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Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze 

Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies are the ultimate tangy cookie with a cake-like texture. These tender cookies topped with a luscious lemon glaze, deliver an burst of zesty lemon with every bite.

White drop cookies topped with a white glaze that has bits of lemon zest in it, on a wire rack next to two lemons.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Lemon ricotta cookies will have all of the lemon lovers out there jumping for joy as they eat these little Italian confections. If you are a fan of Italian ricotta cookies you will love this lemony version. They have the same soft texture but with with just the right amount of bright lemon flavor.

Lemons play a big part in Italian cuisine so it is not a surprise that they would show up in a recipe for traditional Italian cookies. From the lemons in the Amalfi coast to the lemons in Sicily, this wonderful citrus fruit is front and center in so many delicious recipes. I especially love the flavor it brings to dessert recipes like Lemon Pistachio Biscotti, Anginetti Cookies (Italian Lemon Cookies) and Italian Cheesecake with Ricotta and Mascarpone as well as savory dishes like Chicken Limone and Lemon Pepper Salmon with Dill.

What Makes This Recipe So Good

  • The ricotta cheese in this cookie recipe makes the them soft and tender. They will absolutely melt in your mouth!
  • The flavor of these cookies is the perfect balance between sweet and tangy, thanks to the light and fluffy cookie and the sweet lemon glaze.
  • This recipe is easy and reliable. It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced baker or not, this lemon ricotta cookie recipe comes out perfect every time.
  • The cookie dough can be made up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated until you are ready to bake the cookies.
  • You only need a few simple ingredients to make a big batch of cookies!

Ingredients You Need and Notes

  • Ricotta Cheese: Whole milk ricotta cheese will give you the best results. Whole milk ricotta is creamy and tends to have less water in it. Although all store bought ricotta will have some water in it. If your ricotta is too wet, you will need to drain it in a fine mesh sieve before adding it to the cookie batter.
  • All purpose Flour: I have not made this with other types of flour so I can not say how they will work. Good old all purpose flour is perfect in this recipe.
  • Butter: Be sure your butter is unsalted and at room temperature so that it creams appropriately.
  • Eggs: Use large eggs that are at room temperature.
  • Lemon: Fresh lemon juice and zest will provide the best flavor. It is easiest to zest the lemon before cutting and juicing it.

Step By Step Instructions For Making Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies

How To Make The Cookies

  1. Cream the butter and eggs: Combine the softened butter and eggs in the bowl of stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl if using an electric hand mixer. Beat at medium speed until pale in color, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add eggs: Add the eggs one at a time, beating until the eggs have been completed incorporated into the butter mixture between additions.
  3. Mix in the remaining wet ingredients: Add the ricotta, lemon juice and lemon zest to the batter and mix until creamy.
  4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Then slowly add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and mix on low speed just until the flour has been completely blended into the batter. Scrape down the sides to make sure the all of the ingredients are evenly distributed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour before baking.
  5. Bake the cookies: Use a tablespoon or a small cookie scoop to drop the cookie dough on to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Space the cookies about 2″ apart on the cookie sheet and bake in a pre-heated 350F degree oven for 12-14 minutes. The cookies will still be pale on top but the bottoms will be golden brown when they are done. Remove the cookies from the oven and place them on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting them.

How To Make The Glaze

  1. Make the glaze: Combine the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest in a small bowl and whisk until creamy. The glaze should be pourable but not overly liquidy. If the glaze is too liquidy add confectioners’ sugar one tablespoon at a time and if it is too thick add lemon juice 1 teaspoon at a time until you get the desired consistency.
  2. Frost the cookies: Working with one cookie at a time, dip the top of the cookie into the glaze and use your finger or the back of a spoon to spread the glaze evenly around the cookie. Set the cookies on a cooling rack or waxed paper and allow the glaze to dry completely before storing.

Tips for Best Results

  • Chilling the dough will help the cookies keep their shape while baking. If you skip this step the cookies will still be delicious but they will not be as puffy.
  • The cookies will spread a bit while baking so make sure to leave enough room between each cookie on the baking sheet.
  • Do not try to make these cookies any larger then the one tablespoon size recommended. Larger cookies will take longer to bake and will spread too much.
Lemon ricotta cookies with lemon glaze on a wire rack.

FAQ’s

How do you store Lemon Ricotta Cookies?

After the glaze has dried completely, place your cookies in an air tight container with sheets of waxed paper between layers. You can store them in a cool place for 2 -3 days or in the refrigerator for about a week.

Can you freeze Lemon Ricotta Cookies?

Yes you can. After placing them in an airtight container, I recommend wrapping the container in plastic wrap to keep any other freezer odors from permeating the cookies. The cookies will stay fresh for 2-3 months.

More Italian Cookies To Try

Italian Chocolate Spice Cookies

Homemade Italian Butter Cookies

Italian Almond Cookies

Cuccidati Italian Fig Cookies

Italian Orange Cookies -Nonna’s Biscotti all’Arancia

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Lemon ricotta cookies with lemon glaze on a wire rack.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Lemon ricotta cookies are sweet, soft, pillowy treats bursting with lemon flavor. This tangy classic Italian recipe is for all the lemon lovers out there. The perfect dessert for any occasion, whether it is a party, potluck or just to enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea, these cookies are sure to be a hit!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 13 mins
Frosting 20 mins
Total Time 48 mins
Course Cookies, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Servings 60 cookies
Calories 78 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • ½ cup Butter Unsalted, softened
  • cups Sugar
  • 2 Eggs large, room temperature
  • 15 oz Ricotta Cheese whole milk or extra cream
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Zest

Lemon Icing

  • cups Confectioners' Sugar
  • 3 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Zest

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  • Using an electric mixer or a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale yellow, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and beat until completely mixed in between additions. Scrape down the sides to make sure the eggs are fully incorporated.
  • Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice and lemon zest to the egg mixture and beat well.
  • Continue beating while you slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix until the flour is completely and evenly mixed in and you have a soft fluffy cookie dough.
  • Use a tablespoon or a cookie scoop to drop the dough on the the prepared cookie sheets, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie.
  • Bake for 11-13 minutes. The top of the cookies will still be white but the bottoms should be golden brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and place them on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Lemon Icing

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until the icing is pourable but not too liquidy.
  • Dip the tops of the cookies into the icing and use your finger or the back of a spoon to spread the icing evenly on the cookie. Set the cookies on sheets of waxed paper to dry.

Notes

Tips for Best Results

  • Chilling the dough will help the cookies keep their shape while baking. If you skip this step the cookies will still be delicious but they will not be as puffy.
  • The cookies will spread a bit while baking so make sure to leave enough room between each cookie on the baking sheet.
  • Do not try to make these cookies any larger then the one tablespoon size recommended. Larger cookies will take longer to bake and will spread too much

Nutrition

Serving: 60cookiesCalories: 78kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 2gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 37mgPotassium: 17mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 87IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 0.3mg
Keyword Holiday cookies, Ricotta cheese, lemon, Easter, Mother’s Day, party
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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