Zeppole di San Giuseppe

  • 4 Servings
  • 40mPrep Time
  • 60mCook Time
  • 100mReady In
  • Category : Food
  • Subcategory : Desserts
  • Main Ingredient : sugar
  • Chef : David DiGregorio

Zeppole di San Giuseppe are Southern Italian pastries traditionally served for the feast of St. Joseph on March 19, a holiday that often gets undeservedly lost amid all the foofaraw of St. Patrick’s Day, a pity because St. Joe’s Day offers much better food.


Pastry shells: 1 cup water 3 tablespoons butter 1/2 teaspoon sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup all-purpose flour 4 eggs Filling: 6 egg yolks 3/4 cup superfine sugar 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 ounce cornstarch 2 1/4 cups whole milk 1 tablespoon dark rum 1 teaspoon orange zest 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 cups whipping cream, whipped Powdered sugar for garnish Dark cherries for garnish


Make the pastry:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • In a saucepan, boil the water with the butter, salt and sugar.
  • Add the flour all at once and cook over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture pulls away from the sides without sticking.
  • Remove from the fire and beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Let cool.
  • Line a sheet pan with baking paper.
  • With a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip, pipe the dough into puffs on the sheet.
  • Bake for 5 minutes.
  • Turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for approximately 10 minutes more or until golden brown.
  • Remove and let cool.

Make the filling:

  • Beat the yolks with the sugar until very light.
  • Add the flour and cornstarch to the yolk mixture.
  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk to a boil slowly, and add the yolk mixture while beating until smooth.
  • Over low heat, cook until thickened, stirring all the time.
  • Remove from heat and add the rum, orange zest and vanilla.
  • Let cool completely and fold in the whipped cream.


  • Split the pastries and hollow them out; fill and put the tops back on.
  • Dust with powdered sugar.
  • Top with cherries.