Lemon Ricotta Breakfast Cookies – Gluten Free

by Marla on March 14, 2011 · 94 comments

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Healthy lemon cookie stack with oat, corn flour and frosting.

Breakfast cookies are a big hit around here. With a 4am wake up and a hankering for healthy carbs and sweets I have declared my kind of cookies an exceptional breakfast. In them is creamy ricotta cheese, whole grains, a little bit of butter and lots of lemon. You might find yourself leaping out of bed (OK, maybe not at 4:00) for breakfast like I do. I even made them gluten and nut free to get more of you guys to eat the most important meal of the day.

Fresh lemons for gluten free lemon ricotta cookie recipe

At the end of the month I am speaking at my alma mater Syracuse University. I am so excited to share all about my fun career with the students on campus. They have also lined up for me to be on the local TV show Bridge Street on WSYR. I believe I will be doing a cooking demo.

Healthy lemon cookie stack with oat, corn flour and frosting.

With the ease, simplicity and flavor of these cookies they will be perfect for my on air presentation. They personify everything I do on this blog. Healthy whole food ingredients put together creatively with respect to health and great flavor.

Healthy lemon cookie stack with oat, corn flour and frosting.

A slight crust on the outside yields a soft corn and oats cake-like texture in the middle. As you can see, I top a bowl of thick greek yogurt with a cookie for snack or breakfast. Serve with or without the dollops of lemon vanilla cream cheese frosting.

Healthy lemon cookie stack with oat, corn flour and frosting.

This weekend I attended a huge natural foods expo with the great folks from Udi’s Gluten Free Foods. We learned all about their wonderful line of products and toured the show. We also enjoyed gluten free Banh Mi sandwiches at the Nom Nom Truck. Check out a few fun photos and details from the event.

Healthy lemon cookie stack with oat, corn flour and frosting.

What are your favorite lemon cookies? Do you have any recipes for breakfast cookies?

Lemon Ricotta Breakfast Cookies – Gluten Free

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Total Time: 28 minutes

Yield: 16 cookies (8-10 servings)

Lemon Ricotta Breakfast Cookies – Gluten Free

Ingredients

    Cookies
  • 1 cup Oat Flour
  • 3/4 cup Corn Flour
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon NoCarbs Stevia Powder or Vanilla Stevia Drops, adjust to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted Butter, melted at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 large Egg, whisked
  • 3/4 cup fat free Milk
  • 1/2 cup low fat or fat free Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Applesauce
  • zest from 2 Lemons (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 6 ounces light Whipped Cream Cheese
  • Vanilla Stevia Drops to taste
  • Lemon Juice to taste

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with the rack in the middle. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Stir together dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir together wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Combine both ingredients and stir together so well incorporated. Gently fold in the lemon zest.
  • Take a tablespoon of batter and place on cookie sheet. This dough is very moist, shape it into a patty with your hands. Press a fork into the tops of each one to flatten.
  • Bake for about 15-18 minutes until bottoms are golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes and then transfer to wire cooling racks. Sweeten whipped cream cheese with vanilla stevia drops and a splash of lemon juice to taste. Decorate with cream cheese frosting and garnish with additional lemon zest before serving.
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{ 88 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jenny Flake March 14, 2011 at 6:44 am

Beautiful cookies Marla! I was just chatting with some ladies last night and we all agreed that we LOVE lemon treats, these look gorgeous and delish!

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2 Suzanne March 14, 2011 at 6:47 am

Love this healthy gluten free recipe, my mom is gluten free and would love these cookies. Also thanks for the link to my lemon curd cookies :) Have a great week.

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3 Amanda March 14, 2011 at 6:47 am

Great recipe! And YAY YOU on speaking at your Alma Mater and being on TV!! I cant wait to see… thats awesome!!!

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4 Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets March 14, 2011 at 6:52 am

Lemon and ricotta are a wonderful combination. Love that these are gluten-free too!

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5 Katrina March 14, 2011 at 6:52 am

These breakfast cookies look lovely! I love lemon in the morning…well, any time of day I guess, haha. WHY do you wake up at 4am? I’d be so tired!!

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6 Miss March 14, 2011 at 7:13 am

Now this is the kind of breakfast my kids would love!

