When you think about donuts, do you think of heavy dough, cinnamon-sugar, and flavors best suited for fall or winter? Most people do, but we want to change it into a snack fit for spring and summer, and these Orange Ricotta Donuts are leading the charge. The zesty, citrusy taste has us dreaming of sunshine-filled days, and the ricotta gives it a lighter texture that doesn’t leave us feeling too full. Plus, they’re easy to make and perfectly bite-sized, so it doesn’t get any better. Just watch.

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Serves 4 to 6
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

You’ll Need
– 1 cup (10 ounces) whole milk ricotta, drained 2 to 4 hours
– ¼ cup granulated sugar
– ½ tablespoon grated lemon zest
– 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
– 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
– 1 egg + 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
– ½ cup all-purpose flour
– 2 tablespoon corn flour
– 1-½ teaspoons baking powder
– Vegetable oil, for frying
– Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

How To

  1. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, sugar, zests, orange juice and eggs.
  2. Sift in the flour, corn flour, and baking powder, and mix until just combined.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat 3 to 4 inches of oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius).
  5. Use 2 soup spoons to shape the mixture into dough balls, i.e. quenelles. (Use one to spoon the mixture against the side of the bowl and the second to remove it into the hot oil in an egg shape.) Cook for about 2 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Remove the donuts from the oil and drain on a paper towel.
  7. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and, if you like, serve with chocolate ganache.


  • It’s important to drain the ricotta in order to achieve the proper texture for these donuts. It is recommended that the ricotta be drained for 2 to 4 hours before being used in this recipe. To do so, place a strainer over a bowl, lined with either cheese cloth or a paper towel, then place the ricotta on top. Cover with another paper towel or more cheese cloth, then place a plate followed by a heavy jar on top of that. Allow the ricotta to drain in the refrigerator until ready.
  • A quenelle is a dumpling formed into an oval shape with the use of two spoons to mold the mixture. The shape is formed into a smooth oval similar to a football or a three-sided elliptical shape that is used to make a pleasing presentation for the semi-soft foods being served.

Recipe adapted from Kate Gibbs of The Daily Life