Simple Lemon Ricotta Cookies
Soft and delicious simple lemon ricotta cookies made with fresh lemon and ricotta are light, airy and irresistible. These fluffy Italian cookies are melt-in-your-mouth good and will disappear fast!
These simple lemon ricotta cookies combine tart lemon with soft ricotta for the most incredible soft, chewy and cake-like cookie that is the perfect amount of sweet!
These soft cookies, also known as Italian ricotta cookies, are perfect for spring and summer with their light texture, but equally as wonderful for any holiday cookie tray!
If you love everything lemon, add these soft lemon cookies, sourdough lemon ricotta cookies or this lemon cream cheese bundt cake to your baking queue!
Table of Contents
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Moist and fluffy: Lemon cookies with ricotta cheese are moist, airy, creamy and have a texture that will make your mouth water.
- Perfect amount of sweet: The perfect amount of sugar balances the tart lemon perfectly.
- Easy to make: You only need 15 minutes of prep, ricotta and a handful of baking ingredients.
- Stores well: With a cake texture these cookies stay fresh for days as well as can be made in advance and stored in the freezer.
These Italian ricotta cookies have a robust citrus flavor! Their small size and slight cheese taste almost resembles a mini Italian cheesecake.
- All purpose flour: Measure your flour properly using the spoon and level method or use a scale. Do not pack your flour into the measuring cup or you may use too much flour.
- Unsalted butter: Softened unsalted butter is best, if you use salted be sure to reduce the added salt.
- Granulated sugar: Granulated sugar absorbs liquid in dough which will help develop slightly crisp cookie edges.
- Egg: One room temperature egg helps bind the ingredients together.
- Ricotta cheese: Whole milk ricotta cheese is best and will produce the best fluffy cookies. Part skim will work but cookies will be less fluffy.
- Lemon: Fresh lemon juice is best and since we are using the zest an organic lemon is preferred.
- Powdered sugar: Sifted powdered sugar gives this Italian ricotta cookie recipe even more melt-in-the-mouth taste.
- Baking staples: Salt, baking powder, and pure vanilla extract.
How to Make Lemon Ricotta Cookies
Simple to make with a cake cookie texture these easy ricotta cookies with lemon can be ready in only an hour and that includes chilling time. You can also make the dough in advance and store it up to 24 hours before baking.
Whisk dry ingredients: In a medium bowl combine together your flour, salt and baking powder and whisk until there are no lumps then set aside.
Cream butter and sugar: In a large mixing bowl cream butter with the sugar until light and fluffy then add your egg, ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla and beat combine until smooth. Slowly add your dry ingredients into the mixing bowl and beat just until combined.
Chill: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate your cookie dough for 30 minutes.
Roll and bake: Roll your chilled dough into golf sized balls, roll in powdered sugar, place on parchment lined baking sheets and bake at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until cracks appear on the top.
Cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet then remove to cool completely on wire racks.
Lemon Ricotta Cookie Tips
- Room temperature ingredients: Butter, ricotta and egg at room temperature will incorporate better into your batter which will lead to fluffier cookie results.
- Measure correctly: Use the spoon and level method when measuring your flour or weight on a scale for best results.
- Chill dough: Chilling your ricotta cookie dough solidifies the fat and leads to less spread. It also makes them easier to roll into dough balls.
- Cookie scoop: A cookie scoop will give you perfectly sized 1 ½ tablespoon dough balls that will bake evenly.
- Don’t over bake: Because of their light color it can be hard to know when the ricotta cookies with lemon are done baking! To know they are done look for slight browned bottoms.
How to Store
Cool your soft ricotta cookies completely then store them loosely covered at room temperature up to 4 days or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also store them in the freezer for up to a month.
Do I need to drain the ricotta cheese?
This depends! Most store bought brands will be drained already, but some may be more ‘wet’ than others. If you find that your ricotta is too wet, drain in a fine mesh sieve before proceeding with the recipe.
Can I make lemon ricotta cookies with lemon glaze?
Yes! That would be delicious. Cool your cookies completely, then use the lemon glaze from my lemon pound cake. It’s simply fresh lemon combined with powdered sugar and a little cream. Add some lemon zest for more of that fresh tart taste or after you glaze them add some lemon zest on top!
Can I make larger or smaller sized cookies?
A larger cookie does not work with this recipe as they tend to flatten while baking. You could make smaller mini sized cookies, though!
Can I freeze the cookie dough?
Yes, this cookie dough can be kept frozen for up to three months. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic then store in a freezer safe bag until ready to thaw and use.
More Cookie Recipes
- Classic butter cookies
- Crunchy sugar cookies
- Viennese cookie recipe
Double chocolate chip drop cookies
- Easy oatmeal cookies
Simple Lemon Ricotta Cookies
- 2 cups All purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Baking powder
- ½ cup Unsalted butter – softened
- 1 cup Granulated sugar
- 1 large Egg
- ¾ cups Ricotta cheese – extra fine
- 1 Zest of lemon
- 2 tablespoons Lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
- ½ cup Powdered sugar – sifted
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder and set aside.
- In a large bowl beat the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla and beat everything together until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and beat just until combined.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F (180C) and line 1 or 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl sift the powdered sugar.
- Roll the dough into golf sized balls and roll each ball in powdered sugar. Coat well. Place them on the prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart from each other and bake them for approximately 12-15 minutes or until they start cracking on top.
- Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes then transfer them to a cooling rack and let them cool completely. Enjoy!