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7 Estela @ Weekly Bite March 14, 2011 at 7:39 am

These are some of the prettiest cookies I’ve ever seen!
They look delicious :)

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8 Heather @ Heather's Dish March 14, 2011 at 8:00 am

What a fun way to use so many cool flours! And ricotta in
cookies = LOVE :)

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9 Marla March 14, 2011 at 10:11 am

Heather: I have been obsessed with ricotta in my baked goods. Love the texture and subtle flavor it adds. Protein to hold you over too!

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10 Rosa March 14, 2011 at 8:03 am

Oh, those look fantastic! I love lemony treats. Cheers,
Rosa

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11 Leslie March 14, 2011 at 8:08 am

Is the nutritional information available for your recipes?
They sound wonderful and I can’t wait to try them, but keep a food
journal and need the info. Thanks.

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12 Marla March 14, 2011 at 10:04 am

Leslie: At this time I am not able to provide calorie counts for my recipes. There are however some wonderful sites where you can type in the ingredients to figure out those helpful numbers. As with all food, if we are mindful of portion sizes then we can easily maintain a healthy weight. I love the idea of food journals. They are a great tool to help keep up accountable.
Calorie Count
Google Calorie Counter
Calorie King

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13 brandi@BranAppetit March 14, 2011 at 8:34 am

These look great and so easy for rushed mornings. Sounds
like it will be an exciting time at your alma mater! :)

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14 Marla March 14, 2011 at 10:06 am

Brandi: These cookies are perfect for those grab and go moments. They are “fast food” over here and way tastier than anything packaged.

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15 Squash Blossom Babies March 14, 2011 at 9:15 am

These look amazing!

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16 fooddreamer March 14, 2011 at 10:01 am

These look fantastic, Marla. Definitely my kind of
breakfast. Must have been fun to see the Nom Nom Truck up close and
personal!

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17 Cait @ A Bicycle Built for Two March 14, 2011 at 10:14 am

These look delicious-I’m going to make them this weekend
for my sister and husband who eat gluten-free. Also, love the
fabric with the lemons-I have the same one :)

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18 Marla March 14, 2011 at 10:49 am

Cait: That is a great idea. The good thing too is you can make ‘em in a pinch. So easy & quick :) Have fun with your sis.

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19 carolinaheartstrings March 14, 2011 at 10:19 am

What a great combination for a breakfast cookie. I love
that idea. They look fantastic.

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20 Kristen March 14, 2011 at 10:40 am

What a delicious breakfast treat! Everything is better when you start your day with lemon!

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21 Marla March 14, 2011 at 10:48 am

Kristin: “Everything is better when you start your day with lemon!” – – – – and cookies ;)

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22 kate@ahealthypassion March 14, 2011 at 10:43 am

These cookies look so light and refreshing, I love that they are for breakfast!

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23 Jessica @ How Sweet March 14, 2011 at 11:09 am

I adore lemon treats. These sound delicious Marla!

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24 Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather March 14, 2011 at 11:43 am

So pretty! I can just picture the lemon being such a refreshing start in the morning with these breakfast cookies.

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25 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking March 14, 2011 at 12:22 pm

These are such lovely cookies, Marla! What a wonderful
flavor. I would never think to bake cookies with ricotta, but this
is something I’ve got to try. I just made The Italian Dish’s
homemade ricotta yesterday, and after making an Italian dinner
tonight, I think I’ll use the leftover ricotta for these. Thanks
for sharing this recipe! :) Have a great start to the
week.

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26 Marla March 14, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Georgia: I have not yet made homemade ricotta but it is definitely on my to-do list. I am addicted to baking with it. The texture of the baked goods with it is unbelievable. I like switching between that and my thick greek yogurt in recipes. They both add a certain something special, plus a little protein which I love.

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27 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) March 14, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Marla, the recipe looks fabulous, as do the photos!!! Wow!
I just posted a new recipe for No Bake White Choc & Mango
Cookie Dough. Can you come over to my site when you have time and
give me a photo critique? Seriously, just tell me what’s WRONG with
the photos. I want to learn, learn, learn. Please! :)

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28 Marla March 14, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Averie: Thanks girl. One of the best things to do with the photography is to go around to peoples sites that you love and take it all in. Magazines and cookbooks are great too. I am constantly looking at how food is plated, how color is used, how light is reflected, where the light is coming from, props, focus, angle, etc. There are so many elements that go into a great photo. Practice is essential & it sounds as if that is what you are doing. Treat each photo shoot like a small study. I actually talk to the food sometimes when I am shooting. I know it sounds goofy – but then there is a certain silliness in playing with food all day ;) xo

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29 Ally (oatsandspice) March 14, 2011 at 1:44 pm

These cookies are totally calling my name – thanks for the recipe!

