Italian Ricotta Cookies


Use all the sprinkles!! I love cookies that have funfetti style sprinkles, it just makes them more fun to eat and I’m sure my kids would agree with that 100 percent! Another thing I love are these Italian Ricotta Cookies! They are soft, moist, cake-like cookies and they’re so good you can never stop at just one! They have a nice hint of lemon flavor but you can also use almond extract in place of the lemon juice for delicious alternative. Or better yet, make half of each flavor of glaze!

Italian Ricotta Cookies | Cooking Classy

I know I’ve been on a sugar craze here on Cooking Classy, tis the holidays after all :). I will be adding some savory recipes soon enough but for now I’m just enjoying the baking season. My kitchen has been overflowing with all kinds of desserts lately but there’s definitely no one complaining around here.

This makes a large batch of cookies so you can easily make half the recipe if you don’t need 4 dozen cookies. This time of year 4 dozen may be about right but come January I think I’ll go with 2 dozen – even though they are incredibly delicious, they are just too hard to resist! Try them and you’ll see what I mean!


Italian Ricotta Cookies | Cooking ClassyItalian Ricotta Cookies | Cooking ClassyItalian Ricotta Cookies | Cooking ClassyItalian Ricotta Cookies | Cooking Classy


Italian Ricotta Cookies

4.84 from 18 votes

Yield: About 4 dozen


  • 3 1/2 cups (495g) all-purpose flour*
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (8 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups (370g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 15 oz . ricotta , whole milk or fresh (1 3/4 cups)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs


  • 1 Tbsp butter (salted or unsalted), melted
  • 3 3/4 cups (460g) powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice , or 1 1/4 tsp almond extract and more milk as needed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 - 6 Tbsp milk


  1. For the cookies:
  2. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and salt for 20 seconds, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment whip together butter, granulated sugar and lemon zest until pale and fluffy (scrape down sides and bottom of bowl occasionally throughout entire mixing process). Mix in ricotta and vanilla extract then blend in eggs one at a time. Set mixer on low speed and slowly add in flour mixture and mix until combined. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill 2 hours or up to 2 days. Preheat oven to 350 degrees during last 20 minutes of dough chilling.
  3. Scoop chilled dough out 1 Tbsp at a time and shape into balls (if it's too sticky just drop onto sheet using two spoons), drop onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (I don't recommend using dark non-stick pans for this recipe since the bottoms will already become pretty golden. Dark pans brown more than uncoated pans do). Bake in preheated oven 12 - 14 minutes until underside of cookies are golden. Cool on baking sheet several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool dip tops of cookies in glaze and return to wire rack, immediately add sprinkles if using. Allow glaze to set at room temperature. Store in an airtight container in a single layer.
  4. For the glaze:
  5. In a mixing bowl whisk together powdered sugar, melted butter, lemon juice or almond extract, vanilla and 4 Tbsp milk until smooth, adding in more milk 1 tsp at a time to thin as needed (you don't want it to be very thin, it should be quite a bit thicker than a doughnut glaze).
  6. *Scoop flour directly from container using measuring cup and level top using a butter knife. Don't whisk or sift before measuring and don't spoon into a cup. I thought I better note that because in the recipe I adapted these from it stated 4 cups flour (480g) but it only took me 3 1/2 cups to get to the weight they had listed and then some (495g). The best option is to use a kitchen scale, I highly recommend investing in one if you don't already have one. I always use mine when baking.
  7. Recipe source: adapted from New York Times



  • Dee Fedor: Is the butter 4 oz, or one cup? They are not the same amount December 3, 2015 at 11:29am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Good Catch! It’s 1 cup. Thanks for pointing that out. :) December 3, 2015 at 11:50am Reply

  • Jillian: Those leaf and star decorative candies are adorable. Where did you get them? December 3, 2015 at 11:18am Reply

  • Natasha @ Salt and Lavender: Oh these are so pretty!! I just love sprinkles. Pinned! December 3, 2015 at 8:25am Reply

  • Linda C: This is a dumb question and I’m probably second guessing myself but the ricotta you’re talking about, is that ricotta cheese? Is that what you use. Thanks. I want to make these for my Italian in-laws. ???????? December 3, 2015 at 8:17am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes it is. :) They don’t have a cheesy flavor at all though. December 3, 2015 at 12:49pm Reply

  • Chels: My goodness these are beautiful cookies. I don’t think I’ve ever tried this kind of cookie and I definitely think I’ve been missing out. December 3, 2015 at 7:53am Reply

  • Karen: These cookies look delicious and festive. I am looking forward to trying the recipe. Can these cookies be frozen? December 3, 2015 at 7:26am Reply

    • Mary ellen miller: Yes…but if you freeze them with colored sugar…it will bleed…thus I use white sanding sugar if freezing December 1, 2017 at 7:51am Reply

  • Kathy: These cookies look delicious, but the recipe calls for 1 cup of butter but you say 4 oz of butter which is 1/2 cup of butter or one stock of butter. Can you let me know which is correct. December 3, 2015 at 6:29am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry! I’ve updated this now. It’s 1 cup. Thanks for the heads up! December 3, 2015 at 11:52am Reply

  • Bella B: These look so good! I love cookies I’m going to have to try these!! December 2, 2015 at 10:08pm Reply

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