ISO/Zeppole Recipe - The Chewy Breadlike ones..

Joined Feb 6, 2002
Im trying to feed my addiction and eliminate the middleman by trying to make zeppoles. That way I won't have to order from the local Pizza place. Their zeppoles are kinda like bread but really chewy when it cools. Almost like a bagel but not as hard. Not sure if Im describing it well. :( Im trying to recreate theirs.

So I searched about and found a recipe, which I tried today, but these zeppoles came out more like fried pound cake. At least that's what they look like. Here's the recipe I used:

8 servings

¼ lb. Butter, softened
6 Tablespoons sugar
4 eggs
2 Tablespoons oil
4 Tablespoons rum or brandy
½ Tablespoons salt
1 ½ cups flour

Oil for deep frying
1 cup confectioner’s sugar

In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar. Blend in remaining batter ingredients. Heat wok or deep skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and bring to 375 F. Drop batter by heaping teaspoonfuls into the hot oil and fry till puffed and golden brown. Drain on paper towels and keep warm till all are done. Place 1 cup confectioner’s sugar in a brown paper bag. Drop zeppoles in, several at a time, and shake to coat with sugar. Serve hot.

Is this a good zeppole recipe? Did I do something wrong to make them come out like little, round, fried poundcake??? :confused: Help! :(



You think if I asked nicely they will give me the recipe? I know some chefs/bakers like to omit a key ingredient sometimes. Do you think they are using Pizza Dough???


Joined Apr 4, 2000
Sorry Jodi, I checked all my Italian books and didn't find a single recipe. I found those recipes on the net, hope they'll help you.


For the dough:
2 1/2 cups (250 g) flour, sifted
An equal volume of water
A pinch of salt
A pot of olive oil for frying (you can use other oils if need be)
1/2 cup (about 125 ml) white wine

For the dredging:
teaspoons powdered cinnamon mixed with
1 cup (200 g) sugar
Set the water and wine to heat, and when bubbles form on the bottom of the pot (it's shouldn't come to a full boil) add the flour in one fell swoop and stir constantly with a wooden spoon. When the dough comes out of the pot in a single piece remove it from the fire to a lightly oiled marble work surface and work it, pounding it with a rolling pin, for about 10 minutes so as to make it smooth and homogeneous. Roll the dough into snakes about as thick as your little finger, cut them into 8-inch (20 cm) lengths, and pinch the ends together to make rings.
Heat the oil and fry the zeppole a few at a time, pricking them with a skewer as they fry, so the dough will bubble out and they'll become crunchier and more golden. Drain them on an absorbent paper and dredge them in the cinnamon-and-sugar mixture. They're good hot or cold.
If you choose to dip them in a honey mixture, forgo the sugar and cinnamon mentioned above.
Prepare instead:

3/4 cup (250 g) honey
2/3 cup (125 g) sugar
1 pinch powdered cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons water
Diavolilli (colored candy bits; she calls for 50 g, or 2 ounces by weight)

Make the zeppole and keep them warm
Mix the honey, water and sugar, and cook the syrup until the fine thread stage (squeeze a drop between thumb and forefinger, then separate them; fine threads that break easily should form).
Lower the flame to an absolute minimum, stir in the cinnamon and the vanilla, and dip the zeppole 2 or 3 at a time, removing them with a fork and laying them on the serving dish. When you have finished dipping, sprinkle the zeppole with diavolilli, pour the remaining syrup over them, and serve hot.
Joined Feb 6, 2002
Thanks Isa! :)

I went searching the net also and kept finding ones where pine nuts and anchovies were part of the ingredients. :eek: I also checked for funnel cake and kept coming up with a Funnel Cake mix. Who knows what they are using but Ill try em all till I find the right one. Someone also said the pizza places sometimes use pizza dough scraps to make zeppoles and eliminate waste to keep their food cost down. Ill have to buy some pizza dough to find out. (Yeah yeah...its the quick and easy way to find out if that's what they are doing. :) ) Until then .......I'll just have to buy their zeppoles.

Ill try the ones you posted and let you know how they went. Thanks again.

