Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze

5 from 2 votes

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Ricotta Cookies are a tender treat for an Italian Christmas or perfect for a mug of hot chocolate and good company.

A batch of ricotta cookies on a cooling rack.

You can top these with any sweet glaze, and best of all, these Italian Christmas cookies are one of my favorite 30-minute recipes!

What are Italian Ricotta Cookies?

These soft, cake-like cookies are made with ricotta cheese, making them super moist and fluffy. They’re usually topped with a sweet glaze and colorful sprinkles – a special treat, especially during the holidays!

A stack of ricotta cookies

One thing that sets these Ricotta cookies apart from the others is the lemon glaze that encases each one. We love using lemon in recipes, in easy recipes like Lemon 7-Up Pound Cake,

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This recipe features a light lemon and is a family tradition in many households. Known for its delicate flavor and moist texture, this Italian Christmas cookie recipe is an excellent choice as a special treat for any occasion!  

You can top these ricotta cookies with any sweet glaze (an orange flavor is always a great choice), and you’ll usually find these crowned with a topping of color sprinkles.  These are not just famous holiday cookies but a main-stay at Italian weddings.

What’s in these Ricotta Cookies?

These ordinary ingredients combine perfectly to whip up Italian Ricotta Cookies that are soft, fluffy, and just plain yummy.

You’ll top off these Italian cookies with a zesty lemon glaze and fun sprinkles. It’s like a little bite of happiness in every cookie!

A bunch of ingredients for baking.
  1. Unsalted Butter (room temperature): This is the base for many cookie recipes, giving a rich, buttery flavor. Room temp makes it easier to mix.
  2. Cane Sugar: Adds sweetness to the cookies. Cane sugar often has a slightly deeper flavor compared to regular white sugar.
  3. Egg: The egg binds everything together and adds a bit of richness.
  4. Ricotta: The star of the show! Ricotta makes these cookies wonderfully moist, giving them a dreamy, creamy texture.
  5. Vanilla Extract: This brings a warm, sweet flavor that complements the ricotta perfectly.
  6. Pinch of Salt: A little salt balances the sweetness and enhances the overall flavor of the cookies.
  7. All-Purpose Flour: The cookies’ main building block gives them structure.
  8. Baking Powder & Baking Soda: These leaveners help the cookies puff up and become light and fluffy.

For the Lemon Glaze:

  1. Powdered Sugar: This is the base for the glaze, giving it a sweet, smooth texture.
  2. Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice adds a zesty, tangy twist to the sweet glaze.
  3. Sprinkles: Just for fun and color! They make the cookies festive and appealing.

How to Make Ricotta Cookies

You can make these tasty Italian cookies in less than a half hour and you probably have you need to make them in your kitchen and pantry.

Kitchen Tools You’ll Need

Get all the ingredients together and ensure your butter is soft and your egg is at room temperature, making the baking process more even.

Then, you will set your oven to 400° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mixing ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  1. Mix the room-temperature butter and cane sugar in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  2. Use a mixer and mix until light and fluffy.
  3. Add a room temp egg and the vanilla extract and beat until creamy.
  4. Add the ricotta cheese and mix in until just incorporated. Do not over-mix!
Mixing up some cookie batter.

5. Gradually combine the dry ingredients and work into the batter.

6. Mix until you get a soft, sticky dough. Now, chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes. This will make the cookies easier to shape.

7. Use a cookie scoop to portion out round balls of dough on the prepared cookie sheet, leaving some space between each one for rising. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown. Let the cookies cool a bit and then transfer to a cooling rack.

8. Use a small bowl and mix up the ingredients for the lemon glaze. You can adjust the consistency as needed by adding or subtracting the liquid lemon juice or the powdered sugar.

Important Tip

Allow these ricotta cookies to cool completely before dipping in the glaze!

After the cookies have cooled completely, you can glaze them. You can use a spoon or a piping bag to do this. Or you can tip the tops of the cookies into the glaze, as we do when making buckeye cookies.

