Maddy Douglass

Knitter, lawyer, and safer beauty advocate in San Francisco. 

Loves coffee, crafting, and cheese plates.  


Lemon Ricotta Bar bites | Recipe

Lemon Ricotta Bar bites | Recipe

Y'all, I give you fair warning - making these into "bite-sized" versions of the popular summer treat means not only that it is easy to just have one or two when you're in the mood for something sweet, but also that it is possible to have like 16 over the course of two days without thinking about it. I haven't done the calorie count on these, nor do I want to, but miniaturize at your own peril!


The original version of this recipe is from Food 52, and I followed the proportions exactly except for a small salting mishap I'll describe below, and except for making these morsel sized instead of in a sheet. 

I also expect to be bringing these to the office, to barbecues, to potlucks, to birthday parties, and pretty much as my dish of choice to every event between now and my next favorite dessert dish I find, for the foreseeable future. I hope after you try them, you'll feel the same!


These were made in a mini-cupcake pan of 24, and made three batches, no problem, with a bit more lemon filling leftover. If they were made in regular cupcake tins and cupcake batches I'd estimate you would get at least two batches out of the crust and batter portions. 

Also, be forewarned - I did follow the recipe exactly and it requires 30 minutes of chilling each crust batch, and then 20-30 minutes of baking each crust batch before you add in the filling and then bake for another 24 minutes. I did this on a Saturday so three batches was not an impossible feat amongst other household events, but doing this on a weeknight with more than one batch and only one pan would be painful. Just a heads up!

To make the crust: 

  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup powdered confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1.5 sticks), cut into 1-inch pieces, slightly softened 

Mix the flour, confectioners sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, and salt until combined. Add the butter and either pulse in a food processor or mix it reaaaaal good with your hands if you are processor-less like me. 

I would recommend spraying a light coating of non-stick (olive oil options are available now) in the mini cupcake liners, or else the lemon filling sticks to the edges when you peel the liner off. If you prefer to butter them (which sounds like a pain) or just go with sticky liners, that's fine - I would not recommend trying this recipe without liners unless you press the crust all the way up into the sides of the tins, and then I would butter the tins heavily first. 

Please note - if by some weird twist of fate you read too quickly and add, in fact, 3/4 a tablespoon of salt instead of the teaspoon to the crust mixture, your recipe will survive and your bites will still work out well. Just take my word for it. 

Press the crust dough into your liners or tins as you prefer, and then chill in your fridge for 30 minutes. I know this is a painful step, but I've never seen a recipe that recommended this where it wasn't pretty much necessary. It's worth it. 

While the dough is chilling, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F. 

After the dough has chilled, bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. They should look slightly golden when you take them out. 

To make the filling: 

  • 8 ounces (1 cup) fresh whole milk ricotta, drained
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice from 3 to 4 large lemons
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Whisk the ricotta, eggs, sugar, flour, and salt together. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice and combine until smooth. 

Reduce the oven temp to 325 degrees F. Add lemon filling to the crust tins and bake for 22-24 minutes, until the filling is firm to the touch. 

Remove the bites from the pan (the liners are good to hold on to, and they should lift up easily) and put them on a cooling rack. Wait at least 30 minutes before sprinkling powdered sugar and serve at will!

This recipe would also be delicious with a berry ricotta filling, and the crust recipe can be used for any tart or quiche base. Will you try it? 

High Five for Friday, vol. 17: Pumpkin Spiced Everything

High Five for Friday, vol. 17: Pumpkin Spiced Everything

High Five for Friday, vol. 16: Don't Call it a Comeback

High Five for Friday, vol. 16: Don't Call it a Comeback