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Zeppole Recipe – Italian Doughnuts

 5 from 1 reviews

Zeppole are tiny Italian doughnuts – crisp, light and incredibly fluffy. This version is made with pate choux dough, which gets light, soft, and golden brown when fried.

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Italian Doughnuts

Pate choux dough always amazes me with what it can do. It can be used to make so many delicious things, like cream puffs, eclairs, pastries, cake, and even dumplings for soup. Even better, you can deep-fry it to make the softest doughnuts.

The doughnuts that come out are really light and crisp. It’s one of the fluffiest doughnuts I’ve ever had. It’s like biting into a tasty cloud of cream. Also, making the batter is easy and quick because you don’t have to wait for the yeast dough to rise like you do with yeast doughnuts.

Zeppoles, which are also called “Italian donuts,” are a tasty dessert that isn’t too hard to make. You can have a plate full of zeppoles ready to serve in about 90 minutes. The dough needs a little time to rise to get the right lightness for these donuts. The honey-sweetened dough and powdered sugar “snow” on top of these donut balls make them very hard to stop eating. Each sweet bite is perfect as a dessert or as a snack to have with your coffee. And because they are small, they are a great dessert for the whole family to share.


Zeppole are doughnuts from Italy. They are made with the same pate choux dough that is used to make cream puffs and eclairs. This dough is made by cooking water or milk with butter and flour and then beating in eggs.

After that, the dough is fried. The little balls turn out golden, crisp, and very soft when they are cooked. They are very light and soft. With some powdered sugar, these little doughnuts are such a tasty treat.


A zeppole is an Italian dessert made of different-sized dough balls that are deep-fried. This recipe makes donut balls that are small enough to eat in one bite, but others are made bigger to hold pastry creams, jellies, and other fillings.

Alternative Video Recipe: Amazing Zeppole Recipe

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Even though both of these are fried dough, their shapes are very different. Beignets are square and very light. Their name comes from a French word that means “lump.” Zeppoles are soft, chewy, and round dough balls that are fried. Powdered sugar is often sprinkled on both.

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The dough as well as the shape distinguishes a beignet from a zeppole. Zeppoles are a little doughier and firmer than beignets. Beignets have a characteristic square or rectangular shape and are similarly produced by drop spooning them into oil. Both are topped with powdered sugar.


Zeppoles, like doughnuts, are commonly consumed as a snack. These are generally served with espresso or strong coffee in Italy, which is how I like to enjoy them as well.


Even though all of these are fried pastries, zeppoli are made with pate choux dough, while beignets are made with yeast dough and doughnuts can be made with either yeast dough or cake batter dough.


Mix the water, butter, sugar, and salt together in a medium saucepan. Cook until all of the butter melts. Add all of the flour at once and stir it in quickly while keeping the heat low until it’s all mixed in and the dough forms a ball.

Turn off the heat and let the dough cool down a bit before adding the eggs one by one. If you don’t wait until the dough is just warm, the eggs will scramble when you add them.

Also, add the eggs one at a time so they are evenly distributed throughout the batter. You can add the eggs with a wooden spoon or a mixer.

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Yes. The pate choux dough can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.


High smoke point oils, like grape seed, avocado, vegetable, and peanut oils, are the best for frying. Don’t use low smoke point oils, like olive oil. This means that the oil will start to smoke at a lower temperature, and the dough will start to burn before it is fully cooked.

Use a thermometer to keep an eye on the oil’s temperature as you heat it up and fry the zeppole. You can use a thermometer for candy or a thermometer that uses infrared light.


This Zeppole recipe calls for the same choux pastry dough that is used for Cream Puffs, Chocolate Eclairs, and Churros. Once you’ve mastered this easy dough, you’ll be able to make pastries like a pro.

  • Milk – we use whole milk, but 2% will do.
  • Water – we use water that has been filtered
  • Unsalted butter. If you’re using salted butter, leave out the extra salt.
  • Sugar – you only need 1 tsp for the dough
  • Salt – to counteract the sweetness
  • All-purpose flour, the right amount
  • Eggs – use large eggs, at room temperature


