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Home > Dessert > Zeppole – Easy Italian Donuts (VIDEO)

Zeppole – Easy Italian Donuts (VIDEO)

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

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Zeppole Video Tutorial

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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.

Zeppole Recipe (Easy Italian Donuts)

5 from 11 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
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.

Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $6-$8
Keyword: Italian donuts, zeppole
Cuisine: Italian
Course: Dessert
Calories: 274 kcal
Servings: 8 people (makes 65-75 zeppole)

Ingredients

  • 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

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine water, milk, butter, granulated sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

Recipe Notes

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

Nutrition Facts
Zeppole Recipe (Easy Italian Donuts)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 274 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 113mg38%
Sodium 113mg5%
Potassium 71mg2%
Carbohydrates 17g6%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 493IU10%
Calcium 36mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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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.

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Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Jayme
    March 29, 2021

    Do you have to use a hand mixer or is it okay to use a stand mixer?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 29, 2021

      We prefer it for this recipe, but that may work.

      Reply

  • Joan
    March 29, 2021

    Hello…I am new at trying your recipes..they all look so tempting. I am trying the Zeppole recipe and I wanted to take them to my daughter’s hse, what would be the best way to transfer them so they stay crusty. Thinking they may flatten.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 29, 2021

      Hi Joan, Once Zeppole are fried, they are best enjoyed fresh the day they are made.

      Reply

  • Vicky
    March 24, 2021

    Natasha, how far ahead can I make the pastry? And can I store in fridge? Is it the same tasting?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 24, 2021

      Hi Vicky, 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.

      Reply

      • Vicky Digiglio
        March 26, 2021

        Thanks Natasha ! They are for Easter next week. I hope I impress y Italian Mother-in law!

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          March 26, 2021

          Oh, she’s going to love these! I hope you do too!

          Reply

  • gerald felsing
    March 21, 2021

    Anyone want to make me some of these, I’ll pay top dollar. My mom used to make these and they are yummy!!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 22, 2021

      You can try this at home too, I’m sure you can do a good job!

      Reply

  • Vicky
    March 20, 2021

    Hi Natasha,
    I’m new to your recipes but have accumulated around 15 so far! They are amazing 🤩
    Can I use an electric whisk instead of a beater? I don’t have that. I knave the handheld kitchenaid that is a mixer, forager chopper etc. it has a whisk attachment too. I hope I can because I really want to make them tonight.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 21, 2021

      Wow, glad you’re enjoying my recipes! If you have an electric hand mixer, it will take longer to mix. I would give it an extra 3-5 minutes of mixing time depending on how much power your mixer has and definitely on high speed.

      Reply

  • Cheryl Myklebust
    March 15, 2021

    Natasha, I love your recipes. I’ve been collecting them. I have a question – don’t you have an Amazon store with your favorite cooking items? I’m looking for a good induction cooktop. Thanks

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 15, 2021

      Hi Cheryl, great to hear that you’re enjoying my recipes. You can see the kitchen tools that I use here on my Amazon affiliate shop

      Reply

  • Michelle Cervone
    March 14, 2021

    Can I do this in the air fryer?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 14, 2021

      Hi Michelle, I haven’t tried that yet to advise. If you do an experiment, please share with us how it goes.

      Reply

  • Rena Douglas
    March 13, 2021

    Can you use an airfryer and at what temperature for how long ?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 14, 2021

      Hi Rena, I haven’t tried that yet to advise. If you do an experiment, please share with us how it goes.

      Reply

  • Angela
    March 13, 2021

    I made Zeppole and my husband and I really liked them. I have never piped anything and when I cut the tip off of a gallon bag and tried what I ended up with looked like a funnel cake!!
    So I just put batter on a spoon and dropped dollops into the oil. Worked well.
    Thank you for your fantastic recipes and wonderful personality.

    ATH

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 13, 2021

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us!

      Reply

  • malak
    March 12, 2021

    can you make croissant that you show us in the fridge tour

    Reply

    • Natasha
      March 13, 2021

      Hi Malak, we buy those at Costco, but It’s on my list to have a homemade Croissant recipe.

