Lemon Ricotta Cookies are bright, moist, and fluffy! These irresistible cookies are loaded with lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, and of course ricotta. The perfect blend of ingredients lends to a beautifully textured and delicious tasting spring and summer cookie!

A plate on a wooden cutting board, full of lemon ricotta cookies.

I can’t think of a better recipe to make this time of year. If I had to use just 3 words to describe these cookies I’d use: happy, bright, light and airy…. and delicious, scrumptious, easy, unique, classic. Those last two being major oxymorons. But honestly… you thought I could pick just 3 words to describe a cookie?

Now I know ricotta isn’t something one adds to cookies on a regular basis; ricotta in entrees, that’s a different story!

My regular readers know how much I love ricotta. I use this ingredient in many of my recipes such as my zucchini ricotta pasta recipe, lasagna soup with herby ricotta topping, and my skillet lasagna recipe.

Today I’m stepping out of my “norm” and adding to my ricotta recipe collection with these easy lemon ricotta cookies adapted from Giada.

A glass stand mixer bowl with butter and sugar in the bowl in prep to making an easy lemon ricotta cookie recipe.

How to make Lemon Ricotta Cookies

You can use a stand mixer or hand beaters, either will work for this recipe.

Begin by creaming the butter and sugar together for 2-3 minutes. Creaming incorporates air into the butter and gives the cookie lift when baking.

Next, add the eggs to, one at a time, stirring after each addition.

A glass bowl with lemon ricotta cookie dough batter, and a container of ricotta (prior to mixing in the ricotta).

Now, add the ricotta cheese, lemon zest, and fresh lemon juice to the batter. Beat until evenly combined, about 1-2 minutes.

Add the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt) to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.

Bakers Tip: be careful not to over mix the cookie dough. Over mixing will create a hard and dense cookie (bleh).

A glass bowl with lemon ricotta cookie dough batter.

Line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Using a 2 tablespoon sized cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the edges are barely golden. Gently press on the cookie with your finger, the cookie should spring back; this is an indicator that the cookies are done.

Once baked, remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

A baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat, with lemon ricotta cookie dough on the mat.

Make the Lemon Glaze

In a medium sized bowl combine:

  • Powdered sugar
  • fresh lemon juice
  • lemon zest

Whisk the ingredients together until smooth.

To glaze the cookies

Nestle a cooling rack over a baking sheet; place the cooled cookies on the rack and then gently spoon about 1-2 teaspoons of the glaze over each cookie. Having the baking sheet underneath the rack makes the clean up easy.

Allow the cookies to sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours so that the glaze can set.

Tip: don’t make the lemon glaze in advance. It will begin to set, so do it after the cookies have been removed from the oven and have already cooled.

Lemon ricotta cookies on a cooling rack nestled in a baking sheet.

FAQ for Lemon Ricotta Cookies:

  • Can you make the dough ahead of time? Yes. Once the dough is made, cover the bowl of dough with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to use. The dough will keep in the refrigerator for 2 days. When  ready to bake remove the dough from the fridge and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Scoop onto baking sheets and bake as directed.
  • Can you make these ricotta cookies without the lemon flavor? Sure. Don’t add the lemon juice or lemon zest. Instead, replace the lemon juice with milk and omit the lemon zest completely. You could substitute the lemon zest for orange zest if you’d like (if you use orange zest add double the amount of orange zest as it isn’t as strong of flavor as lemon, or you can add an additional teaspoon or two of vanilla extract or even almond extract. Heck, if you’re a coconut lover you could use coconut extract and then make a simple glaze (replace the lemon juice in the glaze with milk) and top the cookies with the simple glaze and shredded coconut.
  • How long will Lemon Ricotta Cookies last? First, store them in an airtight container. Glazed cookies will stay fresh at room temperature for 2 days, and up to one week if store in the refrigerator.
  • Can you use homemade ricotta? Yes.
  • Can you freeze lemon ricotta cookies? Yes. Best to freeze the cookies without the glaze. Store the cookies in an airtight container or ziplock bag. When ready to eat, place the cookies in the refrigerator to thaw. Glaze before eating.

A lemon ricotta cookie on a pile of cookies, with a bite taken out of it.

If you like this Lemon Ricotta Cookie Recipe, try these:

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A plate on a wooden cutting board, full of lemon ricotta cookies.
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5 from 1 vote

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Light and fluffy cookies loaded with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest! These cookies are moist and perfect for spring and summer.
prep time 5 mins
cook time 13 mins
cool time 15 mins
total time 33 mins
servings: 32 cookies
calories: 132kcal

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest from about 1 large lemon

Lemon Glaze

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon lemon zest

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 375. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  • In medium bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. 
  • In a large bowl or using the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  • Mix in the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat until well combined. 
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. 
  • Using a 2 T sized cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto the baking sheets. 
  • Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the edges are barely golden and the cookie gently springs back when touched. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool for 15 minutes on the baking sheet.
  • Transfer cookies to a wire rack. Set the wire rack overtop of one of the baking sheets. Once cool spoon the glaze over the cookies. Let the cookies sit for 1-2 hours or until the glaze has hardened. Store in an airtight container. 

Lemon Glaze

  • Whisk the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.

RECIPE NOTES

Don't make the lemon glaze in advance. It will begin to set, so do it after the cookies have been removed from the oven and have already cooled. 
recipe adapted from Food Network
Calories: 132kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 78mg | Potassium: 27mg | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 2.2% | Vitamin C: 1.6% | Calcium: 0.9% | Iron: 2.1%
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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