Carnival Italian Recipes Italian Bread Italian Dessert Italian Pastries

How to Make Fluffy and Creamy Zeppole Italian Doughnuts

zeppole for st. joseph's day

The fluffy and creamy Zeppole Italian doughnuts.  This is a classic dessert made traditionally for the feast of St. Joseph. It’s a light, fluffy and cream-filled sweet doughnut that everybody loves. Don’t worry, making zeppoles is easy and you can totally do it!



  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 1 envelope yeast
  • 4 tbs sugar
  • 4 cups flour – all purpose
  • 2 eggs – large, slightly beaten
  • confectioners’ sugar –for dusting
  • vegetable oil – for frying



  1. Stir sugar and yeast in warm water to dissolve and set aside way from drafts to get frothy.
  2. Sift the flour into a large bowl. When yeast is ready, add to flour along with the eggs and mix well to form a dough.
  3. Cover the bowl and set in a warm area that is free of drafts. Check in about an hour to see if dough has risen.
  4. If the dough looks good, heat oil and drop by teaspoons into the oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towel and sprinkle with sugar.
  5. Your Zeppole Italian doughnuts is ready to be served!

Final note:
The zeppole dough is piped into a ring, deep fried and cooled. Then, the ring is split in half and a custard cream is piped in the center and topped with a stemmed cherry.


Zeppoles and Fava Beans for the Feast of St. Joseph

March 19th is a very special day for Italians because it honors the feast of St. Joseph. In some parts of Italy, it is also celebrated as a sort of Father’s Day. Now, we know that St. Joseph was not Italian. In fact, he was Judean.  But St. Joseph is very important to the Italians, especially Sicilians.  In the Middle Ages, there was a drought in Sicily. Italians are very religious people and they prayed to St. Joseph to bring them rain.

In return, they vowed that they would celebrate with a large feast to honor him.  Their prayers were answered, and they kept their word. They feasted on local foods such as fava beans, which thrived after the rains, and a lot of sweets. Because the cattle during the first feast were lean, the meal was meatless and that is the way it is still celebrated in many Italian homes today.

Examples of popular and favorite customary sweets are zeppole and sfingi. 

Fava bean recipe


Buon Mangiata!

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