Oh and I just found your blog and LOVE it – your fam is so cute! Picture perfect!

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30 Marla March 14, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Ally: Thanks! I am so happy you found me. Gonna go check out you blog now. You have one of my all time favorite ingredients in your blog name – oats :) love spice too!

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31 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. March 14, 2011 at 2:51 pm

These look great! Can’t wait to try these!

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32 Jeanette March 14, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Marla, another yummy breakfast cookie and gluten free! I’ve
been experimenting with gluten-free baking a lot lately now that we
have a gluten allergy in our family and am always looking for more
recipes. We have an oat allergy too now, any suggestions for
another gluten free substitute?

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33 Marla March 14, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Jeanette: Sorry to hear about the oat allergy. How about a mix of corn flour and a medium ground corn meal for a little texture play? I bet the corn flour would be great by itself too. I am gonna think about some more options. Off the top of my head maybe an amaranth or quinoa flour…..Let me know if you explore this. I will try to soon.

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34 Linda March 14, 2011 at 5:10 pm

These look so good…lemony spring time feeling! Possibly could get me up at 4am too for a bite of these!

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35 My Man's Belly March 14, 2011 at 6:00 pm

You can keep your 4 am wake up but I think I’ll take some of those cookies. :)

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36 Allison [Haute Box] March 14, 2011 at 7:38 pm

I’ve heard of lemon ricotta pancakes, but lemon ricotta cookie?!?!? O-M-G! Get in my mouth…!

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37 Nicole@HeatOvenTo350 March 14, 2011 at 9:29 pm

I love the idea of breakfast cookies, especially ones with ingredients like these. I’ve got several cookies recipes that I can think of now that when tweaked would make a much better breakfast than a donut. Of course, just about anything would be a better breakfast than a donut. :) They are tasty, though.

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38 Cara Craves... March 14, 2011 at 9:51 pm

What a way to start the day!
Congrats on the speaking and TV appearance; what a fun opportunity.
I am sure you will rock it, especially with yummy ideas like this one.

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39 susan March 14, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Marla – I love the idea of this breakfast cookie. Lemon anything is really all right by me. I have a meyer lemon tree and I am coveting the last 2 dozen lemons and have to use them sparingly. These look terrific, Marla. P.S. if I wanted to sub the stevia for sucanat – any suggestions? x

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40 Marla March 15, 2011 at 5:46 am

Susan: I have not experimented yet with the sucanat, maple syrup, etc. in these cookies. Something that certainly needs my time and consideration though. Recently we converted one of my stevia sweetened gluten free cookies for a magazine and the results were awesome. Generally I try a few tablespoons up to about 1/4 cup and taste the batter as I go. Cooking times might need to be adjusted a smidge. Again, I have not tried that with these cookies so if you do let me know & I will do the same.

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41 Stephanie Meyer (Fresh Tart) March 15, 2011 at 6:23 am

Yay GF! These are so pretty. I love lemon/ricotta, just
another all-round clever, delicious recipe.

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42 SMITH BITES!! March 15, 2011 at 6:29 am

i don’t know that i’d bound out of bed at 4am for ANY type
of breakfast . . . but i might ‘roll or slide’ outta bed around
6-ish for these delectable goodies; i do love me some lemon
ricotta!

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43 lacey March 15, 2011 at 6:58 am

Yum cookies for breakfast! Cant go wronge there. Now I must
find a place that sells coconut flour locally :-/

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44 Heather @ Multiply Delicious March 15, 2011 at 7:56 am

These cookies sound like the perfect start to a morning!
I’m all about a cookie in the morning, but maybe not as early as
4am. :) Love that these cookies are healthy and gluten-free. And
congrats on your upcoming TV spot! How fun! You’ll be a hit with
your energy and passion. Can’t wait to hear all about it.

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45 Angie March 15, 2011 at 8:05 am

These are so cute, love your photos!

