Italian Zeppoles

Fried dough is a dessert in so many different cultures. My grandmother used to make “fried dough” by deep frying yeasted pizza dough and sprinkling it with granulated sugar. I have wonderful memories of that fried dough goodness – especially when it was served to me for breakfast! I decided to try making a more traditional light and fluffy Italian Zeppole at the request of my niece who was trying to mimic her memories of her own grandmother’s Zeppoles.  I hope you enjoy these light and fluffy Italian “donuts.”  The cinnamon is optional and not authentically Italian.  However, I enjoy cinnamon added to almost all my baking; but this is 100% optional!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: about 10 Zeppoles

[jwp-video n=”1


  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • ½ full fat ricotta cheese (155 grams)
  • Frying oil (vegetable, canola, sunflower)


  1. Sift together flour, corn starch, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the egg with a mixer.
  3. Add sugar and vanilla to the egg and beat until fully mixed
  4. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix. 
  5. Fold in the ricotta cheese by hand until just combined.
  6. In a deep frying pan, heat 1″-2″ of frying oil until it reaches 375°.
  7. Once the oil reaches desired temperature, drop spoonfuls of dough into the oil. You can also use a pastry bag to squeeze into the oil. Flip them occasionally and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown and crispy on the outside. 
  8. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined tray.
  9. Dust with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar! 

If you like this recipe, try some of our other Desserts like Cream Puffs or Peach Cobbler.