Cookies Sweet

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Light, fresh, and delicate, these cakey cookies are like a taste of spring in any season.

My family loves lemon-flavored desserts, so these cookies have made several appearances on our table through the years. While some families consider these essential to Christmas celebrations, I think they taste like a crisp spring morning, when tulips are starting to bloom but the air is still chilly enough to require a jacket. Maybe you should try making them yourself, just to see what season they would be most enjoyed in your family.

Jump to Recipe

My recipe is adapted from this one at Sally’s Baking Addiction. Be warned: it makes a lot of cookies. I think I ended up with six dozen, and shared them with family, friends, and our mail delivery person. This is the perfect recipe to make if you have a good bit of free time and would really like to share baked goods with others.

Slightly yellow lemon ricotta cookies with a lemon zest glaze icing

Start by zesting and juicing one lemon.

Next, cream together your butter and sugar. It will look more crumbly than many recipes, but this is okay. The ricotta will add a lot of liquid to our cookies, so we don’t want our creamed butter and sugar to be too wet.

Butter and sugar creamed together; the texture is crumbly.

Next, add in your ricotta, vanilla, and lemon juice. Also stir in half of your lemon zest. Mix in your eggs one at a time, making sure the batter is completely homogenous after each addition.

Combine your dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then slowly stir them into your ricotta mixture. Stir these until just combined – do not overmix.

Teaspoon-size globs of cookie dough laid out in rows on a parchment-lined baking sheet

Now, place your dough in the refrigerator for one hour. What you have right now is essentially cake batter; we need it to firm up before plopping out our cookies, so that they retain their individual cookie shapes. Toward the end of your hour, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Once your batter has chilled out, place tablespoons of the batter onto parchment paper or silicone baking mats. I highly recommend using some sort of baking mat as these cookies like to stick to the pan.

Bake for 13-15 minutes at 350 degrees F. How do you know when they’re done? If you gently press a (clean) finger into a cookie, it should not leave an imprint. If your finger leaves a dent, the cookies need more time in the oven.

A baked but not iced lemon ricotta cookie. It is pale yellow.

Allow the cookies to briefly cool on the pan before transferring them to a cooling rack. While the cookies are cooling, make your glaze by whisking together lemon juice, the rest of your lemon zest, and powdered sugar. (If your family is like mine, and they enjoy the glaze even more than the cookies, consider doubling the glaze recipe.)

Once your cookies have cooled completely, drizzle them with glaze.

Glazed cookies will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. They can be frozen before glazing; frozen cookies should remain fresh for up to 3 months.

Slightly yellow lemon ricotta cookies with a lemon zest glaze icing

I hope you enjoy this tasty treat!

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

These light, fresh, and cake-like cookies are like a taste of spring in any season.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Refrigerator Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6 dozen cookies

Ingredients
  

Cookies

  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • ½ cup butter room temperature
  • 1 container ricotta cheese (15 oz.)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Glaze

  • 4 tablespoons Lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cups Confectioners sugar
  • Zest of ½ lemon

Instructions
 

  • Start by zesting and juicing one lemon.
  • Cream together butter and sugar. Stir in ricotta, vanilla, half of your lemon zest, and the lemon juice.
  • Mix in eggs one at a time.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Stir this mixture into your wet ingredients, mixing until just combined
  • Cover the batter with plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Remove dough from the fridge and place individual tablespoons of dough on parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Bake for 13-15 minutes at 350 degrees F. If you gently press a (clean) finger into a cookie, it should not leave an imprint. If your finger leaves a dent, the cookies need more time in the oven.
  • While the cookies are cooling, combine powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest to make your glaze. Allow cookies to cool completely before frosting.

Notes

Glazed cookies will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. They can be frozen before glazing; frozen cookies should remain fresh for up to 3 months.
Keyword cookies, lemon, ricotta

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