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For a sweet bite full of yumminess, you have got to try these Italian Ricotta Cookies! Trust me; they are cake-like cookies brimming with almond flavor and they bake up moist and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. In just 22 minutes, you can have these Ricotta Cookies covered in a sweet glaze and topped with the sprinkles of the season chilling in the fridge—just waiting for your friends and family to enjoy.

A stack of three Italian ricotta cookies with glaze and sprinkles, with bite taken out of the top cookie.

I love that these mini cookies do not lend to one season or another. And while I tend to make this Italian Ricotta Cookie Recipe around the Christmas season, they are perfect for any special occasion or celebrated time of year. You can color the glaze pink or blue and add matching sprinkles for a baby shower. Or you can dress them up for the annual Christmas cookie exchanges.

Lately, I have noticed a trend in weddings and holiday dessert buffets. It seems people are getting away from large cakes and single pies and going toward mini desserts. And I am all for that idea! That way, you can sample multiple desserts and not have to choose a single ending to your delightful meal.

This fall, I enjoyed Caramel Apple Mini Cheesecakes and Mini Almond Bundt Cakes with Blueberries and Whipped Cream. And for Christmas, I plan to make these Red Velvet Brownie Cups and some Air Fryer Cherry Hand Pies.

In fact, I think I may even make my Homemade Graham Cracker Crust in mini versions and add in my Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie filling.

Key Ingredient Notes

  • Basic Cookie Ingredients | All-purpose flour, softened butter, a large egg, and sugar are the basic ingredients for any cookie recipe.
  • Baking Soda & Powder | Leavening agents make the cookies rise and give them a fluffy texture.
  • Extracts | Both pure vanilla extract and almond extract make the flavor profile complex and delicious.
  • Ricotta Cheese | Yep, this is the key ingredient in these cheesy ricotta cookies! Use whole milk ricotta cheese.
  • Glaze Ingredients | A glaze is typically made of powdered sugar, milk, and flavoring, like almond extract.
  • Toppings | I love to use sprinkles that match the occasion or holiday. Get creative here and alter the nonpareils to the season!
Labeled ingredients needed to make Italian Ricotta Cookies.

Variations and Substitutions

  • These cookies use almond and vanilla extract but feel free to substitute one or the other with lemon extract for a summery lemon cookie, then sprinkle the tops with a little bit of lemon zest.
  • Why not dip these delicious cookies in a chocolate glaze or ganache? Go crazy!
  • Adjust colorings and sprinkles to match your event or holiday.

How To Make Authentic Italian Ricotta Cookies

Be sure to see the recipe card below for exact ingredients and full recipe instructions!

Step 1 | Prepare Wet Ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, we will start by combining the wet ingredients. Use an electric hand mixer or standing mixer to cream together the softened butter and sugar until fluffy and smooth. Then add in room-temperature ricotta cheese and mix until fully incorporated.

Then add in the egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract, mixing until just mixed in and be sure not to overmix, or you will deflate the batter.

Collage image showing how to mix wet ingredients.

Step 2 | Combine the Dry Ingredients

As for the remaining dry ingredients, sift or mix with a fork all the flour and leavening ingredients together in a medium bowl. Then pour the flour mixture into the mixing bowl of wet ingredients, a cup at a time. Mix those together on low until combined. It will form a typical cookie dough.

Now, remove the mixing bowl from the stand, cover it in plastic wrap and place the dough in the refrigerator to chill for 2 hours.

Collage image showing steps to add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.

Step 3| Make the Glaze

Meanwhile, you can get your decorating supplies out and ready to dress the gorgeous little cookies. Let’s start by mixing the glaze to a slightly thick consistency.

In another small mixing bowl, use a whisk to combine the powdered sugar, almond extract, and milk until you get a slightly thick glaze that will cling to the cookies. Then you can adjust the powdered sugar and milk accordingly if the glaze is too thick or thin.

Too thin? Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar.

Too thick? Add 1 or 2 teaspoons of milk at a time to thin it out.

Step 4 | Chill & Form the Dough Balls

Chilling the dough helps it set up into the ball shape and not be too sticky. After chilling, the dough should be easy to form.

