookies

By Julie
Soft, tender, cake-like cookies with a burst of lemon flavor and a simple icing on top.
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 60 cookies


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (2 sticks )
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ Tablespoon fresh lemon zest


  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons milk
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk 4 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt until combined. Set aside.
  • Using a stand or hand mixer, cream 1 cup of unsalted butter and 2 cups of granulated sugar. Scrape down the sides and add 2 large eggs, (1) 15-ounce tub of ricotta cheese, 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract, and ½ tablespoon fresh lemon zest and mix until combined. Scrape down the sides, add the contents of the dry ingredient bowl to the wet ingredients, and mix until combined. Cover or wrap the dough in plastic and place in the fridge to chill for 1 – 2 hours.
  • Once chilled, use a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop to form small dough balls. Place them 2 inches apart on your prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until the edges are set and are just beginning to turn golden. Allow to cool on a cooling rack until completely cool.
  • While the cookies are cooling, mix 4 cups powdered sugar, 4 tablespoons milk, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract until creamy and thick.
  • Dunk the top of each cookie into the glaze, then place them back onto your cooling rack. Add sprinkles and allow the glaze to set at room temperature (about 10 minutes).
  • Serve and ENJOY!


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 130kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 73mg | Potassium: 22mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 136IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 0.5mg
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