Authentic Italian Lemon and Ricotta Cookies

These are known as biscotti morbidi ricotta e limone and they are so light and aromatic! These traditional Italian ricotta and lemon cookies are fragrant with a delicate lemon flavor and a soft texture on the inside and do not contain butter or oil.

Biscotti morbidi ricotta e limone

Today I’m sharing this fantastic traditional Italian recipe, these cookies have a light and delicate lemon flavor and the texture on the inside is soft and fluffy, almost like a cake. You may have seen recipes of this cookie with plenty of butter but the majority of real, authentic Italian recipes for this cookie do not contain butter, resulting in a light and fluffy cookie.

These are great as a treat and they are not too sweet, and so easy to make, they are ready in under 30 minutes! Each of these are 80 calories and only 7% of calories come from the fat. As there is no additional fat in this recipe, I would not recommend using reduced fat ricotta.

How to Make Traditional Italian Lemon and Ricotta Cookies

In a medium bowl mix the flour and baking powder and set aside.

In a large bowl add the ricotta, lemon zest and sugar. Smash with a fork and mix with a spatula until you a smooth mixture.

ricotta and lemon cookies

Add the egg and lemon juice and mix until well combined.

ricotta cookies

Add the flour in 2 doses and blend until your dough is solid (don’t overwork the dough, otherwise the cookies will be tough). If dough is too soft, add a bit more flour.

lemon and ricotta cookies

Form into small balls, about a tablespoon each. You can add either water or dough to your fingers for easier handling.

Italian Ricotta and lemon cookies

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let them cool completely.

lemon ricotta cookies

Once cool sprinkle with powdered sugar.

italian ricotta cookies

Ready to serve!

italian lemon and ricotta cookies

Authentic Italian Lemon and Ricotta Cookies (no butter)

italian lemon and ricotta cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
These are known as biscotti morbidi ricotta e limone. These traditional Italian ricotta and lemon cookies are light and fragrant with a delicate lemony flavor and a soft texture on the inside and do not contain butter or oil.
Course: cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword: Cookies, Lemon, Ricotta
Servings: 25 cookies
Calories: 80kcal
Author: Elena Paravantes RDN
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Ingredients

  • 8 ounces (250 g or about 1 ¾ cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ⅔ tsp (8 g) baking powder
  • 8 ounces (250 g) ricotta cheese well strained
  • 1 medium egg
  • 6 ounces (150 g) sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Powdered sugar for sprinkling

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven at 330 F (170 C)
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl sift the flour and baking powder, mix and set aside.
  • In a large bowl add the ricotta, lemon zest and sugar. Smash with a fork and mix with a spatula until you have a smooth mixture.
  • Add the egg and lemon juice and mix until well combined.
  • Add the flour in 2 doses and blend until your dough is solid (do not overwork the dough, otherwise the cookies will be tough). If the dough is too soft, you can a bit of flour accordingly.
  • Form into small balls, about a tablespoon each and place on the baking sheet (about 25 cookies). You can add either add water or dough to your fingers for easier handling.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let them cool completely.
  • Once cool sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Notes

Store in air proof container for up to a week.
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Photos by Elena Paravantes © All Rights Reserved

7 Comments

  • Reply Marliss July 11, 2021 at 1:31 am

    I baked these cookies today using low-fat ricotta, a large egg, and half white whole wheat flour. I used a #40 scoop to form the cookies and ended up with 29. My husband has now eaten at least four of them. These are a cakey, not too sweet cookie that will accompany tea or coffee nicely. I am always grateful to find a cookie that works for those of us who have to give up most butter.5 stars

  • Reply Courtney April 29, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    Does it matter if it is part skim vs whole milk ricotta?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN April 30, 2021 at 6:39 am

      I would not recommend using part skim as I mention above, the recipe does not contain any other sources of fat and it will affect texture and flavor.

  • Reply Carla April 26, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    I just made these, very nice. Being more a griller than a baker, I messed up with the flour measurement, using 8 oz instead of 1 3/4 cup for dry as you say…so I had to add quite a bit to get the dough “solid,” and overworked it – they are slightly chewy. Sharing my experience for others! Going to redo a batch for guests in a couple days.

  • Reply Hanneke April 24, 2021 at 4:26 pm

    This looks so good. Where I live in Greece it’s hard to find ricotta. Do you think I could it replace for ανθότυρο? Thank you

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN April 27, 2021 at 7:51 am

      I have not tried it but I think they would, just make sure to strain well.

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