Lemon Ricotta Cookies
Published Dec 06, 2022, Updated Oct 18, 2023
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These lemon ricotta cookies are made with oat flour and topped with a delicious light lemon glaze. They’re soft, moist, fluffy and absolutely delicious!
I’ve wanted to make an EBF-approved version of Italian ricotta cookies for a while now and since I’m a huge lemon lover I thought I’d make lemon ricotta cookies for the holidays this year!
These cookies are similar to my lemon almond flour cookies, except they’re made with oat flour and have the addition of ricotta cheese. Ricotta cheese is the key to these cookies being soft, moist and fluffy! They have a perfect amount of lemon tang and are absolutely delicious when topped with the sweet lemon glaze.
Why You’ll Love These Cookies
- The ricotta cheese keeps these cookies moist and soft!
- They’re not overly sweet especially if you skip the glaze topping.
- Made with oat flour, these cookies are gluten-free.
- They’re bursting with lemon flavor!
- Super easy to make and only requires 9 main ingredients!
- oat flour – we’re using oat flour to make these cookies gluten-free. Oat flour is a healthy flour option that is high in fiber and protein and results in cookies with a chewy, soft texture. You can make homemade oat flour or use store-bought. My favorite store-bought brand is Bob’s Red Mill Oat Flour.
- baking powder & baking soda – helps the cookies rise.
- salt – brings all the flavors together.
- unsalted butter – helps create light and fluffy cookies and unsalted butter has a lower water content than salted butter. This means that the cookies will be less likely to spread while baking. Make sure you’re using softened butter for the best results!
- cane sugar – we’re creaming the butter and sugar together, which results in a lighter cookie. I only tested this with organic cane sugar but you should be able to swap for granulated or coconut sugar as well. Just note that the cookies will be a darker color if you use coconut sugar.
- egg – helps provide structure by keeping the fat and liquid ingredients combined. I haven’t tried this recipe with an egg substitute and I’m not sure how it would turn out because the egg helps to bind all the ingredients together.
- ricotta cheese – helps to keep these cookies moist and soft and adds a nice richness as well as some nutritional benefits. Ricotta cheese is packed with calcium, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and a variety of vitamins and minerals! I used whole milk ricotta cheese, but 2% ricotta cheese will also work.
- lemon juice & zest – can’t have lemon ricotta cookies without the lemon! I recommend using freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best flavor. I haven’t tried it, but if you don’t have lemons on hand I bet orange juice and orange zest would be good substitutes.
- almond extract – this is optional, but I found that it adds a really nice nutty flavor to these cookies.
- lemon glaze – top these cookies with a delicious lemon glaze made from powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest.
How to Make
Mix dry ingredients: Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
Cream butter and sugar: In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer or stand mixer for about 2 minutes on medium speed, until light and fluffy.
Mix the wet ingredients: Add the egg to the butter and sugar mixture and mix until combined. Add ricotta cheese, lemon juice and zest and mix again until fully combined.
Combine: Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well on low speed.
Chill dough: Chill the cookie dough for at least 2 hours.
Bake: When ready, scoop the dough (about 1 ½ Tablespoons each) and roll into balls. Place dough balls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and form into a cookie shape. No need to press down too much as the cookies will spread while baking. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350°F until edges are slightly browned. Remove from oven and cool cookies for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
Make glaze: While cookies are cooling make the glaze by stirring the powdered sugar, lemon juice and zest in a small bowl. You may need to add more lemon juice if it’s too thick. Start with 1 teaspoon at a time. Frost each cookie with the lemon glaze. Sprinkle additional lemon zest on top if you prefer.
Enjoy: Let cookies sit for about 5 minutes until icing has set and serve.
Tips For Success
- Chill the dough. This helps the butter solidify within the dough before baking. When you bake with chilled butter it takes longer to melt and prevents the cookies from spreading too much.
- Don’t press cookies down too much. The cookies will spread enough in the oven to form a nice shape, if you press down too much they will likely become thinner than expected.
- Don’t overcook. Keep an eye on the cookies and make sure to not overcook them, otherwise they’ll dry out. The sides should be a slight golden brown.
- Zest the lemons before juicing them. When you zest a lemon, you are essentially removing the outermost layer of the skin, which is where the majority of the lemon’s flavor is. This means that you will be able to get a more intense lemon flavor when you zest the lemon before juicing it. Just be sure to zest just the yellow skin and not the white skin underneath, as it will be bitter. I love my Microplane Zester for zesting citrus!
- Allow cookies to cool before adding glaze. If you add the glaze to the cookies while they are still hot, the glaze will melt and run off the cookies. By letting the cookies cool first, the glaze will set and stick to the cookies.
- Don’t move cookies too soon. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire cooling rack. These cookies are very delicate so will break if you transfer them while still hot!
How to Store
These cookies are great for storing at room temperature, chilled in the fridge or in the freezer for longer storage.
Room temperature: Store in an airtight sealed container for 2 days.
Fridge: Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Freezer: Store in an airtight sealed container or a freezer-safe ziplock bag for 1-2 months. I recommend freezing without the glaze and adding it when you’re ready to enjoy.
pro tip! When storing, layer the cookies with pieces of parchment paper so the glaze doesn’t get all over!
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Lemon Ricotta Cookies
- 1 ¼ cup oat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup cane sugar
- 1 large egg
- ¾ cup ricotta cheese
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract, optional
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon, to sprinkle on top (optional)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes) with a hand mixer or stand mixer.
- Add egg then mix until combined.
- Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low.
- Chill dough for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Scoop dough (about 1 ½ Tablespoon each) and roll into a ball. Place onto baking sheet and form into cookie shape, if needed. Don’t press cookie down too much, as cookies will spread while baking
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are slightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and cool cookies for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. These cookies are very delicate so will break if you transfer them while still hot.
- While cookies are cooling, make lemon glaze by adding powdered sugar and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Stir to combine. You may need to add in more lemon juice if the glaze is too thick (start with one teaspoon at a time). Glaze should be somewhat thick.
- Frost each cookie with the lemon glaze. Sprinkle additional lemon zest on top if you prefer.
- Let cookies sit for about 5 minutes until icing has set and serve.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.