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Nutella Ricotta Zeppole

Nutella Ricotta Zeppole

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It happened again. I hit the Nutella… again.


  • 1 1/2 Pound ricotta
  • 1/2 Cup Nutella
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • 4 Teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Cup vegetable oil, for frying
  • Powdered sugar, for serving


Calories Per Serving414

Folate equivalent (total)76µg19%

Riboflavin (B2)0.3mg17.7%

Ricotta Zeppole

How do you make Zeppole, the classic fried dough treat served at Italian Festivals even better? Add Ricotta Cheese of course! Growing up I was always used to seeing the plain flour based zeppole at festivals, your traditional fried dough, which I still love. But I find myself making ricotta zeppole more often lately. I had them as dessert at a restaurant a little while back, and they were so good that I had to make them at home. I ended up with more of a batter than a dough, but it really achieves the perfect texture. Crispy on the outside, but they melt in your mouth once you bite into them. Sprinkle these little fried treats with confectioners sugar, and you are good to go. If you want to make them even better drizzle with a little honey (a very Sicilian thing to do) or chocolate sauce (a very Phil thing to do). But don’t leave out that powdered sugar!

Nutella Stuffed Zeppole | Italian Donuts | Video Recipe

Frittelle, Frìtole, Castagnole, Zeppole are just some of the names used in Italy to describe these delicacies. Doesn't matter what name you use, they're always delicious & easy to make.

Each Italian region has its own name and its own way to fill them. The traditional way suggest to use raisins or walnut. But the most populars are Zeppole filled with custard or Nutella.

Before talking about the ingredients and give you the directions let's see where Zeppole come from.

Frittelle were already popular among the ancient Romans, and probably even before it. Indeed, the ancient Romans called this sweet "frictilia".

Since the early 20th century they are the "stars" of the Frittelle's Sagra (food Italian feast). Sagra is a local festival, often dedicated to some specific local food, and the name of the sagra includes that food. It is a very important social moment for Italians.

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How can I share with you the emotion when mom is calling because it's time to make zeppole together?

How can I share with you the thrill of rolling frittelle into the sugar while grandmother is telling you about her childhood?

Maybe I cannot, but what I can do is sharing with you this recipe allowing you to smell, put your hands in the dough and hit you right in my childhood. So, take 1 hour of your time, invite people you care about to talk about the happiest moments of your childhood. That is how you would spend this time if you will come in Italy.

Nutella Stuffed Zeppole Ingredients:

Milk 1 glass ( 5 fl oz | 150 ml )

Water 1 glass ( 5 fl oz | 150 ml )

Baking powder 1 tablespoon | 15g

Vegetable Oil to fry ( Peanuts Oil suggested)

You can watch the video Above to see directions!

Add flour in a bowl. Add gradually milk and water until well combined.

Your dough should be sticky and firm. If it's too much dry add more water, if it's too much liquid add flour.

Cover with plastic and let it double in size.

Fry in vegetable oil. When oil is hot (350F | 180C) wet a spoon and drop by spoon. Fry 4 or 5 at time.

Ricotta Zeppole

Growing up one of my most favorite treats was fried dough with powdered sugar – known by most as Zeppole. Another name my family used for them was “pettole”. It’s what they call Zeppole in the Italian region of Puglia, or at least in my Grandmother’s town in Bari. They are often rolled in “vin cotta” (a reduced wine syrup) . My husbands family, on the other hand, call them Zeppole and drizzle them with honey, they are from the Naples region.

Whatever they are called, Zeppole, Petole, or Italian Donuts, these fried dough treats always bring fond memories of my childhood. My mother even fried leftover pizza dough and called them Zeppole. I have distinct memories of burning my tongue from eating them way too hot. Ouch, the memories, but I wouldn’t trade them in for anything!

I’ve tried many times to make Zeppole and failed miserably. The outside would be cooked and the inside raw. That’s partially because most Italian Mother’s don’t measure the heat of the oil, but use some sort of eyeball voodoo to know the oil is just right. It is frustrating to say the least. In the past I used my Nonna’s (grandmother) recipe which was written in pounds of this and pounds of that. I sometimes wonder if these so called recipes were written in hieroglyphics or logo graphics it would make them easier to decode.

Like many times before, I almost gave up, until I found this great (very specific) recipe in old church cookbook. It was for Zeppole made with ricotta and flour. It was a great find and I am now able to successfully make this delicious treat!


