Ricotta Christmas Cookies Recipe - Cooking Classy (2024)

Published December 5, 2022. Updated November 29, 2023

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Italian Ricotta Christmas Cookies are soft and tender, cake-like cookies with sweet and simple icing. They have a light lemon flavor and that sink-your-teeth-in moisture, thanks to the rich ricotta. They’re holiday classics and such a fun recipe to try if you’ve never made them.

Ricotta Christmas Cookies Recipe - Cooking Classy (1)

The Best Ricotta Christmas Cookies Recipe!

Our favorite ricotta cookies! They’re easy to make and they’re always consistently delicious.

They’re so good that you can never stop at just one.

The ricotta cookie dough can be made two days in advance so it’s a great make-ahead recipe. Plus it makes a huge batch of cookies so they’re great for celebrations and gifting.

You’ll love their lightly lemony flavor, the melt-in-your-mouth texture, and that sweet and simple icing finish. And if you want a little contrast finish them with crunchy sugar sprinkles which also add a pretty and festive pop of color.

Watch the Video!

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Ingredients for Ricotta Christmas Cookies

This recipe calls for basic ingredients most all of which you already have on hand. You’ll need:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Lemon
  • Ricotta – use whole milk
  • Vanilla
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Milk

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How to Make Ricotta Cookies

  1. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
  2. In an electric stand mixer cream together butter, granulated sugar and lemon zest until pale and fluffy.
  3. Mix in ricotta and vanilla extract then blend in eggs one at a time.
  4. Mix in flour mixture.
  5. Chill dough 2 hours or up to 2 days.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Scoop chilled dough out 1 Tbsp (heaping) at a time and shape into balls, drop onto lined baking sheets.
  8. Bake in preheated oven 12 – 14 minutes until underside of cookies are golden, cool.
  9. Spread over glaze and let set.

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Possible Variations

  • Almond extract: Use almond extract in place of the lemon zest and juice for another flavor option. Use 1/2 tsp almond extract in the dough and 1/4 tsp in the glaze. Replace lemon juice with milk.
  • Orange: You can swap orange zest and orange juice for the lemon, and add extra zest for more orange flavor (up to 2 Tbsp).
  • Lime: Lime zest and lime juice will work well in place of lemon. Use equal amounts.
  • Chocolate chips: Add white chocolate chips to the cookie dough or mini chocolate chips.
  • Nuts: 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans can be added to the dough.

How to Store Ricotta Cookies

  • Container: Store ricotta cookies in an airtight container. If layering be sure to place parchment paper between them.
  • Fridge: These will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
  • Freezer: Ricotta cookies can be frozen for 3 months. I do however recommend waiting to add the icing though because it does wrinkle over time.

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Ricotta Christmas Cookies Recipe - Cooking Classy (8)

More Delicious Ricotta Dessert Recipes to Try!

  • Orange Chocolate Chip Ricotta Cookies
  • Lemon Poppy Seed Ricotta Cookies
  • Lemon Ricotta Cake
  • Cannoli
  • Puff Pastry Tarts with Ricotta Cream Filling

Ricotta Christmas Cookies Recipe - Cooking Classy (9)

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Italian Ricotta Cookies

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Soft and fluffy, lightly lemony, melt-in-your-mouth cookies made with rich ricotta (for moisture and flavor) and finished with a sweet icing.

Watch the video

Servings: 60

Prep30 minutes minutes

Cook50 minutes minutes

Ready in: 1 hour hour 20 minutes minutes




  • For the cookies:

  • In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt for 20 seconds, set aside.

  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment whip together butter, granulated sugar and lemon zest until pale and fluffy (scrape down sides and bottom of bowl occasionally throughout entire mixing process).

  • Mix in ricotta and vanilla extract then blend in eggs one at a time. Set mixer on low speed and slowly add in flour mixture and mix just until combined. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill 2 hours or up to 2 days. Preheat oven to 350 degrees during last 20 minutes of dough chilling.

  • Scoop chilled dough out 1 Tbsp at a time and shape into balls (if it's too sticky just drop onto sheet using two spoons), drop onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (don't use dark baking sheets).

