Lemon Ricotta Cookies

These luscious Italian lemon ricotta cookies are light, fluffy and zesty. They’re delicious any time but especially popular when the warmer weather is on the way, as they’re a summery treat. The cookies are delicately flavored with vanilla and the ricotta cheese adds a distinctive tang as well as helping them stay moist. Fresh lemon juice in both the cookies and glaze gives these a beautifully fresh citrus flavor.

Italian lemon ricotta cookies that are topped with icing and lemon zest on a plate.

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Boasting a bright lemon flavor and a sweet glaze, these lovely lemon cookies deserve a place on your spring or summer baking list. This lemon ricotta cookie recipe is so good!

If you enjoy these amazing lemon ricotta cookies, you might also like to try lemon stuffed cupcakes, Italian Easter cookies, or any of these homemade Italian cookies. These cute 3-ingredient pretzel bites are also lovely (and hard to stop eating!) as are apple butter thumbprint cookies.

Italian lemon cookies on a plate with a bite taken out of them.

Why You’ll Love These

A beautiful flavor:  The combination of zesty lemon and creamy, tangy ricotta cheese is so special! If you’re a lemon dessert fan, prepare to fall in love with these scrumptious lemon-flavored cookies.
Easy to whip up: You don’t need to be an experienced home baker to make wonderful lemon ricotta cookies. As long as you can mix ingredients together and work the oven, you’re all set for baking success!
A seasonal favorite: One thing’s for sure if you make lemon ricotta cookies, and that’s you’re going to get begged to make them again around the same time next year. Can you think of a more delicious cookie recipe to welcome in the spring months?

Italian lemon ricotta cookies placed on a cooling rack with lemon slices.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies Key Ingredients

A complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below

Ricotta cheese: A rich and tangy soft choose. Use full-fat ricotta cheese to make these cookies. It’s a main ingredient and affects the flavor of the cookies. A reduced fat kind would work but wouldn’t taste quite as good.
Unsalted butter: An important ingredient in the dough. If you only have salted butter you can use that but either halve or omit the additional butter from the dough ingredients.
Lemon: Use fresh lemon juice and lemon zest for the tastiest result. If you must use bottled, make sure it’s additive-free 100% pure lemon juice.
Vanilla extract: This adds a delicate hint of vanilla to the flavor to complement the lemon taste. Use 100% pure vanilla extract, not the synthetic kind.
Confectioner’s sugar: Also known as powdered sugar or icing sugar, this pairs with lemon juice to make a delicious and zesty glaze for the cookies. Don’t sub regular granulated sugar because you don’t want a grainy textured glaze.

On a white table, the ingredients for lemon ricotta cookies are displayed.

How to Make Lemon Cookies With Ricotta Cheese

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card

Cream the butter and sugar:  Beat the butter and sugar together using an electric mixer.
Add more ingredients: Mix in the vanilla and egg, followed by the ricotta cheese, lemon zest and lemon juice.
Combine the dry ingredients: Whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt, then mix these dry ingredients into the ricotta cheese mixture to achieve a sticky dough.
Make and chill dough balls: Form dough balls using a cookie scoop and refrigerate them for an hour.
Bake the cookies: Preheat the oven, arrange the chilled dough balls on parchment paper lined baking sheets and bake for about 12 minutes or until done.
Prepare the glaze: While the cookies cool on a wire rack, whisk the confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice to make a glaze.
The finishing touches: Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies, sprinkling on a little lemon zest too if liked, then let the glaze harden before serving.

Italian lemon ricotta cookies with icing on a plate.

Substitutions and Variations

Gluten-free option:  If you want a gluten-free version, you can use your favorite gluten-free flour.
Change the citrus flavor: Sub orange or lime for the lemon for a different take on the recipe.
Make the glaze thinner: If you like a thinner glaze, use more lemon juice and dip the cookies into it rather than drizzling it over the top.

Lemon cookies on a cooling rack with fresh lemon slices.
Italian lemon cookies with ricotta cheese on a plate next to a glass of milk.

