Italian Ricotta Cookies

Italian Ricotta Cookies

Italian Ricotta Cookies are little perfect little bites of cake. They are soft, with a mild flavor, and topped with colorful sprinkles!

Can I be honest? I kinda-sorta hate those Italian cookie platters at Christmas.

I know, I’m the worst. I KNOW.

I just feel like they’re all so… blah. Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up in an Italian household where I love them because they’re nostalgic. Maybe because I am a secret Scrooge deep down. But really, does ANYONE love those cookies? I feel like they’re all the same cookie in different shapes. Like a whole tray of the EXACT same cookie, made to look different because some have sprinkles and others have jam. Kinda like the cookie version of pasta…ALL THE SAME, but different shapes. I’m sensing a theme here, Italians! jkjk.

I mean, just because I don’t love them doesn’t mean there isn’t a whole word out there that does. I get it…kinda. I mean, my husband included IS Italian, with an Italian mother. So basically I am about to be shunned from Christmas Eve.

ANYWAY. I decided to throw my hand in the ring and see if I could make an Italian Cookie that I like, but also is samesy enough that no one will think I ruined Christmas by changing up the cookie situation.

Feel me?

Oh, and these Italian Ricotta Cookies are DAY 11 in our 12 Days of Christmas Cookies!!! Can you believe we’re almost done?? If you’ve missed any of the first 10 days, I’m recapping the, all at the bottom of this post!

Italian Ricotta Cookies

The dough comes together so quickly and they bake up pretty perfect, if I do say so myself!

Italian Ricotta Cookies

Here’s the deal with these. They are soft and cakey, so if you’re not into cakey cookies these might not be for you. BUT the ricotta cheese gives them such a yummy texture. I am all about how these turned out.

I used vanilla extract in my cookies and almond extract in the glaze icing, but you can switch this up if you want!

Italian Ricotta Cookies

I find that dipping the cookies in the glaze icing works best!

And then you have to have sprinkles!

Italian Ricotta Cookies

I feel like I’ll give Italian cookies another shot. Maybe.

Italian Ricotta Cookies


Italian Ricotta Cookies

  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 36 cookies 1x


  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 cups flour


  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 34 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup sprinkles


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix together the butter and sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add in the eggs, ricotta cheese, vanilla, salt, baking powder, baking soda and mix for an additional minute until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  3. Turn the mixer to low and add in the flour, mixing until a dough forms. Portion out the dough using a medium (2 tablespoon) cookie scoop. Roll into balls and place on prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges are lightly golden.
  5. Transfer to a wire rack.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk the powdered sugar, almond extract, and milk, together until smooth. Spoon the glaze over warm cookies or alternately, dip the cookies into the gaze, and sprinkle with colored candy sprinkles.


Store airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days for best freshness.

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12 Days of Christmas Cookies

Day 1: 3 Ingredient Shortbread

Day 2: Double Chocolate Mocha Cookies

Day 3: Salted Caramel Pinwheel Cookies

Day 4: Perfect Spritz Cookies

Day 5: Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

Day 6: Milk Chocolate Lace Sandwich Cookies

Day 7: Coconut Snowman Cookies

Day 8: Red Velvet Snowball Cookies

Day 9: Soft Molasses Cookies

Day 10: Orange Cranberry Meltaway Cookies

Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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28 Responses
  1. Audrey S Hopkins

    The dough was very sticky, and I ended up adding another whole cup of flour. This was even after I drained the ricotta. I used part skim milk ricotta, too. The dough was still sticky to roll in my hands but I solved that problem by keeping some softened butter close by that I used to grease my hands with. I ended up baking them for 15 minutes, until the bottoms were just browned and I could smell them. My oven runs cold, so this might just be a personal adjustment. Other than all that, they came out like I remember my Nana making them!

  2. Minerva

    Oh, Sweetie! You certainly didn’t grow up in an Italian household. My mother (full-blooded Italian) used to put on a cookie spread at Christmas that would make any bakery jealous. NONE of them looked or tasted like the others; there was nothing boring about them. They used special tools (such as a pizzelle iron), special ingredients (such as anise oil, not extract), and special skills (such as singeing and pocket-forming). All the relatives looked forward to enjoying her cookies at Christmas, almost as much as I think she enjoyed making them.

    1. Chillicia

      This is such an obnoxious comment. It sounds like you’ve got your cookies locked down. Are you just looking for recipes that don’t meet your specific standards so you can neg them in the comments?

