Italian Donut Zeppole Recipe

Say ciao to zeppole, one of your new favourite Italian sweets! We can’t get enough of these small fried donuts, known as zeppole (or zeppola if referring to a single donut). With coffee for a mid-morning pastry break, or with chocolate sauce for a richer dessert to end the evening, they make the ideal snack. No need to worry if you’ve never deep-fried desserts before; we have all the best advice here (as well as in the video above) to help you out. These golden, sweet morsels of deliciousness, which take just over 30 minutes to prepare, are worth the trouble, I assure you.


Zeppole are miniature donuts that are cooked to an ideal golden brown and then covered in an orange sugar mixture. They are a traditional Italian treat. Zeppole are similarly fried rather than baked, producing a golden, crisp product that is nonetheless light and fluffy in the centre, more akin to cake donuts than yeasted ones.

Larger zeppole are frequently served in Italy with pastry cream within. To make a variation of that dish, make a small hole in the side of the doughnut with a paring knife and then fill it with pastry cream using a piping bag. Use the eclairs’ filling recipe as a tip!

Top zeppole-making advice:

— Fry in a mixture of olive and veggie oil. You can use entirely vegetable oil if you’d prefer, but doing so gives the zeppole a more complex, richer flavour. Use a thermometer for deep frying. It would be wise to utilise one right away if you have one. The batter is fried with the ideal golden exterior when the oil is at the proper temperature.
— superior than your zeppole. Although powdered sugar is an alternative that you may choose, we chose an orange sugar blend.

Zeppole donuts have a fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth centre and are coated in sugar. These easy-to-make Italian doughnut holes often sell out quickly.

Zeppole’s ingredients are:

The choux pastry dough used in this Zeppole recipe is the same as that for Cream Puffs, Chocolate Eclairs, and Churros. You will be able to make pastries like an expert once you have mastered this simple dough.

Milk: Whole milk is what we use, but 2% will do.
We utilise filtered water.
Unsalted butter – Leave out the excess salt if using salted.
You only need 1 teaspoon of sugar for the dough.
To counteract the sweetness, add salt.
accurately measured all-purpose flour
Use big eggs that are at room temperature.

Zeppole Italian Donuts ingredients are eggs, milk, butter, flour, sugar, salt, and water.

The Best Zeppole Toppings:

Zeppole can have many different coats applied to it.

We prefer the following:

Sprinkle powdered sugar on top of the fried donuts.
Granulated sugar makes doughnut holes taste like miniature churros; add it to a bowl, then roll heated Zeppoles in it. Cinnamon sugar works similarly. Zeppole should be rolled in a mixture of 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon as soon as they are finished frying.

Cooking Zeppole:

A pot or Dutch oven: You can deep fry in a standard pot as long as you use a clip-on thermometer to check the temperature. A wire strainer also makes it easier to swiftly strain and remove the fried zeppole from the pot.

Our favourite method is a deep fryer, which we adore since it automatically changes the temperature, drains and filters the oil for you, and has a wire basket for simple doughnut transfer. Additionally, almost everything that requires cleaning is dishwasher-safe.

Pro Tip:

After removing the donuts from the oil, place them on a platter covered with paper towels to absorb any leftover oil.

Typical Questions

How do you say Zeppole?
“Zeh-po-ley” is how you pronounce Zeppole.

Can zeppole be baked?
If you want to bake the pastry, we advise you to use our instructions for piping and baking cream puffs. If preferred, you can fill the baked pastry, like we did with our baked donuts, or you can simply sprinkle powdered sugar on top.

Which oil is ideal for frying donuts?
Use an oil with a high smoke point that has a neutral flavour, like vegetable oil, peanut oil, or canola oil. Our deep fryer is filled with peanut oil.

Can Zeppole be prepared in advance?
Zeppole are finest consumed fresh on the day they are created after they have been fried. Choux Pastry Dough can be prepared ahead of time; just cover and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Also possible is freezing for three months.

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