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Lemon Ricotta Cookies

These Lemon Ricotta Cookies are soft and moist with a tangy lemon glaze. The ricotta cheese brings a creamy richness to each bite, so they practically melt in your mouth.

As beautiful as they are delicious, these lemon cookies are perfect for a sweet treat anytime or they are perfect for Mother's day, a bridal shower or baby shower!

Lemon Ricotta Cookies stacked together on white plate.
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These Lemon Ricotta Cookies are like little bursts of sunshine! This has become my go-to cookie recipe for practically any occasion. The mixture of ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and zest creates this dreamy, moist texture that's just divine.

After you make the dough, don't skip the chilling step. I learned the hard way, and my first batch turned into pancake cookies – not the look we're going for.

When you're dropping those spoonful's onto the baking sheet, give them some space to spread out. You’re going to love the aroma while they're baking!

For the glaze, I like to play around with the lemon juice in the glaze, adding just enough for that perfect drizzle consistency. Sometimes I add in a bit more zest because, hey, you can never have too much lemony goodness.

I love serving these at brunch gatherings or as a sweet treat anytime. They pair so well with a cup of coffee or tea!

Ingredient Notes

See the printable recipe card below for all ingredients, specific measurements, and complete instructions.

Ingredients to make Lemon Ricotta Cookies set out on the counter.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Serves as the foundation, providing structure to the cookies.
  • Baking Powder: Acts as the leavening agent, making the lemon ricotta cookies light and fluffy.
  • Salt: Enhances the overall flavor.
  • Butter: Adds richness and a buttery flavor to the cookie dough.
  • Sugar: Sweetens the lemon ricotta cookies.
  • Egg: Acts as a binder, helping to hold the ingredients together.
  • Ricotta Cheese: Provides moisture and a creamy texture to the cookies.
  • Lemon Juice: Infuses a tangy and citrusy flavor.
  • Lemon Zest: Intensifies the lemon flavor, adding a burst of freshness to the lemon ricotta cookies.
  • Powdered Sugar: Creates a sweet and smooth glaze.
  • Optional Toppings: Lemon zest, sprinkles.

How To Make Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
Butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.

First, combine the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, and salt – in a bowl. Once that's done, move on to the butter and sugar; cream them together until it's all light and fluffy.

Egg, lemon juice, and zest added to mixing bowl.
Ricotta stirred into the ingredients in the mixing bowl.

Now, onto the wet ingredients – beat in the egg, ricotta, lemon juice, and zest.

Wet ingredients mixed together in mixing bowl.
Flour mixture added to wet ingredients in mixing bowl.

Once smooth, gently stir in the dry ingredients you set aside earlier.

Next is the crucial chilling step. Cover the dough and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or better yet, overnight. This helps prevent the cookies from spreading too much during baking.

Lemon Ricotta Cookie batter in the mixing bowl.
Lemon Ricotta Cookie batter dropped by tablespoon onto a  cookie sheet.

When you're ready to bake, drop spoonful's of the chilled dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, making sure to give them some breathing room. Pop them in the preheated oven for around 12 minutes until they're set and just starting to turn golden.

Baked Lemon Ricotta Cookies on cookie sheet.

Once out of the oven, transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

Powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl.
Lemon glaze for cookies in bowl.

While they cool, whip up the glaze with powdered sugar and lemon juice, adjusting the amount of lemon juice for that perfect drizzle consistency.

Finish it off by sprinkling some extra lemon zest or colorful sprinkles on top.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies on a wire rack drizzled with lemon glaze.
  • Add almonds. The combination of lemon and almonds is divine. Fold chopped almonds into the dough or sprinkle them on top of the glaze for an interesting flavor. 
  • Make orange ricotta cookies. Switch out the lemon zest and juice for orange zest and juice for a totally new ricotta cookie recipe!
  • Add lavender. Lavender and lemon is another great combination. Sprinkle the cookies with culinary lavender to dress these lemon ricotta cookies up for a party. 

Storing and Freezing and Make-Ahead

Make Ahead: If you're planning to get a head start, you can prepare the cookie dough in advance. After mixing all the ingredients, cover the dough tightly and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. This way, when you're ready to bake, the flavors will have melded, and you'll just need to scoop and pop them in the oven.

Storing: Once baked, these Lemon Ricotta Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-4 days. To maintain their freshness and soft texture, consider placing a slice of bread in the container – it helps absorb excess moisture and keeps the cookies from becoming too crunchy.

Freezing: If you want to stash some away for later, these cookies freeze well. First, flash-freeze the baked and cooled cookies on a baking sheet before transferring them to a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag. Layer parchment paper between the cookies to prevent sticking. They can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. To thaw, simply let them come to room temperature on the counter.

Recipe Tips

  • Make sure your butter is softened before creaming it with sugar. Leave it out at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  • Don't skip the chilling step. It may seem like an extra wait, but it's crucial for preventing the cookies from spreading too much during baking. Patience pays off here!
  • Use parchment paper on your baking sheet. It prevents sticking and makes cleanup a breeze. 
  • While making the glaze, add the lemon juice gradually. You want a drizzle consistency – not too runny, not too thick. Adjust as needed.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemons for the recipe?

Freshly squeezed lemon juice is preferred for the best flavor, but in a pinch, bottled lemon juice can be used. Just be mindful of the concentration, as it may vary.

Can I make the cookie dough ahead and freeze it?

Absolutely! After chilling the dough, shape it into balls, freeze on a baking sheet, and then transfer to a freezer bag. When ready to bake, place the frozen dough balls on a baking sheet and adjust the baking time accordingly.

How long will the glaze take to set on the cookies?

The glaze usually sets within 15-30 minutes, depending on the room temperature. You can speed up the process by placing the cookies in the refrigerator for a short time.

Lemon ricotta cookies with lemon glaze on white plate.

More delicious cookie recipes to try!

You’re going to love these Lemon Ricotta Cookies with lemon glaze! They're super soft, a bit tangy, and covered in a sweet lemon glaze, and they’re perfect for a sweet treat at any gathering. 

Four Lemon Ricotta Cookies stacked on white plate.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies Recipe

Author: Judy Wilson
These Lemon Ricotta Cookies are soft and moist with a tangy lemon glaze. The ricotta cheese brings a creamy richness to each bite, so they practically melt in your mouth.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 27 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 30
Calories 83 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon of lemon zest

Glaze Ingredients

  • ¾ cup powdered sugar 
  • 1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions
 

  • Combine all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt in a small mixing bowl and set aside.
  • With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in egg, ricotta, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
  • Stir in the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Cover and chill in the refrigerator for one hour or overnight. (Do not skip this step!)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  • When the dough is chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and drop by tablespoon onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving 2 inches of space between each cookie to allow for spreading.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes, until set, and just beginning to show some brown.
  • Remove the from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  • While the cookies cool, make the icing. Stir powdered sugar and lemon juice together in a small bowl, adding just enough lemon juice to form a drizzle.
  • Drizzle over cookies, and top with additional lemon zest, or sprinkles as desired.

Notes

Optional toppings: Lemon zest and sprinkles.
It’s important to chill the cookie dough before baking. Otherwise, you end up with very flat, almost pancake cookies. 

Nutrition

Calories: 83kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 1gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 46mgPotassium: 17mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 82IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 19mgIron: 0.3mg
The nutritional information provided is approximate and should only be used as a general guideline. It is an estimate that will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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