  3. Theresa Taylor

    Made these for our Christmas cookie bake that my daughters and I do yearly. They were by far my favorite. Not too sweet and I loved the texture. We did the same glaze, but also did lemon and some with a drizzle of chocolate. I read the reviews but didn’t have the issues others were. I did notice that if I didn’t give just enough room for the slight spread that they need. *Also I did not drain my ricotta cheese*

  4. Make sure that you drain your ricotta before you mix it into the batter. Too much moisture is what causing the cookies to flatten or be raw. I haven’t tried this recipe yet but it happened with other recipes that I didn’t drain it in. Will try this one.


    Ricotta cookies have been a ‘thing’ for ages…one of the best/easiest cookies to make in general. Congrats on putting together a recipe for people to try:) Just a word about different cuts of pasta from your original post…there are different cuts to be used with different sauces. Italians would never use a bolognese with an angel hair pasta (the sauce is too heavy), for example. There is a method to our madness:)

  6. Laura

    I have made these type of cookies a bunch of times before but this is the most perfect batch I’ve ever made! Recipe was perfect…needed 10 minutes to be golden brown on bottom. So light and fluffy!!! My son and I made them for his Halloween party and we will be decorating them tomorrow with a cream cheese frosting and Halloween sprinkles!

  7. Elaine Anderson

    Just finished baking these and am very pleased! Only problem was they did not stay as round . Next time I will refrigerate balls before baking. Texture is AMAZINGLY light and moist!

  8. Emily

    As a kid, anytime I had these they were always anise flavored. Blech! My aunt made some for Christmas a few years ago but used a lemon glaze – I almost stuffed them all in my pocket Napoleon Dynamite style! Sooo good! I’m sad I missed this recipe before Christmas but I think some almond and lemon ricotta cookies are in my future.

  9. Julie

    I just made these today. Great recipe- thank you! I decided to make one almond icing and another lemon and dip the cookies in one or the other. Can’t decide which I like better!

  10. Karen T

    Followed the recipe…total fail…never screw up anything…not sure what happened…even used whole milk ricotta….oh well…threw it all out. First batch spread and very flat and had to keep increasing the time…not worth the aggravation…will find another recipe for same type cookie.

  11. Linda

    I made these yesterday as directed, and baked them for even longer than recommended and some appeared to still be “wet” on top on one cookie on the pan totally went flat on the pan during baking. But, once they cooled the other 11 cookies seemed just fine and delish. Any suggestions? Thanks again, I’m loving all your recipes!

    1. Shelly

      Thanks so much for the comment. I have had this happen before… not with this recipe, but with others…and I always find that the reason this has happened is that it didn’t mix well enough and maybe I got a bit more butter in a cookie and it spread. Hope this helps, and glad the other cookies turned out!!

  12. Tracey

    These are my favorites! My Grandmother made them with a lemon glaze. If you got a taste of her Italian cookie platter you would be a convert. Each cookie was so unique! Fig squares, lemon ricotta cookies, a peanut butter chocolate type thing, and almond shortbread…and more! I only wish I had the recipes. Only she knew them and we didn’t think to have her write them down ever. But I have a feeling your ricotta cookies will be a new favorite for my family.

  13. I always love to eat this kind of sweet dishes. When it is a Italian food then it is one of my favorite!!!!! Thank you for sharing that lovely food recipe. If you love these kind of sweet dishes then you may visit my website which is full of sweet dishes also…………..

  14. Margot

    *These* look delicious! and I totally relate to you about the Italian cookie platters – and the concept of making 100 different cookies out of 1 mix! What’s the point of that?!

  15. Hey!
    I think your recipe is really unique .These Italian ricotta cookies looks very tempting ! I like all ur other recipes too… I Am inspired by your channel and have recently started a YouTube channel called belly up…i need more support to stay motivated and keep posting simple and quick recipes… Make sure you subscribe …thankyou 🙂

      1. Shika

        My friend’s mother, a true Italian, froze them frosting and all. She put them on a tray to freeze them then once frozen quickly put them into double bags. They were still perfect right out of the freezer. (I ate so many. I couldn’t help myself!)

    1. Barbara

      I freeze them with the frosting on and they thaw and taste great.

      BTW you can change up this recipe by added, 1 teaspoon lemon rind, or 1 teaspoon cinnamon to the batter, or even 1/2 cup coco powder. When I use the coco powder, I also add coco powder to the icing too.

      Yes, I’m Italian and I love these cookies!

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Shelly Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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