ZEPPOLE di San Giuseppe

Zeppole are typical of Italian cuisine, especially that of Rome and Naples.

They are traditionally eaten during the Festa di San Giuseppe celebrated every March 19.

A zeppola (Italian: [ˈdzeppola]; plural: zeppole. Zeppole are known by other names, including Bignè di San Giuseppe (in Rome), St. Joseph's Day cake, and sfinge.

The terms zeppole and sfinge are used to refer to baked cream puffs made from choux pastry.

Some zeppole are filled with ricotta mixed with small pieces of chocolate, candied fruits and honey others with a pastry cream like the one we are offering here,

Other versions of this pastry are fried balls of dough that are sprinkled with sugar. You see these most often in italian communities outside of Italy. You can find them in Italy as well under a variety of other names.

Source : Wikipedia (edited)

YIELD​ : 12 zeppole

PREP TIME​ : 2 hours

LEVEL : Medium



100g water 100g whole milk

90g unsalted butter 4g sugar

2g salt

110g all purpose flour

200g eggs (shelled)

Pastry cream

500g whole milk

4 egg yolk

120g sugar

60g corn starch (Maïzena)

The zest of one untreated lemon


For the Zeppole

Combine water, milk, butter and sugar and salt in a pot, over medium heat, bring to a boil and make sure butter is fully melted.

Off heat add all the flour and stir until smooth and no longer sticks to the sides of the pan.

Bring back to the heat and stir over low heat for 2 minutes. Dough is ready when it starts “sweating” butter. Transfer the dough in a standup mixer fitted with the paddle, run it to let cool for 30” and while running on low speed, gradually incorporate the eggs. Alternatively you can do this by hand by first transferring the hot dough into a cold container.

Transfer the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (12mm) round tip and pipe large disks with a little middle hole to form an individual zeppola.

Bake at 170°C/330°F for about 35 minutes or until well risen and golden, then lower the temperature to 100°C/220°F and let bake until dry

(if necessary keep the oven door slightly open to let the extra moisture escape).

For the pastry cream

Bring milk and zest to a boil, in the meantime whisk egg yolk, sugar and starch really well.

Pour half of the boiling milk onto the egg mixture while whisking.

Off heat pour everything back into the pot and cook over medium low heat until fully thickened. Cool quickly by spreading onto a large plate and refrigerate until cold. Once cold the cream is hard to spread as is, it needs to be worked with a spatula to make it smooth. For larger amounts use the kitchenaid with the whisk attachment or the paddle.


Once your zeppole have cooled to room temperature, cut them in half.

Put your cream in a pastry bag and pipe in a large swirl. Place the top of the zeppola on top so that you see the layer of cream and then add another swirl of cream on top of the zeppola and finish with a maraschino cherry!