Zeppole di San Giuseppe

Zeppole di San Giuseppe, oven baked

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 11 medium size zeppole 1x


Recipe adapted from Zeppole all’arancia


Choux Pastry:

  • 150 ml water
  • 100 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
  • the zest of 1 orange
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 160 g flour 00, sifted
  • 4 eggs, organic free range

Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream

  • 500 ml whole milk (3.25%)
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 6 egg yolks, organic free range
  • 140 g granulated sugar
  • 45 g corn starch


  • sour cherries


  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F (200° C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  2. In a saucepan over low/medium heat add the water, orange juice, and butter.
  3. When the butter has completely melted, add the orange zest and the sifted flour.
  4. With the help of a wooden spoon, stir well until the dough gets dense and it is ready when it begins to break away from the walls.
  5. Pour the mixture into a bowl and let it cool. Once lukewarm, add eggs, one at a time, adding the following only when the previous one has been completely absorbed (you can use a wooden spoon, a handheld mixer, or better yet, a stand mixer). You want to obtain a smooth and homogeneous batter.
  6. Transfer the mixture thus obtained inside a pastry bag with a star tip.
  7. On the prepared baking sheets, pipe a circle of medium size (4-6 cm) and continue piping overlapping the first one, until you have two circles not closed at the top (possibly).
  8. Place the zeppole in the preheated oven at 400° F (200° C) for the first 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350° F (180° C) and bake for 20 more minutes. After that, open the oven a little and cook for additional 5 minutes.
  9. Transfer onto a rack to cool.
  10. Meanwhile prepare the vanilla bean pastry cream.

Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream:

  1. Heat the milk in a saucepan with the scored vanilla bean but do not let it boil.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until nice and frothy, then add the corn starch and mix.
  3. Remove the vanilla bean from the milk and scrape the seeds in the egg mixture.
  4. Pour the heated milk slowly in the egg mixture, mixing with a whisk. Put back the mixture on the stove and whisk constantly until the custard has thickened. Remove from heat and place in a big bowl filled with ice water. Keep whisking until temperature has reduced.
  5. Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and let it cool with a plastic wrap on top to keep it from drying out.


  1. Put the cream in a piping bag with a star tip.
  2. Cut the zeppole in half carefully. Fill the bottom with the cream but stay inside the borders.
  3. Cover with the top, sprinkle with icing sugar, pipe some cream on top and finish with the sour cherry.


Cook the trays separately unless you have a convection oven. As one tray is in the oven you can prepare the pastry cream, this will lessen the time factor. Once filled, refrigerate uncovered. The zeppole lasts for a couple days.

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