      Reply

  • Sara
    March 12, 2021

    Can you please make wool roll bread because it looks so nice

    Reply

    • Natasha
      March 13, 2021

      Hi Sara, I haven’t tried that but thank you for the suggestion. Looks tasty!

      Reply

  • Isabelle
    March 10, 2021

    Love ur recipes it was so good can u do a video of baked oats recipe plz.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 10, 2021

      Thank you for that wonderful suggestion, Isabelle! I’m happy you’re enjoying our recipes.

      Reply

  • Isabelle
    March 10, 2021

    I tried the the recipe it was so delicious and btw it was eaten in less then one hour and i love ur recipes.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 10, 2021

      It sounds like you found a new favorite dessert, Isabelle! I’m so happy you all enjoyed it!

      Reply

      • Isabelle
        March 11, 2021

        No thank u for making wonderful recipes

        Reply

  • Anastasia
    March 10, 2021

    Hi Natasha!
    Have you ever added baking powder?
    Thanx for all you do. ♥️

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 10, 2021

      Hi Anastasia, I haven’t tried that yet to advise. If you do an experiment, please share with us how it goes.

      Reply

  • Leela
    March 10, 2021

    Hi cam these be made without eggs

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 10, 2021

      Hi Leela, I haven’t tried that yet to advise.

      Reply

  • Aisha
    March 9, 2021

    I tried on Sunday it turned out so good.Thank you so much for amazing recipes I have tried out so many recipes of yours love all of them. You are one of the few youtubers I trust for recipes.

    Love from Pakistan,
    Aisha

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 9, 2021

      Thank you for your trust, Aisha. I hope you’ll love every recipe that you will try!

      Reply

  • Michelle Obama
    March 9, 2021

    This is my absolute favorite recipe!

    My kids will love this

    Do you have any other Italian desserts?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 9, 2021

      Glad to hear that, Michelle! I hope this becomes their new favorite. You can check out some of my other dessert recipes here.

      Reply

  • Michelle Obama
    March 9, 2021

    WOW this is my new favorite dessert!
    Absolutely Delicious!

    Do you have any more donut recipes?

    Reply

  • Linda Gregory
    March 9, 2021

    On the nutrition label, what is the serving size for the data? 1 Zepole, 2,3,4?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      March 9, 2021

      Hi Linda, it depends on how large you pipe them. The nutrition label is per serving and here is the serving size: Servings: 8 people (makes 65-75 zeppole)

      Reply

  • Maria Valente
    March 8, 2021

    Hello Natasha, I check your recipes all the time, some to see if I make things as you do, and other times to learn something different. The Zeppole was usually made in March on St Joseph’s day, (on a Catholic calendar). All the Italian bakeries usually have them, but now I can make them and they shall be even better. I don’t care for bakery desserts, not even in New Haven, Ct. where pastry is supposed to be the best second to New York city. Thank you Natasha for this awesome recipe.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 8, 2021

      You’re very welcome, Maria. Homemade is always the best as you can make your favorites anytime you want to and it’s cheaper too! I hope you love the recipe.

      Reply

  • jana
    March 8, 2021

    tried it so so yummy and i think i ate more than i desserve lol and thanks for the recipe

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 8, 2021

      You’re welcome, Jana! Thank you for that great review.

      Reply

  • jana
    March 8, 2021

    can you make wool roll bread the trending bread

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 8, 2021

      Thanks for your suggestion, Jana.

      Reply

  • Maribel Coello Lopez
    March 7, 2021

    Hola Natasha, los buñuelos me encantan, son un postre que se hace para la Semana Santa aquí en España, los haré como tú has enseñado, me parece perfecto. Gracias y un beso

    Reply

    • Natasha
      March 7, 2021

      Hi Maribel, thank you so much for sharing that with me. That’s wonderful that it is an Easter tradition in Spain.
      Do you make yours the same way or add fillings or toppings? We are excited about Easter!

      Reply

  • MariElla
    March 7, 2021

    I just read the recipe. Is it correct that the dough should be cut into 1/2” pieces? That just sounds so small! My mother used to make these – we call them sfingi – on New Years Eve, and she added cognac to the recipe. She never measured anything and I never thought to get her recipe. I can’t wait to make these!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      March 7, 2021

      Hi, that was supposed to be 1″ pieces, but not longer than that or they start to get longer instead of round once fried. I hope you love the zeppole. I love the idea of adding cognac to the recipe.

