Gluten-Free Ricotta Cookies

Gluten-Free Ricotta Cookies

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Italian ricotta cookies are another throwback to my childhood. Italian ricotta cookies are another staple at our annual family Christmas party, along with chocolate peanut butter balls and M&M cookies. Ricotta cookies are known for being moist and tender, almost like a little piece of cake. They are also unfortunately filled with a lot of sugar and butter. Since I am always up for experimenting in the kitchen, I set out to accomplish healthier ricotta cookies that were also gluten-free. The resulting gluten-free ricotta cookies have the same texture as the originals, and are still surprisingly sweet even with the sugar cut in half in the cookie! And since I am not a fan of almond extract, I also replaced that with vanilla extract. When I pulled the first batch of cookies out of the oven, the first thing I smelled was the vanilla. Naturally, I had to taste test and make sure they came out alright! 🙂 The cookies were so good, that I ate 5 of them before I even got the glaze on! If you are looking for a moist, tender, and cakey cookie, then give these gluten-free ricotta cookies a try. These cookies are super easy to make, the recipe makes a HUGE batch (70-80 cookies), they are easy to customize, and they can be made in advance and frozen. Also, I veganized these cookies as much as I could. The only thing not vegan in this recipe is the ricotta cheese. Let’s get baking and decorating!

How to Make Gluten-Free Ricotta Cookies

1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl, add softened butter of your choice, extra light olive oil, vanilla extract, Kosher salt, baking soda, baking powder, and granulated sugar. Using an electric mixer on low speed, cream everything together.

Butter alternative, granulated sugar, extra light olive oil, vanilla extract, Kosher salt, baking soda, and baking powder sit in a large glass bowl on a wood plank background.Butter alternative, granulated sugar, extra light olive oil, vanilla extract, Kosher salt, baking soda, and baking powder creamed together in a large glass bowl.

2. Add applesauce and ricotta cheese. Using an electric mixer on low speed, mix everything together.

Addition of ricotta and applesauce to the creamed mixture in a large glass bowl.Mixing in ricotta and applesauce to the creamed mixture in a large glass bowl.

3. Add flour, one cup (or half cup) at a time, mixing after each addition. For the second cup and on, I had to use my hands to combine the dough together.

Addition of one cup of flour to the mixture in a large glass bowl.

The dough after mixing in one cup of flour.
Dough after mixing in one cup of flour.
The dough after mixing in two cups of flour.
Dough after mixing in two cups of flour.
The dough after mixing in all of the flour.
Dough after mixing in all of the flour.

4. Drop dough by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies look golden. Because the cookies don’t spread, you can pack them in a little tighter than usual.

20 tablespoon sized drops of dough on a texture aluminum baking sheet prior to baking.A close-up of a single gluten-free ricotta cookie to show when it is finished baking. Note the slightly golden exterior.

5. While cookies are baking, it’s time to make the glaze! In a small bowl, combine confectioner’s sugar and 4 tablespoons of milk of your choice. Whisk everything together until combined. The consistency should have some thickness, but when you lift the whisk out of the glaze, it should run off easily. How many tablespoons you add, will depend on the type of milk you use.

Confectioner's sugar glaze drizzling from a wire whisk into a large glass bowl filled with the rest of the glaze.

6. When the cookies are finished baking, remove from the oven. Glaze the cookies while they are still hot. I used about 1/2 teaspoon of glaze per cookie. Top with sprinkles if desired.

A close-up of a completely glazed and decorated Valentine's Day gluten-free ricotta cookie on a piece of aluminum foil. The glaze gives the cookie a little bit of a sheen. The sprinkles are red, white, and pink hearts.

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Gluten-Free Ricotta Cookies

These gluten-free ricotta cookies are easy to make, tender, and cakey! They are also easy to customize for any holiday. Pair with a glass of milk of your choice.

Course Cookies
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 48 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 3 minutes
Servings 70 cookies
Author The Panicked Foodie

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter of your choice, softened (I used Earth Balance)
  • 6 tablespoons extra light olive oil (OR 1/2 cup butter of your choice)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/8 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 3.5 cups gluten-free 1:1 baking flour (I used Bob's Red Mill) (OR 3.5 cups of all-purpose flour)

Glaze

  • 1.5 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 4-5 tablespoons milk of your choice
  • sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, add softened butter of your choice, extra light olive oil, vanilla extract, Kosher salt, baking soda, baking powder, and granulated sugar. Using an electric mixer on low speed, cream everything together.

  3. Add applesauce and ricotta cheese. Using an electric mixer on low speed, mix everything together.

  4. Add flour, one cup (or half cup) at a time, mixing after each addition. For the second cup and on, I had to use my hands to combine the dough together.

  5. Drop dough by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies look golden.

  6. While cookies are baking, whisk together the confectioner's sugar and milk of your choice in a small bowl to make the glaze.

  7. When the cookies are finished baking, remove from the oven. Glaze the cookies while they are still hot. I used about 1/2 teaspoon of glaze per cookie. Top with sprinkles if desired.

Recipe Notes

Dairy-free: Replace ricotta with a vegan ricotta.
Vegan:
Be sure to use vegan friendly sugars, sprinkles, and ricotta cheese.



1 thought on “Gluten-Free Ricotta Cookies”

  • I don’t think I’ve ever had committed like these. They look delicious! And I’m excited because they’re gluten free. It can be hard to participate during cookie baking season when you’re GF.

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