Zeppole di San Giuseppe

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This pastry is an Italian tradition every March 19th for the feast of St. Joseph. This day is also considered Father’s Day in Italy because St. Joseph is he father of Jesus. Typically these pastries are fried but many people also enjoy them baked, which is my favorite way to eat them!

Zeppole di San Giuseppe

Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 Zeppole


  • 113 g Unsalted Butter (1 stick)
  • 150 g AP Flour (1 1/4 cup)
  • 250 ml Water (1 cup)
  • 10 g Sugar (2 tsp)
  • 2 g salt (1/4 tsp)
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 6 Amarena Cherries

Pastry Cream

  • 1 liter Warm Milk (4 cups)
  • 180 g Sugar (2/3 cups + 2 tbsp)
  • 90 g AP Flour (about 3/4 cup)
  • 4 Egg Yolks
  • 4 Lemon Peels


  • To make the pastry cream, start by placing 4 egg yolks into a bowl with sugar. Using a hand mixer, mix until light in color. Add half of the flour and mix well and then add the other half. This will prevent lumps in the cream. Add the warm milk a little at a time and mix well between additions. Pour this mixture into a sauce pan and add the lemon peels. Cook on medium until thickened. Place into a container with plastic wrap on top to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until needed. Ideally, you should make this the day before.
  • To make the Pate a Choux: Add butter and water to a sauce pan. Melt the butter and then add salt and sugar. Mix to dissolve.
  • Add the flour all at once and mix vigourously until the dough comes together. Cook for a few minutes until the dough detaches from the pan and looks slightly shiny.
  • Place into a bowl and let it cool. **Tip: I place the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment on low speed, I let the mixer cool the dough for me. Once cool enough, add one egg at a time with the mixer on medium speed.
  • Once you have a nice smooth dough, add it to a piping bag with a star tip. Pipe the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Make a circular shape. I like to go around 2x for a higher zeppola.
  • At this point you can fry them or bake them. If frying, make sure the oil is at 350F. Please refer to the video for how to fry. If baking, bake at 400F for 20 mins and then lower the oven to 350 for another 10 minutes. **Tip: Turn the oven off. Leave the Zeppole in the oven with the door slightly open for 30 minutes. If you take them out immediately they will COLLAPSE!**
  • Cut each zeppola in half. Pipe in the pastry cream. Place the top on. Pipe more cream on top and then place an Amarena cherry on top.
  • Enjoy with a nice espresso! Buona Festa di San Giuseppe!
Keyword Italian pastry, pastry, San giuseppe, zeppole, zeppole di san giuseppe
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