Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies made with a quick lemon infused sugar for a delightful all around citrus scent which are dipped into a lemony glaze and then finally dressed up in gold nonpareils ready to grace any holiday cookie platter with some merry cheer!

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

While some people are dreaming of a white Christmas or even getting an early start to a flurry of holiday shopping, I’m living and breathing cookies in all shapes and forms. Shopping is pushed to the sidelines in anticipation of the glorious sweet treats begging to come to light.

What better way to ease into holiday baking then with these adorable Lemon Ricotta Cookies! They’re extremely popular in Italian households especially around the holidays with each family having their own unique way of decorating these citrusy morsels.

These ricotta cookies are extremely soft to the bite and have a very cake like texture which are sure to appeal to all you die hard cookie fans!

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

These Lemon Ricotta Cookies are inspired by Canadian Living Magazine’s ricotta cookies in their latest holiday issue. I made a few switch ups which will appeal to all lemon lovers.

To achieve an all around citrus taste in the cookie dough, I added lemon zest and made a quick lemon sugar by pulsing together the lemon zest with the granulated sugar in my mini food processor. Alternately, if you don’t have a food processor simply beat the butter, sugar and zest all together.

I omitted the baking soda altogether and increased the baking powder from 1/4 teaspoon to a full teaspoon as this yielded a plumper cookie which did not spread out overly much. They resembled these perfect little round soft and fluffy pillows.

Also for uniformly round cookies I used a 1 1/2 inch round cookie scoop but you can just as easily measure the dough out with a rounded tablespoon.

I opted out of the cream cheese icing and decided to make a luscious lemon glaze.

A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand” Barbara Johnson

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

You can also customize the thickness of the lemon glaze to your taste. Adding less lemon juice to the icing sugar will result in a thicker glaze. Or, if you prefer a thinner glaze try adding a little more lemon juice.

Do keep in mind though that these cookies absorb quite a bit of the glaze, especially a day after. So if you want that white glaze appearance make sure the icing is not overly thin.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies 

I had full intentions to test out whether these ricotta cookies would freeze well and therefor make a great bake ahead dessert. However, they lasted 1 full day in my freezer because greedy hands quickly devoured the cookies! They’re that delicious!

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

But don’t take my word for it! Bake them yourselves and tag @marisasitaliankitchen on Instagram so I can see your creation!

Lemon Ricotta Cookies
These classic Italian Ricotta Cookies are extremely soft and cake-like in texture, are dipped in a lemon glaze and topped with golden non-pareils.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 3 dozen
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 8 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt ( I used fine sea salt)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • sprinkles or nonpareils for decorating
  • 2½ cups icing sugar
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line 3 cookies sheets with parchment paper as this will make for easy release of the cookies and set aside.
  3. Pulse the granulated sugar with the lemon zest in a food processor for about 1 minute so as to infuse the sugar with the lemon scent.
  4. Place the lemon sugar and the softened butter in a large bowl and beat until fluffy.
  5. Beat in the egg, ricotta cheese and the vanilla until well combined.
  6. In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and stir this into the ricotta mixture.
  7. Using a small cookie scoop of about 1½ inch in size, scoop out the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart so that they have room to expand. Or simply measure out a heaping tablespoon if you don't have a cookie scoop.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for about 12 to 14 minutes or until the bottoms are golden in color.
  9. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely and in the meantime prepare the lemon glaze.
  11. Place the icing sugar and lemon zest in a medium sized bowl and whisk in the lemon juice 1 tablespoon at a time, until a desired consistency is achieved.
  12. Dunk the top of the ricotta cookies into the lemon glaze and place on a wire rack with a tray underneath to catch any drippings.
  13. Sprinkle with nonpareils of your choice and then allow the lemon glaze to set before serving.
Inspired by Canadian living Magazine and tweaked with a few switch ups for personal taste.




  1. Those are absolutely gorgeous cookies, Marissa! The gold sprinkles make them so elegant and festive.

  2. Beautiful! And you know I love anything with ricotta. I totally agree with your swapping out the cream cheese icing for a simple lemon glaze. Thanks for sharing!

    • I too adore anything with ricotta! My go to after school snack was ricotta and Nutella sandwich…..and that lemon glaze keeps the cookies so moist. One day I promise to try your cannoli! Thanks so much😊

  3. With cookie planning in the making soon, these will definitely be added to my list. Marisa, your photos are absolutely stunning!

    • Thanks Bella, these will also be making a reappearance at my house for Christmas this year…they’re too delicious to delicious to pass up! Do let me know how it goes😊

  4. Beautiful cheese and lemon in a cookie form – can’t get any better than that! No wonder they disappeared so quickly!

  5. These cookies look gorgeous and sound so delicious, lemony desserts are my favourite!

    • Mine too Fida…..there’s just something about lemon desserts! They’re a little bit of sunshine in every bite! Thanks so much for dropping by and your lovely comment😊

  6. Ricotta and lemons, two of my favorite foods combined into one! They look perfect! Thanks for sharing Marisa ♥♥♥

  7. Wowza, do these look amazing or what!? So light and perfectly sweet- definitely need to try!

    • They are indeed light Karly and a must if you love a lemon and ricotta combo! They can also be adapted for any holiday celebration…enjoy!😊

  8. YESSSSS omg I need to make these. Would be a perfect addition to my Christmas baking this year!

  9. Lemon and ricotta are a match made in heaven, and these beautiful cookies are definitely their lovechild~! They’re SO going on my holiday-cookie-baking-list 🙂 thanks for the recipe~

    • They will make a perfect addition to your holiday cookie platter and you can dress them up any which way you like Nahdala! I’m sure you’ll them…enjoy !

  10. These look like delightful little dessert morsels. I have a feeling that treats like these would not last long on my counters.

    • Yes, they actually do disappear rather quickly! Doubling the recipe might just be in order!😉 Hope you get to try them and thank-you for dropping by!

  11. What is icing sugar?

  12. So pretty!!! I would make them look ugly all over my mouth while cramming them in…lol! 😉

  13. Fantastico! I love lemon cookies and these look great!