  • Zeppole can be tricky to make, I’ve learned that you must make sure the oil is at exactly the perfect temperature. The perfect temperature for the oil is about 360-365 degrees F. They will burn if the oil is too hot and be raw inside.
  • The best tip I have is to do a small test batch to see if you need to adjust the temperature. When you find it try and keep the oil at that heat level. If your frying in a pot or pan use a candy thermometer that will clip on the inside of the pan and register the temperature and then you can easily adjust the flame as needed.

I am as guilty as my Italian family, and eyeballed it a bit. I guess I’m a little old fashioned that way. When it comes to deep frying, I still use a deep pan filled with oil. I don’t deep fry all that often so I stick with this method. One day I may bite the bullet and invest in a good deep fryer.

A word about Amazon Links: from time to time I post links to amazon for products that I use in a specific blog post. I do receive credit from amazon if you purchase this item through the direct link, but I NEVER post or suggest a product that I do not use or sincerely recommend. I do receive a commision from Amazon at no extra charge to you when you shop these links.

I like to use a small COOKIE SCOOP like the one below when making the zeppole – they are all the same size and it’s less messy. Another item that I recommend when making these is a DEEP FRY THERMOMETER that clips to side of your pot to make sure the temperature of oil is just right.

Best Montreal zeppoles

Seeing that March 19th (known as Saint Joseph’s Day to most Italians) is just around the corner and the traditional dessert for that day is zeppole, we at the Montreal Times thought we would go on a quest to find the best Montreal zeppoles. The zeppole only comes out once a year, usually the beginning of February to Easter. If you don’t know what a zeppole is we are about to change your life.

We asked our readers in early February their recommendations and low and be hold we were bombarded. Unfortunately, we might have gained a few pounds but we took one for the team.

Here is our list of best Montreal zeppoles:

La Conca d’Oro

It was little overwhelming when we walked into this delectable smelling bakery. We wanted to buy everything we saw. I had to refrain and only look at the zeppoles. I was there on a mission. The showcase was full of zeppoles and we tried them all. Nutella ricotta, pistachio ricotta, strawberry ricotta, riccotta and last but not least custard. The pastry was airy and baked to perfection. The fillings were delicious and so creamy. All of them equally mouth watering, delightful and so satisfying.

La Conca d’Oro bakery have been a Montreal staple since 1963. Husband and wife team Sergio Lanniciello, head chef and Diana Battista purchase the bakery in 2002 and moved it across the street to a new location. Diana along with daughter Alexia Lanniciello will make sure you are served with a beautiful smile and walk out with all the goodies you need. Hurry though because the zeppole are only there for a few more weeks.

Feature image: La Conca d’Oro strawberry ricotta zeppole

2550 Rue Jean Talon East, Montreal, Quebec H2A 1T9

Pasticceria Alati-Caserta

Pasticceria Alati-Caserta have been making Italian desserts and goodies since 1968. This Italian bakery is a staple and a must when visiting Little Italy in Montreal. At the moment they have two types of zeppoles, baked and fried with fillings of custard or ricotta The fried zeppole was outstanding, the core overflowing with ricotta or custard filling. I found the baked zeppole had the perfect balance of pastry and filling. Both pure magic!

On March 16th – 21st they will showcase a number of different flavours of Zeppole:

  • Chocolate ricotta
  • Limoncello ricotta
  • Pistachio ricotta
  • Tiramisu cream
  • Gianduia cream (choco-hazelnut)
  • Nocciola (hazelnut)
  • Ricotta
  • Custard

277 Rue Dante, Montréal, Québec H2S 1K3

Patisserie San Marco

Be prepared to be transported to Italy as you enter this jewel of an Italian Bakery. Patisserie San Marco has been serving Montrealers since 1962 in the same location. The secret recipes have been handed down two generations. We tried two different zeppoles, custard and the other other ricotta. Patisserie San Marco zeppoles are fried balls of pate choux dough tweaked with a family secret and then infused with the perfect amount of their creamy delightful filling, topped with powdered sugar.

1581 Jean Talon St E, Montreal, Quebec H2E 1S9

N.D.G. Bakery / Boulangerie & Pâtisserie Charcuterie N.D.G

N.D.G Bakery needs no introduction. Everything made is with love. Their zeppole is traditional fried dough with filling inserted. FRESH is one word that can describe this Italian bakery. We tried a ricotta filled and a chantilly cream filled zeppole. We tried one of each to see which one was better however, I ended up trying four with still no answer. Sooooooo good!

