Nonna's Shortcut Ricotta Cookies


Nonna's Shortcut Ricotta Cookies

Nonnas Shortcut Ricotta Cookies
36 (about 3 dozen)
10 Min

Even the most old-school nonna (that's grandma in Italian!) turns to shortcuts from time to time, especially if she's got a whole lot of cooking ahead of her. Nonna's Shortcut Ricotta Cookies are so good, no one can even tell they were made using a shortcut. They might just become one of the most anticipated cookies on your Christmas cookie platter! 

What You'll Need

  • 1 (15.25) package white cake mix
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon anise extract, divided
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup holiday nonpareils for decorating

What to Do

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat cake mix, ricotta cheese, butter, egg, and 1 teaspoon anise extract until thoroughly combined. Drop heaping teaspoonfuls of dough onto baking sheets, about 1 inch apart.
  3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk confectioners' sugar, milk, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon anise extract until smooth. Spoon glaze over cookies, then immediately decorate with nonpareils.


  • This recipe comes from our Cake Mix & More Cookbook, which is full of great dessert recipes that all use cake-mix as a shortcut! Click here to purchase your copy, and don't forget to order a few for your friends, too! 
  • If you're a fan of gingerbread, then you have to check out our Holiday Gingerbread Recipes! We've also got Easy Holiday Candy Recipes that work great as gifts! 
  • Need some festive holiday drinks for the menu? Check out Santa's Spritzer for a perfect Christmas adult beverage, and of course, there's always a great Holiday Nog to go around! 
  • Be sure to check out the rest of the cookies in our 2018 Christmas Cookie Countdown

Nutritional InformationShow More

Servings Per Recipe: 36

  • Amount Per Serving % Daily Value *
  • Calories 115
  • Calories from Fat 29
  • Total Fat 3.3g 5 %
  • Saturated Fat 1.4g 7 %
  • Trans Fat 0.0g 0 %
  • Protein 2.2g 4 %
  • Amount Per Serving % Daily Value *
  • Cholesterol 12mg 4 %
  • Sodium 95mg 4 %
  • Total Carbohydrates 19g 6 %
  • Dietary Fiber 0.1g 0 %
  • Sugars 16g 0 %

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Question for the Test Kitchen Team These sound yummy except for the anise extract -- what could I use instead?? How about vanilla extract??

Hi there! Yes, you can use vanilla extract, or almond or lemon extracts! Enjoy!


These turned out really good! Vrey light and cake-like. Always loved anise! Will be adding this to my holiday cookie collection! Wondering though, how to store them? Refrigerate in an open or sealed container (because of the riccota cheese)? or are they ok to leave in an open (or sealed) container on the countertop?

Happy Tuesday! We recommend using an airtight container in the refrigerator, but the cookies would also be fine in a container on the counter. :) Enjoy!

This is a good basic recipe but 2 1/2 cups of sugar to cake mix which is already sweet is way too much try 3/4 cup to 1 cup of sugar I sometimes add the grated rind of 1 fresh lemon can really try different things with recipe omit anise( I love the anise though) and add lemon or almond extract if you prefer TIP I use cottage cheese it is much cheaper

The sugar is for the icing not to mix in the cookies

I made these yesterday. They came out good, but I didn't see any advantage to using ricotta in the recipe. These cookies are very "cakey" and the icing is very sweet, so use it sparingly. Hubby liked them and took to work today.


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