      Reply

    • Carmela E
      March 8, 2021

      We call them sfingi too where we are from in Sicily, but we add a grated potato to them. For us zeppole are a dessert made from cream puff dough shaped like a bagel baked then cut in half and filled with cream and cherries on top.

      Reply

  • Olena
    March 6, 2021

    Tried tonight….right away I saw it was too much butter. 8 tbsp translated in 1/2 cup when I googled it but when I watched the video looked like half of what I used. Can you tell me how much butter in ml should be used to get it to the right consistency? I really want to try it but it wasn’t turning well for me tonight.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      March 8, 2021

      Hi Olena, 8 Tbsp is correct and it does translate to 1/2 cup or 113 grams. If you click “metric” in the recipe card, you will see the metric measurements.

      Reply

  • Di
    March 6, 2021

    I use grape seed oil for all my fried food. Can I use it for zeppole?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 6, 2021

      Hi Di, I haven’t tested that, but I imagine that should work. I hope you love this recipe.

      Reply

  • Maryam
    March 6, 2021

    Hi Natasha! i made these And they were awesome when hot but just after they cooled there was egg smell and they were not.
    crispy…….please tell me what was wrong with my donuts…..I tried a lot of your recipes and they were all huge hit…we trust you and your recipes…I must have done any mistake…..and Thankyou so much for the recipe…..my family ate it though it was smelly:)

    Reply

    • Natasha
      March 7, 2021

      Hi Maryam, I haven’t noticed an eggy smell, could one of your eggs have gone bad? Also, if you pipe them larger, they do need a little more time to fry and lastly, I would avoid any outdoor draft whenever making any egg-based baked goods which tend to amplify egg smells.

      Reply

  • Cynthia Taylor
    March 6, 2021

    Hello Natasha!
    These look like a smaller version of Italian sphinges that my mom used to make.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 6, 2021

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me.

      Reply

  • Ann Marie
    March 5, 2021

    Can this zeppole be baked instead of fry cause I don’t like frying in too much oil. Thank you

    Reply

    • Natasha
      March 7, 2021

      Hi Ann, we have that answer in the Common Questions section above for how to bake zeppole. I hope you love the recipe!

      Reply

  • Ashleigh
    March 5, 2021

    Can you substitute with almond or coconut flour? And heavy cream instead of milk?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      March 6, 2021

      Hi Ashleigh, I haven’t tested those substitutions so you would have to experiment. I would try to reduce heavy cream down with 1% milk or water since that increased fat content might change the consistency of the dough.

      Reply

  • Ione
    March 5, 2021

    Hi Natasha, my husband and I love your recipes, but is very difficult to convert the weight of ingredients. You would like to put the weight in grams and mililiters, it will be much easier for us. Congratulations on what you do! Thank you very much!🤩👌

    Reply

    • Natasha
      March 5, 2021

      Hi Ione, thank you for asking. I had forgotten to add the conversion on this recipe. I just updated it so now when you scroll down to the recipe card and click “metric” you will see the conversion. I hope you enjoy the zeppole

      Reply

      • Ione
        March 6, 2021

        Thank you very much! ❤️😇🙏

        Reply

  • Salma
    March 5, 2021

    Can I use a spoon not a piping tip

    Reply

    • Natasha
      March 5, 2021

      Hi Salma, yes that would work, or you could use a large zip-loc bag and cut off a 1/2″ corner and pipe with that.

      Reply

  • Melissa
    March 5, 2021

    Yummy – I knew I needed to make these as soon as I saw your recipe. They were hit with the family!

    Reply

  • Kellie H
    March 5, 2021

    We just love this recipe. Super easy and perfect every time!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      March 5, 2021

      I’m so glad you love the recipe. Thank you for sharing your great review.

      Reply

  • Allyson Zea
    March 5, 2021

    These are so fun and easy to make! My whole family love them!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 5, 2021

      I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you for sharing your great review

      Reply

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