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Lemon Ricotta Cookies | My Baking Addiction

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Tangy lemon ricotta cookies are topped with a sweet and tart lemon glaze that creates the perfect summer cookie for any occasion.

Glazed lemon ricotta cookies on a marble board. One of the cookies is broken in half.

I was recently reminded that the first time I made these cookies, Elle was only 6 months old.

Now she’s 8. 8 years old! Time is a thief. 

As this school year comes to an end, I am determined to embrace every moment I can of this summer with her. I know I’ll blink and she’ll be grown, but these slow summer days are full of memories we can make together.

But don’t mind me if you find me eating some of these soft lemon ricotta cookies and weeping over her 6-month photos in the meantime.

Ingredients for lemon ricotta cookies arranged on a marble countertop.

SUMMERY LEMON COOKIES

Is there anything that screams summer more than lemon? The second the weather starts to warm up, I crave everything from lemon bars and lemon cheesecake to strawberry lemonade.

And add these lemon ricotta cookies to that cravings list. They are loaded with bright, fresh lemon in the cookie and then topped with a lemony glaze for a double hit of lemon. They’re like a bite of sunshine!

These cookies even turned Eric into a lemon lover. They’re that good!

Unlike my chewy lemon sugar cookies or dense and chewy no-bake cookies, these cookies are super soft and a little bit cakey. Somehow that light and airy texture makes them even easier to pop into your mouth one after the other.

Lemon zest and sugar combined in a glass bowl.

HOW TO MAKE THESE LEMON RICOTTA COOKIES

If these soft, lemony cookies sound right up your alley, let me show you how to make them!

Baking with ricotta cheese

Curious about the ricotta cheese in these cookies?

Don’t worry, the cookies don’t taste like cheese. The ricotta gives the cookies their amazing texture and provides a very subtle tang that makes you say, “Mmm, what’s the secret ingredient here??”

I do recommend using whole milk ricotta in this recipe; the fat content helps keep the cookies nice and tender. 

I usually just use ricotta that I’ve picked up at the store, but you can use homemade ricotta cheese as well.

Lemon ricotta cookie dough in a white mixing bowl.

Other ingredients

The other ingredients you’ll need for these cookies are:

  • Granulated sugar: The granulated sugar goes into the cookies themselves to give the right sweetness to balance the tart lemons. 
  • Zest of 3 lemons + lemon juice: There is a ton of lemon packed into these little cookies! You won’t miss out on that bright flavor.
  • All-purpose flour: No fancy flours here! Just simple AP flour.
  • Baking powder: This is the leavening for the cookies.
  • Salt: We always want to use a bit of salt to balance out the sweet.
  • Softened butter: Check out my tips for how to soften butter quickly if you forget to set yours out.
  • Eggs: Eggs help bind the cookies, provide some leavening, and help tenderize the cookies.
  • Powdered sugar: We will use this sugar for the glaze that goes on top of the cookies.
Scoops of lemon ricotta cookie dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet, ready to go in the oven.

Making these cookies

To get all of the lemon flavor we can into our Lemon Ricotta Cookies, we’ll start by combining the sugar and lemon zest together until the sugar is nice and fragrant.

This might seem like a silly extra step, but it really helps get all of those fragrant oils out of the zest and infuses that flavor throughout the cookies. If you’ve made my lemon raspberry scones, you know what a difference it makes!

Lemon ricotta cookies cooling on a wire rack.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then set that side. Make sure you know how to measure flour properly so these cookies turn out perfectly!

Go back to your sugar mixture and add the butter, then beat with an electric mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy. This will take about 3 minutes.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated, then add the ricotta cheese and lemon juice and mix to combine.

Glazed lemon ricotta cookies scattered in a piece of parchment paper.

Stir in the dry ingredients, then spoon the dough onto lined baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are slightly golden at the edges.

Because these cookies are so soft, let them cool on the baking sheets for 20 minutes before removing them and dipping them in the lemon glaze.

Stack of 3 lemon ricotta cookies. The top two cookies are broken in half.

STORAGE AND FREEZING

These cookies will keep at room temperature for up to 2 days, or you can store them in the fridge for up to 5 days.

If you want to keep them fresh for longer, store them in the freezer. Place them in an airtight container with layers of waxed paper or parchment paper between the layers and freeze for up to 3 months.

Because of the texture of these cookies, they’ll thaw very quickly; they should only need an hour or so at room temperature to fully thaw. You’ll be ready to grab a bite of Lemon Ricotta Cookies whenever you’d like!

Lemon ricotta cookies and a glass of milk arranged on a marble board.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (15 ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For the Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Instructions

For the Cookies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest. Mix with your fingertips until the sugar is fragrant. Set aside.
  3. In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In the large bowl combine the butter and lemon sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing until they are fully incorporated.
  6. Add the ricotta cheese and lemon juice and mix until incorporated.
  7. Stir in the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
  8. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto prepared baking sheets.
  9. Bake cookies in preheated oven for 13-15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges.
  10. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 20 minutes.
  11. Once all the cookies are cool, prepare the lemon glaze.

For the Glaze:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest and whisk until smooth.
  2. Dip the top of each cookie into the glaze.
  3. Place cookies on a wire baking rack or wax paper and allow the glaze to harden before serving.

Notes

Store cookies at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Cookies can be frozen in an airtight container with pieces of parchment or waxed paper between layers for up to 3 months.

Slightly adapted from The Food Network.

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Nutrition Information

Yield 36

Serving Size 1 cookie

Amount Per Serving

Calories 127Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 19mgSodium 80mgCarbohydrates 23gFiber 0gSugar 16gProtein 2g


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