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Sfinci Recipe (Traditional Sicilian Donuts)

Also known as Zeppole, Sfinci are traditional Sicilian donuts. They are a specialty of Palermo! These delicious donuts are light and fluffy and ricotta in them makes them creamy. They are perfect for any occasion! Although they can be eaten any time of the year, they are commonly made to be eaten on the 19th of March which the holy day of San' Giuseppe (St Joseph), and also on Christmas.  They are best eaten warm!

Also known as Zeppole, Sfinci are traditional Sicilian donuts. They are a specialty of Palermo! These delicious donuts are light and fluffy and ricotta in them makes them creamy. They are perfect for any occasion! Although they can be eaten any time of the year, they are commonly made to be eaten on the 19th of March which is the holy day of San’ Giuseppe (St Joseph), and also on Christmas.  

Ingredients:

  •  (1 cup) fresh ricotta
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/4 cup of caster sugar
  • 2 eggs whisked lightly
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
  • Honey 

Directions:

  1. Add milk and sugar to a saucepan on medium heat and stir until sugar has dissolved. (about 3 minutes) Remove pan from heat. Whisk in eggs and the ricotta. Mix in the flour, baking powder, and vanilla sugar. Next, fill a sperate deep pan with oil and heat to 375. Drop about 4 tablespoons of the mix into the hot oil.
  2. Cook dough in the oil for about 3 minutes or until it has become golden. When the dough is done frying, place it on a plate lined with paper towels using a slotted spoon. Continue until all the dough has cooked and remember to reheat the oil between batches! Drizzle honey over them and enjoy!

56 comments

      1. Very fine granulated sugar. You can probably just use a good brand of granulated sugar, or to be extra careful, put it through a blender first.

    1. It says 1 cup and to whisk it in along with eggs after sugar has been dissolved in milk on the stove but take the pot off the heat when you whisk in the ricotta and eggs.

    2. Go to Pinterest and put in Sfinci Recipe (Traditional Sicilian Donuts) it will give you the whole recipe & directions! 😊

    3. It says 1 cup of ricotta in list of ingredients. The ricotta is mixed in as part of the dough that is to be dropped into the hot oil.

    4. Yes it does.
      Add milk and sugar to a saucepan on medium heat and stir until sugar has dissolved. (about 3 minutes) Remove pan from heat. Whisk in eggs and the ricotta. Mix in the flour, baking powder, and vanilla sugar. Next, fill a sperate deep pan with oil and heat to 375. Drop about 4 tablespoons of the mix into the hot oil.

  1. Grape Seed oil because it has one of the highest burn points of any natural food oil. Add the ricotta and egg when the sugar dissolves but remove from heat just before adding egg and ricotta cheese.

  2. Can any of you actually read? The recipe is typed

    1 cup of fresh ricotta
    VEGETABLE OIL
    1 cup of milk
    1/4 cup of caster sugar
    2 eggs whisked lightly
    2 cups of sifted flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
    Honey

    1. This recipe looks awesome! I am going to make them for my Sicilian friends. Will make my own Caster Sugar too, because it is cheaper, easy to make and definitely easier to find. 😀

      1. I watch the British Baking Show and they always refer to caster sugar and I believe it is super fine sugar.

      1. There IS a difference between Caster sugar and granulated. Nor is is confectioners sugar. Caster is about half way between the two. So granulated is to coarse and confectioners too fine.

    2. Sure, I have been making Sicilian Donuts for decades, handed down from grandmother. I just made a batch tonight. I heat the honey in a warm oven where I keep the donuts hot until all are fried. I also make my own vanilla exreact, takes about three years and my own vanilla surger. So my flavors are powerful with lots of depth.

      I then drizzle the warm honey over the donuts, Mixing till all donuts are well coated then sprinkel with lots of powdered sugar. BRAVO!

      This amount of ingredients make a lot of donuts, about 32 to 40 using a tea spoon to scoop and drop batter in hot oil.

    1. Castor sugar is actually super fine sugar.
      Confectioners sugar is sugar with cornstarch. The subject is debatable. I used the superfine sugar. Worked beautifully.

    1. I make my own vanilla sugar..
      When I use the inside of a vanilla bean for other recipes, I add the scraped bean to a cup of regular sugar and let it sit for a week or so in a jar. Sugar absorbs the vanilla taste

    2. Vanilla sugar is sugar that has been stored with a vanilla bean, from which it absorbs the flavor. You can just use a little vanilla with the sugar, though it won’t be quite as elegant.

  3. We used to add cooked cauliflower pieces…or ground anchovies to the mixture… these were soo good…!

  4. Lol, I am recovering from foot surgery and was getting down.
    Thank you for all the replies and comments regarding this recipe. I can’t stop laughing

  5. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I remember my grandmother, mother and aunts making these every Christmas. This recipe seems simple and quick. I can’t wait to try them!

  6. I am a grandma now and I can remember my grandmother making these for me, I just loved them so much she made them for me all the time not just on holiday’s. My grandfather was from Sicily I only know them as Sfinci and I have never had them with Ricotta cheese. My grandmother always made them I believe from pizza dough deep fried with regular white sugar, none of this cinnamon or honey drizzle. How food brings back such sweet memories, I can almost hear my grandmother calling me with her slight sweet Italian accent Mangia Mangia

  7. You all better pray you can go back to work soon and buy donuts on the way! But thank you for my hysterical laughter.🥰

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