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A close up of ricotta doughnuts on a plate with twisted orange peel at the side
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5 from 1 vote

Italian Ricotta doughnuts

The most delicious, soft and fluffy Italian Ricotta Doughnuts made with orange zest and topped with powdered sugar.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 15 doughnuts
Calories: 100kcal
Author: Emily Kemp


  • Candy thermometer


  • 1 loosely packed cup Italian 00 flour or all-purpose flour (130g)
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Zest of 1 orange and 1 tablespoon of juice
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese (250g)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 pinch salt
  • powdered sugar (icing sugar) for dusting
  • 35 fluid ounces sunflower oil (4 cups/ 1 litre)


  • Heat the oil in a heavy-based pot until it reaches 355F (180C). Get a plate lined with paper towels ready for draining.
  • Add the eggs, ricotta, orange zest and juice to a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth.
    1 cup ricotta cheese, 2 large eggs, Zest of 1 orange and 1 tablespoon of juice
  • Combine all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl (flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder) then add to the wet ingredients. Fold everything together to form a smooth and sticky dough.
    1 loosely packed cup Italian 00 flour or all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons caster sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 pinch salt
  • Use a tablespoon to drop the dough into the hot oil (do this in batches about 3-4 doughnuts at a time). Fry each doughnut for 5 minutes until a deep golden brown then drain on kitchen paper.
  • Once cooled, dusted with powdered sugar and serve.



  • Flavour options - you can add a tablespoon of liqueur such as rum, Strega or amaretto to the batter for extra flavour and use orange or lemon zest. Vanilla can also be added.
  • Use a thermometer - it's really important to use a thermometer for consistent results. If the oil is too hot the doughnuts will brown too quickly and still be raw on the inside.
  • Don't overcrowd the pot - make sure you fry the doughnuts in batches of 3-4 max or it will cool the oil down too much and they won't cook evenly.
  • Use a tablespoon or cookie scoop - a tablespoon or tablespoon-sized cookie scoop is the perfect size for these doughnuts. Use another spoon to drop the batter into the oil.
  • Use paper towels - it's important to drain the doughnuts on kitchen paper after frying to remove any excess oil.


Calories: 100kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 79mg | Potassium: 35mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 106IU | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 1mg