(Last Updated On: August 23, 2020)

Zeppole: Crispy on the outside, yet light and fluffy on the inside these mini Italian donut holes will become your new favorite breakfast treat. Best of all they take less than 20 minutes , can you guess what secret ingredient makes them so irresistible?  




Need a warm delicious breakfast treat to drag you out of bed on these chilly mornings? Try my EASY Italian Zeppole. If these don’t make you want to wake up, I don’t know what will!

This Zeppole Recipe takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish and only requires a few common ingredients. Don’t you hate seeing those amazing recipe videos on Facebook where you WANT TO MAKE THE RECIPE RIGHT NOW, only to find it takes 3 hours and rare milk from a 4 humped camel from Antartica? No worries, here we’re using an easy no rise batter.


Can you guess the secret ingredient that makes this zeppoles recipe so light and fluffy? It’s the ricotta cheese! Yes, that’s right our lasagna favorite works perfect in this sweet recipe. It gives the pasties  an airy melt in your mouth texture.

These are wonderful for holiday brunches, or just a special morning treat. The go perfectly with a cinnamon coffee, or a tea latte.

What Is Zeppole?

Zeppole are light and fluffy Italian doughnut holes. They are deep fried until they’re crispy on the outside yet airy on the inside. My recipe for zeppole calls for a dusting of powdered sugar. However, you can also use cinnamon sugar, or chocolate sauce on top for a yummy twist. In addition, they can also be filled with cream, jelly, or my personal favorite cannoli cream.  To fill: poke a hole in the bottom with a wooden spoon pipe in cream.

How Do You Pronounce Zeppole: Order your zeppole dessert at Olive Garden with confidence by asking for ZEP-O-LAY

Zeppole Main Ingredients

This zeppoles recipe calls for:

  1. Eggs
  2. All Purpose Flour
  3. Baking Powder
  4. Salt
  5. White Sugar
  6. Ricotta Cheese: Our secret ingredient that makes our zeppole so light and fluffy.
  7. Vanilla Extract: This is classic and delicious. Feel free to experiment with different flavors if you’d like.  I think almond or vanilla would also be delish.
  8. Powdered Sugar: A simple topping that lets the zeppole shine. Cinnamon sugar, chocolate syrup, or raspberry jam would also make a lovely topping.
  9. Vegetable Oil:  I chose this variety because of its neutral flavor, and high smoke point.
 How to save vegetable oil for frying: Don’t throw out your oil when you’re done frying, that stuff is expensive! After you are done frying, cool your oil completely, and then run through a mesh strainer. I store mine in the container it originally came in, but any sort of sealed container will work just fine. Remember: oil can take on the flavor of what you fry in it. I don’t often fry sweet treats, but I keep this on hand for when I do. I’ve found things like deep fried lasagna, or deep fried mac and cheese to be pretty neutral, they don’t add much flavor to the oil. However, I wouldn’t want to reuse the oil I fried my onion rings or beer battered cod in for this recipe. Let’s be real though, we both know you’re going to pull out that oil again tomorrow to make another delicious batch of zeppoles!

Zeppole Recipe

Wondering how to make zeppoles? Read on! This recipe for zeppole take less than 20 minutes. Only 20 minutes are standing between you and these delicious dough balls. Let’s get started!

To start, we’ll beat both eggs together. Then, we’ll add our flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla, and white sugar.  Be careful not to over mix the doughnuts as we don’t want them to become tough.

Next, we’ll fold in our ricotta.

Now comes the fun part: deep frying! I like to use a large skillet and a  cookie scoop to fry my doughnuts.  Be careful, to add them into the pot away from you to avoid any oil splashes. I’ve learned the hard way, those hurt! Be sure to turn them a few times while cooking to ensure even browning.

Finally, dust with powdered sugar.  You can also place the hot doughnuts and powdered sugar into a paper bag and shake them until well coated. How fun would that be for the kiddos! Whichever method you choose, just be sure to do it while they’re hot so it sticks.

How To Make Zeppole Without a Deep Fryer

No worries, no deep fryer is needed for this authentic Italian Zeppole recipe. I used a deep skillet, but a stock pot would also work great. Use a thermometer so you know when your oil is up to temperature. If you start frying when the oil isn’t hot enough you’ll get sad soggy doughnuts.

How To Keep Zeppoles Fresh

These zeppole are best enjoyed while still warm. However, they will hold up okay for about a day or 2. Be sure to store in an air tight container like a Tupperware dish, or a plastic baggie.  A reader also likes to keep hers wrapped in a napkin in a paper lunch sack!

Can You Freeze Zeppole?

Want to make in advance? I would suggest freezing balls of dough in a tupperware dish in layers with wax paper. Be sure to thaw completely before frying to ensure they will fully cook and to prevent ice crystals from splattering you with hot oil. They can also be frozen for about 2-3 months after cooking.

zeppole recipe

How to Reheat Zeppoles

Zeppole can be reheated in the microwave for about 10-20 seconds. You can also reheat in a 350 degree oven for 3-5 minutes. If you are reheating from a frozen state I would double those times.

How Many Calories In a Zeppole

These zeppole have about 87 calories a piece. This is the doughnut itself, not counting any toppings or sauces. I promise they are worth every single one of those 87 calories!

Zeppole Trivia

  1. Did you know the plural for zeppoles is zeppola?
  2. Italian Zeppole are traditionally eaten on Saint Joseph’s feast day.

how to make zeppoles




Crispy on the outside, yet light and fluffy on the inside these mini Italian donut holes will become your new favorite breakfast treat. Best of all they take less than 20 minutes , can you guess what secret ingredient makes them so irresistible?
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Easy, Fried
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes
Servings 20 Zeppole
Calories 61kcal
Follow On Pinterest For More Recipe IdeasFollow @bakingbeautyblog or #bakingbeautyblog
Pin Recipe


  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 2 1/4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • Pinch Salt To Taste
  • 1/4 Cup White Sugar
  • 1 Cup Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • Vegetable Oil For Frying
  • Confectioners Sugar or Cinnamon Sugar If Desired


  • In a  large bowl, beat eggs until foamy,
  • Stir in flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla, and sugar until just combined. Do not overmix!
  • Fold in ricotta.
  • In a  large skillet, heat ~2 inches of oil to 375 degrees F. ,inches high.
  • Spray a small cookie scoop with non sticky spray. Carefully drop batter scoop by scoop into the hot oil a few at a time.
  • Cook for ~3-4 minutes turning frequently.
  • Drain on paper towels, and immediately dust with powdered sugar if desired


Calories: 61kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 17mg | Potassium: 71mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 80IU | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 0.5mg
Tried this recipe? I wanna see!Mention @bakingbeautyblog on Instagram #bakingbeautyblog

Easy Zeppole Recipe Adapted via The Cottage Market

I hope these zeppole become a new holiday or Sunday morning tradition for you. Have fun fighting over the last one!



Craving more breakfast treats?

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Apple Cider Donuts


French Toast Muffins


French Toast Muffins


DIY Cronuts


Cronut Recipe


Donut Recipes From Blogs I Heart:

Peanut Butter Cream Donuts via Crazy For Crust

Chocolate Cake Donuts via Chocolate Chocolate and More

Maple Bacon Donuts via Grandbaby Cakes

What do you think of this Zeppole Recipe? What’s your favorite donut?