Ricotta cookies are a soft, almost airy drop cookie topped with a simple frosting. My understanding is that they are of Italian origin, although I mostly think of ricotta cakes as something made around the holidays, such as 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 cut and bake, these ricotta cookies are SO easy to make.

Ricotta cookies are soft and pillow-like in texture, and they taste almost creamy. Both dough and frosting have a little bit of lemon to balance the sweetness.

Ingredients for Ricotta Cookies:

  • Ricotta cheese
  • Butter
  • Egg
  • Vanilla extract
  • Lemon
  • Granulated white sugar
  • Flour for all purposes
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Powdered sugar

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

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


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

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

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

Tips for making Ricotta Cookies:

  • I have tried baking this dough right after making (without chilling) and baking after the dough was chilled. Both work fine. But if you want the perfect dome look, I would recommend chilling the dough and using one cookie scoop.
  • You can replace the lemon zest and juice with lime or grapefruit if you want a slightly different variation.
  • For the frosting, I usually spoon or drizzle it over these cookies once they have cooled. Another option is to flip them over and dip the tops in the glaze before placing them on a wire 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 cake batter here.

Looking for more Christmas cookies?

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


get the recipe
Get the recipe

soft and pillowy cookies with a simple frosting

Yield 24 cookies

Prepare 5 mine

Cook 10 mine

Total 15 mine


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

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

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

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

  • Pour the batter onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper.

  • Bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes.

  • Take it out on a wire rack and make the glaze while the cakes cool.

For the glaze:

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

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


  • In my tests, it didn’t make much of a difference if I chilled this dough before baking or not. But if your cookies are spreading, 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 a party OR you can freeze cookie dough balls to use later.


Nutrition facts

Ricotta Cookies

Amount per portion

% Daily Value*

* Percent daily values ​​are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Note: Nutrition is automatically calculated using Spoonacular for your convenience. Where applicable, we recommend using your own nutritional calculations.

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