Lemon Ricotta Cookies

108 cal, 5g sugar.

Low-sugar Lemon Ricotta Cookies with a crunchy outside and soft pillowy center. These taste like cheesecake but in cookie form!

Say hello to little Elif’s favorite cookie. These are my grandma’s version of the famous Turkish “Lor Kurabiyesi”. Lor is ricotta, kurabiye is cookie. Back when I was a little girl, these cookies had a way of showing up at every family gathering.

Either my grandma would make them, or one of the wives of her 4 sons (talk about gender stereotypes but let’s get past that for the sake of COOKIES) and let me tell you, all these ladies were amazing cooks/bakers.

There tends to be a fierce competition between Turkish wives for who’s going to be the BEST WIFE who makes the BEST food, keeps the BEST house, looks/smells the BEST (so much freaking perfume) and, of course, has the CHUBBIEST children who eat like piranhas. Ugh. I always resented this part of the culture to be honest. I guess that’s how I ended up being a computer scientist/engineer instead.

But I never resented the actual cookies. As we got closer to Thanksgiving this year I was just overwhelmed with the memory of biting into one of these heavenly cookies straight out of the oven when they’re their crunchiest on the outside and softest in the middle…

So I convinced mom to bake a batch. They came out exactly how I remembered them! Then I did the math and realized that they’re actually low in sugar (despite the 1 cup that goes into the recipe, because the recipe makes a TON of cookies) and incorporate some protein due to the ricotta. So they’re all around great cookies!

And I’ll show you how easy they are to make. You start with this dry crumbly type of whole milk ricotta (not the watery kind, I found mine at whole foods) and add your eggs, softened butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda and zest. Knead until a soft cookie dough forms. Then you roll them into balls and bake. That’s it! And this recipe makes a big batch so you won’t run out of them anytime soon.

Give these a try and let me know in comments how you like them!


  • About 2 cups whole milk ricotta (the dry crumbly kind) (500 g)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter (112 g)
  • 1 tbsp oil (14 g)
  • 1 cup sugar (192 g)
  • 3 + 3/4 cup all purpose flour*, you might have to add a little more or less depending on the consistency of your ricotta (450 g)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp salt (omit if your butter was salted)
  • (optional) sugar to dust tops

Makes 40 cookies. Preheat oven to 350F and line two cookie sheets with parchment. In a large bowl add your ricotta, softened butter, oil, eggs, sugar, zest, salt. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda.

Now you’ll get your hands dirty (or use a stand mixer). Using your hands break the yolks and combine your first bowl. Add most of your flour and start combining. Keep adding flour until the dough comes together and is no longer sticky but still soft.

Form heaping 2 tbsp balls between your palms and place on the cookie sheet at least 1/2 inch apart (They don’t flatten but they do expand, though I love it when they touch each other and you have to break them apart, weird I KNOW). Sprinkle a little sugar if you like for extra crunchiness. Bake 20-30 minutes until golden browned on top. Cool on a wire rack.

If you prefer to add a little more kick to the flavor of these cookies (totally optional since they’re delicious on their own) mix together 1/2 cup (60 g) organic powdered sugar and 2-3 tsp lemon juice. Drizzle tops of cooled cookies. YUM.

(*) You can probably sub white whole wheat flour for all purpose to make these cookies a bit lower glycemic, but I haven’t tried this substitution.

Pin this recipe below! And if you give it a try remember to tag #plentysweet200 on instagram, I would love to see your versions!

Author: Elif

Hi I'm Elif! I'm a mama, computer science PhD and Google engineer by day, food blogger by night. I love beautiful desserts that not only taste amazing, but also leave you feeling amazing. I use my math skills and interest in nutrition to carefully optimize my recipes to use simple, good-for-you ingredients and minimal amount of added sugar. I believe that healthy desserts can be simple. Recipes should not send you searching for rare ingredients, untested sweeteners or measuring ridiculous 1/2 tsp of butter. Here we use few ingredients, basic measuring cups, spoons, and simple fruit, veg, little sugar and syrup as sweeteners. Most recipes here use so little added sugar that they're good enough for toddlers. I also believe that you should be able to fit healthy sweets into your daily routine. No matter how much almond flour and coconut oil is in a healthy dessert recipe, there's no way I'm going to ingest a meal's worth of energy and a day's worth of total sugar from dessert alone. And that is the reason all my desserts have less than 200 cal per serving and are low-sugar. So now will you join us?

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