Ricatto cookies with yellow sprinkles on them.

Crowning these ricotta cookies with some colorful sprinkles is the best part of making them!

Do this while the glaze is still wet, and then do your best to let the glaze set before popping one in your mouth.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Flavors: Try lemon zest for lemon ricotta cookies or orange zest for orange ricotta cookies. Add almond flavor for a nutty twist.
  • Add-ins: Chocolate chips can be mixed in for a dreamy-delicious chocolate chip cookie variation.

Recipe Questions

Can I make the dough for ricotta cookies ahead of time?

Yes, cover the dough with plastic wrap and store it in a ziplock bag in the fridge.

How do you store ricotta cookies?

Keep them in an airtight container or a zip-top bag in a cool spot.

Top Tips for Success

  • Baking Perfectly: Use a cookie scoop to place small balls of chilled dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Glazing: For a sweet lemon or orange glaze, mix powdered sugar with a little water and lemon or orange juice. Drizzle it over the cooled cookies on a wire rack.
A plate of ricotta cookies with yellow sprinkles.

These delicious ricotta cookies are perfect for any special occasion, from Italian Christmas to a simple family gathering.

Ricotta cookies are a fun treat to make, so be sure to set some time aside for just having fun in the kitchen. Don’t forget to add a sprinkle of colorful nonpareil sprinkles or a simple glaze for an extra festive touch! Happy baking! 🍪

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Italain Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze

5 from 2 votes
This easy recipe for ricotta cookies is adapted from Pasquale Sciarappa. You'll want to make these soft, festive cookies for your cookie exchange around the holidays and throughout the year!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Yield: 24 cookies


For the Cookies:

For the Lemon Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Lemons juiced
  • Sprinkles for topping


  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, cream together the room-temperature butter and cane sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the egg and vanilla extract to the creamed butter-sugar mixture. Mix until well combined. Add in the fresh ricotta and mix until just combined. Be careful not to overmix. Allow the dough to chill in the fridge for 30 to 60 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until a soft dough forms.
  • Using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon, drop rounded balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving some space between each.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden. Keep an eye on them to avoid over-baking.
  • Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and the juice of 1 lemon until smooth. Adjust the consistency by adding more sugar or lemon juice, if needed.
  • Once the cookies are completely cooled, drizzle the lemon glaze over the top of each cookie. You can use a spoon or a piping bag for precision. Or you can dip the top of the cookies right onto the lemon glaze.
  • While the glaze is still wet, sprinkle the cookies with your favorite sprinkles. Allow the glaze to set before serving.


My Top 3 Tips for Making Ricotta Cookies
Don’t Overmix the Dough: Mix just until the ingredients are combined. Overmixing can lead to tough cookies rather than the desired soft and fluffy texture.
Use Fresh Ricotta: The moisture content in fresh ricotta is key for these cookies. It should be creamy, not grainy or dry, to ensure the cookies are moist.
Chill the Dough: This might seem like an extra step, but chilling the dough for at least an hour helps the cookies keep their shape and enhances the flavors. Plus, it makes the dough easier to handle.


Calories: 103kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Trans Fat: 0.001g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 67mg, Potassium: 45mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 52IU, Calcium: 31mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italain
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Meet the Platter Talk Guys

Dan & Scott split their time between Wisconsin and Southwest Florida and are dads to six boys. Good food runs through their veins, and they love showing others how to cook easy recipes.

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  1. Can I double the recipe? 24 isn’t enough for this family!
    Also I have x-large eggs. Is this a problem.
    Thank you

    1. Yes, you can double the recipe and using extra large eggs will be fine. Be sure and let us know how they turn out. Thanks for the great questions.

    1. Hi Eleanor, I contacted the expert from Fearless Dining, my go-to site for gluten-free cooking. Here was her response: Did they mention which flour blend they were using? Every single blend behaves differently because they all have a different grain to starch ratio. I always recommend using 1/4 cup flour less than the wheat recipe recommends, then adding flour back until the batter matches the step by step photos of the recipe they are making.