5801 Upper Lachine Rd. NDG, Quebec, H4A 2B6

Patisserie Boulangerie Meridionale Caravella zeppole ricotta, custard, custard and nutella

Patisserie Boulangerie Meridionale Caravella

This family run business has been selling Italian traditional pastries since 1978. We tried three Zeppoles – ricotta, custard and ricotta with Nutella. Fresh, fresh fresh. The zeppoles are creamy and the dough fried to perfection. The smell as you walk in the door is pure heaven with super friendly service.

1699, rue Thierry, LaSalle, Quebec, H8N 1H6

Patisserie Dolce Sappore

Patisserie Dolce Sappore with three locations in Laval, Montreal and Mascouche offer clients a variety of Zeppole flavours this holiday season! Their original ricotta is a must have but their lobster tail and pistachio flavours will definitely blow your mind ! Want a hint of Nutella? They got it. A light drizzle on top of their ricotta classic is the perfect sweet combination. Their dough is fluffy, not too oily and always fresh!

RIVIÈRE-DES-PRAIRIES – 10494 Perras boulevard
Montreal, Quebec H1C 2H7 (514) 678-1571 /

VIMONT – 2000 René-Laennec boulevard
Laval, Quebec H7M 4J8 (450) 629-5115

MASCOUCHE – 2500 Av de L’Esplanade
Mascouche, Quebec J7K 0T4 (450) 474-0477

L’atelier Sucre et Sel

L’atelier Sucre et Sel zeppole is a sort of hybrid where Italy meets France. Head chefs Bianca Di Girolamo from Montreal and chef Dylan Nocera from France have created a baked zeppole instead of the traditional frying method. The zeppole are then cut in half like a bagel and filled with ricotta, chocolate or Vanilla and pistachio spread. The filling is so creamy, light and a fusion of flavours from France and Italy. They truly have made a hip new zeppole.

Grandma’s Zeppole Grandma’s Zeppole…does that make your mouth water a little bit? Hope so because today I am sharing my own Grandma’s recipe for Zeppole. These are the little golden puffs that she use to fry up for the whole family with her own recipe that she brought from a little village outside of Naples. The tradition continues! I have to tell you and I truly do mean this…they are scrumptious and so incredibly easy…really…you’ll see! Zeppole’s are actually very special to my husband Joe and myself because these little yummy golden morsels are always made on March 19th…the Feast Of St. Joseph and that just happens to be my birthday and Joe’s name day! Sometimes we even add some cannoli filling but we will save that for another time since we are making this really quick and easy for you today! One thing you will learn very quickly is whenever you make a batch of Zeppole’s…the family will come running. Each one has their own little personality and unique little crispy bits! These little guys are cloud like when they are freshly served! In September…Zeppole’s become one of the most popular Italian Street Foods as they are served up in brown paper cones at the Feast of San Gennaro (Patron Saint of Naples)…all over Italy and the US. Do you want to know Grandma’s special ingredient that makes her recipe simply heavenly? Ricotta!

So let’s fill up a few paper cones for you an yours with this Quick & Easy Grandma’s Zeppole Recipe!


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of unsifted flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of whole milk ricotta cheese (1/2 lb)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Confectioners Sugar for Dusting or maybe Cinnamon Sugar
  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying (this is oil you can reuse…just store it in a mason jar when you are done : ) Just pour the oil 2 inches high in whatever frying pan you are using.
  • This is as easy as making a pancake batter!
  • Crack your two eggs into the mixing bowl and beat until foamy. Add all of your dry ingredients into the eggs in the mixing bowl while on slow speed and then add your ricotta and vanilla right away. Continue to mix on a slow speed till it is all combined. The batter will be thick…creamy and sticky. It is not a cookie dough consistency…it is a rich thick waffle type batter. Do not over mix.
  • Have your oil ready in your favorite fry pan. I use a cast iron skillet which I fill up about 2 inches high. Your oil should be approximately 375 degrees. Or as Grandma use to say…hot…she didn’t use a thermometer and I have to be honest neither did my Mom or nor to I : ) I use a small melon ball scoop …first I spray it with oil so that batter doesn’t stick …then scoop up the batter (no exact measurement here : ) and carefully drop it into the oil…repeat with consecutive scoops but don’t let them touch…turn them a few times for even browning and you are talking about 3 minutes…if they are a little bigger…a little longer…but once you get to that nice deep golden brown it is time to scoop them up and place them on brown paper or paper towels to drain. You won’t believe how NOT oily they are! Continue with another batch, Sprinkle with Confectioners sugar or maybe some Cinnamon Sugar and by the way…they are even delicious plain! You don’t have to serve these warm…but I highly recommend it sometimes because they are just over the top when they are warm and fresh! These would be such a treat at Holiday gatherings or for tonight’s treat!
  • Here’s a little suggestion so you know exactly how long to cook them for…make a test one and break it open…then…eat it : ) Then let the batches BEGIN. Literally you can go from batter to serving in less than 30 minutes!
  • At our big family and friend picnics…I fry them fresh on the deck…if you want people to come and talk to you …this is a good way …actually it is guaranteed! Just make sure you quadruple the recipe.

