In Baking, Uncategorized on March 19, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Zeppole are Italian style donuts made with ricotta.  I decided to make these today and forgo my weekly boozer in honor of St. Joseph’s Day.  It seemed appropriate, since this holiday is so often overlooked for St. Patrick‘s which is so highly based on drinking.  This is one of the traditional foods served on this holiday – hope you enjoy!


  • 2 quarts vegetable oil for frying, or less depending on pan
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 tsp butavan (butter-vanilla baking emulsion)
  • zest of one large lemon
  • 1/2 of juice from lemon
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon sugar/confectioners’ sugar for dusting

DirectionsHeat oil in a dutch oven (or other vessel) to 375 degrees F.

In a medium pan, whisk eggs, ricotta cheese, vanilla, zest and lemon juice.  Into mixture combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and sugar. Mix gently over low heat until combined. Batter will be sticky.

Drop by tablespoons into the hot oil a few at a time. Zeppole will turn over by themselves. Fry until golden brown, about 3 or 4 minutes. Drain in a paper sack and dust with cinnamon sugar or confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm.

These are light, the citrus gives a freshness to the donuts without being the dominant flavor.  I had some leftover lemon buttercream icing from making lemon-coconut cupcakes – it was a delicious compliment.  Any frosting would be great as a filling or topping for these, but they are just as good on their own. Happy feasting!


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