Chocolate Ricotta Cookies

The New York Times’ Italian Ricotta Cookies are a favorite in my household. Light and fluffy, the cookies are more cupcake top than cookie. The cookies themselves have a touch of lemon zest, but fresh lemon juice in the icing brings a fresh brightness while taming the sweetness. The kids enjoyed a lemon-free version, but it lost some of the character of the original. Replacing the icing with a chocolate ganache, however, worked remarkably well (even if I left out the lemon zest from the cookie). The result was reminiscent of a birthday cake.

A chocolate version was only natural. I replaced 1/6th of the flour from the original recipe with Dutch processed cocoa powder (Cocoa Barry Extra Brute) and created a simple icing from powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and cream (about 50 g, 3 g, and 20 g respectively).Once the cookies had cooled, I dipped the flat part of the cookie in the icing and let it dry.

I also made a batch of the frosting in which I added 1/8 tsp of peppermint extract and some green food coloring. Both were a hit with the kids.

Chocolate Ricotta Cookies

  • Servings: about 40 small cookies
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

A soft, cake-like chocolate cookie.

These soft cake-like cookies are reminiscent of a cupcake, but a bit firmer. Try either of the icings here, a chocolate ganache, or even eat them plain. I prefer Cocoa Barry Extra Brute cocoa powder, but any will do.

Credit: Modified from the New York Times’ Italian Ricotta Cookies



  • 112 g (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 212 g sugar
  • 210 g ricotta cheese
  • 10 g vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 200 g all purpose flour
  • 40 g cocoa powder
  • 5 g baking soda
  • 2 g salt

Vanilla icing

  • 100 g powdered sugar
  • 40 g heavy cream
  • 5 g vanilla extract
  • optional: add 1/8 tsp peppermint extract for mint icing


  1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or in a bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down with a rubber spatula needed.
  2. Combine the ricotta, vanilla, and egg and add to the bowl. Beat until well combined and homogenous, scraping down once or twice to ensure an even mixture.
  3. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and whisk to break up clumps and ensure an even mixture.
  4. Add flour mixture to batter and mix until combined. Fold a few times with a rubber spatula to ensure an even mixture
  5. Transfer the mixture to the fridge (covered) for a few hours to several days.
  6. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 °F.
  7. Scoop dough into small cookies (I use a #40 scoop) and place mounds evenly spaced on a baking sheet with parchment. I get 3 rows of 4 with a #40 scoop.
  8. With wet hands, roll each mound into a smooth ball and return to cookie sheet.
  9. Bake until the dough has no visible moisture, about 14 minutes.
  10. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack.
  11. When completely cool, dip the cookies in the glaze. You may need additional glaze to dip all cookies. You can use more powdered sugar for a thicker glaze, or more cream for a thinner glaze.
  12. Let glaze dry for a few hours for the least mess when eating.

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