Once the dough is chilled and ready to form the balls, preheat the oven and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Then take a small cookie scoop or a regular spoon to measure out tablespoon-sized balls for each cookie.

After the mix is divided, roll the balls in your hands to make a nice round shape and place each about 3 inches apart on the lined baking tray.

Note: To keep the dough from sticking to your hands, you can wet your hands or use a little unsalted butter to grease your hands.

Then be sure to place any unused dough back in the refrigerator to stay nice and cold until you are ready to roll the next pan.

Step 5 | Bake the Italian Cookies

Into the oven they go for the recommended time on the recipe card or until the cookies are a light golden on the bottom. Now, since these cookies are a cake-like texture, the tops will be very light, and the cookie ball will be soft.

Let the soft cookies hang out on the baking pan to cool for three to five minutes, then move each one to a wire cooling rack to cool all the way.

Collage images showing steps to glaze and decorate with sprinkles.

Step 5 | Glaze and Sprinkle

Once the cookies have completely cooled, you can glaze them. If you try dipping them when they are hot, the simple glaze will simply melt off.

With a dipping station all set up, hold the base of each cookie one at a time, and dip the tops into the sugary sweet glaze. Then allow the excess to drip off and place them back on the wire rack for the icing to set. Handle the baked cookies carefully, as they are still soft.

While the sugar topping is still wet, go ahead and add the colorful sprinkles to the tops of the cookies. That way, they will stick to the icing and the cookie. Then allow the glaze to finish setting at room temperature before you serve them up or add them to your Christmas cookie tray.

Tips

  • Room-temperature butter, eggs, and ricotta will help the ingredients cream together in your mixer easily and yield the best result.
  • If your chilled dough is too soft and sticky to work with, it may need to be chilled longer. Cover and add some more time for them in the fridge.
  • When you bake with a dark baking sheet, start the timer for the oven at the lower end of the bake time. Cookies brown much quicker with a dark baking pan. Likewise, when using a lighter baking sheet, you may need to add a bit more time.

Recipe FAQ’s

Are these cookies good to ship to family?

I do not recommend shipping these fresh cookies. They are meant to be enjoyed in a day or two. Plus, you cannot control how hot or cold they get in the mail truck.

Can I use buttercream frosting instead of the glaze?

Yes, you sure can. These are your cookies, so you get to choose. However, I have not tried it yet! Let me know if you try it!

A wooden board filled with Italian Ricotta Cookies topped with glaze and colorful sprinkles.
A white plate full of Italian Ricotta Christmas Cookies.

Storage

Storage: These cookies are so yummy when eaten the same day once they are glazed and decorated. You can also store decorated cookies in an airtight container in a single layer or stack them with parchment paper between each layer so they do not stick together. They are best for 2 or 3 days.

Once glazed mini cookies are refrigerated, the glaze will wrinkle, and the sprinkles may bleed. It really is best to wait to glaze and sprinkle these sugary delights when ready to enjoy.

These cookies, unglazed can stay in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3 days.

Make Ahead Dough: You can make the cookie dough ahead of time and keep it covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days before baking. However, don’t make the glaze until the cookies are baked and cooled.

How to freeze unbaked cookies: Place them on a baking sheet for an hour (or until frozen), then transfer them to a ziplock bag and freeze them for up to one month. To bake them after freezing, let them thaw in the refrigerator for two to three hours, then bake them.

How to freeze baked cookies: Let the cookies completely cool, then transfer them to a ziplock bag and freeze them for up to two months. For best results, freeze the cookies without the glaze, and glaze them before serving them.

Three stacked Italian ricotta cookies beautifully glazed and topped with bright sprinkles.

More Delicious Holiday Recipe Ideas

For Christmas and the Holiday season in general, I am always looking for creative ideas to serve or share with family and friends. I usually have a dessert table set for people to grab their favorites.

Some of my favorites are Key Lime Pies in a Jar (you can even add a little green food coloring to the filling to make them festive), White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pound Cake, and my Red Velvet Cake is a family must that I am requested to make each and every year.

Here are a few other favorites from some of my best foodie friends I think you will enjoy as well- Filled Christmas Present Cookies, No-Bake Eggnog Pie, and a delicious Rum Cake!

Hungry for more easy, home-cooked, delicious recipes?

