Soft and cake-like, these Ricotta Cookies are easy to make and delicious any time of year!
In as little as 10 minutes prep time you can be enjoying these delicious soft melt in your mouth Italian cookies that will keep you coming back for more.
My husband grew up in an Italian neighbourhood and often enjoyed these cookies courtesy of his Italian neighbours.
He remembers walking in and seeing hundreds of ricotta cookies and Italian cookies in various stages of readiness on the counter during the Holidays and at all times of the year. So much fun!
These cookies are so easy to make from scratch and you're going to love the big batch that this recipes makes.
Once you've tried these cookies, you will want to check out my lemon ricotta cookies and orange chocolate chip ricotta cookies! They're both unique and so tasty with the same soft, cake-like texture of a traditional Italian ricotta cookie.
Why you'll love these soft Italian cookies
- So easy to make just 10 minutes of prep time and 14 minute cook time
- Cake like texture combined with the sweet icing is irresistible
- Customizable with delicious lemon and orange flavours
- Coloured sprinkles on top is fun and eye catching on any cookie platter
- Rainbow sprinkles are often used but use the sprinkles of your choice
- Sturdy cookies making them great for gift giving and cookie exchanges
Ingredients for making Italian ricotta cookies
For a full list of ingredients and the amounts needed to make this recipes, you will need to scroll to the bottom of this page. Below are a few important notes about the ingredients.
- Butter - should be at room temperature. Take it out of the fridge at least an hour before you start the recipe.
- Eggs - should be a room temperature as well. Take them out the same time that you take out the butter
- Granulated sugar
- All-purpose flour - for best results, stir up the flour before scooping into your measuring cup with a spoon. Do not shake or pat down the flour. Simply level it off at the top with a sharp knife.
- Ricotta cheese- use full fat ricotta cheese.
- Vanilla - I love to use pure vanilla extract in all of my baking recipes. If you only have artificial though, that will work too!
- Powdered sugar
- Milk - you can use any kind of milk in the icing
- Baking powder & baking soda - for leavening
- Rainbow nonpareils - you can use any coloured nonpareils sprinkles for these cookies.
How to Make Ricotta Cookies
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small mixing bowl, sift together all-purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
In the bowl from a stand mixer, or with hand mixer and mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add in eggs, one a time mixing well after each one is added.
Add ricotta cheese and vanilla and beat on medium speed for one minute.
Add in flour mixture, in three additions stirring until well-combined, but do not over mix.
Drop dough using small cookie scoop or tablespoon about two inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
Bake in 350°F oven for 13 to 15 minutes until bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer baked cookies to wire cooling racks.
For icing: Combine powdered sugar and milk in mixing bowl until combined. You may need to add up to 5 tbsp. of milk to reach a consistency that is spreadable.
How to ice the Ricotta cookies
I find it easiest to turn the cookies upside down and dip them right into the icing. Allow the icing to drip for a moment, then twist and turn the cookie upright.
Place on a wire rack that is lined underneath with plastic wrap. This will catch the icing drips as well as any sprinkles. This will make for a much easier clean up!
Sprinkle immediately with rainbow nonpareils as you go. If you wait too long, the sprinkles will not cling to the icing because it starts to set up quickly.
The icing takes about 45 minutes to an hour to dry. After that, you will be able to stack them if you're packaging them for gift-giving. Ideally, you would wait a few hours for them to be completely dry.
Top tips for making Italian Ricotta cookies
- Make sure the butter and eggs are at room temperature
- When measuring the flour do not shake or pat the flour down, just level it off at the top with a sharp knife
- Use full fat ricotta cheese
- Pure vanilla extract will provide the best flavor
- Line the baking sheets with parchment paper to help prevent the cookies over-browning on the bottom
- Sprinkle immediately after icing so they stick well to the icing
Storage Instructions for these cookies
These cookies will stay nice and fresh in a airtight covered container for 3 to 4 days.
Can you freeze Ricotta cookies?
Yes you can! I recommend that you freeze them not iced in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and ice them when ready to eat.
Other Delicious Cookies to Enjoy!
- Soft lemon blueberry cookies
- Pecan pie cookies
- Maraschino cherry thumbprint cookies
- Whipped lemon shortbread cookies
- Snowball cookies (pecan)
- Coffee cookies