Zeppole Ricotta Doughnuts

Zeppole, Ricotta Doughnuts

These Zeppole, ricotta doughnuts are so incredibly light… sweet and crunchy on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside. As an added bonus, they are simply a snap to make at home.

Zeppole Ricotta Doughnuts

For snowy housebound days these Zeppole, ricotta doughnuts are all you need to cozy up by the warm fireplace. They’re simple to make and a fuss free treat and did I mention so, so delicious!

Zeppole are traditionally eaten during la Festa di San Giuseppe (Saint Joseph’s Day) , which is celebrated every March 19. They are also known by other names such as Sfinge, but in my family they were always called castagnole fritte (deep-fried sweet pastry balls). My mom would make sweet fritters for Easter and savory fritters filled with anchovies for New Year’s Day.

Zeppole Ricotta Doughnuts

I love these doughnuts dusted with icing sugar but you can just as easily fill them with jelly, custard or even nutella. Whichever way you make them, they are sure to be a crowd-pleaser!

Zeppole Ricotta Doughnuts

Simply pile them high on a serving platter, dust with powdered sugar and serve while they are still warm!

Fair warning, these doughnuts are highly addictive and will disappear in a flash!

Zeppole Ricotta Doughnuts

You really must try them because they are absolutely delicious!

Zeppole Ricotta Doughnuts

If you make this recipe remember to tag @marisasitaliankitchen on Instagram so I can see your creation!

Zeppole, Ricotta Doughnuts
These Zeppole, ricotta doughnuts are so incredibly light... sweet and crunchy on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside. As an added bonus, they are simply a snap to make at home.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 20
  • ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon of all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese (full fat)
  • 2 large eggs
  • canola oil or vegetable oil for deep frying
  • powdered sugar for dusting
  1. In a Medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and the 3 tablespoons of sugar and then set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer or a hand held mixer, beat together the eggs and the ricotta cheese just until fairly smooth.
  3. Stir the flour mixture into the ricotta mixture until thoroughly combined.
  4. In a large heavy pot or a dutch oven, pour in enough oil to reach 2 inches high and heat to 375*. A candy thermometer comes in handy in order to get the right temperature and ensuring the oil does not drop under 350*, while you are frying between batches.
  5. If the oil is not hot enough the doughnuts will be too soggy and if it is too hot then the outside will darken quickly leaving the inside under cooked.
  6. Use a 1½ inch scoop or 2 small spoons to drop bits of dough into the hot oil.
  7. Fry the zeppole for about 2 to 3 minutes, turning often until they are puffed, fluffy and golden brown.
  8. Larger sized doughnuts will need extra time. Use a slotted spoon to remove the zeppole from the pan and drain them on paper towels. Repeat until you have used up all the batter.
  9. Dust with icing or powdered sugar and serve while still warm.
This recipe was adapted from, Cafe Italia cookbook by Liz Franklin


  1. mmmmm! looks delicious i personally would like them with ricotta!!!!!tku and enjoy them!

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  4. These sound delicious especially if they are filled with Nutella as you suggest. My mom used to make zeppole with zucchini flowers inside them.

  5. I recently acquired a mini-fryer, these would be perfect for it! I’m intrigued with the ricotta as an ingredient. Just a clarification, is that 3/4 cup of flour? I’m assuming it’s not 3/4 tablespoon plus a tablespoon.

    • Hi Kathryn its always wonderful to have an extra set of eyes! Yes you are right its 3/4 cup of flour plus a tablespoon. I just corrected it. How nice to have a mini fryer, I’m sure you’ll put it to great use! Do let me know if you try them and thanks so much!

  6. These sound amazing, I will have to try! Kids in Germany are fond of something similar, called “Quarkbällchen”, in other words quark doughnuts. So I ´m curious to see how these taste with ricotta!

    • Sabine, I hope you get to try them I’m sure you’ll love them! And now I’m curious about those quark doughnuts….I’ll have to look into those😉😊

  7. I haven’t made zeppole in the longest time! I am excited to try your recipe! These look perfect….and who can say no to a little Nutella filling?

    • Annie they are so ridiculously easy to make and everyone loves! You’ll want to make sure your not home alone when making them, cause they’re too tempting…just saying😉

  8. So pretty these doughnuts look. And your recipes sounds super easy. I am going to try these soon now. Also I won’t have to lick raspberry jam with my fingers now. 😉

  9. marcellinaincucina

    I love ricotta zeppole and yours look perfectly light and delicious! Love the recipes on your blog!

    • That they are….extremely light, delicious and disappear so quickly! Thanks so much Marcellina and I’m glad to hear your enjoying the recipes😊💕

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