Grandma’s Zeppole Recipe just might become your families recipe for generations! Bon Appetit! or MANGIA as Grandma would say!

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Ricotta and Nutella tart-Italian dessert

Put the ricotta and the icing sugar in a bowl and mix them well together then put the ricotta in a colander over a bowl and let it drain in the fridge for at least 8 hours.

For the short pastry:

Put the soft butter in a bowl with the sugar and mix them together. Add the whole egg and let it completely absorb.

Gradually add the flour and baking powder and knead quickly until the dough is smooth and homogeneous.

Roll out the pastry between two sheets of parchment paper so that it does not stick and make a layer of about half a centimeter.

Put the shortcrust pastry in a lightly buttered tart pan, cut off the excess edges and prick it.

At this point pour the well-drained ricotta on the perforated shortcrust pastry base and level the surface.

Spread the Nutella on top of the ricotta layer and cover the ricotta layer entirely.

Create the strips of the tart with the leftover shortcrust pastry and intertwine them.

Cut the excess strips and make a border around the entire perimeter of the tart then decorate it with the prongs of a fork.

Bake the ricotta and Nutella tart in a preheated oven at 180 °C or about 40 minutes until the pastry is cooked and golden.

Remove the ricotta and Nutella tart from the oven and let it cool completely before removing it from the pan and cutting it.


To make the Nutella swirls, first prepare the roulade dough: break the room-temperature eggs into a bowl, flavor with the vanilla extract 1 , pour in the sugar 2 , and beat at medium speed using a hand mixer 3

it will take a few minutes for it to become light and frothy 4 . Fold in the sifted flour 5 , stirring gently from top to bottom with a spatula 6 .

Now divide the mixture in half and pour into two separate bowls 7 . Add the cocoa powder to one of the bowls, sifting it 8 and mixing gently from top to bottom so that the mixture does not separate 9 .

Grease a 12x15-inch (30x38-cm) sheet pan and then arrange parchment paper on the base and sides, ensuring it is well stuck down. Pour in the light-colored mixture 10 , level the surface with a spatula 11 , and bake in a preheated conventional oven at 350°F (180° C) (placing the sheet on the on the top rack) for 10-12 minutes. Once cooked, take the roulade dough out of the oven and immediately pour the dark-colored mixture over it 12 .

Spread the mixture evenly with a spatula 13 and then bake for a further 10 minutes in a conventional oven at 350°F (180°F), again on the top rack. Once cooked, take the roulade dough out of the oven 14 and cover the surface with a sheet of parchment paper 15 .

Then cover this with a dish towel to keep it from drying out 16 . Leave the roulade dough base to cool. Once it has reached room temperature, gently remove the parchment paper 17 , carefully turn the roulade dough over and remove the parchment paper from the light-colored side, still working very gently 18 .

Even off the edges with a knife, then place the base back on a sheet of parchment paper, add the Nutella 19 and spread it out with a spatula, stopping ½ in (1 cm) from the ends of the long sides, then start to roll up the base with the aid of the parchment paper 20 . Once you’ve made a roll 21 ,

wrap it in parchment paper, carefully sealing the ends 22 , and leave to set in the fridge for an hour. Once this time is up, take out the roll, which should now be very firm 23 , and slice it 24

into 12 swirls 25 . Now add the topping: chop up the dark chocolate 26 and melt in a bain-marie 27 or microwave.

Dip the swirls in the melted chocolate on one side only 28 and leave them to dry on a rack 29 . Once the chocolate has set, your Nutella swirls are ready to be enjoyed 30 !

