Dessert, Local specialties

Authentic St Joseph zeppole

St Joseph zeppole

St Joseph zeppole (Zeppole di San Giuseppe in Italian) are the typical treats from Campania, the region around Naples, to celebrate Father’s day. Nowadays, zeppole are common all over Italy, even if other local treats are present, e.g. the traditional raviole emiliane from Bologna.

St Joseph Zeppole tradition

Zeppole are typically from Naples, even if their roots are uncertain. A bunch of villages near Mount Vesuvius fight over giving birth to this traditional treat. The first written version of zeppole recipe dates back to early XIX century.

They are named after St Joseph (San Giuseppe in Italian), the Father of Jesus. That’s why they are the typical gift for Italian fathers during their (I should say… our) day, that is celebrated on March 19th.

Is this interesting? Trust me, they are even tastier! If you want to be sure to find this recipe next time you feel like making them… you can PIN this easily 🙂

How are zeppole made?

St Joseph zeppole recipe is simply extraordinary. The base is a choux pastry (note: thanks to this recipe I found out Sally’s baking recipe site, it is truely amazing!), that can be fried or baked. In Naples they usually fry it, but here is the version in the oven: it is lighter and better fits my personal taste.

After being cooked, zeppole are topped (and sometimes also filled, as in this version) with pastry cream, one or more delicious candied black cherry (amarena in Italian) is added and finally some icing sugar to make them perfect.

Fun fact: I was born about 200 meters from the historical Fabbri factory, the company famous all over the worlds for their amarene. Their iconic ceramic vase, one of the unforgettable memories of my childhood, is not only in almost any Italian kitchen, but was chosen by New York MoMa to be part of their expositions. Not bad having a piece of art at home 😉

Amarene Fabbri ceramic vase
The iconic Amarene Fabbri ceramic vase

How can I store zeppole?

Let’s imagine you will be able to resist and not finish them all… If you are that brave, you can store your zeppole in fridge. Ideal container is a tin one, but glass or plastic will work just fine. Please consider that we don’t advice to store your zeppole for longer than two days.

But now it’s time to share with you how to make in your oven these amazing St Joseph zeppole! And if you don’t know where to find the original Amarene Fabbri, here’s the link you can use to buy them and, at the same time, support this project of sharing love and knowledge for authentic Italian food. Thank you! 🙂

Enjoy and make a daddy happy 🙂

St Joseph zeppole

St Joseph zeppole (Zeppole di San Giuseppe in Italian) are the typical treats from Campania, the region around Naples, to celebrate Father's day. Nowadays, zeppole are common all over Italy, not only on March 19th. Here the authentic recipe to make them at home and make a daddy happy 🙂
Prep Time1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time2 hours
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian, Naples
Keyword: Father’s day, Naples, Regional, Traditional, Treat
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 250kcal
Author: Roberto
Cost: 0.5


  • 1 pot
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • 2 bowl
  • 1 whip or one stand mixer
  • 1 baking tray
  • some baking paper
  • 1 sac-à-poche
  • 1 strainer to powder the icing sugar


  • 8 organic eggs
  • 300 gr general purpose flour in Italy, would be '00' flour
  • 90 gr butter
  • 500 gr water
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 400 gr milk
  • 140 gr sugar
  • 40 gr corn starch
  • 100 gr fresh milk cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 12-24 candied black cherry Amarene Fabbri (1 or 2 each zeppola)
  • q.s. icing sugar



The fried version of this recipe has about twice the calories than this one!


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Buon appetito!

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