ricotta doughnuts

Vita’'s Ricotta Doughnuts

Join Chef Nick Stellino and his guest, Chef Gale Gand as she shares a favorite family recipe from Sicily, Italy. These ricotta doughnuts, or “Sfingi” in Italian, are delicious on their own or served with a delicious lemon cream dipping sauce, as shared in this recipe. 


  • 6 eggs 
  • ½ cup C&H® Granulated Sugar 
  • 1 pound ricotta 
  • 2½ cups flour 
  • 1 heaping tablespoon baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind 
  • extra light olive oil, for frying 
  • C&H® Confectioners Sugar, for sprinkling

Mix the batter ingredients in order with a wooden spoon, being careful not to overmix. Place the batter in the refrigerator until you’re ready to fry, up to 48 hours. You may have to increase the frying time slightly to compensate for the colder batter.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan to 325°F. Carefully drop the batter by small ice-cream-scoopfuls or teaspoonfuls into the oil and fry for 3 minutes, turning the doughnuts often till golden brown on each side.

Drain the doughnuts on paper towels or a brown paper bag and coat with confectioners’ sugar, or place doughnuts in a resealable bag of powdered/confectioners sugar and shake well to coat. Serve in a bowl or on a platter with a side of the lemon cream as a dipping sauce.

Lemon Cream Dipping Sauce

  • 2 eggs 
  • ½ cup C&H® Granulated Sugar 
  • ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 3 to 4 lemons) 
  • freshly grated zest of ½ lemon 
  • ice, for an ice bath 
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, slightly softened at room temperature 
  • ½ cup chilled heavy cream 

Bring about 2 inches of water to a simmer in a large saucepan.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or using a hand mixer), whip eggs and sugar together until fluffy and very light yellow in color. Mix in the lemon juice and lemon zest. Rest the mixing bowl in the saucepan, with the bowl’s base resting above - not in - the simmering water. (Pour out some water if necessary.) Cook, whisking occasionally, until the mixture is thickened and custardy, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, half-fill a large bowl with ice and cover with cold water. Remove the bowl with the custard in it from the saucepan and whisk in the butter until melted. Rest the bottom of the bowl in the ice bath and let it cool, folding the mixture occasionally to cool and thicken it.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or using a hand mixer), whip heavy cream until stiff. Fold into the cooled lemon custard. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve. The lemon cream can be kept refrigerated for up to 48 hours before use.

Makes 30 or more doughnuts.

Vita's Ricotta Doughnuts