Zeppole and Sfinci di San Giuseppe - St. Joseph’s Zeppole & Sfinci

by Rossella Rago & Nonna Lydia Palermo

Yield: This batch of dough will make 14 sfinci or 8 zeppole


1 cup water
1/4 cup shortening
Pinch of salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs

2 pounds ricotta impastata
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
1 packet Italian vanilla powder or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips (optional)

Candied cherries
Candied orange peel
Crushed pistachios

6 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
3 egg yolks, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
whole peel of one lemon

Amarena Cherries as desired
Confectioners’ sugar as desired

In a medium saucepan bring the water, shortening and salt to a boil. Once the mixture comes to a boil, add the flour and reduce the heat to low. Mix with a wooden spoon continually for about 30 seconds until all the flour is incorporated and a soft dough forms that pulls away from the sides of the pan. Turn off the heat and continue stirring for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and transfer to a mixing bowl. Cool until the dough is cool enough to handle.

Once cooled mix with your hands for 5 minutes. If you find any clumps of flour that did not dissolve remove them and discard. Cool the mixture to room temperature.

Add in the first egg and mix with your hands until completely absorbed. Add in the second egg and repeat the process.

Add in the 3rd and 4th egg, mixing with an electric mixer until each egg is fully absorbed before adding the next. Mix until the dough is very smooth.

Put a 5-quart stock pot over a high flame and heat about 2 1/2 inches of oil. Use a thermometer to maintain the heat between 375 and 400 degrees.

Fill a small bowl with oil.

Using a small ice-cream scoop or a spoon, dip the spoon or scoop in oil first and then scoop the dough. The oil will allow the dough to release easier. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoon into the hot oil. The dough will continue popping and expanding as the sfinci cook. Fry the sfinci 3 at a time until they are golden brown and no longer pop and expand, about 5 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Cool before slicing and filling. The sfinci will be hollow on the inside.

To make the Ricotta Cream:

In a large mixing bowl, combine the impastata, confectioners’ sugar, cinnamon and extracts. Mix well and then pass through a strainer to smooth out the ricotta’s texture. Fold in the chocolate chips if using.

Slice the sfinci down the middle with a knife and fill with about 2 tablespoons of the cream. Top each one with a candied orange peel, a candied cherry, and crushed pistachios.

Cut out eight 4x4 inch squares of parchment paper.

Fill a disposable pastry bag fitted with a large star tip with the dough.

Carefully pipe out a circle of dough about 3 inches in diameter. Overlap the dough by no more than an inch.

When the oil is hot, drop the pieces of parchment paper into the oil about 3 at a time. Remove the pieces of parchment paper with tongs. Fry the zeppole until golden brown, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Cool completely before slicing and filling.

In a mixing bowl whisk together the granulated sugar and cornstarch. Set aside.

In another mixing bowl, combine the milk, cream, beaten egg yolks, and vanilla extract. Whisk until blended.

Put a large saucepan over a medium flame and add the milk mixture and sugar and cornstarch. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon. Add the lemon peel and continue stirring until the mixture thickens, about 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat. Scoop out the lemon peel and discard, and continue to stir for another 30 seconds. Take a sheet of plastic wrap and press it into the surface of the cream. Cool to room temperature.

Slice the Zeppole in half with a knife.

Transfer the pastry cream to a disposable pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe the cream onto the bottom half of the zeppole and top with the other half. Pipe a bit of cream in the center of the zeppole and top with an amarena cherry. Optionally dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Star Wars Italian Food: ZepPOEle Recipe


  • Canola Oil for frying
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese, preferably whole-milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • (dash of cinnamon, optional)
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 cup flour, all-purpose
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Cinnamon & Sugar, Nutella, or Confectioner's Sugar for topping


Heat a few inches of oil in a frying pan, over med-low heat.

In a saucepan combine all ingredients. Over low heat, stir until combined (it's a batter, so it will be sticky). You are not cooking it, just warming it a bit.

Now depending on the size you want, use a teaspoon or tablespoon to drop the dough into the hot oil. I use two spoons, one to help ease the dough off the scooping spoon into the oil. Scoop as many as will comfortably fit in the pan. Fry until golden on one side and turn over. When fully golden, remove from oil onto a plate with paper-towels to drain. Then roll in cinnamon-sugar or coat with Nutella. Serve when warm or cooled, depending on preference. We like them better after they cool.

Watch the video: Zeppole alla ricotta, ricetta bigné di Luca Montersino + bigné alla nutella. Ricotta pastry puffs (July 2022).


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