Zeppole - St Joseph Pastry
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5 from 1 vote

St.Joseph's Pastry - Zeppole di San Giuseppe

St. Joseph’s Pastries or Zeppole di San Giusepper are traditional cream filled pastries from Campagna region.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 12 pastries


For the dough:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 ⅓ cup flour approx 170 grams
  • 4 oz butter approx 115 grams
  • 4 medium eggs
  • ½ tsp salt

For Pasty Cream:

For Decoration:



Pastry Cream

  • Beat egg yolks with sugar. Add corn starch, vanilla and ½ cup milk. Beat everything well until you get a smooth and even lump free batter .
  • Heat remaining milk on a stove-top without boiling it.
    Turn the heat on low and slowly start pouring in egg yolk batter.
  • Whisk continuously to prevent formation of lumps and cream sticking to the bottom of the pot. Continue whisking until the cream starts to become pretty thick and turns into custard.
  • Be careful not to overcook it otherwise you’ll get a sweet omelet.
    Once you see consistency of the cream is thick enough add butter, whisk until it's completely incorporated.
  • Transfer the pastry cream in a large bowl, cover with a plastic wrap making it touch the cream. Let cool completely.


  • In a medium stovetop pot combine water, butter and salt.
    Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and add all flour at once. Using a wooden spoon mix energetically until the dough comes together in a smooth ball.
    Continue mixing and cooking on low heat for a few minutes.
  • Transfer the dough into a mixer bowl.
    Using a dough hook beat it for about a few minutea to let the dough cool.
    Once the dough is cool start beating in the eggs one at a time. Add the next egg ONLY once the previous one has been completely incorporated.
    NOTE: All this can be done by hand without use of the mixer.
  • Transfer the dough to a pastry bag with a large star-shaped tip.

Now you have 2 options

    Baked Zeppole

    • Preheat oven to 375F/ 180C
    • Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
      Pipe the dough into 3 inch in diameter circles with about an inch and a half hole in the middle.
      Make sure to leave enough space between the pastries as they’ll double in size in the oven.
    • Bake in preheated to 375F oven for 25-30 minutes until lightly brown. Don’t open the oven during the first 25 minutes. Past 25 minutes open the oven door for a few inches and let zeppole bake for another 5-10 minutes this way.

    Fried Zeppole

    • Preheat vegetable oil suitable for frying to 375F in a deep sautee pan.
    • Cut out 3 inch squares of parchment paper or aluminum foil, brush one side of the square with vegetable oil.
      Pipe the dough on each square forming a circle.
    • Deep squares in hot oil a few at a time. The paper will separate from the fritters in the hot oil.
    • You can remove it using small tongs. Fry zeppole until lightly brown. Discard on paper towel to absorb excess oil.

    Fill pastries with cream

    • Let pastries cool. Cut each in half.
      Fill a pastry bag with pastry cream.
    • Pipe pastry cream on the bottom half, cover with top and pipe another star or swirl of a pastry cream on the top.
    • Decorate with cherries.
      Dust with confectioners sugar.


    Decorate with cherry. You can use simple compote cherries or candied cherries.