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46 Adin B March 15, 2011 at 8:22 am

These are lovely! I can’t wait to try and make some of
these lovelies. Thanks for sharing the recipe. :)

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47 Shaina March 15, 2011 at 8:55 am

These sound amazing.

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48 food-4tots March 15, 2011 at 8:59 am

These cookies are great to kick start our day!! So lovely
and healthy!

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49 Helene March 15, 2011 at 10:57 am

I am always searching for GF recipes for my brother-in-law. That sounds like a great cookie to try. Love your pics!

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50 Sprinzette @ Ginger and Almonds March 15, 2011 at 12:04 pm

How yummy-looking – this looks great. Just found your blog and loving all your recipes.

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51 Juliana March 15, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Awesome cookies Marla…love the idea of gluten free. Lemon
and ricotta…great flavors. Have a wonderful week :-)

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52 Barbara @ Modern Comfort Food March 15, 2011 at 2:15 pm

I’m a serious early bird too, but my laser-like focus is always on coffee rather than food during the am hours. That said, you’ve got my two favorite flavors of lemon and cheese in a totally scrumptious and healthy combo here. I’m thinking that a couple of these with afternoon tea would be just perfect!

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53 Laurel March 15, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Cookies for breakfast? Yes, please! I’d love for you to submit this to the M&T Spotlight at http://www.makeandtakes.com/spotlight

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54 Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella March 15, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Ooh and gluten free too! What a fabulous idea-like a portable breakfast. Best of luck with your cooking demo. You’ll knock em dead! :D

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55 Lisa @ Tarte du Jour March 16, 2011 at 5:58 am

4:00 am? These delectable and healthy breakfast cookies are about the only thing that would get me up that early! Lovely. Enjoy your cooking demo!

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56 Min {Honest Vanilla} March 16, 2011 at 6:11 am

MMmmm I would definitely wake up (any time) for this! Looks perfect and perfect lure for breakfast :) Your lemons looked delicious by the way!

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57 Heavenly Housewife March 16, 2011 at 11:22 am

Breakfast cookies??? You are speaking my language daaahling. The sharpness of the lemon and the creaminess of the ricotta sound like an awesome combo!
*kisses* HH

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58 Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner March 16, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Your cookies are stunning! :D Love your recipes!!! They are
the best! :D xoxox Kathleen

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59 Mariko March 16, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Awesome breakfast. I always want some cookies for
breakfast! Yours, though, won’t leave me feeling guilty later. I
haven’t used coconut flour before but it’s been popping up lately.
I’ll have to see if they have some at the natural foods
store.

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60 Marla March 17, 2011 at 8:40 am

Mariko: I bet you will be really pleased if you can get your hands on some coconut flour. A little bag lasts a long time too. You only need a small amount in recipes. Find it girl! You can always order it online too. xo

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61 bunkycooks March 16, 2011 at 5:29 pm

I might jump out of bed at 5 am for these, but not 4 am. ;) What great flavors! Congrats on the speaking and TV engagements. That is very exciting! Can’t wait to see you in May!

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62 Cookin' Canuck March 16, 2011 at 9:30 pm

These will be a huge hit during your cooking segment. Well done, my friend!

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63 Kulsum at JourneyKitchen March 17, 2011 at 12:17 am

Cookies for breakfast? YES please. That ensures a good day! And lemon is such a great flavor – it makes life good!

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64 Marla March 17, 2011 at 8:37 am

Kulsum: “Lemon makes life good.” I really like the sound of that!

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65 Rose Plated March 17, 2011 at 2:00 am

Eating these cookies for breakfast will surely make up my day. Add some frostings on top of those cookies and match with a cup of hot chocolate is definitely wonderful. I can’t wait to try this.

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66 Bethany March 17, 2011 at 2:19 am

The cookies look amazing and I really want to try them. However I’m also dairy free. I can sub coconut milk for the milk and vegan margarine for the butter…but any thoughts for the ricotta? I find most things I make these days are just too dry without being able to use cream and yogurt and cheese and such.

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67 Laural (bhealthier) March 17, 2011 at 5:41 pm

you had me at lemon, swept me away with ricotta and I cried at Breakfast cookie.

:)

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68 Amanda March 18, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Those are beautiful Marla! I love everything lemon, I know
I would love these!

