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Zeppole Header

  Zeppole (Italian-American)

   Zeppole Photo
Category: Desserts
Servings: 20 - 30
Total time: 45 min + 1 hr rising time
Level: Intermediate
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An authentic Italian recipe from our kitchen to yours. Buon Appetito!


- 1 packet quick rise active yeast

- 1 1/2 cups milk

- 2 cups flour

- 1 large russet potato, peeled and boiled until soft

- 2 tablespoons sugar

- Pinch of salt

- Zest of 1/2 lemon (optional)

- Oil for frying

- Powdered sugar or regular sugar for dusting


1.  Place the milk in a microwave safe container and heat it for 45 seconds or until it is lukewarm. Remove it from the microwave and stir the milk. It should be warm, but not hot or it will kill the yeast. If the milk is lukewarm, whisk in the yeast until it completely dissolves. If the milk is hot, let it cool to lukewarm and then whisk in the yeast until it dissolves.

2.  Set the milk and yeast mixture aside. In a large mixing bowl, add the flour. Using a ricer or food mill, rice the potato into the bowl with the flour. You can also use a food processor or stick blender and puree the potato.

3.  Make a well in the center of the flour and potato. Add the sugar, salt and lemon zest into the well.




4.  Whisk the milk and yeast mixture once again and then pour it into the well of flour and potato. Using a heavy spoon or spatula or your hands, mix all of the ingredients thoroughly until a uniform mixture develops. It should be a dense mixture, the consistency of pudding, and smooth. If it becomes a shaggy dough, add more milk to the bowl until you reach the desired consistency.

5.  Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and set it aside for 1 hour.

6.  When you are ready to fry the zeppole, fill a heavy-bottomed pot 2/3 full with oil (canola or vegetable oil work well). Heat the oil over medium high heat.

7.  While waiting for the oil to reach frying temperature (350 degrees), line 2 jelly roll pans or baking sheets with 3 - 4 layers of paper towels each.

8.  Just prior to frying the zeppole, stir the batter thoroughly once more to make sure all of the ingredients are incorporated well.

9.  To see if the oil is at temperature, drop a small amount of the zeppole batter into the oil. If the dough almost immediately rises to the surface and begins frying, the oil is hot enough to begin frying. If the dough sinks to the bottom of the oil, it is not yet hot enough to fry.

10.  When the oil is hot enough, lower the heat to medium, and then take tablespoon full of batter and gently drop it into the hot oil. Add 3 - 5 more spoonfuls of batter to the oil and commence frying the zeppole.

11.  As the zeppole fry, they will begin to puff up. Halfway through frying turn the zeppole so they fry evenly on all sides.

12.  Fry the dough until it is a golden brown on all sides, about 3 minutes. If the dough is frying too fast, your oil is too hot. Lower the temperature to low or carefully remove the pot of oil from the heat altogether until the oil has cooled slightly.

13.  When the zeppole are finished frying, strain them from the oil and place them on the baking sheets lined with paper towels.

14.  Continue frying the zeppole until you have used all of the batter.

15.  Once all of the zeppole have fried, place them on a platter and dust them with powdered sugar or regular, granulated sugar. Serve the zeppole warm or at room temperature.


You can also drizzle honey over the zeppole instead of sugar.

If you want to make a "salty" version of zeppole, eliminate the sugar from this recipe and serve with cheese and a selection of salumi for a festive antipasto.

You can fill your zeppole with a variety of fillings. Take a pastry bag with a medium tip and fill it with pastry cream (try our recipe), nutella, sweetened ricotta cheese or your favorite jam. Insert the tip into the zeppole and gently fill with about 1/2 tablespoon of the filling, depending on the size of your zeppole.