Chocolate Orange Ricotta Cookies – Fit Foodie Finds


These chocolate orange ricotta cookies have the most wonderful flavor and texture, and they’ll easily be a crowd pleaser for any holiday cookie exchange. The secret? Ricotta cheese! After one bite, these chewy cookies will be the only thing you’ll be thinking about this holiday season.

These cookies are covered in chocolate and orange zest.

Let’s give a warm welcome to your new favorite Christmas cookies! These chocolate orange ricotta cookies put a delicious twist on the classic from our sister site, The Cheese Knees. We added dark chocolate and orange zest to give it an extra oomph of flavor and richness. 

So, how do we achieve this excellence? It’s easy. Just make your homemade cookie dough as usual but with the addition of orange zest and ricotta cheese. Then, refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours before baking them in the oven and dipping them in chocolate. Add a sprinkle of orange zest for a tasty finish, and viola — flavorful soft cookies that’ll be delicious any time of year!

What You Need for Italian Ricotta Cookies

  • Orange zest: orange zest is what gives these chocolate orange ricotta cookies that delicious orange flavor.
  • Whole milk ricotta cheese: the secret ingredient for this recipe! It makes these cookies super moist, chewy, and delicious.

What Tools You’ll Need to Make It

  • Electric stand mixer: you’ll need an electric stand mixer to properly mix the cookie dough.
  • Cooking rack: a cooling rack is necessary for cooling the cookies before dipping them in chocolate.

Tools You Need

Here are a few tools that will make this recipe a little easier.

The ingredients for a chocolate cake are shown in bowls on a table.

Variations for Ricotta Cookies

Orange zest: You’re welcome to use lemon zest instead of orange zest to make lemon ricotta cookies instead!

Vanilla extract: Feel free to experiment with different flavor extracts like almond extract or coconut extract. 

Dark chocolate: Semi-sweet chocolate chips would also make a great dipping for these cookies.

A bowl of whipped cream in a white bowl.


Can I use cream cheese or cottage cheese instead of ricotta cheese?

Yes, you can definitely use cream cheese or cottage cheese instead of ricotta cheese for this recipe. However, the taste and texture may differ slightly.

Cream cheese is made from milk and cream, giving it a smooth and creamy texture. It also has a mild tangy flavor, making it a good substitute for ricotta. However, it is a bit denser and may not have the same light and airy texture as traditional ricotta cheese.

Cottage cheese, on the other hand, has a slightly grainier texture due to its curds and whey components. It also has a milder flavor compared to cream cheese. If you choose to use cottage cheese as a substitute, you may want to blend it in a food processor or blender to achieve a smoother consistency similar to ricotta

A person dipping a cookie into a bowl of chocolate.

Storage + Freezer Directions

Store any leftover chocolate orange ricotta cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

To freeze, place ricotta cookies in a freezer-safe, airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. We recommend separating the cookies in layers with wax or parchment paper.

A bunch of chocolate covered donuts on a piece of paper.

Serving Suggestions with Ricotta Cookies

Want a delicious entree or appetizer to pair with these delicious cookies? We’ve got you! These chocolate orange ricotta cookies would be scrumptious as a dessert that follows these Crockpot Mashed Potatoes, Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese, or Turkey Wild Rice Soup.
For appetizers, you can’t go wrong with this Avocado Hummus, Fresh Corn Salsa, or Buffalo Chicken Meatballs.

These cookies are covered in chocolate and orange zest.

Chocolate Orange Ricotta Cookies

Enter dessert heaven with these chocolate orange ricotta cookies! Ricotta cheese is combined with orange zest and dark chocolate for the ultimate holiday dessert.

Prep:5 hours

Cook:20 minutes

Total:5 hours 20 minutes


Wet Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 7 oz. whole milk ricotta cheese room temperature (~1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg

Chocolate Dip

  • 6 oz. dark chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest


  • Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to a medium bowl and mix until combined. Set aside.

  • Next, add the butter and sugar to a bowl and mix with an electric hand mixer ( a stand mixer works best) until the mixture becomes light and fluffy.

  • Add orange zest, room-temperature ricotta cheese, and vanilla extract to the bowl and beat on low until combined.

  • Crack the egg into the bowl and beat on low until the egg is completely mixed into the cookie dough.

  • Finally, slowly add the flour to the bowl (⅓ cup at a time) until all the flour is added and combined.

  • Cover the cookie dough with the plastic wrap and place the cookie dough into the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.

  • Preheat the oven to 350℉ and spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

  • When the cookie dough has set and hardened a bit, use a tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop out the dough, roll it into a ball, and place it on the baking sheet (give it space to expand). Repeat until all the cookie dough has been made into balls.

  • Bake at 350℉ for 12 minutes or until the bottom begins to turn golden brown.

  • Remove the cookies from the oven and immediately place cookies on a cooking rack. Let the cookies cool for 15-20 minutes before dipping in chocolate.

  • To make the chocolate dip, add the chocolate and coconut oil to a bowl and heat for 15-second intervals until melted. Stir in between each interval.

  • Dip each cookie into the chocolate to cover half of the cookie. Once all of the cookies are dipped take the remaining chocolate and drizzle over the cookies.

  • Sprinkle the orange zest on top of the cookies.

  • Let the chocolate cool and harden before serving.

Tips & Notes

  • Adding the orange zest to the chocolate after its been melted can seize the chocolate

Nutrition facts

Calories: 100kcal Carbohydrates: 11g Protein: 2g Fat: 6g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 5g


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