How to Make Easy Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Italian-style ricotta cookies are the perfect cookie to make anytime of year. These ricotta cookies are made with fresh lemon for a delicious, refreshing flavor.

When you make a purchase using a link on this page, we may receive a commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, please see About Us.

Here is how to make lemon ricotta cookies, an easy cookie recipe that is perfect for spring.

This easy recipe for making Italian ricotta cookie-style lemon ricotta cookies using quick and easy pantry ingredients, like cake mix, flour, vanilla extract, and lemon extract.

Use fresh lemons, especially when lemons are in season, to add tangy, delicious flavor. Lemon ricotta cookies are a great recipe for using fresh lemons, especially when lemons are in season.

Lemon ricotta cookies are perfect for serving with tea, and they make a great homemade gift to give to family or friends. The cookies are also great to serve at Easter brunch as a springtime dessert.

Tips for Making Lemon Ricotta Cookies

1—Fresh lemons are best.

Use fresh lemons to make the cookies, so that you can zest the lemon peel for lemon zest to add to the cake mix. When possible, we use organic lemons to grate the peel for lemon zest. This is a great recipe to make when lemons and other citrus fruit are in season.

Always use caution when using a citrus zester, grater, or peeler, and keep your fingers, skin, and other body parts away from the sharp edges and ends.

2—Use separate bowls.

Whisk dry ingredients together to distribute cake mix, flour, lemon zest, and salt and make a dry mix. Make sure the lemon zest is well-distributed throughout the mix.

Creaming the ricotta cheese, butter, and eggs together—before blending them with the dry mix—may help to make a fluffier cookie.

3—Use softened—not melted—butter.

Cut cold butter into slices or small chunks, and place the butter in a bowl on a kitchen counter, to help it warm up more quickly. If using a stick of butter, then slice 8 tablespoons of butter and sit them in a bowl to come to room temperature.

4—Use a cookie scoop.

A cookie scoop helps to make more evenly sized cookies.

5—Parchment paper makes things easier.

Parchment paper makes it easier to remove cookies from the cookie sheet. It also makes clean up easier when you are finished baking.

How to Make Lemon Ricotta Cookies Using Cake Mix

Using cake mix as an ingredient to make cookies is a great hack because, in my experience, the cookies almost always turn out okay. This is my go-to way of making cookies when I need a large batch of cookies for parties, cookie exchanges, gift giving, or other events, or when I just want to have a good batch of cookies to enjoy at home.

This easy lemon ricotta cookies recipe starts with a box of white cake mix, and it includes flavorful ingredients like grated lemon zest, vanilla and lemon extracts, and ricotta cheese.

You can also make easy ricotta cookies using gluten-free cake mix or organic cake mix.

Note: If your goal is to make gluten-free cookies, then make sure that all of the other ingredients that you use for making the cookies are also gluten-free.

What You’ll Need to Make Easy Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Cookie Sheet

Cookie sheets are a must for making great cookies. A great cookie sheet can help distribute heat uniformly. Plus, the lack of a rim can make it easier to remove cookies from the sheet with your spatula (just be careful when removing them from the oven!).

Parchment Paper

Parchment paper is my secret for making cookies easier to remove from the cookie sheet. Plus, parchment paper makes clean up easier, and it’s a must have when you need to bake multiple batches of cookies at one time.

Cookie Spatula

A cookie spatula makes it easy to lift your cookies from the cookie sheet when it’s time to transfer them to a baking rack.

Cooling Racks

Use cooling racks to help cool cookies evenly before applying icing to the cookies.

Mixing Bowls

You’ll need three mixing bowls for this recipe—one bowl to mix the dry ingredients together, and a second bowl to cream the ricotta cheese with other ingredients. A third, smaller mixing bowl is needed to make the lemon icing.

Citrus Juicer

Use a citrus juicer to squeeze fresh citrus juice from seasonal fruits like oranges (use juice to make fresh orange cake), clementines, and lemons.

Large Spoon

A large spoon is a must for blending cookie recipe ingredients together.

Bowl Scraper

Use a bowl scraper to capture the last bits of cookie dough, brownie batter, or cake batter from a mixing bowl, so that hardly anything goes to waste.

Piping Bag

Use a piping bag with a decorator’s tip attached to apply icing to the cookies.

Serving Tray

A pretty serving tray is perfect for displaying cookies at Easter holiday meals or for other special occasions.

Gift Packaging

Use adorable food-safe gift packaging to package homemade ricotta cookies to give away as spring gifts.

Easy Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Easy Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 24 cookies
Author Sweet Bacon & Pecans


For the ricotta cookies:

  • 1 15.25 oz. box white cake mix
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 15 oz. container whole milk ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup 1 stick or 8 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp lemon extract
  • 2 large eggs

For the lemon glaze:

  • 1 ½ cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Juice of one lemon


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Add cake mix, flour, salt, and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine ingredients until the lemon zest is blended well throughout the cake mix.
  • In a second large mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, softened butter, vanilla extract, lemon extract, and eggs. Fold ingredients together until they are well combined.
  • Add juice of one lemon to the bowl with the ricotta cheese mixture. Stir until the lemon juice is well incorporated.
  • Add cake mix and flour mixture to the bowl with the ricotta mixture in batches. Use a large spoon or spatula to fold the cake mix mixture into the ricotta mixture after each addition.
  • Add extra flour as needed, in 2 to 4 Tbsp increments, and work the flour into the ricotta cookie dough until a stiff dough forms.
  • Use a cookie scoop to scoop out about 1 Tbsp of ricotta cookie dough at a time. Shape the dough into a round, walnut-sized shape.
  • Place the cookie dough rounds about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet(s).
  • Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or just until the edges of the cookies are golden brown. The cookies will continue to cook on the cookie sheet after it is removed from the oven.
  • Remove the lemon ricotta cookies from the oven. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, and then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, make the lemon icing. Add the confectioners sugar, vanilla extract, lemon extract, and lemon juice to a bowl. Stir until the ingredients are well blended and the icing is smooth.
  • Use a fork to drizzle the lemon icing over the ricotta cookies, or use the back of a spoon to smooth lemon icing over the top of each cookie. A piping bag can also be used to apply icing to the cookies.

This post was about how to make easy lemon ricotta cookies.

— —

  • Photo by pixelshot via Canva
  • Photos are for illustrative purposes only.

Related Posts