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Zeppole di San Giuseppe are traditional Italian cream filled pastries which are made for the Feast of St Joseph. Use this step by step Zeppole di San Giuseppe recipe for perfect results every time.

Originally published on March 18, 2016.

You know that Italians have particular dishes and recipes for every special day, event, holiday, celebration, etc., right?

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Well, St. Joseph’s Day is no exception. March 19th is dedicated to St. Joseph and you may recall that last year, I posted these delicious rice fritters for the occasion.

What are Zeppole di San Giuseppe?

This year, I’d like to introduce you to another treat that’s made especially for St. Joseph’s Feast Day. They are named after him: Zeppole di San Giuseppe. Giuseppe is Italian for Joseph. Although there will be a Zeppole  di San Giuseppe recipe that varies from Italian to Italian, they are mostly all the same.

However, I will remind you that all of my recipes are honest to goodness, tried and tested in my kitchen. I just found a photo of my zeppole with another recipe–its so wrong! You will not get these results with a different recipe. Why are they using (stealing) my photo? Obviously, theirs is either not a tested recipe or they didn’t turn out well, right? Sadly, this happens a lot.

Zeppole di San Giuseppe are made from a very slightly sweetened choux pastry. They are filled and topped with pastry cream, dusted with powdered sugar and crowned with a syrupy Italian cherry. Nothing super fancy, and overall, zeppole are quite simple to make.

How do I Make Zeppole di San Giuseppe?

I’m glad you asked! Let’s get right to the zeppole recipe.

ngredients for pastry

  • (4 oz) 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of sugar
  • (8 oz) 1 cup water
  • (5 oz) 1 cup  flour
  • 4 eggs at room temperature


  • (6.75 oz) 2/3 cup milk at room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp (5 oz) sugar
  • 2 ¼ tbsp potato starch
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar to sprinkle
  • Fabbri cherries  these are the most authentic topping, but omit if you can’t find them

Heat oven to 400ºF (200ºC)

Begin preparing the choux pastry by placing the butter, sugar and water in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring it to a rolling boil. Next, add the flour all at once, and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon for about a minute until the mixture forms a ball.

Remove from heat, add an egg and beat well until well incorporated, before adding the next. Repeat with remaining eggs until the batter is smooth and satiny.

Next, place the mixture in a piping bag with a 2D or other tip, or spoon onto a baking tray lined with a silicone sheet or parchment paper. Pipe or shape into small puffs, about 3″ apart. If piping, shape the upper part of the pastry so there is a small hole in the center, or make one with the back of a teaspoon.

Bake for about 30 minutes. Turn off oven, and leave for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and  place on a cooling rack.

While the cream puffs are baking, make the filling.

prepare the custard and assemble the pastries … enjoy your meal!