Nana’s Ricatta Zeppole

This brings it home for me. I hope you enjoy a little old school Zeppole recipe made with ricotta, the way my Ma made it!


  • 1 ¼ AP(all purpose) Flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 eggs, room temp
  • ½ cup white sugar, and set 3 tablespoons aside
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¾ cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon Or Powered sugar for dusting
  • Oil, for frying

Using either a stand-up mixer or hand held mixer, add 1¾ cups ricotta. Beat until creamy and smooth. Once creamed, begin adding one egg at a time (make sure that the egg is completely mixed before adding another egg.)

Sift flour, baking powder, sugar & salt all together in a mixing bowl. Repeat sifting process twice. Add to wet batter ½ at a time, mixing until totally incorporated. Be careful not to over mix. Let sit on the counter at room temp for approx. 30-40 minutes before frying.

Add the cinnamon to 1/2 cup of sugar (or powdered sugar, whichever you prefer.) Stir to combine, then set aside. This will be used when you are done frying, as the cinnamon/sugar topping. If not frying right away, cover and place in refrigerator. When ready to use, bring out and let set until room temp

In a deep, large frying pan pour the frying oil to about 2”- 3”, then heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 360-365 degrees F. Using a small to medium scooper/melon baller, be very careful when dropping about a tablespoon of the dough into the hot oil, frying in batches. Turn the Zeppoli once or twice, cooking until golden and puffed up, about 4-5 minutes.

Drain on paper towels. Toss with cinnamon-sugar. Serve immediately.

Sometimes we would drizzle warm chocolate or warmed Nutella spread. However you desire to serve them, they will be wonderful.

Until we meet again, “Best dishes from my kitchen to yours,” but most importantly, I hope you “Feel the LOVE.” Buon Appetito!

Jill Bacus owner/chef of Ciao!