<<<<happily munches on a zeppole from the pizza place and realizes IM OBSESSED but I don't care these things are fabulous>>>> :D

Joined Feb 6, 2002
Hey Pongi,

Are zeppoles Italian? or is this the same thing as Chinese Fortune Cookies? Totally an American invention. Just wondering. :confused:

Joined Apr 19, 2001
Hey, Shawty,

Here ya go!

This is from the FoodTV website:

Funnel Cakes
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand

4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
2 1/4 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Oil, for deep frying, (ratio should be 1:1, canola oil to peanut oil)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon


In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the brown sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the milk and vanilla extract and whisk again. Whisk in the dry ingredients until smooth.

In a deep wide pan, heat frying oil top 375 degrees F. Hold your finger over the bottom of the funnel or use a funnel cake dropper and fill it with the batter. Hold the funnel over the hot oil and remove your finger then immediately start drizzling the batter into the oil, moving the funnel around to make a criss-cross or scribbly design. Fry until golden brown on one side then flip it over to fry the other side. Remove the funnel cake from the oil with a slotted spoon or spatula and drain on a paper towel. Mix the sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle the funnel cakes heavily with it. Serve immediately.

Yield: 8 servings

**********And, This is from the 'North End Italian Cookbook' by Marguerite Dimino Buonopane

1 3# can Crisco for frying
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
confectioners sugar

Heat the shortening in a deep, wide pan til hot; should be about 6 inches deep.

COmbine eggs,milk,flour, baking poweder, and salt; mix thoroughly to form a smooth dough. Drop by heaping taplbespoons into the hot oil; only do a few at at time, and be careful they don't touch each other. Fry til golden brown on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and rain. When cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Author note: My grandmother used to stuff the dough with cauliflower, chopped anchovies, or codfish before cooking it.
Joined Jan 11, 2002
Hi Jodi!
Sorry for answering you so late, but I was on holiday (a VERY short holiday, unfortunately:( )
The Zeppole are a true Italian recipe, born in Naples but very popular everywhere in Italy. They're traditionally made for the festivity of St. Joseph on March 19 (ZEPPOLE DI SAN GIUSEPPE).
The original recipe is very easy since they're made with the Choux paste. Do you remember? Some months ago I started a thread about Choux in the General Baking Forum. Due to my poor technical knowledge, I can't give you the direct link to that thread, but you surely can find it-or someone here more skilful than me will help you!

Briefly, you have to make a normal choux paste, take small amounts of it with a teaspoon (or pipe small rings) and fry them in hot oil until they're puffed and golden brown, then roll the Zeppole, still hot, into sugar (normal, not icing sugar).
You can also add a handful of raisins, soaked in water, to the batter, or garnish the Zeppole when they're done with custard and candied cherries.

I have checked many recipes and they're all the same, so I suppose that any recipe made with a dough different from Choux paste is not "traditionally Italian". In any case, the recipe made with this dough is VERY easy, and I've made perfect Zeppole from the first time I tried them...BUT, I must say, as you'll see from the thread I've had a VERY good training! :D

Joined Feb 6, 2002
Oh....thanks Pongi! I will definately be trying this very soon!

Thanks for posting the link for me Svad. Oh boy! Ill have Zeppoles soon.

Joined Jan 11, 2002
You're welcome jodi :)
One thing more: I'm not sure "my" Zeppole are just like those you're looking for as they're not "breadlike". They're pretty soft and partially empty inside and slightly crunchy outside. Also can't assure you that they aren't like "poundcakes" as I've never heard about them:confused:
With this recipe, you can get the Zeppole you find in Italy...but, like many other food specialties, they could have turned into something different after having crossed the ocean, so if you don't get what you need please forgive me;)

Joined Jul 3, 2002

I am the world's expert at Zeppole. Eating them, anyway.

I usually use a soft pizza dough and very clean oil and LOTS of powdered sugar. Never had any complaints.
Joined Feb 6, 2002
Oh...ok Pongi. I was looking for the breadlike ones. :(

Chefbgs: That's exactly what I think the pizza place does.

I wiil try Pongi's for an authentic Italian zeppole and your pizza dough suggestion to hopefully feed my cravings. :D


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