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Ricotta Cookies – A Beautiful Mess

Ricotta cookies are a soft, almost fluffy drop cookie topped with a simple glaze. My understanding is they are Italian in origin, although I mostly think of ricotta cookies as something that’s made around the holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Find more easy cookie recipes in our dessert archives.

Drop cookies are exactly what they sound like. You drop the dough onto a baking sheet in spoonfuls, and bake them.

Unlike other cookies that you might roll into balls or slice and bake, these ricotta cookies are SO easy to make.

Ricotta cookies are soft and pillowy in texture and they taste almost creamy. Both the batter and glaze have a little bit of lemon, balancing out the sweetness.

Ingredients for Ricotta Cookies:

  • Ricotta cheese
  • Butter
  • Egg
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Lemon
  • Granulated White Sugar
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Powdered Sugar

The only ingredient that might be a little different, or one you don’t normally have on hand if you bake often is ricotta cheese.

This is a common cheese you can find in the dairy section at most grocery stores; usually in a tub container. It’s great for making calzone or pancakes. If you can’t find it, you can also make your own ricotta cheese.


The batter for these ricotta cookies is made by mixing together all the dry ingredients and then the wet ingredients. Then, you stir these two components together to create a cake-like batter dough.

The glaze is also really simple to make with just three ingredients a little bit of whisking.

You can top the glaze with sprinkles, raw sugar, lemon zest, or even a little sprinkle of flaky sea salt. These are easy to dress up for Thanksgiving or Christmas (or any holiday!) by using seasonally colored sprinkles.

Tips for Making Ricotta Cookies:

  • I’ve tried baking this batter right after making (without chilling) and baking after the dough was chilled. Both work just fine. However, if you want that perfect domed look, I would recommend chilling the dough and using a cookie scoop.
  • You can swap the lemon zest and juice for lime or grapefruit if you want a slightly different variation.
  • For the glaze, I usually spoon or drizzle it over these cookies once they have cooled. Another option is to invert them and dip the tops into the glaze before placing on a cooling rack to allow excess glaze to drip off.
  • If you want to double this recipe and save some of the dough for later, learn how to freeze cookie dough here.

Looking for more holiday cookies?

If you like these ricotta cookies, you’ll probably love these recipes, too:


get the recipe
Get the Recipe

soft and pillowy cookies with a simple glaze

Yield 24 cookies

Prep 5 mins

Cook 10 mins

Total 15 mins


  • In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.

  • Stir in the ricotta, lemon zest, vanilla and egg until just combined.

  • Now stir in the dry mixture until a soft cake-like batter forms.

  • Spoon batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  • Bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes.

  • Remove to a cooling rack and make the glaze while the cookies cool.

For the Glaze:

  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon milk. If needed, add another tablespoon of milk to get the glaze consistency you want.

  • Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies. Add sprinkles, raw sugar, or a little flaky sea salt to the tops (optional).


  • In my tests it didn’t make a big difference whether I chilled this dough before baking or not. However, if your cookies spread, then the first thing I would try is chilling the dough before baking. 
  • You can easily double or triple this recipe if you are making for party OR you can freeze cookie dough balls to use later.


Nutrition Facts

Ricotta Cookies

Amount per Serving

% Daily Value*

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.

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