Serving Suggestions

Appetizers:  Lovely spring-themed bites that would pair with these Italian lemon cookies include any of these shrimp recipes or perhaps a roasted beet salad or a corn and jalapeno dip.
Sweet treats: 
Nutter butter hatching chicks are another wonderful cookie option, or perhaps you’d prefer homemade nanaimo bars or limoncello Italian wedding cookies.

Italian lemon ricotta cookies on a cooling rack with lemon slices.

How to Store Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Store:  Keep the cookies in an airtight container. They should keep for about a week if kept at room temperature.
Freeze:  Freeze the cooked cookies without the glaze for up to 2 months.
Thaw:  Thaw overnight in the fridge and glaze when thawed.

Italian lemon ricotta cookies with icing on a baking sheet.

Top Tips

Don’t skip the chilling: It’s important to chill the Italian lemon cookie dough. It’s extremely sticky when warm and, if you try to bake it without chilling, the cookies will spread too much.
Prep the glaze ahead: You can make the glaze in advance and keep it in the fridge until needed. When you’re ready to use it, give it time to warm up to room temperature and give it another whisk before drizzling over your lemon ricotta cookies.
Not a glaze fan? Feel free to omit the glaze if you don’t want to use one.

A stack of Italian cookies with lemon frosting on top.

Ricotta and Lemon Cookies FAQs

What’s the best way to shape the cookies?

You need to refrigerate the cookie dough balls for an hour to make them workable. After that, roll them between your palms to make them cookie shaped and smooth all around the edges. Use a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop to make them (here).

How do you make sure the glaze comes out smooth?

Sift the confectioner’s sugar using a sieve before mixing in the lemon juice. This prevents lumps.

Can you double or triple the recipe?

Trust me, once you taste these you’ll wish you’d made more! Just use a large bowl for mixing or make separate batches.

How can you tell when the lemon ricotta cookies are done?

They take about 12 minutes to bake. Once the bottoms are lightly browned they’re done. Don’t let the tops brown.

Lemon cookies with ricotta cheese icing on a plate.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies Recipe

Italian lemon ricotta cookies that are topped with icing and lemon zest on a plate.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

5 from 15 votes
Course: Sweets
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 27 minutes
Servings: 18
Calories: 181kcal
Author: Bella Bucchiotti
Boasting a bright lemon flavor and a sweet glaze, these lovely lemon cookies deserve a place on your spring or summer baking list. This lemon ricotta cookie recipe is so good!
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Ingredients

For the Cookies:

For the Glaze:

  • 1 Cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice fresh

Instructions

  • Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the vanilla and egg and mix until well incorporated.
  • Add the ricotta cheese, lemon zest and lemon juice. Reduce speed to low and continue mixing until fully combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Add the flour to the wet ingredients and mix until evenly distributed.
  • Use a 1 Tablespoon cookie scoop to form small dough balls. Do not attempt to roll, the dough will be too sticky to handle. Place in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and transfer the chilled cookie dough balls onto the prepared cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 12 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned and the top of the cookies are opaque.
  • Transfer to a cookie rack to chill completely.
  • When the cookies are cooled, prepare the glaze by whisking together the confectioners sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle over cooked cookies and top with additional lemon zest, if desired.
  • Allow the glaze to set before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 181kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 72mg | Potassium: 34mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 232IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg
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The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Looking for a gorgeous and delicious cookie recipe for the spring or for Easter? You aren’t going to be disappointed with these beautiful lemon ricotta cookies. They’re a wonderful combo of vanilla, lemon and ricotta cheese, resulting in a tangy, sweet flavor with zesty lemon and soft vanilla in every bite. Delicate, crumbly cookies are topped with a sweet lemon glaze and sprinkling of lemon zest to ensure this is a recipe you’ll want to make again and again.

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.

 

Welcome to xoxoBella! I am Bella Bucchiotti and I am a recipe developer, content creator and writer. Here you will find delicious recipes, travel inspiration, crafts, pet tips and more.

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Recipe Rating




  1. Kelly Howard wrote:

    5 stars
    The most amazing cookies I’ve tried. Deliciousness!!

    Posted 3.14.24 Reply
  2. Kim wrote:

    5 stars
    Love it!😋

    Posted 4.1.24 Reply
  3. Kim wrote:

    5 stars
    Perfect

    Posted 4.2.24 Reply