Zeppole di Ricotta

Often called Italian doughnuts, Zeppole di Ricotta are light and crispy, fried pastries made with ricotta cheese and sprinkled with powdered sugar…

Overhead view of Zeppole di Ricotta donuts dusted with powdered sugar and scattered across a metal tray

Are you familiar with Zeppole?  They’re sometimes known as Italian doughnuts and they’re delightful balls of crispy, fried dough sprinkled with powdered sugar.  The version of Zeppole I love to make is made with creamy ricotta cheese and is always a sweet ending to any savory meal.

These Zeppole remind me of little fried cheesecakes.  They’re soft in the center with a delicate crispy “crust”. They almost melt in your mouth.

What I found to be a good idea was to lightly sprinkle the Zeppole with powdered sugar so they only had a light dusting of sugar over the tops. I used a mesh strainer to achieve this result.

An overhead view of Zeppole di Ricotta donuts dusted with powdered sugar in a cone-shaped dessert dish

Zeppole di Ricotta is very easy to make; just mix together the dough ingredients and stir in ricotta cheese, eggs and vanilla.  Drop by the teaspoons into hot oil and fry them for 3-4 minutes.  They’re really easy.

Although we enjoy these simply, you could even drizzle a chocolate sauce or a raspberry coulis, similar to the one I used in our Knickerbocker Glory recipe, over the top.


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5 from 1 vote

Zeppole di Ricotta

Often called Italian doughnuts, Zeppole di Ricotta are light and crispy, fried pastries made with ricotta cheese and sprinkled with powdered sugar...
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Joanie Zisk


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups Ricotta Cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • quart of oil (for frying)


  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder,a nd salt in a large bowl.
  • Add the ricotta, eggs, and vanilla; stir well to combine. Set aside.
  • Pour enough oil into a large, deep pot to reach a depth of 2-inches. Heat oil on medium heat until it reaches 350 degrees F.
  • Drop batter by heaping teaspoonfuls into hot oil, a few at a time. Fry until golden-brown, 3-4 minutes per batch.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer zeppole to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
  • Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm.

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25 thoughts on “Zeppole di Ricotta”

    1. Hi Sheri,
      I haven’t made zeppole gluten free but you could certainly try it with gluten free flour. If you do, please let me know how they turned out.

  1. Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet

    I am totally familiar with these! We normally make them around carnivale time, the period before Ash Wednesday, they are always a crowd pleaser!

  2. Ashlyn @ Belle of the Kitchen

    Little fried cheesecakes sounds like something I can get on board with! I SO want to make these!!!

  3. Laura | PetiteAllergyTreats

    You’re so sweet helping out a friend with dinner and dessert! I’d love a dozen of these donuts too!

  4. Justine | Cooking and Beer

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE making zeppole! Thanks for sharing this with us! Pinned!

  5. Dee Dee (My Midlife Kitchen)

    I am drooling over these! I am not a huge dessert person, but sweet treats like this are perfect because they’re not TOO sweet. Anything with ricotta adds such a mild creaminess that I swoon when it’s added to recipes.

    1. I love that these aren’t overly sweet, Dee Dee. For those wanting a little more sweetness, extra powdered sugar does the trick. Thanks so much for commenting.

  6. Jill Silverman Hough

    I love that you made doughnuts so simple, Joanie. Deep frying can be so daunting, but you just spell it out so easy-breezy! I’m inspired to make some.

    1. Thanks so much, Jill. These little bites don’t stay in the oil long so they aren’t greasy. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment.

      1. Jill Silverman Hough

        I hear you. And greasiness can also be a matter of the temperature of your oil–too high and your doughnuts won’t be cooked in through on the inside before they’re too browned on the outside, too low and they’ll just absorb oil until the temp is high enough to cook them in it.

  7. We love zeppole, but have never tried to make it at home. Can’t wait to try your recipe.

  8. Ali @ Home & Plate

    I have never heard of Zeppole di ricotta but I will be pinning this recipe and trying very soon. I know a few boys in my house that would gobble these down in one sitting. Love these Italian doughnuts.

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