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Ricotta Cookies

5 from 18 votes
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posted: 12/08/23

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Ricotta Cookies are light little clouds of cookies that are perfect and delicious. Coated in an amazing glaze, these cakey cookies will be a delight!

ricotta cookies with sprinkles

I’m about to introduce you to your new favorite cookie recipe, so buckle up. When it comes to cookies, the Italians absolutely know what they are doing, and these fantastic Ricotta Cookies are no exception. The addition of ricotta in a cookie may seem odd, but I leads to the lightest and fluffiest cookie that your heart could dream up. Pair that with the vanilla and almond flavored glaze and you have cookie perfection.

Ricotta Cheese in Cookies

If you are new to putting ricotta cheese in cookies, you are in for a treat. The rich, creamy cheese often used in pasta dishes like Lasagna and Stuffed Shells adds the best creaminess to this cookie recipe, resulting in moist, fluffy, cakey cookies that you will fall in love with, without any residual taste of ricotta.

Anytime I have a recipe that calls for ricotta cheese, I get asked if cottage cheese is a substitute. While I am totally a do-what-works-best-for-you type of person, I urge you to stick with these as written. The ricotta is perfect in this recipe and I have not tested them with anything else.

overhead of Ricotta Cookies on cooling rack

How to Make Ricotta Cookies

Here is a brief overview of how this simple ricotta cookies recipe comes together. For the full recipe including all ingredients and measurements, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Mix the wet ingredients. Beat the butter and sugar together using a hand mixer or stand mixer until light and fluffy. Then beat in the ricotta cheese, followed by the eggs one at a time. Finally beat in the vanilla extract. Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to combine everything thoroughly.
  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Add the flour mixture to the bowl of wet ingredients all at once. Beat on low only long enough so that there isn’t any loose flour. Then turn the mixer up all the way and beat until just combined.
  • Bake the cookies. Roll the dough into one-inch balls and bake them for about 8-10 minutes. After baking, allow the cookies to cool for two minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring them to a cooling rack.
  • Make the glaze. While the cookies are cooling, Whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and almond extract for the glaze.
  • Frost the cookies. Once the cookies are cool to the touch, dip them in the glaze. Then top with the sprinkles and return to the cooling rack for the glaze to harden.
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The best baking sheets

These baking sheets from Nordic Ware are the best! They last forever and are perfect for all of your cookie recipes.
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close up of Ricotta Cookies on a cooling rack

The Perfect Glaze

The glaze on these Italian ricotta cookies is truly the best. Made with simple ingredients, it has the best sweet almond flavor. Rather than frosting the cookies or piping it on, we dip the cookies in the glaze. If the glaze seems too thick to dip the cookies, add a little more milk and mix until it is the right consistency. Make sure the cookies are cool to the touch before dipping them in the glaze or they will fall apart.

Tips and Tricks

  • Measure your flour correctly. I share the steps to get the correct amount of flour every time below.
  • Use fresh baking soda and baking powder. This cookie recipe uses both baking powder and baking soda, which both need to be replaced every six months or so to be fresh. To test their freshness, mix a little baking soda with vinegar and a little baking powder with water. Both should bubble up right away.
  • Use room-temperature butter. This may be colder to the touch than you expect. You want the butter to be soft enough that you can dent it with your finger, but not be able to push all the way through.
  • Use good baking pans. A good baking pan can really make the difference when it comes to cookies. I share my favorite rimmed baking sheets with you above.

Measuring Flour

One of the biggest mistakes I see people make in baking recipes is not measuring flour correctly. Packed flour results in getting too much in your dough and cookies that are dense and hard. Follow these steps every time you are measuring flour for a recipe:

  • Start by whisking your flour in the container or bag it is stored in.
  • Use a spoon to scoop the flour from its container into the dry measuring cup.
  • Use the flat edge of a spatula to level it off.
Close up of Ricotta Cookies

Storing Ricotta Cookies

These simple ricotta cheese cookies will last in an airtight container for up to three days in the refrigerator. I recommend using wax paper or parchment paper to separate layers and prevent them from sticking together due to the glaze.

Freezing

While I do not recommend freezing this as dough, the cookies themselves freeze great. Place them in a single layer after glazing them. Freeze them for four hours to flash freeze them. Then transfer them from the single layer tray to a freezer safe container, stacking them as needed. Store them in the freezer for up to three months for best results. When ready to eat the cookie will thaw quickly on the counter top.

FAQ

I am allergic to nuts, what can I use instead of almond extract?

Replace the almond extract in the glaze with more vanilla extract.

Can the ricotta be replaced with cottage cheese?

This recipe has only been tested with ricotta cheese. If the reason you would like to replace the ricotta is because you don’t typically like the taste or texture when it’s in a lasagna, keep in mind that neither of those stand out in this cookie recipe.

Do ricotta cookies need to be refrigerated?

These do not need to be refrigerated.

Can you freeze ricotta cookies?

Yes! See our recommendations for freezing above.

plate of ricotta cookies with bowl of sprinkles sitting beside

Other Simple Cookie Recipes

If you are looking for other cookies like this ricotta cookie recipe, check out a few of my other favorite cookie recipes!

If you make this Italian ricotta cookies recipe or any of my other recipes, please leave a comment and let me know what you think!

ricotta cookies with sprinkles
5 from 18 votes

Ricotta Cookies

Serves: 50 cookies
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Ricotta Cookies are light little clouds of cookies that are perfect and delicious. Coated in an amazing glaze, these cakey cookies will be a delight!

Ingredients

Ricotta Cookies

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (480 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter (226 grams) room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar (346.5 grams)
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese (425 grams)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Glaze

  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar (198.6 grams)
  • 1/4 cup milk (60 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • rainbow nonpareils (round sprinkles) for decorating

Instructions

Ricotta Cookies

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
    4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 to 6 minutes.
    1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, 16 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Beat in the ricotta cheese, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl very well. Then beat in the eggs one at a time. Finally, beat in the vanilla extract.
    15 ounces ricotta cheese, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • Add the flour mixture to the bowl all at once. Beat on low only long enough so that there isn't any loose flour. Then turn the mixer up all the way and beat until just combined.
  • Roll the cookies into 1-inch balls, then place them on the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Glaze

  • While the cookies are cooling, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and almond extract. Add more milk if necessary to get a thin enough consistency for dipping.
    1 3/4 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup milk, 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • Once the cookies are cool to the touch, dip them in the glaze. Then top with the sprinkles and return to the cooling rack for the glaze to harden.
    rainbow nonpareils (round sprinkles)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
ricotta cookies with sprinkles

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Ricotta Cookies

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. jill says

    My dough is very soft. Difficult to roll. Any suggestions?

    • Lisa Longley says

      You could add another half tablespoon of flour.

  2. Ann Delgado says

    I decided to try these Ricotta Cheese Cookies,instead of my Mothers 100 yr old Sugar Cookie recipe. I was excited because I love Ricotta Cheese. I was so disappointed in the finished cookie. They were extremely bland and underwhelming, I can’t imagine giving them to my friends, and family for Christmas. What a waste of ingredients.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so sorry to hear that. I absolutely love this recipe and could eat a dozen of these cookies, so I’m honestly shocked by your review. Is it possible that you left the almond extract out of the icing? That is my favorite part about these cookies.

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