Zeppole are a type of Italian fried doughnut, traditionally served around St. Joseph’s Day. They are made from a dough of flour, water, yeast, sugar, and eggs, and can be filled with various sweet fillings, including cream, custard, or jelly. Zeppole are typically fried in olive oil, and served dusted with powdered sugar.


  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 g) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups (155 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 g) salt
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil, plus more for frying
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream


  1. In a small bowl, combine the water, sugar, and yeast. Stir to dissolve and let sit for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture and oil, and stir until well combined.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and cream. Add this to the flour mixture, and stir until well combined. The dough will be sticky.
  3. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Once it has doubled in size, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out to 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick.
  4. Cut out circles with a 3-inch (7.5 cm) cookie cutter. Place the zeppole on a lightly floured baking sheet and let rise for another 30 minutes.
  5. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Working in batches, fry the zeppole for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  6. Dust with sugar and serve warm.

Potential changes & improvements

There are many potential variations on this recipe, including using different types of flour, adding different spices to the dough, and changing the filling. You could also try deep-frying the zeppole instead of pan-frying them.

What other food it works well with

Zeppole are typically served as a dessert, but could also be served as a side dish to a main meal. They would go well with a Italian dishes such as pasta, pizza, or risotto.

Common Mistakes

One common mistake when making zeppole is not letting the dough rise enough. This will result in a denser, less fluffy doughnut. Be sure to let the dough rise for at least 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.

Nutritional Information

Per zeppole:

  • Calories: 190
  • Fat: 9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Cholesterol: 40 mg
  • Sodium: 140 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 25 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Sugar: 10 g
  • Protein: 3 g


Wheat, eggs, milk

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