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69 Marly March 19, 2011 at 9:20 am

I’ve never had a lemon cookie before, but that’s something I’m fixing to change…thanks to your recipe! Now my little brain’s whirling trying to think of ways to veganize it. Hope you’re having a great day!

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70 Marla March 19, 2011 at 9:38 am

Marly: I bet you can come up with many ways to veganize these cookies. My first thoughts include lots of coconut – milk, oil, butter etc. They would be so tasty vegan.

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71 Georgia Pellegrini March 19, 2011 at 9:55 am

I adore ricotta…with the lemon zest this is a great
combination. These cookies are so pretty.

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72 Piano Schoenhut March 20, 2011 at 1:58 am

The icing looks tasty. When I try this one I will put more icing on the top to make it yummier.

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73 Marla March 20, 2011 at 5:42 am

Melanie: I usually dab on some more icing as well! Can’t have too much of that ;)

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74 Sukaina March 20, 2011 at 5:29 am

Wow. A 4am start is earlyyy! The cookies looks delightful. Congratulations on your talk at the university. I’m sure you’ll do a smashing job :)

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75 Katie | This Chick Cooks March 20, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Marla, Thanks so much for stopping by my blog via Georgia’s. Your blog is gorgeous and all of your dishes look amazing! All of your photos are so wonderful. Would you mind telling me what cirumstances you shoot in to get such great lighting(or any photo tips you may have)? Thanks so much.
Katie

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76 Marla March 20, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Katie: Thanks for stopping by. I always shoot in natural light. Reflective boards are very helpful to get the lighting just right, to highlight certain areas and subtract light from others. Also I use a tripod. Even though I have great light, the slower shutter speeds I use would show way to much jiggle and blur if I was holding the camera. Hope those tips help and feel free to ask away with the questions. We all learn from each other :)

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77 Katie March 21, 2011 at 7:22 am

Marla, thank you for your helpful reply. I had another
quick question And I really want to thank you for our time :) Is
the reflective board a special item from a store or just a white
foam board? By natural light do you mean shoot outside or just
shoot right in front of a window? Thank you so much for your
help!

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78 A Canadian Foodie March 21, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Good for you, Marla – they do look light and lively and lovely!
Pucker perfect for first thing in the morning! ;)
Valerie

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79 Betty @ scrambled hen fruit March 26, 2011 at 7:55 pm

I love the idea of a healthy breakfast cookie. I usually grab a protein bar on my way out of the door, but I think one of these cookies with a tub of yogurt looks much more satisfying. :)

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80 Liz March 28, 2011 at 1:00 pm

I was wondering if you would consider adding the nutritional value information for your recipes (calories, protein, carbs, fat)

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81 Marla March 28, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Liz: I would love to add the nutritional info for my recipes however I would need an assistant to help me out with that ;) It is certainly the plan one day to be able to provide you guys with that info. I know it would be very helpful. Thanks for the suggestion – I value the input on ways I can enhance my content.

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82 Kate June 27, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Can’t wait to make my next batch of these—one of my favorite breakfasts, now! Any suggestions on a substitution for the ricotta? I need to make them for someone who is allergic to cheese!

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83 Marla June 27, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Hi Kate, hmmm instead of the ricotta how about fat free strained greek yogurt? Is your friend allergic to dairy?

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84 Kate June 28, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Greek yogurt sounds like a great substitute (and one of my all-time favorite foods, too!). Dairy isn’t a problem, just cheese, so this is perfect. Thanks so much!

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85 Dollie December 12, 2011 at 2:41 pm

At last! Someone with real expterise gives us the answer. Thanks!

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86 Danielle @BigLifeLittleGarden January 27, 2012 at 8:26 am

The cookies look delicious, but I am stuck on the 4am thing!!! I thought I was an early riser at 5:45. I so want to get up earlier, because there is just never enough time in the day. Goodness, 4am…I could get in prayer time, yoga and a blog post before the house is awake!! You are inspiring me! What time are you going to bed??

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87 Mark@zumbacalories March 23, 2012 at 10:39 am

I will be recommending these to everyone i know, not only because of the time factor but they can be eaten through the day. The perfect answer to a busy life.

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88 Marla March 23, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Mark, these are fun + nutritious cookies to have on hand at all times. Keeps you satisfied and away from the heavier stuff too!

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