Zeppole donuts are rolled in sugar with a fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth center. These Italian donut holes are simple to make and always disappear fast. Watch the easy video tutorial.

Zeppole donuts with powdered sugar

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Zeppole Video Tutorial

If you liked this video for Zeppole Donuts, please subscribe to our Youtube Channel (P.S. Click the BELL icon to be notified when we post a new video).

What is Zeppole?

Zeppole are an Italian pastry similar to Bomboloni and are basically fried donut balls made out of Cream Puff dough. They are very popular during St. Josephs Day in Italy which is also Italian Father’s Day. These fried pastries are traditionally served at Italian carnivals or festivals in simple paper bags, dusted with powdered sugar.

Zeppole in paper bag dusted with powdered sugar.

Ingredients for Zeppole

This Zeppole recipe uses the same choux pastry dough as Cream Puffs, Chocolate Eclairs and Churros. Once you master this easy dough, you will be making pastries like a pro.

  • Milk – we use whole milk, but 2% will work
  • Water – we use filtered water
  • Unsalted butter – If using salted, omit the extra salt.
  • Sugar – you just need 1 tsp for the dough
  • Salt – to balance the sweetness
  • All-purpose flour – measured correctly
  • Eggs – use large eggs, at room temperature
Ingredients for Zeppole Italian Donuts with eggs, milk, butter, flour, sugar, salt, water

The Best Toppings for Zeppole

You can cover Zeppole in a variety of coatings. Our favorites are:

  • Powdered Sugar – dust over the top of fried donuts
  • Granulated Sugar – fill a bowl with sugar and roll the hot Zeppole to coat
  • Cinnamon Sugar – this will make the donut holes taste like mini churros. Combine 1/2 cup sugar with 1 tsp cinnamon in a bowl and roll Zeppole as soon as they are done frying.
Powder sugar dusted donuts in bag

How to Fry Zeppole

A Pot or Dutch Oven: You can deep fry in a regular pot, just be sure to use a clip-on thermometer to gauge temperature and a wire strainer helps with quickly straining and removing the fried zeppole.

Dutch oven with thermometer set up for frying

Deep Fryer: This is our favorite method and we love our deep fryer because it automatically adjusts to the correct temperature, it drains and filters the oil for you and it has a wire basket for easy transferring of the fried donuts. Also, nearly everything that needs cleaning is dishwasher-friendly.

Deep Fryer for frying donuts

Pro Tip: Once the Donuts are out of the oil, transfer them to a paper-towel lined plate to absorb any extra oil.

Donuts draining on paper towel lined tray

Common Questions

How to pronounce Zeppole?

Zeppole is pronounced “zeh-po-ley”

Can I bake zeppole?

If you wish to bake the pastry, we suggest following our cream puff tutorial for piping and baking the dough. You can fill the baked pastry if desired like we did our Baked Donuts, or simply dust the top with powdered sugar.

What is the best oil for frying donuts?

Use neutral-tasting oil with a high smoke point such as vegetable oil, peanut oil, or canola oil. We use peanut oil in our deep fryer.

Can Zeppole be made ahead?

Once Zeppole are fried, they are best enjoyed fresh the day they are made. You can make the Choux Pastry Dough ahead, just cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. You can also freeze up to 3 months.

Zeppole in a bowl covered with powdered sugar

Zeppole are irresistibly good. Walk into a room of kiddos with a bowl of these sweet treats and watch everyone’s eyes light up. I hope this Zeppole recipe becomes a favorite for you and your loved ones.

More Italian Desserts

If you loved these Italian Donuts then you won’t want to miss our top-rated, reader-favorite Italian Desserts.

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Zeppole Recipe (Easy Italian Donuts)

4.97 from 113 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Zeppole donuts with powdered sugar
Zeppole donuts are rolled in powdered sugar with a fluffy soft center. These Italian donut holes are easy to make and always disappear fast.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 8 people (makes 65-75 zeppole)
  • 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 eggs, room temperature
  • oil for frying, such as peanut oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar, to dust

