Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies are easy and very quick to make. They bake in minutes and are both delicious and very fluffy!

This recipe requires no oil or butter, just ricotta cheese, lemon, flour, sugar and one egg. For this very reason, these cookies are not only definitely soft, but also significantly lighter.

In these soft cookies, we combined the scent of lemon with ricotta, which makes them simply wonderful!

italian lemon ricotta cookies

Because of their crispy exterior and soft interior texture, Ricotta and Lemon cookies sit somewhere between a cookie and a small cake. Perfect for dunking in milk or tea.

Another peculiarity of this preparation is that you make the dough in a bowl and then form small balls of dough with your hands as you do with meatballs. Its not necessary to roll out the dough with a rolling pin and then cut out the shapes!

Let’s find out how to make these delicious soft Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies: here’s our step by step recipe.

italian lemon ricotta cookies


  • Prep Time: 10 Min
  • cook Time:15 Min
  • Servings:  about 30 cookies

  • 200 g (7 oz) of fresh Ricotta cheese
  • 230 g (1 3/4 cups) of all purpose flour
  • 1 medium whole egg
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) of granulated sugar
  • the zest of 1 organic lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 8 g (about 1/2 tablespoon) of baking powder
  • powdered sugar for decoration

Lemon Ricotta Cookies Recipe: Instructions

BEFORE YOU START: The preparation of Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies is very simple. However, some important precautions must be respected.

  • The freshness and quality of the ricotta cheese are the key to the perfect success of this recipe.
  • Let the ricotta cheese drain for at least an hour before starting to make the ricotta cookies. This is to remove as much liquid as possible.
  • Use organic lemons because you’ll be using the zest, so it’s important that it hasn’t been chemically treated.

The Dough

Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies step 1 (1)

Step 1) – First, sift the flour and baking powder together in a bowl so that no lumps will form.

Then place the ricotta in another bowl and mix it with a spoon to make it creamy. Then add the sugar and mix.

Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies step 2 (1)

Step 2) – Grate the zest of an organic lemon directly into the dough. Then add two tablespoons of lemon juice.

Finally add the whole egg. Mix all ingredients together.

Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies step 3 (1)

Step 3) – Now incorporate the sifted flour and baking powder, a little at a time. Mix until the dough is firm but smooth.

The Shape

Italian lemon ricotta cookies step 4

Step 4) – Since the dough will be sticky, you may want to moisten your hands before making the balls.

Using your hands, make balls about 4 cm in diameter (1 2/3 inches). It is important that they are all the same size so that the cookies all bake at the same time and evenly.

As the balls are ready, place them on a baking sheet covered with baking paper.

The Baking

Italian lemon ricotta cookies step 5 (1)

Step 5) – Bake in a preheated oven at 170°C (338°F ) for about 15 minutes. The cookies should be puffy and golden, but not too dark. Small cracks will form on the surface, a sign of proper rising.

Remove the ricotta and lemon cookies from the oven, let them cool, then sprinkle with plenty of powdered sugar.

italian lemon ricotta cookies


How to Store Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies

You can store Italian Lemon Ricotta cookies in an airtight food box, in a nice cookie tin or simply in a serving dish covered with plastic wrap for 4-5 days.

How to Serve Italian Ricotta and Lemon Cookies

With their crispy exterior and soft interior, Ricotta and Lemon cookies are a mix between a cookie and a small cake. They are Ideal for dunking in milk or tea.

Ricotta and Lemon Cookies are perfect for a morning breakfast or snack for the whole family.

They are also perfect as a dessert in a more elegant form. You can serve them, for example, with Zabaione or Italian Pastry Cream or even with Gelato!

italian lemon ricotta cookies

Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies: Some Variations and Tips

If you want to make your ricotta and lemon cookies a little more unique, you can make a few variations to this basic recipe.

  • Limoncello Ricotta Cookies: To get a more intense lemon flavor, you can replace the two tablespoons of lemon juice with 2 tablespoons of Limoncello. Try this delicious Limoncello from Amalfi Coast or make your own Limoncello at home with our recipe! You can also add pieces of candied lemon peel to the mixture as an extra touch.
  • Citrus Ricotta Cookies: You can replace the lemon with orange, tangerine or lime, following the same steps. All citrus fruits are fine for this recipe. You can even make fragrant citrus ricotta cookies using different qualities of zest together.
  • Classic Ricotta Cookies Recipe: The combination of ricotta and lemon is a classic pastry, but of course you can flavor ricotta cookies in a thousand ways. Many people like to make these cookies with just ricotta to savor the delicate flavor of this cheese. At most add half a teaspoon of vanilla flavoring.

italian lemon ricotta cookies

  • Ricotta Chocolate Chip Cookies: Another classic and delicious combination is ricotta and chocolate. Replace the lemon with 40 g (4 tablespoons) of dark chocolate chips. Then sprinkle a little unsweetened cocoa on top before the powdered sugar. You’ll taste what a nice contrast!
  • Christmas Ricotta Cookies: For the Christmas season, you can flavor these Italian Lemon Ricotta cookies with 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon powder. You can even add some fresh or dehydrated blueberries.
  • Coffee Ricotta Cookies: The combination of ricotta and coffee is really irresistible too. Add half a tablespoon of unsweetened instant coffee powder to the ricotta mixture, instead of lemon. Then sprinkle the cookies with ground coffee and then powdered sugar. You will taste a unique aroma!

italian lemon ricotta cookies

4 thoughts on “Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies”

  1. I didn’t have All Purpose flour so I replaced the recipe with self-rising dough. Perhaps why they were more like bread “cookies”. But also, way too dry! I think they need some butter, too.

  2. Quite delicious. I think the small addition of finely chopped almonds will be worth a try.
    I did find the size of the cookies a little too large for what I was anticipating – only got 16 cookies. Next time I will look to make the balls about 1” in diameter.


Leave a Comment