Lemon ricotta cookies are soft, fluffy, cake-like cookies. Topped with a sweet-tart lemon glaze, they are a great addition to holiday dessert platters. They are perfectly lemony, soft and fluffy cookies. The lemon glaze on top is an absolute must.
I’ll give you variations and substitutions where I can, plus helpful tips and tricks for success. Read on for this info as well as the recipe. If you’d like to skip straight to the recipe, use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post.
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Lemon ricotta cookies
These are hands down, the best lemon ricotta cookies I’ve ever made. This recipe has been tested over and over to yield a perfectly fluffy cookie that does not spread.
There is something about the sweet-tart of lemon desserts that I honestly can’t get enough of. If you are not a fan of heavy desserts, these are the cookies for you.
This recipe uses common pantry ingredients. The only items you may have to shop for would be the ricotta and possibly a lemon or two. I tend to like my lemon desserts very lemony, so I will get 2 lemons for that extra punch.
- Butter – Use unsalted butter so you can control the amount of salt in your baked goods.
- Lemon – This recipes uses the zest and the juice.
- Ricotta cheese – I used full fat for this recipe.
- All-purpose flour – Weighing your flour is the most accurate way to measure.
- Vanilla – Gives baked goods that familiar flavor we all love.
- Sugar – Provides just enough sweetness + a little extra for the tops .
- Egg – Provides moisture and structure to the dough.
- Salt – All baked goods need salt.
- Baking powder and baking soda – baking powder gives the cookies just a tiny bit of lift, while the baking soda helps the cookies spread just the right amount.
How to make
First, sift your dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, into a medium bowl and set aside. Then, beat butter and sugar together until creamy, then add eggs and ricotta.
Add dry ingredients and mix together until it forms a uniform dough. Scoop dough and refrigerate. After dough has chilled, bake cookies and let them cool completely.
While cookies are cooling, mix together all of the ingredients for the glaze. Add as much or as little lemon juice to get the desired consistency.
Use a small offset spatula to spread the icing on the cookies and top with sprinkles. The easiest way to do this is over a baking sheet to catch any drips for easy cleanup.
Lemon ricotta cookies Q&A
Yes. You can freeze the cookies and the dough. If freezing the cookies, place pieces of parchment paper between them so they don’t stick when you want to remove just a few cookies.
To freeze the dough, let it chill overnight, then toss in a zip-top freezer bag and store in the freezer.
Yes! The shelf life on these cookies is about 3 – 4 days.
Resting cookie dough allows the flour to fully hydrate, plus it allows the flavors to develop. This gives you a better tasting cookie. Additionally, we are chilling the dough to allow it to firm up, which gives us a thick & fluffy cookie instead of one that has spread thin.
Check out my post on how to ship cookies without breaking for helpful tips and tricks to send treats to family and friends.
Chef tips for success
- Chill the dough – I tested this recipe over and over. For me, the sweet spot was chilling the dough for 4 hours. That’s when I got the perfect cookie. If you don’t have that much time, chill for at least 2 hours.
- Use parchment paper – I had the best results when the cookies were baked on parchment-lined baking sheets. A Silpat also gave me good results, but I preferred the parchment paper.
- A small offset spatula makes spreading the glaze on the cookies a snap.
- Use full fat ricotta cheese. Don’t buy fat-free, it won’t give you the same results and you’ll be disappointed.
- Don’t make cookies too big. A small cookie scoop (1 tbsp.) makes the perfect size.
Variations and substitutions
Try this recipe with any citrus – lime, orange, tangerine, or even grapefruit, for a seasonal variation.
Learn how to make sanding sugar and top the lemon ricotta cookies with colored sparkling sugar instead of nonpareils.
If you love this recipe, please give it 5 stars!
I hope you love these lemon ricotta cookies as much as we do! Please consider rating and/or commenting.
More Christmas cookie recipes
- Christmas funfetti cookies
- Classic Christmas sugar cookies (cut out sugar cookies)
- Maple pecan biscotti
For the Cookies
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour // 390 gr
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 stick unsalted butter // 1/2 cup // 113 gr
- 2 cups sugar // 400 gr
- 2 eggs
- 15 oz. ricotta cheese // 425 gr
- 1 lemon, zested (about 1 - 1 1/2 tbsp.)
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tsp. vanilla
For the Glaze
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar // 175 gr
- 1 tbsp. melted butter
- 3 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. lemon zest
- 2 tbsp. sprinkles, if desired
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated after each addition.
- Add ricotta cheese, vanilla, lemon juice and zest, beat until fully incorporated, about 2 minutes.
- Mix in dry ingredients until thoroughly incorporated, but do not overmix.
- Line baking sheets with nonstick silicone liners or parchment paper. Using a tablespoon (1/2 ounce) scoop, portion dough onto baking sheets, leaving two inches between them.
- Wrap baking sheet tightly with plastic wrap and chill dough for at least 2 hours, up to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 325°F with convection fan // 350°F without fan // 180°C // Gas mark 4.
- Remove plastic wrap and bake cookies straight from the fridge for 12 - 14 minutes, until edges begin to brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
- Mix all ingredients for glaze together and gently spread on top of cookie. Top with sprinkles, if desired. Let glaze harden for at least 2 hours.
To spread icing:
Use a butter knife or a small offset spatula to spread icing on top of cookies
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Serving Size:1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 91Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 80mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 0gSugar: 10gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.
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Originally published 9/24/13.