Saint Joseph's Zeppole

Zeppole di San Giuseppe are fried choux pastries, filled with custard and garnished with canned cherries and icing sugar. It is a typical southern Italian dessert consumed for Carnival or Father's Day.

Saint Joseph's Zeppole


Saint Joseph's Zeppole

February 14, 2020

Zeppole di San Giuseppe are fried choux pastries, filled with custard and garnished with canned cherries and icing sugar.

It is a typical southern Italian dessert consumed for Carnival or Father's Day.

Zeppole di San Giuseppe

40 minutes


40 minutes

Total time

80 minutes


6 people

Cal / Por.

650 kcal


For the Zeppole

  • 150gr of type 00 flour
  • 250ml of water
  • 50g of butter
  • a pinch of salt
  • 4 eggs
  • peanut seed oil for frying

For the custard

  • 250 ml of whole milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • untreated lemon zest
  • 70gr of sugar
  • 25gr of corn starch


  • 6 cherries in syrup
  • icing sugar


  1. For the preparation of the custard, bring the milk to a boil with the lemon zest, the ½ vanilla pod and the seeds that you have extracted with a small knife. Turn off the heat and leave to infuse for half an hour. In the meantime, whip the egg yolks with the sugar until a homogeneous mixture is obtained. Add the cornstarch until it is completely incorporated. Remove the vanilla bean and pour the hot milk over the egg mixture and dilute it with a whisk.
  2. Pour the mixture into a thick-bottomed pan. Stir continuously for about 20 minutes with a wooden spoon over low heat, until reaching the right density. Transfer the custard into a glass container to allow it to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate it with plastic wrap.
  3. To prepare the zeppole, in a pan with high edges, heat the water with the sugar, a pinch of salt and the butter cut into chunks. While boiling, add the sifted flour, mixing well to incorporate it evenly. Add the grated zest and one egg at a time, waiting for everyone to be completely absorbed, before adding the next. At the beginning it will be difficult to mix the eggs with the rest, it will take a little patience to obtain a smooth and homogeneous consistency; at the end the mixture will be quite fluid and creamy. Put the dough thick and full-bodied in a pastry bag with a star tip. In a large saucepan, heat the peanut oil and bring it to a temperature no higher than 165 °.
  4. Cut some squares of parchment paper and form the zeppole, making a circle of dough with a double turn, one circle on top of the other. Dip the zeppole in the oil one at a time, as soon as the parchment paper comes off, remove it, it will take 5-6 minutes in all. Once ready and well browned, drain them with a slotted spoon and place them on a tray lined with paper towels and let them cool. Sprinkle the zeppole with icing sugar.
  5. Take the custard out of the fridge, leave it at room temperature for 10 minutes after turning it with a wooden spoon so that it is not too hard and resumes its shape. Fill a piping bag with a flower nozzle. Start from the center of the zeppola and then make a circle around the starting point and finish at the top. Garnish with a black cherry in syrup in the center.
  6. Your fried San Giuseppe Zeppole are ready to be served!

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