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+ servings
holiday sprinkles Italian cookies

Ricotta Cookies

Ricotta Cookies are the tastiest cookies! This classic Italian treat is perfect for Christmas but so good that they'll be on your cookie tray year round!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Keyword cookies, ricotta
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Chill 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 21 minutes
Servings 55 cookies



  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened (2 sticks)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 ¾ cups 15 oz fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs room temperature


  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted (½ stick)
  • 2 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk or heavy whipping cream more if needed to desired consistency
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla or almond extract **see notes


  • Rainbow Nonpareils or red and green for the holidays



  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a bowl of stand mixer or large bowl, beat the sugar, butter, and lemon zest until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in the ricotta and vanilla extract until well combined.
  • Add the eggs one and a time, beating after each addition.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture and mix well.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.
  • Remove from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • Scoop the dough using a small cookie dough scoop, shape into balls and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown.
  • Cool on a wire rack.


  • In a medium bowl, beat the butter, confectioner's sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth.
  • Spread on the cookies or dip the tops in the glaze.
  • Immediately add the sprinkles.


Extract - using clear imitation vanilla extract will help to keep the glaze bright white.