Sign up for my free recipe club to get family-friendly recipes in your inbox each week! Find me sharing daily meal-time inspiration on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Two stacked Ricotta cookies stacked with a wooden tray of cookies in the background.
Recipe
4.84 from 25 votes

(click stars to rate)

Italian Ricotta Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 28 cookies
Author: Nikki Lee
For a sweet bite full of yumminess, you have got to try these Italian Ricotta Cookies! Trust me; they are cake-like cookies brimming with almond flavor and they bake up moist and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
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Ingredients 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract

Glaze

  • 1 ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • nonpareils or sprinkles

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer or standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and smooth (no more lumps). Add in the ricotta cheese and mix until fully combined.
  • Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extracts. Then mix until just incorporated (do not overmix).
  • In a medium bowl, sift together combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda (or mix together with a spoon or spatula). Then add the mixed dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined and it forms a dough.
  • Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place it in the frefrigerator to chill for 2 hours.
  • Once the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Take a small cookie scoop or a spoon to measure out tablespoon-sized balls for each cookie. Roll them up and place each about 3 inches apart on the baking sheet. Place any unused dough back in the refrigerator to stay chilled.
  • Bake the cookies at 350°F for 10-12 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookie become lightly golden. The tops will remain light and the cookie will be soft.
  • Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 3-5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Glaze

  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, almond extract, and milk until you get a slightly thick consistency. If the glaze is too thin, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar. If it is too thick, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of milk to thin it out.
  • Hold the base of each cookie, one at a time, and dip the tops into the glaze. Then lightly shake off the excess and place them back on the wire rack. Do this carefully as the cookies are soft and can break.
  • Immediately sprinkle with nonpareils or desired sprinkles to decorate. Allow the glaze to set at room temperature before serving. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • Room-temperature butter, eggs, and ricotta will help the ingredients cream together in your mixer easily and yield the best result.
  • If your chilled dough is too soft and sticky to work with, it may need to be chilled longer. Cover and add some more time for them in the fridge.
  • When you bake with a dark baking sheet, start the timer for the oven at the lower end of the bake time. Cookies brown much quicker with a dark baking pan. Likewise, when using a lighter baking sheet, you may need to add a bit more time.
Storage Information
Storage: These cookies are so yummy when eaten the same day once they are glazed and decorated. You can also store decorated cookies in an airtight container in a single layer or stack them with parchment paper between each layer so they do not stick together. They are best for 2 or 3 days.
Once glazed mini cookies are refrigerated, the glaze will wrinkle, and the sprinkles may bleed. It really is best to wait to glaze and sprinkle these sugary delights when ready to enjoy.
These cookies, unglazed can stay in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3 days.
Make Ahead Dough: You can make the cookie dough ahead of time and keep it covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days before baking. However, don’t make the glaze until the cookies are baked and cooled.
How to freeze unbaked cookies: Place them on a baking sheet for an hour (or until frozen), then transfer them to a ziplock bag and freeze them for up to one month. To bake them after freezing, let them thaw in the refrigerator for two to three hours, then bake them.
How to freeze baked cookies: Let the cookies completely cool, then transfer them to a ziplock bag and freeze them for up to two months. For best results, freeze the cookies without the glaze, and glaze them before serving them.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1cookie Calories: 116kcal (6%) Carbohydrates: 16g (5%) Protein: 2g (4%) Fat: 5g (8%) Saturated Fat: 3g (19%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0.1g Cholesterol: 20mg (7%) Sodium: 38mg (2%) Potassium: 25mg (1%) Fiber: 0.2g (1%) Sugar: 9g (10%) Vitamin A: 150IU (3%) Calcium: 26mg (3%) Iron: 0.5mg (3%)

Nutritional Disclaimer

Soulfully Made is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

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9 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These cookies look like perfection! Definitely adding to my list to try before the holidays. Can’t wait to see how they turn out, thanks for the recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    So glad I found this recipe, like my Grandma used to make and we’ve lost the recipe. She would drizzle some in ganache, which I plan on doing! Thank you!!

  3. 5 stars
    I love, love, love these light and airy cookies! We’re planning a baby shower in the spring for my daughter with a lemon theme, and I’m excited to try ricotta cookies with lemon extract for the celebration!