Instructions

  • In a large 3-quart saucepan, combine water, milk, butter, granulated sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  • Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup flour all at once using a wooden spoon. Once incorporated, place the saucepan back over medium heat and stir constantly for another 1 1/2 to 2 minutes to release extra moisture and partially cook the flour. The dough will look smooth and a thin film will form on the bottom of the pan.
  • Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl and use an electric mixer to beat on medium speed for 1 minute to cool the mixture slightly. Add 4 eggs, adding them 1 at a time and allowing eggs to fully incorporate between each addition. Once all eggs are incorporated, beat another minute until the dough is smooth and forms a thick ribbon when you pull up on the whisk.
  • Transfer dough to a piping bag with a 1/2-inch opening, or use a large zip bag and cut a 1/2-inch opening at the tip.
  • Heat oil to 375˚F in a dutch oven with a thermometer attached, or in a deep fryer. Once oil is hot, pipe 1-inch lengths into the hot oil, swiftly cutting the dough as you pipe into the oil. Pipe closer to the surface of the oil to avoid oil splashes.
  • Fry 4-5 minutes total, turning them over halfway if they don't turn on their own then transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to soak up extra oil then dust with powdered sugar to serve.

Notes

*Nutrition label is an estimate only as oil content is difficult to gauge. 

Nutrition Per Serving

274kcal Calories17g Carbs5g Protein21g Fat9g Saturated Fat1g Trans Fat113mg Cholesterol113mg Sodium71mg Potassium1g Fiber5g Sugar493IU Vitamin A36mg Calcium1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Zeppole Recipe (Easy Italian Donuts)
Amount per Serving
Calories
274
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
21
g
32
%
Saturated Fat
 
9
g
56
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Cholesterol
 
113
mg
38
%
Sodium
 
113
mg
5
%
Potassium
 
71
mg
2
%
Carbohydrates
 
17
g
6
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
5
g
6
%
Protein
 
5
g
10
%
Vitamin A
 
493
IU
10
%
Calcium
 
36
mg
4
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Italian donuts, zeppole
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $
Calories: 274

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Leah
    March 23, 2024

    I made this recipe today. I’ve made zeppole in the past using a very similar recipe(all measurements same)but that uses only water for the liquid. This one uses half milk and half water. This recipe produces a more dense and richer batter which was not mine and my family’s preference. The one with the water only makes a lighter and more springy result. It’s a matter of preference but I still think this is a good recipe.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 23, 2024

      Thank you so much for sharing your preference with us, Leah! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      Reply

  • Miems
    March 9, 2024

    Love your quick, and easy cooking pleas subscribe me to your page or give an option to do so! Many thanks 👍👌

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 9, 2024

      Thank you! I’m glad you’re enjoying the the recipe. You can select “Subscribe” here or from the menu option above to enter your email for my newsletter.

      Reply

  • Sabina
    January 10, 2024

    I loved these, very easy and tasty!!!
    Also I made them before your recipe with ricotta and orange zest…. both way fantastic!!!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 10, 2024

      Hi Sabina! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe.

      Reply

  • Misty Ellen Ramirez
    December 5, 2023

    Hello Natasha, it’s Misty so I had made your Zeppoli recipe and I did it doing it by hand but now that I have a KitchenAid I wanted to know is there any tricks to doing it with a KitchenAid or anything that I have to do different? I really wanna make these for my husband again and see if they come out different now that I have the KitchenAid please help.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 6, 2023

      Hi Misty! You should be able to use a stand mixer in step 3 without any special instructions. You may need to adjust the speed accordingly.

      Reply

  • Shaleia Buntin
    September 4, 2023

    Didn’t taste as I would expect. I’m from NYC. We have the best zepolis. These aren’t it for me.

    Reply

  • Mildred Rivera
    June 14, 2023

    Thank you so much I was trying to find this recipe for a whole year I’m from New York and the pizzerias in New York that sell supples I live in PA and pa don’t sell them they sell funnel cake it’s not the same again thank you so much I’ll be making them and I will send you a picture

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 14, 2023

      I hope you love these donuts, Mildred!

      Reply

  • Amy
    April 8, 2023

    Hi Natasha
    I am making these as a dessert for Easter. I’ve made them for my husband and daughter before but never for my entire family. If I make them right before dinner will they keep until after dinner? And would you add the powdered sugar right before dessert time?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 8, 2023

      Hi Amy! Yes, that would be fine. You can add powdered sugar before serving.

