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These lemon ricotta cookies are a citrus-studded Italian treat! They're light, fluffy and full of Christmas cheer - perfect for cookie exchanges & holiday parties.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

  • Author: Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen - Ashley Covelli (adapted from Allrecipes)
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: About 7 dozen cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert, Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian


These citrus-studded Italian cookies are light, fluffy and full of holiday cheer! Perfect for cookie exchanges & holiday parties.



For Cookies:

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 15 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest (lightly packed)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For Icing:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest (lightly packed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  • Colored sugar or candy sprinkles, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl, if using a hand mixer), beat the sugar and butter on low speed until combined. Increase speed to high and beat until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula. Reduce speed to medium and beat in the ricotta, vanilla, eggs, 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 1 teaspoon lemon extract.
  3. Reduce speed to low. Add flour, baking powder and salt; beat until dough forms, scraping the bowl again as needed.
  4. Drop dough by heaping teaspoons (I use a #50 cookie scoop, which holds 5/8 ounce), about 2 inches apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake until cookies are very lightly golden, about 15 minutes (cookies will be soft). With spatula, gently remove cookies to wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
  5. When cookies are completely cool, prepare icing. In small bowl, stir together powdered sugar, milk, 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest and 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract until smooth. With small spoon, spread or drizzle icing on the tops of the cookies, sprinkling with colored sugar or candy sprinkles before the icing dries (I usually glaze 8-10 at a time, sprinkle, and repeat. Once the glaze is set, the cookies can be stored at room temperature in an air-tight container for about a week. Enjoy!

Keywords: ricotta, lemon, Italian cookies, holiday baking, Christmas cookies

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