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A father’s day recipe: Zeppole di San Giuseppe

Recipes abruzzo   recipes   17 Mar 2020

On 19 March, Saint Joseph’s day in Western Christianity, is also when Italian families celebrate Father’s day.

On this festive occasions, Italian Father’s Day is all about sweets, like the so called “zeppola”, the protagonist of tables and bakeries of Italy. The zeppola of San Giuseppe ( Saint Joseph ) comes from the tradition of a nearby region, Campania, but throughout Italy different versions can be found.

Fried, oven-baked or filled with custard and black cherries or chocolate, pistachio and much more. What a delight!

The birth of zeppole, just like other festive recipes (Easter Pizza, Cicerchiata, Calcionetti), is linked to ancient traditions and legends, which date back as far as 500 BC.


The most popular legend has Christian origins. It is said that St. Joseph, in order to sustain Mary and Jesus, not only was a carpenter but also street pastry vendor.

Some believe the word “zeppola” derives from Latin serpula (m), snake, in reference to the twisted shape of the dessert. According to others, the name comes from the Latin cippus, a Neapolitan instrument used for woodworking. The reference to the profession of Saint Joseph would therefore be clear.

For this special occasion we’re going to show you the original recipe.

INGREDIENTS FOR 16 oven-baked zeppole

Puff Pastry

120 g of water
2 medium eggs
75 g flour type 00
60 g butter
A pinch of salt
350 g crème patissière
Cherries in syrup
Icing sugar


Sac à poche
Pastry nozzle 10mm


First of all, let’s focus on our choux pastry: boil water in a saucepan, adding butter and salt. Off the heat, mix sieved flour all at once and stir with a whisk. After that, put the pot on the fire by cooking and stirring with a wooden spoon. When you’ll notice a light white veil on the bottom of the saucepan and the pasta starts to sizzle, it will finally be ready.
Let it cool a bit and then incorporate the eggs, one at a time. (It is advisable to beat them in a separate saucer in order to use the right amount based on the consistency ).

When we’ll have obtained a sticky mixture, use a pastry bag to form crowns slightly distant from the other, on a baking tray covered with parchment paper.
Next, bake in a heated oven at 220 ° for 10 minutes and bring the temperature to 180 °, continuing cooking for about 30-35 minutes. Take it out of the oven and let it cool. Then, transfer the custard into the pastry bag and distribute it on your zeppole, which we’ll have sprinkled with powdered sugar. Finally, Garnish with black cherries.


Before sugar became known, our ancestors ate honey. And before olive oil, lard was largely used to prepare the zeppole.

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