Soft and fluffy Pumpkin Ricotta Zeppole, rolled in a cinnamon sugar mix are sure to please all doughnut lovers. These deep fried Italian doughnuts are perfect for the holidays or just about any other day.
Forgive me for inundating you with pumpkin recipes these past weeks. But, tis the season after all!
And besides, what’s a gal to do with leftover canned pumpkin purée after baking these bakery style Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins and then a show stopping Pumpkin Cake Roll with a luscious cream cheese frosting!
Even then I still had enough to whip up these incredibly light and yummy Pumpkin Ricotta Zeppole!
These Italian Doughnuts are a slight variation from these Zeppole Ricotta Doughnuts recipe I posted a while back. And, they’re so incredibly delicious!
What are Zeppole?
A zeppola, being in the singular, is a typical Italian deep fried pastry ball that varies in size. Basically zeppole are doughnut-like fritters.
Zeppole which are pronounced “zép-po-le” also go by other names, such as sfinge or the more popular ones which are referred to as Zeppole di San Giuseppe and traditionally made for the Feast of Saint Joseph on March 19.
The latter are more of a choux-like pastry and customarily filled with custard or sweetened ricotta. Sometimes deep fried and other times oven baked.
These zeppole you see here today feature the ricotta mixed into the dough and are light, fluffy and simply a breeze to make.
Shall we get started?
How To Make Pumpkin Ricotta Zeppole
You’ll need two bowls, a sifter and an electric mixer.
One bowl you’ll sift the dry ingredients in as sifting will remove any lumps in the flour.
In the second bowl, the ricotta is beaten with the eggs until fairly smooth.
You’ll then mix in the pumpkin purée and vanilla extract.
Next the sifted flour mixture is then stirred into the ricotta mixture until thoroughly combined.
A cookie scoop comes in handy to measure out and drop bits of the pumpkin ricotta batter into the hot oil.
Mine is approximately 1 1/4 inch round in diameter.
Alternately, you can use two teaspoons. One for scooping up the dough and the other for gently sliding the dough off of one spoon and into the hot oil.
How To Fry Zeppole, Italian Ricotta Doughnuts
- First off, have your batter ready while the oil is heating up.
- Line a cookie sheet with paper towels and set it close by along with a slotted spoon to remove the zeppole from the hot oil.
- Fill a medium sized stock pot or dutch oven with enough oil to reach approximately 2 inches high.
- Use a candy thermometer to gage the temperature of the oil and heat to 375 degrees F.
- Scoop out bits of dough into the hot oil and deep fry for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes while turning often to allow even browning all over.
- Transfer the doughnuts to your prepared tray and repeat with the remaining dough.
Once your zeppole are all fried, simply roll them in a cinnamon sugar mixture to coat all over and enjoy them while still warm.
Alternately, you can dust the zeppole with powdered sugar if you prefer.
These Pumpkin Ricotta Doughnuts are best eaten on the same day they’re made but will also keep their freshness for up to 3 days.
If needed you can always re-roll the zeppole in the cinnamon sugar when serving the following day. This will refresh their appearance.
Enjoy these amazing Italian doughnuts with your favourite hot beverage, cold glass of milk or even a dessert wine!
Other Italian Doughnut Recipes You’ll Love:
Pumpkin Ricotta Zeppole
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup pumpkin pureé I used store bought canned
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- vegetable oil for frying
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the ricotta cheese and the eggs just until fairly smooth.
- Add the pumpkin purée and vanilla extract to the ricotta mixture and mix till well combined.
- Stir the flour mixture into the ricotta mixture until thoroughly combined.
- 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)
- Avoid having the oil drop below 350 degrees F as this will render a soggy doughnut. And you'll also want to avoid the oil exceeding 375 degrees F. as too high of a temperature will quickly darken the doughnut while leaving the inside under cooked.
- Use a 1 1/2 inch scoop or 2 small spoons to drop bits of dough into the hot oil.
- Fry the zeppole for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, turning often until they are puffy, fluffy and golden brown. You'll need extra time for larger sized doughnuts.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the zeppole from the pot and transfer them to a tray lined with paper towels.
- Repeat until you have used up the remaining batter.
- When done roll the zeppole in the cinnamon sugar, turning to coat all over and serve while still warm.