Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies Recipe (2024)

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Easy Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies recipe made with olive oil (no butter) and creamy ricotta cheese. Crispy on the bottom with a soft and fluffy center covered in a luscious lemon glaze and poppy seed sprinkle. Classic Italian Christmas Cookies!

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Lemon Ricotta Cookies

If you’ve been looking for easy but timeless Italian cookies/ biscotti look no further, because this lemon ricotta cookies recipe will deliver like a true Nonna boss!

One of the most popular classic Italian Christmas cookies rivaled only by these walnut and wedding cookies, amazingly delicious, decadent and so easy to make you don’t even need to bring out the mixer. Dress them up with a sweet icing or go full lemon glaze and poppy seeds like I did.

Believe it or not this is the first cookie recipe I’m posting on the Ciao Florentina blog. I do have quite a few sweets likericotta muffins, quick breads, ricotta meatballs and 100% Sicilian ricotta cake which you should absolutely go make right now.

Italian Ricotta Cookies Ingredients

  • Ricotta Cheese – the recipe calls for an entire pound of creamy whole milk ricotta cheese. However you can also make these using dairy-free store bough or homemade ricotta.
  • Olive Oil – i absolutely love baking with olive oil instead of butter. It yields moist cookies with a fluffy soft center and perfectly crispy around the edges.
  • All Purpose Flour – because i wanted a light and soft center, any whole grain flour will result in a denser type cookie. If you do choose that option make sure to use a whole wheat pastry flour for best results.
  • Lemon Glaze – it’s just freshly squeezed lemon juice whisked together with powdered sugar until silky smooth. Use 2 cups powdered sugar + 3 Tbsp plant milk for a sweet sugar glaze instead.

FAQ

  • How long do these cookies last? – At our house about 15 minutes, but technically they can be stored on the kitchen counter in an airtight container for a few days.
  • Can I freeze the cookies? – Yes but just because you could doesn’t mean you should. Truth is they just won’t be as good, however if you do decide to freeze them do so without the glaze.
  • Why are my cookies flat? – These cookies are meant to be on the flatter side but make sure to check your baking powder and make sure it is fresh.
  • Make ahead – you can make the cookie dough a couple of days in advance and keep chilled until ready to bake.

Cookie Variations

  • Do a sweet glaze of 2 cups powdered sugar + 3 Tbsp milk and sprinkle with coconut flakes.
  • Make orange icing + orange zest instead of lemon.
  • Replace the vanilla extract with anise or almond extract and sprinkle with slivered almonds.
  • Dress them for Christmas with dried cranberries and chopped pistachio nuts.
  • Add 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips to the batter and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  • Replace the poppy seeds with Christmas sprinkles or any special occasion sprinkles.
  • Rosemary Shortbread Cookies.

Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies Recipe (7)

5 from 4 votes

Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies Recipe - Italian Christmas Cookies

A super easy Italian ricotta cookies recipe made with olive oil (no butter) and whole milk ricotta cheese. Crispy on the bottom and fluffy in the center with a decadent lemon glaze and poppy seeds sprinkle.

Print Recipe

Prep Time:10 minutes mins

Cook Time:18 minutes mins

Total Time:28 minutes mins

Ingredients

for the lemon glaze

  • 1 large lemon juiced and zested
  • 2 cups Powder sugar + more as needed

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 375"F .

  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and sea salt. Set aside.

  • In a separate bowl whisk together the egg with the sugar, vanilla extract and olive oil until creamy. Add the ricotta cheese and whisk together until incorporated. Whisk in the juice and zest from 1 lemon then pour all the wet ingredients on top of the flour mixture.

  • Using a spatula fold the wet mixture into the dry until combined.

  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and using two spoons drop the cookie dough by spoonful on the sheet leaving about 1 1/2 inch space in between.

  • Bake the ricotta cookies in the preheated oven for about 17 to 20 minutes until golden brown around the edges.

  • Using a small cookie spatula transfer them to a cooling rack.

  • Once the ricotta cookies have cooled off completely, make your lemon glaze by whisking together the juice from 1 lemon with the powder sugar. Add more powder sugar if needed, until desired consistency is achieved.

  • Using a small spoon add some of the glaze to each ricotta cookie and sprinkle with the reserved lemon zest and poppy seeds.

  • Allow to glaze to set for about 45 minutes. Store in an airtight container.

Notes

Cookie Variations

  • Sweet glaze of 2 cups powdered sugar + 3 Tbsp milk and sprinkle with coconut flakes.
  • Make orange icing + orange zest instead of lemon.
  • Replace the vanilla extract with anise or almond extract and sprinkle with slivered almonds.
  • Dress them for Christmas with dried cranberries and chopped pistachio nuts.
  • Add 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips to the batter and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  • Replace the poppy seeds with Christmas sprinkles or any special occasion sprinkles.

Nutrition

Calories: 227kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 91mg | Potassium: 67mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 101IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 1mg

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: Italian

Keyword: Italian cookies, lemon ricotta cookies, ricotta cookies

Servings: 25 cookies

Calories: 227kcal

Author: Florentina

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  1. Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies Recipe (18)
    Just made these – haven’t put glaze on yet but they are wonderful!

    Reply

  2. Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies Recipe (19)
    Everyone loved these, and they were easy to make. I was looking for a recipe that used olive oil instead! These are soft and cake-like, I used 3 tbsp of bottled lemon juice since I didn’t have fresh. Icing is a must, doesn’t make it too sweet!

    Reply

  3. Very nice recipe. Love the olive oil, versus butter! The converted to gluten free very well, using a measure for measure GF flour substitute. My grandson loved them!

    Reply

  4. About how much juice is from 1 lemon? I want to make these but I don’t have fresh lemons on hand so I need to use bottled juice.

    Reply

    1. Hi Leah, you just need a couple of tablespoon and keep whisking in more powdered sugar to your desired thickness for the glaze. Enjoy! ~ Florentina

      Reply

  5. Have you ever made these gluten free? What would you substitute for the ap flour? These look and sound amazing so I’d love to find a gf version.

    Reply

    1. Hi Susan, I would say go with rice flour, same quantity as what the recipe calls for, and don’t forget to report back 🙂

      Reply

  6. I love anything lemon! I cant wait to bake a batch of these up!

    Reply

  7. I can only imagine how soft and amazing these cookies are….let alone the icing! Drooling!

    Reply

  8. These look like the perfect little treat for an afternoon break. You can never go wrong with that combination of flavours.

    Reply

  9. Your Lemon Ricotta Cookies, my hot tea! What could be better?

    Reply

  10. Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies Recipe (20)
    These cookies look out of this world good! I tried ricotta cookies few times in my life and they were awesome 🙂

    Reply

  11. Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies Recipe (21)
    These ricotta cookies sound amazing. I’d definitely choose one with the poppy seeds!

    Reply

  12. I haven’t made ricotta cookies before. I am very interested in trying them out with how you describe them.

    Reply

  13. Those look and sound so melt-in-your-mouth wonderful!

    Reply

  14. I just love baking with ricotta! 🙂 Love that you combined it with lemon in these beautiful cookies!

    Reply

  15. Now these are some cookies I can get behind!

    Reply

  16. They look delicious I am pinning this.

    Reply

Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies Recipe (2024)

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