  • Combine the ingredients for the dough. Combine the all-purpose flour, honey, salt, yeast, olive oil, and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix the dough with the hook attachment until it is no longer adhering to the sides of the basin. If it’s too sticky, add a bit more flour at a time, say 1-2 tbsp at a time.
  • Allow the dough to rise. Cover the zeppole dough with plastic wrap after placing it in an olive oil-greased basin. Allow the dough to rise for 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.
  • Make the frying oil. Add roughly 2 inches of corn oil to a heavy-bottomed pot. Increase the heat to medium-high. Using an instant-read thermometer, ensure that the oil temperature remains between 350 and 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cut the dough into pieces. Snip off pieces of zeppoles dough approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons in size with kitchen shears. Scrape the dough into the hot oil with a spoon.
  • Fry them up. Cook the zeppoles for approximately 2 minutes on each side. When finished, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Sprinkle sugar on top of the donuts. When the zeppoles have cooled, sprinkle them with powdered sugar. Enjoy!
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  • Add enough oil to a big, heavy pot (I use my Dutch oven). You should have at least 2 inches of oil. I usually use a full container of oil. The oil needs to be heated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • You can drop bits of dough into the hot oil with two small spoons, or you can put the dough in a large pastry bag, cut a hole in one corner, and pipe the batter out, dropping bits of dough into the hot oil. Make sure you don’t splash yourself with it.
  • Fry the zeppole for about 5 minutes, flipping any that don’t turn over on their own. Take them out of the oil with a slotted spoon and put them on a plate, baking sheet, or other surface covered with paper towels. After frying all of the zeppole, sprinkle them with powdered sugar.
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  • To activate the yeast, use warm water that is no hotter than 110 degrees Fahrenheit. This will allow the yeast to fully activate and the dough to rise and become airy.
  • Allow enough time for your zeppoles to rise- If you don’t give them enough time to rise, they’ll be less airy and light and more dense and heavy.
  • If the oil temperature is too high, your donuts will be excessively black on the surface and uncooked on the inside. They will absorb too much oil and become greasy and rubbery if the temperature is too low.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pot- If there are too many zeppoles in the pot, they will touch instead of being surrounded by hot oil and cooking. To get the best zeppole flavor and texture, avoid crowding.


Put the zeppole in a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and leave them at room temperature. The best time to eat them is right away, but you can keep them for a few days, but they won’t be as tender and fresh tasting.

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Zeppole – Italian Doughnuts

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)


  • Author: Emily Roselyn
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 Minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


Zeppole are tiny Italian doughnuts – crisp, light and incredibly fluffy. This version is made with pate choux dough, which gets light, soft, and golden brown when fried.


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggsroom temperature
  • oil for fryingsuch as peanut oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugarto dust


  • Combine water, milk, butter, granulated sugar, and salt in a large 3-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring regularly, over medium heat.
  • Remove from heat and quickly whisk in 1 cup flour with a wooden spoon. Return the pot to medium heat and whisk regularly for another 1 1/2 to 2 minutes to release excess liquid and partially cook the flour. The dough will appear smooth, and a thin coating will form on the pan’s bottom.
  • Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed for 1 minute to gently cool the mixture. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, allowing the eggs to thoroughly incorporate between additions. Once all of the eggs have been included, continue to beat for another minute, or until the dough is smooth and forms a thick ribbon when you draw up on the whisk.
  • Transfer the dough to a piping bag with a 1/2-inch opening, or a big zip bag with a 1/2-inch opening.
  • Heat the oil in a dutch oven with a thermometer or a deep fryer to 375°F. Pipe 1-inch lengths of dough into hot oil, quickly cutting the dough as you pipe into the oil. To avoid oil splashes, bring the pipe closer to the surface of the oil.
  • Fry for 4-5 minutes total, turning halfway if they don’t turn on their own, then move to a paper-towel-lined platter to soak up excess oil before dusting with powdered sugar to serve.



  • Category: breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Serving Size: 8
  • Calories: 274 kcal
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Sodium: 113mg
  • Fat: 21g
  • Saturated Fat: 9g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 17g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Cholesterol: 113mg

Keywords: zeppole, doughnuts, bread

FAQs About Zeppole – Italian Doughnuts

Are beignets and zeppole the same thing?

Both are fried, but Zeppoles are usually made in the shape of a donut or a pop and Beignets are usually square. But you can always put powdered sugar on top of either of these treats to make them sweet.

What does it mean to say zeppole in Italian?

A zeppola (Italian pronunciation: [dzeppola]; plural: zeppole; sometimes called frittelle; in Sardinia, zippole or zeppole sarde, from the original Sardinian tzpulas) is an Italian pastry made of a deep-fried dough ball that is usually about 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter, though the size can vary.

What do Italian donuts have in them

Zeppole are doughnuts from Italy. They are made with the same pate choux dough that is used to make cream puffs and eclairs. This dough is made by cooking water or milk with butter and flour and then beating in eggs. After that, the dough is fried. The little balls turn out golden, crisp, and very soft when they are cooked.

What makes zeppole different from fried dough?

Zeppoles are little balls of dough that are fried and then covered in powdered sugar. That’s all there is to it. They are like softer pizza or bread dough, but once they are fried, they get firm

Do you have to put Zeppoles in the fridge?

How long will they stay good? Your homemade zeppoles will keep fresh for about 2-3 days. Make sure you put them in a container with no holes and put it in the fridge so they don’t go bad. You can also freeze them and keep them for up to six months.

More Alternative Doughnuts Recipe to try!


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Chocolate frosted donuts are baked rather than fried and covered with a thick chocolate frosting. This simple recipe for moist and buttery donuts will become a favorite breakfast treat in no time. If you totally cover them in sprinkles, you’ll find yourself devouring more than one!

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Brioche Doughnuts with Salted Caramel and Milk Chocolate Ganache – Fluffy brioche doughnuts are rolled in sugar and filled with a smooth salted caramel and milk chocolate ganache. These are the ultimate doughnuts.

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