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+ servings
Lemon Ricotta Cookies
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
3 hrs
Total Time
3 hrs 30 mins

These soft and cakey lemon ricotta cookies are a must for the holidays...or for any occasion, really! The ricotta adds lots of great texture, keeping these cookies light and airy. The fresh lemon juice and zest add brightness and great flavor. So good!

Course: Cookies
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: lemon ricotta cookies
Servings: 38 cookies
Author: Tania
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 15 oz whole milk ricotta
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of 2 lemons (plus more for garnish)
Lemon Glaze
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (plus more as needed)
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the dry ingredients until evenly combined: flour, baking powder, salt. Set aside.

  2. In a large bowl or in the bowl of a mixer, mix the wet ingredients: On medium-high speed, beat the softened butter with the granulated sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Lower the mixer’s speed to medium and add in the eggs, one at a time. Then, beat in the ricotta, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest until evenly combined.

  3. Gradually, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing on medium-low speed until no pockets of flour remain (scrape the sides of the bowl if needed). Do not overmix.

  4. Cover with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap is touching the dough. Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight. Tip: To prevent the cookies from expanding too much in the oven, the dough needs very cold.

  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  6. Scoop dough, about 1.5 tablespoons per cookie, onto the lined sheet pans. Place each cookie dough about 2 to 3 inches apart. The dough is sticky, so use a cookie scoop if possible. You may need to do multiple batches - just refrigerate the dough until ready for the next batch.

  7. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes or until golden brown at the bottom. The top should look a bit pale. Once ready, remove from the oven and transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining batches. Tip: don't open the oven until the cookies are ready, otherwise the cookies could deflate.

  8. Make the glaze: In a medium bowl, combine the confectioner's sugar with the fresh lemon juice. Tip: add the lemon juice one tablespoon at a time, mixing until desired consistency. I like my glaze to be a bit thicker, so I use less lemon juice.

  9. Once the cookies are completely cooled, drizzle each cookie with some glaze. Top the cookies with lemon zest if desired. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes
  • Special equipment: handheld or stand mixer, cookie scoop (size: 1.5 tablespoons), sheet pans, parchment paper, cooling rack, plastic wrap, zester.
  • How to prevent flat cookies: Chill the dough for at least 3 hours or overnight, don't open the oven until the cookies are ready, make sure each cookie is 1.5 tablespoons, and use the amount of baking powder specified in the recipe.
  • Use fresh lemon juice and zest for optimal results.
  • Storing: Store in airtight containers for up to 5 days. If you live in a warm and humid place, store the cookies in the fridge so that the glaze doesn't melt.