Desserts/ Recipe

Zeppole (Italian Donuts)

You are seriously going to lose your shit.
One word: Zeppole aka Italian Donuts. …Okay, that was 4 words. Or rather, 3 words and an acronym.
Blueberry Compote
I’m not even joking. I am about to blow your freakin’ minds. Or at least, the donuts I’m posting about will. Personally, I might inspire a giggle or a smirk or on a bad day (read: day 4 of working from home without visitors = I forget to shower and in all honesty, brush my teeth) an ounce of repulsion but these bad boys will make you ache and make more noise than Meg Ryan in the infamous diner scene.
Blueberry Stuffed Pastries
Every once in a while I make something that turns out so well, I wolf it down and swear to God that it must be the best thing I’ve ever cooked up. This, my friends, is one of those things. In fact, give me a plate of these – I’m talkin’ a big ass family size American style Turkey platter full – and once I scarf them down, I’d gladly walk myself to the gallows and die a happy woman. 
Stuffed Donuts
If you know me at all, you know I like my Italian food; desserts are no different. Unfortunately I can’t lay claim to this recipe, but I can say with absolute certainty that it works. And it will mess you up. In a good way. Except for maybe your waistline – but who cares? I live for food like this; it’s the reason I get up in the morning. Bring on the stretchy tummy pants.

Italian Recipe - Italian Donuts

Zeppole (Italian Donuts)




Yield 10 donuts


Ingredients for Donuts:

  • 4 Oz Unsalted Butter, room temperature and cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
  • 1/4 C Water.
  • 1/4 C Sugar (plus more for topping).
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt.
  • 1 C All Purpose Flour.
  • 4 Pastured Eggs.
  • Vegetable Oil, for frying.

Ingredients for Fresh Berry Compote (optional... but highly recommended):

  • 2 C Fresh Blueberries.
  • 1/3 C Sugar.
  • 'Lil Water.


  1. In a medium sized saucepan, combine the butter, water, sugar, and salt over medium heat. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for 10 seconds. Remove from the heat and add the flour. Quickly stir the mixture until all the flour is just fully incorporated and forms a thick dough.
  2. Return the pan to the heat and stir continuously for 2 minutes.Scrape the mixture into a bowl and beat at medium speed with a hand mixer (you could use a whisk here but you're gonna need some serious arm muscles). Add the eggs, 1 at a time until fully incorporated. Beat the mixture for 3 to 4 minutes until thick and glossy. Refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes.
  3. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or wok, pour in enough oil to fill to about a third of the way. Heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 375 degrees F. Alternatively, a cube of bread will brown in a couple of minutes. If it browns too quickly, turn down the heat! If it takes longer than that, allow the oil to heat longer. If your oil is too hot you risk setting the house on fire; If the oil is too cold, you'll end up with soggy, greasy donuts.
  4. Using a soup spoon or ice cream scoop, carefully slide dollops (about 1 tablespoon) of the dough into the oil. Be sure not to crowd the pan - you want the oil to maintain it's temperature. Fry for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes, turning occasionally, until the zeppole are golden and puffed. Drain on paper towels and toss in sugar while still hot. Repeat until all of the dough has been used.
  5. If filling with the berry compote: place washed berries, sugar and about 1/4 - 1/3 C water in a saucepan. Set over medium-high heat, stirring often and bring berries to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium and allow berries to break. Reduce until mixture is soft, pulpy and gooey. Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly and puree with a hand blender until smooth. Pour into a pastry bag fitted with a pointed tip.
  6. To stuff the donuts: Being careful not to rub all the sugar off, insert a sharp knife halfway into the donuts and wiggle the tip so it creates a small cavern inside. Pull the knife out and gently squeeze the berry filled pastry bag into the center of the donuts. Don't squeeze too hard or you'll have berry mush everywhere. Like I did.
  7. Ravenously eat.




  • Sam
    June 24, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    I’m not a doughnut for breakfast person, but I really wish I were eating one of these right now…

    • Kristy Gardner
      June 25, 2013 at 12:35 PM

      I can bring you some ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Diane Balch
    June 24, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    I can eat a dozen of these walking around the Italian Festival in NYC…

  • Jackie @Auburn Meadow Farm
    June 24, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    Whoa Kristy, those photos are beautiful. You’re kicking ass ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Kristy Gardner
      June 25, 2013 at 12:35 PM

      hehehe thank you Jackie! YOU’RE kicking ass!

  • Kirsten
    June 25, 2013 at 1:19 AM

    I love your photos, Kristy!

    • Kristy Gardner
      June 25, 2013 at 12:35 PM

      Aw Kirsten! I love YOUR photos!

  • Maria Long
    July 24, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    I make zeppole every xmas, my kids are going to flip adding blueberries, never thought about that. wow definitely pinning and adding to my fruit post.

  • Kristen @ The Endless Meal
    August 1, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    I wish I was eating these right now. They look amazing!

  • Gastronomical Sovereignty to She Eats: Best Food Blog Posts 2013She Eats
    December 30, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    […] Favorite: Zeppole (Italian Donuts). You all know I like my carbs. I like ‘em even better when they’re fried, pumped full […]

  • andrew
    May 17, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    Today I went to the Italian Race Day in Perth and am oficially addicted to these. I have never eaten these before, but now that i have found you, i am going to make some tomorrow.
    ps your site is amazing, you write how i think! Andy x

  • andrew
    May 17, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    i devoured these today at the Italain Race Day in Perth. I love them, and i love the way you write, its exactly how i think!
    love from andy in australia. xxx

  • The FBC Weekly Menu Plan With She Eats | Food Bloggers of Canada
    August 24, 2014 at 3:05 AM

    […] Round off the meal with a cocktail:Raspberry Margaritas, an appetizer: Ridiculously Luscious Arugula Pesto, a side:Super Soft Homemade Bread and dessert: Zeppole (Italian Doughnuts stuffed with Blueberry Compote) […]

  • Mindi
    October 30, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    I wonder. How well do you think it would work, if I make a cream cheese mixture (like cream cheese frosting, sorta), and freeze it in balls. Then wrap the zeppole around it, before frying them. I don’t know if you’ve tried the Cinnabons at Taco Bell or not, but that’s what I’m thinking.

    • Kristy Gardner
      November 6, 2014 at 5:10 PM

      Hey Mindi! I love the idea of cream cheese stuffed zeppole but because they’re a batter – not a dough – I don’t think you could “wrap” them around balls of cream cheese. However, there’s no reason why you couldn’t drizzle a cream cheese frosting on them. Or when plating, spoon some on the base of the plate and top with the zeppole. Just make sure to serve right away because the sauce could make the crispy outter part of the doughnut soft.