Ricotta Cookies

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Did you know you can make amazing cookies using Ricotta cheese? Soft and sweet Ricotta Cookies get dipped in icing and covered with sprinkles for an Italian cookie you’ll want to make over and over again.

If you love cookies, try some of our reader favorites, including Butter Cookies, Shortbread Cookies, and of course these easy Cake Mix Cookies! All can be decorated for the holidays or any time of year.

Italian ricotta cookies stacked on plate with colorful sprinkles.
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Let’s Make Cookies with Ricotta

This Italian style cookie is super soft with a cake-like crumb thanks to the presence of real ricotta cheese in the dough. A simple and sweet glaze and a few sprinkles make them complete!

Don’t worry, Ricotta cookies do NOT taste like cheese. Not even close.

Instead, these italian ricotta cookies have an aromatic vanilla flavor with buttery notes. You can make these for the holidays with red and green sugar sprinkles or change them up for different occasions.

If you want something different than a classic Sugar Cookie that still has a soft, buttery taste and frosting, you’re going to love this Ricotta Cookies recipe. Perfect for Christmas celebrations AND all year long!

Ingredients Needed

Ingredients needed for ricotta cookies, including butter, eggs, and ricotta cheese.
  • Ricotta cheese – I use an entire 15 ounce container of ricotta to make these. Be sure to buy extra so you can make a lemon ricotta cake and of course classic lasagna.
  • Sprinkles – To make them Christmas themed, I went with red and green sugar crystals. Rainbow colored jimies or nonpareils would be great choices for other times of year!
  • Vanilla Extract – Make your own vanilla extract for the best vanilla flavor! You can also mix up the flavor by substituting lemon, anise or orange extract for one of the teaspoons of vanilla. Almond extract is also QUITE delicious in ricotta cookies.

How to Make Ricotta Cheese Cookies

Step by step photos showing how to bake Italian ricotta cookies.

Make the cookie dough. Like most delicious cookies, these start by beating sugar and butter together, then adding wet ingredients followed by the dry ingredients.

To ensure the cookies stay soft and cake-y after baking it’s important to avoid overmixing the batter. I change the speed on my mixer to low before gradually incorporating the flour, stopping when ingredients are just combined.

Bake until the cookies are light golden brown on the bottom and let them cool completely before frosting.

Frosting. I’ve had success using two different methods for frosting Ricotta Cookies:

  1. Spread the icing on to the cookies with the flat side of the knife.
  2. Dip the tops of the cookies directly into the icing.

Personally, I prefer just dipping the cookies in the icing. Be sure to wait until they are completely cooled so they don’t fall apart.

Hand holding ricotta cookie and dipping in icing.

Sprinkles. After adding the glaze, immediately sprinkle the cookies with red and green sugar crystals, or other festive sprinkles.

Let the cookies set for a few minutes before digging in!

Tips & Tricks

  • Decorating tip: This icing will harden quickly so I recommend dipping just a few cookies in the glaze at a time, then adding sprinkles right after before it sets.
  • Icing: The icing should be thin and easy to spread but not so runny that it drips off the cookie. If your icing is too watery, add more powdered sugar a spoonful at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
  • Bake completely: These cookies should be soft but not gooey, runny or doughy when you take them out of the oven. If they’re under baked, they will break easily and may fall apart when dipped in the icing.
  • Lemon. Give these cookies a lemon twist and bake a batch of lemon ricotta cookies instead!
Ricotta cookies on wooden board with one cut in half.

Recipe FAQs

Why are my cookies browning so quickly?

On darker baking sheets, the cookies will brown faster. If you’re using a dark pan, reduce the baking time to 11 minutes and then check the cookies for doneness. On a light baking sheet, you’ll need 15 to 16 minutes to get them browned on the bottom.

My ricotta cookies stuck to the wire cooling rack! What should I do?

When ricotta cookies stick to the wire rack, it usually means the cookies were underbaked and not brown at the bottom. If sticking occurs, use a metal spatula to release the cookies. Alternatively, line your cooling rack with parchment paper before transferring the cookies off the baking sheet to cool.

How do you store ricotta cookies?

Store ricotta cookies in an airtight container with a lid for up to 4 days. Place a layer of parchment or wax paper between layers of cookies to keep them from getting stuck together.

Can you freeze ricotta cookies?

Freeze cooled ricotta cookies BEFORE frosting for best results. Thaw the frozen cookies overnight before dipping in fresh icing and sprinkles.

Ricotta cookies with Christmas sprinkles in tin.

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Ricotta Cookies Recipe

4.70 from 50 votes
By: Aimee
The soft, delicate taste of Italian Ricotta Cookies keeps everyone coming back for more. With so many ways to change up the flavors and sprinkles, you'll love making these treats any time of year!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 60 cookies


For the Cookies

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 container ricotta cheese 15oz
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Icing

  • 2 ¼ cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • Red and green colored sugar rainbow non parelis or rainbow jimmies for everyday
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For the Cookies

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar and butter with a hand mixer until blended. Beat on high for about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in ricotta, vanilla extract and eggs on medium speed until combined.
  • Reduce speed to low and add flour, baking powder and salt. Continue to mix until the dough holds together. Don’t overmix. 
  • Drop by level Tablespoons (or use a small cookie scoop) onto an ungreased cookie sheet, leaving about 2 inches between cookies.  
  • Bake 15 minutes or until cookies are slightly golden brown around the bottom edges. Cookies will remain soft. Carefully transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack.

