on Nov 12, 2022, Updated Dec 23, 2023
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There’s nothing better than Italian donuts (Zeppole) with powdered sugar. Every single country around the world has its own version of fried dough, and my home country of 🇧🇬 Bulgaria is no exception. In Bulgaria, we call these “Mekitzi” or “Ponichki” which are similar in taste. This super lazy version is much easier to make and hits the spot.
Italians 🇮🇹 have several different names for this delicious fried dough, such as pizza fritte, fried doughnuts, zeppole, or sfinci. Fried pizza dough is made in a variety of ways, depending on where you live. These fluffy delicious bites of heaven will have you and your guests begging for more!
Why You’ll Love Zeppole
You’ll love these donuts for how easy they are to make and how amazing they taste. The incredible texture of these fried doughnuts, that’s both crispy on the outside and super soft on the inside, will 🤯 blow your mind. The fun part of this recipe is how creative you can get, from added glazes and flavors to fruit-filled surprises.
The quick frying process for these 🍩 donuts makes sure that you will achieve golden perfection. Whether you’re a fan of the traditional powdered sugar on these doughnuts or you want to try some fun glazes, these doughnuts are such a great treat for a Saturday morning or to have a special homemade breakfast for guests.
How to Prepare Zeppole
🖤 Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces.
🔘 Shape each piece into a thin, flat disc, using your hands, a pastry cutter, or a knife. Dust the discs with flour if they stick to your hands.
🔥 Heat oil in a pan with high sides until it shimmers; test readiness by placing a wooden spoon tip, and if it bubbles, it’s ready.
🍩 Avoid overcrowding the pan; cook 3 or 4 doughnuts at a time.
♨️ Reduce heat to medium as soon as doughnuts are placed in the pan. Fry for 2 minutes on each side or until golden.
💛 Place fried donuts on a paper towel then dust with icing sugar and enjoy.
I just wait for the oil to shimmer to know that it’s ready. Feel free to use a thermometer if you need to; the oil needs to be at 375F.
Variations and Substitutions for Zeppole
These tasty fried donuts are yummy just as I made them, or you can make them your own by adding a filling, using a frosting, or any other variation you like! As always, don’t forget to tell me in the comments what you try!
- After frying, you could fill the center of the doughnut with fruit preserves or jam such as my healthiest jam.
- Feel free to experiment with different glazes such as 🍫 chocolate, maple, or fruit-flavored glazes instead of just using powdered sugar.
- If you have allergy or dietary concerns, you could whole wheat or a gluten-free flour dough to accommodate.
- The frying oil is up to you! You can use oils such as 🥥 coconut, vegetable, canola, peanut or even sunflower.
- Instead of icing sugar, top the doughnuts with cinnamon sugar, sprinkles, or chopped nuts.
Best Served With
Served these Italian donuts by themselves, with some coffee, or 🫖 tea.
|Product Name / Primary Rating / Price
The sharp, stainless steel blade of the OXO Good Grips Pizza Cutter slices through even the thickest crusts. Die-cast zinc thumb guard and comfortable, soft non-grip handle makes it safe and easy to use.
You can use a large round cookie cutter to cut out the dough or you can simply rip the dough with your hands, roll it into a ball, and shape/stretch the dough into thin round disks.
Feel free to use any high smoke point oil, I used sunflower because avocado oil is very expensive. I filled my skillet with oil to the halfway mark. I didn’t measure, but I used about 4-6 cups of oil.
Heat the oil to 375F, but I just wait for it to shimmer. Feel free to use a thermometer if you need to.
I recommend enjoying these fresh, but you can store them in an airtight container for a day or two. Reheat briefly in the oven, microwave, or air fryer to restore their crispiness.
Italian Donuts (Zeppole)
- 700 grams pizza dough, I like getting it from an Italian bakery
- dusting of flour, if the dough sticks
- oil for frying, sunflower, avocado, or any you like
- powdered sugar
- Take the dough and divide it into 12 equal pieces. I rip equal size pieces with my hand, but you can use a pastry cutter or a knife to be precise.
- Roll the dough into dough ball with your hands, and shape/stretch it out so that it looks like a flat disc. The disc should be thin. Dust each one with flour if it sticks to your hands.
- In a pan with high sides, heat up the oil and make sure it “shimmers." You can test the oil by placing in the tip of a wooden spoon, and if it bubbles, it's ready.
- Don't overcrowd the pan, cook 3 or 4 doughnuts at a time. As soon as I place them in, I reduce the heat to medium and fry for 2 minutes on each side or until golden.
- Set on paper towel, dust with icing sugar and enjoy.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.