Ricotta Cheese Cookies – Favorite Holiday Cookie Recipe

Ricotta Cheese Cookies are light, flavorful soft cookies with a cake-like texture. These cookies are a wonderful addition to any Christmas dessert platter.  My recipe is an ideal ricotta cookie for sharing with others this holiday season.

Italian ricotta cookies on a holiday plate

Ricotta Cheese Cookies

With the holidays upon us, it’s time to get into that baking mood.  I’ve been baking some different cookie recipes this year to see what I want to include in a cookie exchange.  This recipe for ricotta cheese cookies was a perfect delicious and beautiful cookie to add to my list.  

Participating in a cookie swap is one way I can stock up on goodies for Christmas without being in the kitchen for days. 

I thought about sharing my favorite cut-out cookies recipe because they are so delicious, or even my family favorite persimmon cookies

They aren’t always as pretty, plus, fancy decorated cookies take more work to prepare, so an easier option was needed. 

Of course, a light and delicious ricotta cheese cookie was the best solution!

Ricotta Italian cookies on a baking rack

Do Easy Ricotta Cookies Really Taste Good?

Yes!  So many people ask me this question.  Everyone thinks since they have “cheese” in them then they can’t be sweet and yummy. 

The thing is, ricotta is a mild cheese that really absorbs the flavors around it. So, for this recipe, it is easy to have a wonderful flavor with no lingering cheesiness at all. 

The vanilla extract gives just enough flavor for these to be a light, buttery, and moist vanilla cookie that is ideal for cookie swaps!

If you want even more flavor, check out my recipe for lemon ricotta cookies.

Another simple but delicious option is this recipe for Mexican wedding cookies.  The white powdered coating makes them perfect for holiday cookie exchanges. 

Holiday ricotta cookies on a plaid red and green plate

Tips For How To Make Ricotta Cookies Recipe

This recipe is for a soft cookie with a vanilla glaze and sprinkles.  It is super easy to make, and of course, is delicious. I love that this recipe is great for Christmas with holiday sprinkles, but can be made for any holiday with just a simple switch in topping!

Tip 1: Plan to make this dough a day in advance or at minimum 2 hours before baking so the dough is properly chilled. 

Tip 2:  Make sure you start with room temperature butter.  It whips up quicker to a nice fluffy consistency.  

Tip 3:  Sift your dry ingredients to remove any lumps and make sure everything incorporates perfectly. 

Tip 4:  Let the glaze harden a bit before stacking in a container to store or share with others. 

While the cookie dough is chilling in the refrigerator, try your hand at making these peanut butter snowballs

Steps to Bake Ricotta Cookies

If you are new to baking, this is a perfect recipe to add to your list.  It is simple to follow, and doesn’t require a lot of time consuming or difficult steps.  For a novice baker, this is an ideal option to start with. Especially for holiday cookie swaps. 

  1. Beat butter and sugar together until light and airy.
  2. Mix in egg, ricotta cheese, and vanilla extract. 
  3. Sift your dry ingredients into a medium bowl, separate from wet ingredients. 
  4. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until a dough forms. 
  5. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 2 hours up to 2 days. 
  6. When ready to bake, remove from the refrigerator and follow the directions in the printable recipe card for forming and baking the cookies. 
This image shows the finished ricotta cookies recipe, the cookies are ready to be iced and decorated.

How to Make a Vanilla Glaze for Holiday Cookies

If you are a novice baker, this is another excellent simple recipe that goes right along with the ricotta cookies recipe.  A simple vanilla glaze is so easy to make, and will have everyone amazed at your skills in the kitchen. 

All you need to do is combine powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar), a bit of milk, and a dash of vanilla extract together and whisk until there are no lumps. 

Then you drizzle over the top or dip your cookies into it, sprinkle some sanding sugar on top, and let it harden a bit before serving.

This recipe makes about 4 dozen, and can easily be doubled for a big ‘ole cookie exchange.

Holiday cookies on a plate with a cup of tea on the side
Soft and pillowy ricotta cheese cookies with a glaze topped with sprinkles.

Ricotta Cheese Cookies – Holiday Favorite

Soft and pillowy ricotta cookies are a perfect addition to your holiday baking! These Italian ricotta cookies are the best treats for a cookie exchange.
4.71 from 27 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Holiday Cookies
Keyword: cookies, Italian cookies, ricotta cheese cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 48 cookies
Calories: 79kcal
Author: Sandra Shaffer


  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • red & green sugar crystals


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat sugar and butter until blended. Increase speed to high; beat until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
  • At medium speed, beat in egg, ricotta cheese, vanilla until well combined.
  • Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, beat until dough forms. Chill for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  • Drop dough by level tablespoons, about 2 inches apart. Bake about 15 minutes or until cookies are very lightly golden on the bottom edges. Remove cookies to wire cooling rack. Let cool completely.
  • To ice cookies, in a small bowl, mix powdered sugar and milk together until well blended. Dip the top of each cookie into the icing and set on baking rack. Sprinkle with colored sugars.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 79kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 77mg | Sugar: 8g


Please note that the nutritional information provided are guidelines and may vary based on the brand of products used. For your specific nutritional goals use My Fitness Pal or Verywell Fit recipe calculators. All content within this site is not intended as medical diagnosis or treatment and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise.

This post was originally published in 2013. This has been updated with new photos and content December 2019.


Ricotta Cheese Cookies are light, flavorful soft cookies with a cake-like texture. These cookies are a wonderful addition to any Christmas dessert platter.  My recipe is an ideal ricotta cookie for sharing with others this holiday season.  #cookies #christmas #Italian #ricotta #holiday #baking
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  1. Are these little dense but chewy? Been tr to be to replicate one I’ve had with cream cheese frosting. They almost don’t look done and little doughy looking. I plan to try these!

  2. The time consuming decorating isn’t for me either! These cookies look just delicious and I bet they will be so moist. Printed off the recipe, we will enjoy these cookies!

  3. It is funny that you mentioned time consuming and cookie decorating. I just finished making 4 dozen cut out cookies and decorating with my teenage boys and my kitchen looks like a cyclone hit it. I bet your cookies are super moist with the addition of ricotta cheese.

      1. I tried the recipe and we all loved it thanks for sharing I was wonder if I could use anise instead of vanilla

        1. Hi Donna, I haven’t tried using anise, but you can certainly change the flavor profile with a different extract. I’m just not sure how much or how it would taste. Please let me know how it turns out if you try it!