This Lemon Ricotta Cookies Recipe is for all the lemon lovers out there. It’s a soft cookie with a zesty lemon delicious glaze topped with flaky sea salt.
They have just the right amount of tartness, mixed with sweetness and a little salt. These lemon cookies are a little different than the traditional style Italian Ricotta Cookies.
These do not have a cake-like texture. They are soft but not cakey. I use baking soda instead of baking powder to make a less fluffy cookie and less cake-like cookies.
I’m not a big fan of the traditional powdered sugar and milk glaze so I went a different route. This luscious lemon glaze has a cream cheese base.
It’s creamy, packed with lemon flavor and makes the perfect topping for these delicious cookies!
If this is your firsts time making ricotta cheese cookies then I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Lemon desserts are great to make year round! That’s why I make lemon blueberry cookies all year too; they’re my husbands favorite!
They’re perfect in winter during citrus season then something about lemon just screams spring and summer to me! There’s really never a bad time of year to make these Lemon Ricotta Cookies!
If you’re a lemon lover like me then you’ll also love Creamy Lemon Pie Recipe, Honey Lemon Chiffon Pie, Garlic Chicken Pasta + Shrimp and Lemon Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto
These cookies are a great recipe to make with the kids too! The recipe is simple and my kids love to add the sweet lemon glaze on top!
Ingredients for this Lemon Ricotta Cookies Recipe
- All Purpose Flour – These Lemon Ricotta Cookies have not been tested with any other flour so I do not suggest subbing anything else
- Cornstarch – Cornstarch gives a little structure to the cookie
- Baking Soda – Make sure your baking soda is in date!
- Kosher Salt – Salt helps bring out the flavors of the other ingredients
- Unsalted Butter – I use unsalted so that I can control the salt level
- Ricotta Cheese – Whole milk ricotta cheese is best for these Lemon Ricotta Cookies
- Granulated Sugar – This is what sweetens the cookies
- Lemon Juice – Make sure to use fresh lemon juice
- Lemon Zest – I use fresh lemon zest for this recipe, not dried
- Eggs – Use room temperature large eggs for the best results
- Vanilla Extract – I use pure vanilla extract
- Cream Cheese – Cream cheese is the base for the lemon glaze
- Powdered Sugar – Also known as confectioners’ sugar, helps sweeten the glaze for the cookies
- Flaky Sea Salt – Optional but recommended
- Stand Mixer – I use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to mix the cookie dough. You can also use a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer if you don’t own a stand mixer
- Electric Mixer – You’ll need an electric hand mixer to make the luscious lemon glaze. I don’t love making it in my stand mixer since it’s such a small amount
- Medium Mixing Bowl – You’ll need a bowl to whisk together the dry ingredients
- Whisk – To mix the dry ingredients together
- Rubber Spatula – You’ll need a rubber spatula so you can scrape down the sides of bowl when mixing the wet ingredients
- Cooling Rack – I transfer the cookies to a wire rack after a few minutes of cooling on the sheet pan
Tips for Lemon Ricotta Cookies
- DO NOT skip the chilling step to these Lemon Ricotta Cookies. You’ll end up with super flat cookies that you cant pick up
- Scoop the dough then chill it rather than chilling the whole bowl then scooping
- The easiest way to scoop the dough is with a cookie scoop or an ice cream scoop. I make 2oz cookies. Which is also just about 1/4 cup
- This is a great do ahead recipe. You can make the dough and leave it in the fridge for up to 48 hours before baking it. You can also freeze the cookie balls for up to 2 months
- If you freeze the cookie dough balls make sure to get all of the air out of the resealable bag that you’re storing them in and double bag them
- If you want smaller cookies then you can do 1oz scoops. Bake the cookies for about 8 minutes. If you see the edges start to brown at all then take them out
- If you love lemon and need more delicious recipes then check out Creamy Lemon Pie Recipe, Honey Lemon Chiffon Pie, Shrimp and Lemon Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto + Garlic Chicken Pasta
- Helpful tips will also be listed in the recipe card
Can Lemon Ricotta Cookies be frozen?
Yes, they can! I would suggest freezing them before adding the glaze but you can still freeze them if they’ve already been glazed.
Let the Lemon Ricotta Cookies cool completely then put them in one flat layer inside a freezer Ziplock bag. Get as much of the air out as possible.
Then double bag them. Freeze them for up to 2 months.
Defrost the cookies in the fridge over night then let them come to room temp on the counter. Add the glaze, lemon zest and flaky sea salt if it’s not been added yet.
