Italian Sugar Cookies

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Pillowy soft and lightly sweet, these Italian sugar cookies are a new favorite at my house!

Italian Sugar Cookies

When I came across this recipe for traditional Italian sugar cookies I knew I had to make it myself and then share it with you after a few little tweaks. With so many wonderful cookies already in my recipe arsenal, I’m always looking for other recipes for you to try. Fortunately, this Italian cookies recipe is simple and easy – my favorite kind! They’re also known as Italian Christmas cookies, so save this if you’re looking for a new holiday cookie recipe!

Thanks to the addition of ricotta cheese alongside usual staples like vanilla, butter, and flour, these Italian wedding cookies almost have a cake-like consistency. They’re tender, moist, sweet, and absolutely scrumptious!

The best part is, you can decorate them however you like. A bit of vanilla icing on top is the perfect touch to make these a welcome addition to heavy sweet selections like fudge and such. I decorated them with beautiful blue, white, and silver sprinkles but you can use sprinkles to match almost any occasion. Why not opt for red and green sprinkles and make a festive batch of Italian Christmas cookies?

Recipe ingredients for Italian Sugar Cookies

Recipe Ingredients 

  • Sugar or Swerve
  • All-purpose flour
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Butter
  • Baking soda
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • A can of vanilla frosting (store-bought)
  • You’ll also want some sprinkles for decorating

How to Make These Italian Sugar Cookies

Dough balls on baking sheet.

Place eggs, sugar, butter, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until well blended.

Add ricotta cheese and beat again until incorporated.

Add in flour, baking soda, and salt and beat again until incorporated. 

Using a cookie scoop, place tablespoon-sized balls of cookie dough onto a greased baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes, or until just lightly browned around the edges. 

Sprinkles and frosting to go on cookies.

Allow your cookies to cool completely.

To make icing easier, take off the lid and foil inner lid of a container of store-bought vanilla frosting and microwave it for about 30 seconds. Stir.

Gently spread a bit of frosting on each baked cookie and sprinkle a few colorful sprinkles on top before the icing dries.

Italian Sugar Cookies

I dearly love these little gems and will be taking them to our family Thanksgiving next week. My husband, Ricky, has asked if we can just make these on Christmas Eve instead of our traditional (and much much sweeter) cookies. I guess you could say these Italian Christmas cookies are a hit! 

Italian Sugar Cookies - lightly sweet, cake like goodness!

I hope you get to make some for the special people in your life soon.  If you’re blessed enough, maybe the special people will make them for you! 


  • These Italian sugar cookies are best stored in an airtight container at room temperature and eaten within the first two days. Any longer and the sprinkles start to bleed into the icing. They’ll still taste good for up to a week, they just won’t look pretty!
  • If you want to freeze the cookies, do so before glazing. They’ll last in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Recipe Notes

  • You can substitute the vanilla extract for almond extract or even anise extract if you want to make traditional Italian Christmas cookies.
  • For something different, add 2 cups of chopped nuts to your sugar cookie dough. If you opt for almond extract, why not add almonds to enhance the flavor?
  • Instead of sprinkles, top each Italian Christmas cookie with sugar crystals.
  • If you prefer to make a homemade glaze, here’s a quick and simple glaze recipe. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 cups of powdered sugar, 1 tsp of vanilla extract, and 3 to 4 tablespoons of room-temperature milk.
  • If you want to opt for a non-traditional Italian cookie recipe, you can use a cookie cutter to shape dough if you like.
  • To make these Italian ricotta cookies gluten-free, substitute the flour for almond flour.

Recipe FAQs

Can I make this Italian cookies recipe ahead of time?

Absolutely! I recommend freezing the cookies without the frosting. Simply thaw completely before frosting and serving the cookies.

You may also enjoy these other cookies recipes:

Cornflake Cookies

Recipe For Spritz Cookies

Iced Oatmeal Cookies

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Thumbprint Cookies with Jam or Preserves

Italian Sugar Cookies

Pillowy soft and lightly sweet, these Italian sugar cookies are a new holiday favorite at my house!
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: cookies
Servings: 4 about 5 dozen
Calories: 156kcal


  • 1 cup butter salted or unsalted, at room temp
  • 2 cups sugar or Swerve
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract heaping
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda


  • 1 container store-bought vanilla frosting
  • colorful sprinkles


  • In a large mixing bowl, place the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well with an electric mixer until fully combined. Add ricotta and mix again until incorporated.
    1 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, 3 eggs, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • Add flour, salt, and baking soda. Beat again until fully incorporated and a dough is formed. The dough will be soft and sticky.
    4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking soda
  • Using a cookie scoop or two spoons, drop tablespoon-sized cookie dough balls onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned around the bottom edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  • Remove the lid and foil seal from the can of frosting and microwave for about 30 seconds. Stir. Gently spread a little icing on top of each cookie and sprinkle with sprinkles of choice before icing sets.
    1 container store-bought vanilla frosting, colorful sprinkles
  • Enjoy!


Calories: 156kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

Nothing is better than going home to family and eating good food and relaxing. 

~Irina Shayk

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  1. I was SO glad to see this recipe again. Somehow mine had gotten away from me. They really are the best. Thanks so much.

  2. 4 stars
    Ricotta in cookies? I’ve never heard of that before. But based on the numerous comments, I’m going to have to try this one.

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