For the Icing

  • In a small bowl, add the milk to the powdered sugar, a little at a time, until you get the desired consistency. 
  • Once cookies have cooled completely, spread icing on the cookies or dip the tops of the cookie in the glaze. Decorate with rainbow sprinkles or red and green sugar.
  • Set cookies aside and let icing set up for about 1 hour.


    • FLOUR- Be sure to spoon and level flour, following my easy tips on how to measure flour. This helps prevent tough cookies.
    • Icing Tips: The icing should be spreadable, but not so runny that it doesn’t stay on the cookie. The icing will begin to harden fairly quickly. I dipped 3-4 cookies and then decorated them before the icing got too hard.
    • STORAGE: Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 4 days.  Use parchment or wax paper between the layers of cookies to prevent them from sticking together.
    • COOKIE SHEET: On a dark cookie sheet, these tend to brown quickly on the bottom.  Cook time closer to 13 minutes.  On a shiny cookie sheet, your cook time will be near 15-16 minutes.  If they don’t get browned on the bottom slightly, they will stick to the cooling rack.  They need to be done.  If the reader has this happen, they can use a metal spatula to help release the cookies from the rack, or line cooling rack with parchment paper.
    • Cook Completely. If the cookies are underdone, this can cause problems with dipping as they are easily broken. Icing can be spread on top if this happens.
    • FREEZE: After cooling, freeze unfrosted cookies in airtight container. Thaw overnight then frost.
    • FLAVOR: Change up the flavor and use almond, lemon, anise, or orange extracts. Replace 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract with 1 teaspoon of flavor.



Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 105kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 91mg, Sugar: 11g
Course: Cookies
Cuisine: Italian
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

The soft, delicate taste of Italian Ricotta Cookies keeps everyone coming back for more. With so many ways to change up the flavors and sprinkles, you’ll love making these treats any time of year!

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

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Posted on December 20, 2020

Comments & Reviews

  1. 2 stars
    Follow the directions.
    Cookies are so disappointing. Very flat and the timing is off . If I had left them in the oven according to the directions I would have ended up with flat burnt sugar cookies.
    On the day before Christmas Eve . All the ingredients and time down the drain.
    Never again.:(

    1. Sounds like a measurement or ingredient issue on your end, as countless others have made successfully. Sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you. I would double check that all your ingredients are fresh.

  2. Mine turned out delicious but they didn’t puff up they sort of flattened out …. Should I have beaten the flour longer ?

  3. You are the best !!!!!
    I haven’t seen one recipe on your site that I didnt want to try!
    Thank you very much.

  4. These are so good..I followed the recipe exactly and they came out soft abd delicious! They were a hit for the holidays.😊

  5. These cookies just don’t hold up , I won’t make them again if they are left anywhere besides the refrigerator they get to be a soft mess … even without glaze or frosting . I also made a cream cheese frosting with almond flavoring thinking they would hold up better , not thrilled with them .And they were just ok

    1. theyre awesome!! had a hard time wanting to bake them because the dough was so delicious but it honestly made more cookie than i know what to do with and I used only 3 cups of flour because thats all I had and theyre still awesome!!

  6. These are delicious! They haven’t even cooled down enough to add icing yet, but we can’t stop eating them! Perfect texture, great flavor, and 15 min was perfect in my oven with my pans. Thank you!

    1. Why does the icing get wet when stored. I iced when cold let dry overnight but after storing in tan with parchment then held moisture on tops

  7. Hi! I was wondering if you can freeze or refrigerate the dough? The recipe made a lot more than we were expecting so we were hoping to save the extra dough and make more in a couple days!

    1. I would scoop the dough and freeze the cookie dough balls. This way you can just pop them on a cookie tray, bake, and enjoy.

    2. I freeze mine all the time – frosted in a Tupperware container. Just put a parchment sheet in between layers. Works fine. And I send them to my friends/family.

  8. These look delicious! Has anyone tried them with chocolate chips? I mean…chocolate goes with everything, right? I don’t want to waste an entire batch if it doesn’t turn out right. Thoughts?

  9. 4 cups of flour seemed like allot when I was adding ingredients, and as I suspected they did have a dough taste when baked.
    Thx for your time.

  10. Being Sicilian I have had these but not in eons. Time to bring my heritage to my kitchen!! You share wonderful recipes Aimee thank you for that

  11. I made these last night. Although they are light and fluffy they have a baking soda after taste. Is the recipe correct when calling for 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Should it be 2 teaspoons instead?

  12. These are a beautiful, delicate, airy cookie! Thanks for sharing the recipe! I renamed them Italian pillow cookies, no one had any idea they were made with cheese, and everyone loved them!

  13. LOVE all your recipes 💓
    I bake Ricotta Cookies for yearssssss hand me down recipe and it is the same as your recipe. Your Banana Pudding too is the same recipe I use.
    The ricotta cookies only has baking powder and many recipes also have baking soda. What’s your thoughts omitting the baking soda?

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you bc I’m waiting on a Walmart delivery since giant subbed out part skim ricotta but I wanna bake cookies now hours before my whole milk ricotta comes so ima hope for the best with the part skim and make them now thanks to your comment

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