SICILIAN SFINCI (Ricotta Donuts)

SFINCI RECIPE (Ricotta Donuts)

This Sfinci recipe is a delicious dessert all the way from Sicily, brought to you by my favourite Cannoli Ambassador Robert Lopez who shares his family recipe directly passed down from Nonna. Sfinci are morsels of sweet, fried ricotta donuts covered in juicy sultanas and typically enjoyed during festive periods like carnevale and Christmas. Obviously I like to eat them all year around…

Watch the Sicilian Sfinci video recipe: 

How to Make RICOTTA DONUTS Like a Sicilian (Sicilian Sfinci Recipe)

sicilian sfinci

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 14-16 portions)

250ml (1 cup) full cream milk
55g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
2 eggs lightly whisked
240g (1 cup) fresh ricotta
300g (2 cups) sifted plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Vegetable/Peanut oil (for frying)
½ – 1 cup sultanas
Icing sugar to dust
Honey to serve


Saucepan for frying
Cooking thermometer
Wooden spoon
Small pot/saucepan
2 x Bowls
Slotted spoon
Small sieve (for icing sugar)

sicilian ricotta donuts


  1. Pour a generous amount of vegetable oil (or oil of your choice for frying) into a pot and place on the stove at a medium heat until the temperature reaches 190°C/375°F. (You can also use a deep fryer).
  2. While the oil is heating up, this sfinci recipe calls for a delicious dough. To start, add full cream milk and caster sugar to a saucepan/pot. Place it on the stove at a medium heat and stir using a wooden spoon.
  3. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then remove it from the heat. This will take approx 2-3 minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk 2 eggs then add this to the milk/sugar mixture and finally add the ricotta.
  5. Mix the wet ingredients using a whisk, starting off slowly so all the ingredients combine well.
  6. Once they have combined, add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and mix through.
  7. Next, combine 2 teaspoons of baking powder to your bowl of sifted flour and then add this to the wet mixture.

ROBERTO’S TIP: Make sure the flour is sifted as this will help you to avoid any lumps when mixing everything together.

  1. Mix the sfinci recipe ingredients gently using a wooden spoon until combined well.
  2. Once the mixture is thick and smooth, and there is not a sprinkle of flour in sight, add your desired amount of sultanas, mixing again to make sure there is enough spread through the dough for every bite!
  3. Next, check the temperature of the oil is ready and you can start making your sfinci!
  4. Scoop up a portion of batter (approx. 4 tablespoons/one ice cream scoop) and drop it into the oil. It will form is own unique shape.
  5. Once it floats to the top, use a slotted spoon to move it around slightly helping it to
    cook evenly.
  6. Add a few more portions to the oil, move them around and leave until golden on one side, before turning them over and letting them colour on the other side too.
  7. Cook sfinci between 3-5 minutes or until they turn a deep golden brown on both sides.

ROBERTO’S TIP: You can tell if they are cooked through by tapping them with the edge of a slotted spoon and if they bounce back they may need a little more time.

  1. Remove them from the oil using the slotted spoon and leave them to dry on paper towels where they will also leave excess oil.
  2. Repeat steps 11-15 until all the batter is finished.

ricotta donuts


Once slightly cooled, place them on a long platter or tray. Dust them with icing sugar and drizzle honey on top. Be generous! Enjoy 1…or a few, they are filling but very addictive!

E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate…Enjoy!!!

xannoli ambassador


These are 2 other Sicilian recipes you must try:


pasta alla norma


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