      Reply

  • Kate
    March 13, 2023

    Hi, Natasha! Do you have a similar recipe using baking, and not frying? If not, I may splurge and fry them. I’ve followed you for years and I have to say, I am impressed that after all this time you still interact with your readers. Thanks for all you do; hope your family is well!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 13, 2023

      Hi Kate, I don’t have a baked version for this one, but I have a baked donut recipe HERE that you may enjoy. 🙂

      Reply

  • Kathy Babbitt
    January 15, 2023

    Natasha, I love your website and use your recipes frequently. With respect to the Zeppole recipe, I want to use with with my 4-H Baking Club, ages 8 to 12 with my deep fryer. I don’t feel comfortable having them pipe the dough right into the hot oil. Could they pipe it in a circle on small cut parchment squares and drop the dough with paper into the oil and retrieve the paper when it separates with tongs? Any ideas?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 16, 2023

      Hi Kathy! I think that could work since its heat resistant to higher temperatures but I’ve never tested it myself to advise.

      Reply

      • Kathy Babbitt
        January 17, 2023

        Thanks Natasha, I will let you know how they turn out. Our bake day is this Saturday!

        Reply

        • Kathy Babbitt
          March 2, 2023

          Our 4-H Bake Day making your zeppole recipe was a huge success. The parchment squares worked well instead of cutting the zeppole dough over the hot oil. The kids loved the recipe, making and especially eating them. As an added touch we made chocolate whipped cream and piped some into each zeppole. Yummy! The age range of the kids was 8 to 13, 8 kids and 8 adults, lucky I have a big kitchen. Thanks for this great recipe and all the others I’ve used from you. Love your website.

          Reply

          • NatashasKitchen.com
            March 2, 2023

            Hi Kathy! That’s wonderful. How fun. Thank you for sharing.

  • Eileen
    January 7, 2023

    I made these with 1for1 Bobs Red Mill gluten free flour and they came out AMAZING. No changes at all to the recipe except using the gf flour. Irresistibly light and puffy. So happy to make gluten free treats for my little boy who can’t handle gluten! Deep fried them in coconut oil. Perfection. Natasha, your recipes are always golden! I’ve made a ton of them gluten free and they still come out perfect.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 7, 2023

      I’m so glad to hear it worked well with gluten free flour, Eileen! Thank you so much for sharing that with me.

      Reply

  • Sal
    December 3, 2022

    hi…Please tell the best oil to use for Zeps?

    Thank you.
    Sal

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 3, 2022

      Hi Sal! Yes, see my recipe notes above, “common questions” where I made recommendations for this.

      Reply

  • Luigi
    December 1, 2022

    for some reason it was to watery, added another cup of flour.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 1, 2022

      Hi Luigi! Did you by chance use extra large eggs instead of large ones? I didn’t have this issue but it can vary depending on the size of the eggs and how things were measured. You can watch my tutorial on how to measure ingredients HERE if you need assistance.

      Reply

    • Angel Estrada
      August 1, 2023

      I’m not sure what happened with mine but I felt like the inside wasn’t cooked all the way and it tastey eggy. I tried it three different times and still got that taste 😭

      Reply

  • Rachael
    October 15, 2022

    I am wondering if I could make these with a one to one gluten free flour?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      October 15, 2022

      Hi Rachael, I haven’t tested this recipe with gluten-free flour. If you do an experiment, please share with us how it goes.

      Reply

  • Joseph
    July 12, 2022

    after doing lots of research. zeppole. your recipe is a good one so many variations there are. the pizza dough one was not listed anywhere. but it was a way of making that desert after the pizza binge in those old days after ww2 eggs and butter were scarce so mom improvised and it was a big hit.

    Reply

  • Joseph
    July 12, 2022

    mom made a similar one but use d the pizza dough that was saved after she made pizza for the gang. pulled into a sausage shape left to rise and fried in olive oil dusted Witt powdered sugar. SO GOOD

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 12, 2022

      That sounds amazing! Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Joseph!

      Reply

  • Tayo
    June 28, 2022

    …Excuse my manners…
    I meant to say a massive thank you for the recipes…and your blog

    Absolutely fantastic!!!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 28, 2022

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying our recipes, Tayo!

      Reply

As Featured On

Never Go "Hangry" Again!

Get weekly updates on new recipes, exclusive giveaways plus behind the scenes photos.