Ricotta Cookies

This simple dessert recipe yields oodles of pillowy soft, tender cookies that are a sure to be a family favorite!

These Ricotta Cookies are divine. They’re hands down some of the best cookies I make. I’ve been baking them every year for Christmas since 2008, and it’s a tradition that will definitely keep on going.

This is a perfect recipe to make for the holidays because it makes a ton – I get about 7 dozen out of it, which is plenty to hand out to neighbors, teachers, and friends. Sometimes I even make a second batch of these since my Italian in-laws’ require a big container of these every year for Christmas dessert.

Ricotta Cookies: This simple dessert recipe yields oodles of pillowy soft, tender cookies that are a sure to be a family favorite!

One of my favorite things about this recipe is having my kiddo help out with the baking and decorating. He really gets a kick out of watching the butter and sugar get nice and fluffy during the 5 minutes of high-speed mixing.

Sometimes I have the neighbor kids come over and we have a big ol’ decorating party.

Sprinkles. Get. Everywhere. But it’s so fun!

A photo posted by Ashley Covelli (@bigflavors) on

Speaking of sprinkles, I’ve found that the nonpareil variety hold up best here. Since the cookies are so moist, larger decorations like these tend to get really soggy once they’ve been stored for a few days.

Not ideal.

I also like to make these (and most other cookie recipes) using scoops. They come in all sorts of different sizes and help ensure you get consistently sized cookies that are evenly baked. Plus the little squeeze release handle makes faster work of portioning out the dough.

I use a #50 scoop when I make this recipe and usually get about 7 dozen, depending how much of the batter we eat raw on the day.

A photo posted by Ashley Covelli (@bigflavors) on

Another thing that I rarely bake without is a silicone baking mat. I use one on each baking sheet and it helps ensure that nothing sticks to the pan, and the cookies release from the sheet easily.

While these cookies are great for Christmas, they’re really perfect for any occasion (not that you need an occasion for cookies!). I make them for Easter fairly often, too. You can jazz ’em up with different colors – red for Valentine’s Day, green for St. Patrick’s Day, etc. And rainbow colored sprinkles are always a hit!

I also came up with a Lemon Ricotta Cookie variation a while back that’s also delicious and a nice change from the standard recipe.

Ricotta Cookies

Makes About 7 dozen cookies

Ricotta Cookies

This simple dessert recipe yields oodles of pillowy soft, tender cookies that are a sure to be a family favorite!


For Cookies:
2 cups white sugar
1 cup butter, softened
15 ounces ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
For Decorating:
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons milk, plus more if needed
Sprinkles (I find that the nonpareil style works best)


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a in large bowl with an electric mixer), beat together sugar and butter and 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 rubber spatula and stir gently. Add ricotta, vanilla, and eggs and beat on medium speed until combined. Scrape the bowl again.
  3. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Return mixer to low speed and continue to beat until dough forms.
  4. Drop the dough by small scoopfuls (I used a #50 scoop) onto the lined baking sheets. Place 12 on each baking sheet, leaving space between each scoop of dough.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until cookies are very lightly golden, about 13-16 minutes (cookies will be soft). Using a spatula, carefully transfer cookies to wire rack to cool before decorating.
  6. When cookies are completely cool, prepare the icing. In small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and milk until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more milk. If it's too thin, add more powdered sugar. Spread a little icing over each cookie, then top with sprinkles while the icing is still wet. Allow the icing to dry completely before storing cookies in an airtight container.


Recipe adapted from Allrecipes

Big Flavors Rating: 5 Stars


Note: This post includes affiliate links for items that I genuinely enjoy. Big Flavors will receive a tiny commission from purchases made through affiliate links on this site at no added cost to you. This allows us to cover site-related expenses and helps to keep us cooking up a storm!

  • Theresa

    These were so good!

  • Thus

    These are delicious! This may be a silly question, but do the cookies have to be refrigerated since they have ricotta cheese in them?

    • Not a silly question at all! I’ve never refrigerated them afterward. They’re cooked and they stay nice and fluffy for several days… if they last that long!!

  • Katy

    Just made these over the weekend… delicious and light and fluffy!!

  • Sue

    These cookies are delicious! I made them last year for Christmas and everyone devoured them. Quick question: Can you make the dough a day or two ahead? I want to make the dough today and cook right before Christmas.

    • A friend of mine is experimenting with that (and freezing them!) this year. I haven’t tried either method, so I’m not 100% sure it would work, but I think it would be fine in the refrigerator. Please do report back if you do – I’m making them again this year and would love to know how that works out.

      • Shan

        Was there ever a verdict reached on the ability to make the dough ahead of time? I love this recipe and have made it so many times, but would love to get a head start on Christmas baking 🙂

        • I just checked in with her and she said she had planned to do that last year but ended up eating them/handing them all out instead! The original recipe’s notes say that the COOKED dough freezes well, but not raw. So I’d guess you can bake the cookies, freeze those, and then frost them the day of.

          I made a lemon variation of these this year and they turned out SO well!