Zeppole

5 from 1 vote

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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.

Nonna’s Tip

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.

Italian Donuts (Zeppole)

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!

  1. After frying, you could fill the center of the doughnut with fruit preserves or jam such as my healthiest jam.
  2. Feel free to experiment with different glazes such as 🍫 chocolate, maple, or fruit-flavored glazes instead of just using powdered sugar.
  3. If you have allergy or dietary concerns, you could whole wheat or a gluten-free flour dough to accommodate.
  4. The frying oil is up to you! You can use oils such as 🥥 coconut, vegetable, canola, peanut or even sunflower.
  5. Instead of icing sugar, top the doughnuts with cinnamon sugar, sprinkles, or chopped nuts.

Similar Recipes

Best Served With

Served these Italian donuts by themselves, with some coffee, or 🫖 tea.

Description Product Image Product Name / Primary Rating / Price Primary Button
Kitchen Staple
  • Description:

    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.

Baker's Choice
  • Description:

    The French rolling pin replaces the traditional rolling pin and can easily change the thickness of the dough without adjusting the ring, perfect for making pizza cookies and other baked goods.

The Best Skillet
  • Description:

    This is the best non-stick skillet made of natural ceramic, meaning you don't have to worry about any toxic coating infusing your food while you cook!

Kitchen Staple
Description:

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.

4.9
$15.95
Baker's Choice
Description:

The French rolling pin replaces the traditional rolling pin and can easily change the thickness of the dough without adjusting the ring, perfect for making pizza cookies and other baked goods.

4.9
$10.98$9.98
The Best Skillet
Description:

This is the best non-stick skillet made of natural ceramic, meaning you don't have to worry about any toxic coating infusing your food while you cook!

4.9
$39.99$31.99
03/19/2024 06:20 am GMT

Common Questions

What is the best way to cut out the dough into discs?

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.

What type of oil should i use to fry the donuts?

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. 

How do I know if the oil is heated enough?

Heat the oil to 375F, but I just wait for it to shimmer. Feel free to use a thermometer if you need to. 

How long do the fried donuts stay fresh?

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

Italian Donuts (Zeppole)

The incredible texture of these fried donuts, that's both crispy on the outside and super soft on the inside, will blow your mind.
5 from 1 vote
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 12
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 144kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 0.4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Sodium: 422mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American, Italian
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Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

Keep up to date with me on social media! Follow @themodernnonna

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6 Comments

  1. I will buy the pizza dough in the grocery store. To make zepoles don’t I have to let the dough rise, before frying it up?

  2. Am I missing something or did you miss the first 1-2 steps? You immediately instruct us to rip the dough in 12 pieces but there’s no mention of water or any instruction on how the dough comes together before this?

    1. Hi Akelia,
      This is made with store-bought pizza dough so no other steps are necessary prior to that. You don’t make your own dough in this recipe unless you wanted to of course

  3. 5 stars
    These are SO easy and fun. We dipped.some of the donuts Into chocolate and then covered in powdered sugar for fun. So great and versatile