Ricotta Pumpkin Ciambelle (Donuts)

These baked pumpkin ricotta donuts, or ciambelle as I like to call them, are the ultimate fall breakfast snack or dessert. The ricotta helps make these baked donuts super moist, with just the right amount of cozy warm pumpkin spice, and they’re dipped into a delicious pumpkin spice sugar for extra goodness.

Growing up spending time each year in Rome, I made lots of ciambelle with my nonna (grandma), and it’s always been such a fond memory for me. So, when it came time to create my favorite go-to pumpkin bread recipe, I wanted to switch it up and make it in some fun donut pans. However, you can easily make this recipe in a loaf pan or muffins and even skip the sugar coating.

You’ll want to make this recipe all fall and winter long because they couldn’t be easier to make and even easier to enjoy with some coffee, tea, or hot chocolate on chilly days. The batter comes together easily in a bowl, and the trick is to use a large ziplock bag to pipe the batter into the greased donut pans so they come out evenly and avoid making a mess. They bake up perfectly light and moist, packed with delicious pumpkin spice flavor.


  • Flour – All-purpose flour is great for this recipe. You can also use 1:1 gluten-free flour as well.
  • Pumpkin pie spice – and a lot of it because if I’m eating pumpkin donuts, I want to taste the warm, cozy, spiced goodness.
  • Baking powder and soda – help give the perfect rise.
  • Salt – helps make all the flavors pop.
  • Pumpkin puree – Make sure you use pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. My favorite brands are Libby’s, Trader Joe’s, and Farmer’s Market.
  • Butter – You can use olive oil if you’d like a more fruity flavor or avocado oil for a neutral flavor. I opted for a delicious, buttery flavor.
  • Ricotta – adds extra richness and moisture to the batter as well as giving it a wonderful texture.
  • Vanilla extract – This will add extra depth of flavor.
  • Egg – Make sure your eggs are at room temperature.
  • Brown & granulated sugar – The brown sugar in the batter adds to the depth of flavor with delicious molasses notes, and the granulated sugar is perfect to mix with some extra pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon to coat the donuts.
  • Maple syrup – optional but adds another layer of flavor, making sure it’s 100% Grade A.
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Ricotta Pumpkin Ciambelle 


Units Scale
  • 15 oz pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled (or avocado oil)
  • 4 oz whole milk ricotta
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour (I used oat flour to make them GF but all-purpose would work great)
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and spray 2 donut pans with avocado oil to grease
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the butter, ricotta, brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin puree, maple, and vanilla extract together until combined. Then fold in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice together until a smooth batter is formed.
  3. To make things easy, pour the batter into a large zipped-top bag then cut a corner off the bottom of the bag and pipe the batter into each donut mold, filling only about halfway.
  4. Bake for 10-11 minutes and test with a toothpick in the highest area making sure it comes out clean. Cool donuts in the pan for 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Re-grease the pan and bake the remaining donut batter.
  5. Once the donuts are finished, spray them all over with avocado oil (over the sink to catch the access oil sprayed) and dip them immediately in spiced sugar and enjoy! (Highly recommend eating them as soon as possible because as the sugar sits the moisture of the donuts causes the sugar to melt.)

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