  • Bake in preheated oven until set, 12 - 14 minutes (bottoms will be lightly golden brown). Cool on baking sheet several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Once cool spoon icing over cookies and return to wire rack, immediately add sprinkles if using.

  • Allow icing to set at room temperature. Store in an airtight container preferably in a single layer and preferably store in the fridge (bring to room temperature before serving).

  • For the glaze:

  • In a mixing bowl whisk together powdered sugar, melted butter, lemon juice or almond extract, vanilla and 4 Tbsp milk until smooth.

  • Add in more milk 1 tsp at a time to thin as needed (you don't want it to be very thin, it should be quite a bit thicker than a doughnut glaze).


  • *Scoop flour directly from container using measuring cup and level top using a butter knife. Don't whisk or sift before measuring and don't spoon into a cup. The best option is to use a kitchen scale, I highly recommend investing in one if you don't already have one. I always use mine when baking.
  • **Cookies previously listed using 2 tsp baking soda, but a few have had issues with cookies rising so recipe has been improved to use baking powder instead.
  • Recipe source: adapted fromNew York Times

Nutrition Facts

Italian Ricotta Cookies

Amount Per Serving

Calories 125Calories from Fat 36

% Daily Value*

Fat 4g6%

Saturated Fat 3g19%

Trans Fat 0.1g

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2g

Monounsaturated Fat 1g

Cholesterol 18mg6%

Sodium 41mg2%

Potassium 41mg1%

Carbohydrates 20g7%

Fiber 0.2g1%

Sugar 13g14%

Protein 2g4%

Vitamin A 142IU3%

Vitamin C 0.2mg0%

Calcium 28mg3%

Iron 0.5mg3%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: Italian

Keyword: Ricotta Cookies

Author: Jaclyn

Ricotta Christmas Cookies Recipe - Cooking Classy (2024)


What is the best way to store ricotta cookies? ›

How to Store Ricotta Cookies. Store the cooled cookies in a single layer in an airtight container for up to three days at room temperature. They'll last up to a week in the refrigerator.

What is a popular Italian cookie? ›

Most Popular Italian Cookies. Amaretti. These lovely almond-flavoured biscotti were supposedly first made during the Middle Ages. ... Ricciarelli. ... Baci di dama. ...

What is the 1 cookie in the world? ›

Oreo is the best-selling cookie in the world. It is now sold in over 100 countries. Oreo was first produced in 1912 by the National Biscuit Company, now known as Na-Bis-Co.

Do ricotta cookies go bad? ›

(We recommend storing a few in the refrigerator for eating in a few days and freezing the rest if eating more than four days after baking.) Cookies made with more perishable ingredients, like ricotta cookies, jam cookies, or meringue cookies, will need cooler temperatures within a few hours of baking.

Where is the best place to store home baked cookies to keep them fresh longest? ›

Keep cookies cool

Your stored cookies will stay freshest in a cool, dry place, such as the back shelf of your pantry. Depending on the variety, they'll last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. You can also freeze cookies for up to six months.

What cookie originated in Italy? ›

Today, I want to share a little bit about Italian cookies called Biscotti. Biscotti, also known as cantuccini or mandelbrot (Mandel bread), are traditional Italian cookies with a long history and rich cultural significance.

What is the name of the Italian cookie? ›

This is the proper name for the biscuit we know as biscotti, which in Italian just means “cookies.” Twice-baked and sliced, these ultra-crunchy, not-too-sweet biscuits are usually studded with nuts and simply beg to be dipped in coffee, tea, or a glass of vin santo.

What are the popular Italian cookies brands? ›

Explore Italy's Favourite Cookies

We have brands like Sapori, Pan Ducale, Dolciaria Monardo, and more. Try Sapori Cantuccini Almond Biscotti, Chiostro di Saronno Cantuccini Almond Biscotti, or Dolciaria Monardo Honey and Almond Biscotti.

What do Italians call their cookies? ›

The word biscotto, used in modern Italian to refer to a biscuit (or cookie) of any kind, originates from the Medieval Latin word biscoctus, meaning 'twice-cooked'.

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