These homemade ricotta Donut Holes (Ponchiki) are the perfect mini desserts for any occasion! Soft and fluffy donut balls made with ricotta cheese and dusted with powdered sugar – the Ponchiki are indeed a taste of heaven!

If you like fried desserts, try our Air Fryer Oreo – such a hit.

Donut holes in a bowl with condensed milk being drizzled over.

DONUT HOLES-

You won’t believe how easy it is to make these fluffy and soft donut bites! All you need to do is mix the batter, form, and fry until golden and crispy. These are great for any occasion and are so good when dusted with powdered sugar.

What are Ponchiki? Ponchiki is a classic Ukrainian dessert. They are mini donut holes that are made with a farmer’s cheese or ricotta cheese, then fried!

Soft ricotta donuts bitten into topped with powdered sugar.

INGREDIENTS-

The batter for these donuts is easy to make and results in the best donuts.

  • Ricotta Cheese – Be sure to use good quality ricotta cheese for these donut holes. Don’t use low-fat or fat-free cheese; we want it whole.
  • Eggs – Eggs act as the binding agent for the batter.
  • Sugar – To sweeten the doughnut batter, we use granulated sugar.
  • Vanilla – Vanilla extract enhances the flavors of the donuts.
  • Salt – To balance all the flavors.
  • Baking Powder – What makes these donut holes so fluffy is the baking powder, be sure it’s active.
  • Flour – Good quality all-purpose flour for these donuts yields the best flavor.
Step by step collage of how to make homemade donut holes.

HOW TO MAKE DONUT HOLES-

These donut holes can be made in just 3 steps: make the batter, form, and fry!

  1. Dry Ingredients– In a bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder, then set aside.
  2. Wet Ingredients– Whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and ricotta cheese until combined.
  3. Combine– Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until a gooey batter is formed.
  4. Form– In a bowl, add flour, scoop a tablespoon of batter, and drop it into the flour to coat. Form into a round donut and repeat to make 35 – 40 donut holes.
  5. Fry– Add oil to a large pot and heat oil. Once the oil is hot, add in the donut holes and fry.
  6. Remove from donuts– Once golden, remove from donuts and add to a plate lined with a paper towel.
  7. Enjoy– After all the donuts are fried and slightly cooled, dust them with powdered sugar and enjoy.
Ricotta donut holes in oil being fried.

SERVING-

There are many different ways to enjoy the donut holes! From dusting them with powdered sugar to dipping them and even stuffing them.

Here are a few different toppings and fillings we like to serve them with:

  • Condensed Milk
  • Chocolate Sauce
  • Caramel Sauce
  • White Chocolate
  • Fruit Jam
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Brown Sugar & Cinnamon

To stuff the donuts, add the filling into a piping bag with THIS filling tip and stuff the donuts.

A fork holding a ricotta donut topped with powdered sugar and condensed milk.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS-

How hot should my oil be before adding the ponchiki?

You want the oil to reach 360°F before adding the donuts. We use this cooking thermometer to check the heat. Be sure to keep the temperature the same to avoid burning the donuts.

Can I make these ahead of time?

Yes! Make the batter assemble the balls and add to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or tray and refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready to enjoy, just fry and then serve. You can make the batter up to a day in advance.

How do I store leftovers?

Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Can you reheat the donuts?

Reheat the donuts in the oven or air fryer until warm.

What oil should I use to fry the donuts?

You can use vegetables, canola, peanut, or extra light olive oil to fry the donuts.

A plate of ricotta donuts next to a white bowl of chocolate sauce.

OTHER DESSERT RECIPES-

Ricotta Donut Holes (Ponchiki)

Author: Valentina
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5 from 5 votes
These homemade ricotta Donut Holes (Ponchiki) are the perfect mini desserts for any occasion! Soft and fluffy donut balls made with ricotta cheese and dusted with powdered sugar – the Ponchiki are indeed a taste of heaven!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 35 donut holes

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, measured then sifted
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup flour (shaping)

Instructions

  • In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Combine ricotta cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract in a bowl.
  • Add the flour mixture into the wet batter and mix until well incorporated.
  • Add the half a cup flour to a bowl. Take a teaspoon of batter, add to flour and shape mini donut balls, you'll get about 35-40 balls.
  • In a large pot, add oil (about 1 ½-inches) and heat until it reaches 360°F.
  • Add in the donut holes a couple at a time and fry until golden on all sides, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Remove donuts to a paper towel-lined plate while frying the rest of the donut holes.
  • Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Nutrition

65kcal Calories9g Carbs3g Protein2g Fat1g Saturated Fat0.1g Polyunsaturated Fat1g Monounsaturated Fat0.001g Trans Fat17mg Cholesterol32mg Sodium42mg Potassium0.2g Fiber4g Sugar76IU Vitamin A39mg Calcium0.4mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Ricotta Donut Holes (Ponchiki)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 65 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 0.001g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 17mg6%
Sodium 32mg1%
Potassium 42mg1%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 0.2g1%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 76IU2%
Calcium 39mg4%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
(The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)