Can I freeze the dough?
You definitely can! The Lemon Ricotta Cookies raw dough can be frozen in exactly the same way that you would freeze the baked cookies.
Scoop the dough onto a parchment lined sheet tray then chill it for about 30 minutes. Once it’s chilled then add it to a Ziplock bag in one layer.
Make sure to get all the air out then double bag it. Freeze it for up to 2 months.
Defrost overnight in the fridge when ready to bake. Bake them straight out of the fridge, do not let them come to room temp.
How to store Lemon Ricotta Cookies
Besides freezing them as described above, you can also store them at room temperature. I leave mine out on a plate either not covered or loosely covered.
The glaze does have cream cheese so I only recommend counter storage for about 24 hours.
I don’t recommend storing them in an airtight container on the counter because they’re already soft cookies to begin with and that could make them fall apart.
They can also be refrigerated. Store them on a plate covered in plastic wrap for up to 5 days in the fridge.
How to make Lemon Ricotta Cookies Recipe
The first step is to mix the Lemon Ricotta Cookie dough up so it can chill. In a medium bowl combine the dry ingredients then whisk together and set aside.
Cream the butter, ricotta and granulated sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 3 minutes. Mixture should be a pale yellow, light and fluffy.
Mix in the egg on high speed until fully combined. Add in the lemon juice, lemon zest and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract then mix on low speed for about 30 seconds.
Combine flour mixture into the wet ingredients and mix on low just until almost fully combined. A few streaks of flour are fine.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper then scoop 2oz dough balls and place them on the cookie sheet. Chill dough for at least 2 hours or up to 48 hours.
Heat oven to 350°F then bake cookies, 3 inches apart, for 14 minutes. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet then transfer them to a parchment lined wire rack to cool the rest of the way.
Make the lemon glaze while the cookies are cooling
In a medium bowl combine the cream cheese and butter for the glaze. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes with an electric hand mixer.
Add the sifted powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix on low until combined then on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Topping the Lemon Ricotta Cookies
Once the cookies are fully cooled then top them with the lemon glaze. The easiest way for me is to use a small Ziplock sandwich bag, fill it about halfway then seal the top.
Snip a very small piece off one of the corners and use it like a small pastry bag to drizzle the glaze over the top of the cookies.
Add a little lemon zest and flaky sea salt to the top of the cookie. This new recipe is definitely a favorite cookie and I hope it’s one of yours too!
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Lemon Ricotta Cookies Recipe
- 1 stand mixer or a large bowl with an electric hand mixer
- 1 electric hand mixer for glaze
- 1 medium mixing bowl
- 1 whisk
- 1 rubber spatula
- 1 cooling rack
- 1 2oz cookie scoop
- 2¼ cups all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temp
- 4 oz whole milk ricotta cheese room temp
- 1½ cups granulates sugar
- 1 egg room temp
- ¼ cup lemon juice fresh lemon juice
- zest from 1 lemon fresh lemon zest
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze
- 4 oz cream cheese room temp
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter room temp
- 2 cups powdered sugar sifted
- ¼ cup lemon juice fresh lemon juice
- zest of 1 lemon fresh lemon zest
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp flaky sea salt optional but delicious
- 1 tsp fresh lemon zest to sprinkle on top of cookies
Mixing the Dry Ingredients
- Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl then set aside
Mixing the Wet Ingredients
- Mix the butter, ricotta and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 3 minutes until mixture is pale yellow, light and fluffy
- Add the egg and mix on high speed until fully combined
- Mix in the lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla on low speed until combined
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix on low speed just until almost fully combined
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop the dough into 2oz balls onto the tray. Chill dough for at least 2 hours and up to 48 hours
Making the Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze
- Make the glaze while the dough is chilling
- Mix the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with a hand mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes
- Add the sifted powdered sugar, lemon juice, zest and salt then mix on low speed until combined. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and mix another 2 minutes
Baking the Lemon Ricotta Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350°F then line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Remove the dough balls straight from the fridge onto the baking sheet then bake for 14 minutes
- Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer them to a wire rack. If the cookies seem like they're going to break then let them cool longer on the baking sheet
Glazing and Topping the Cookies
- Once the cookies are fully cooled then drizzle them with the lemon glaze. Add the glaze to a small sandwich Ziplock bag then seal the top. Make a very small snip on one of the corners then drizzle over the cookies
- Top each cookie with lemon zest and flaky sea salt
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