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 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 these 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.
What Is Zeppole?
Zeppole (pronounced ZEP-O-LAY)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 also 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.
Ingredient Notes and Shopping Tips
This recipe calls for:
- All Purpose Flour
- Baking Powder
- White Sugar
- Ricotta Cheese: This makes them so light and fluffy.
- 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.
- Powdered Sugar: A simple topping that lets the doughnuts shine. Cinnamon sugar, chocolate syrup, or raspberry jam would also make a lovely topping.
- Vegetable Oil: I chose this variety because of its neutral flavor, and high smoke point.
How To Make Zeppole
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.
No Deep Fryer? No Problem!
No worries, no deep fryer is needed for this 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.
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 Them
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.
How to Reheat
Reheat 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?
These 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!
- Did you know the plural for zeppole is zeppola?
- They are traditionally eaten on Saint Joseph’s feast day.
More Breakfast Treats I Love
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
- 2 ¼ Teaspoons Baking Powder
- Pinch Salt To Taste
- ¼ 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
Easy Zeppole Recipe Adapted via The Cottage Market
Craving more breakfast treats?