Baked Zeppole di San Giuseppe



Baked Zeppole di San Giuseppe

In Italy, it's not Father's Day without them: zeppole di San Giuseppe are the quintessential dessert, rich in history and traditions! This dessert of Campanian origin is now prepared throughout Italy, and on March 19, all bakeries and the best pastry shops are teeming with Neapolitan zeppole... and not only, just think of the Emilian raviole. The most traditional ones are definitely the fried zeppole, but many prefer the baked version, like the one we propose today! The result will be a bit lighter and the taste more delicate, but the baked zeppole di San Giuseppe will still have a rich filling of a velvety pastry cream. To complete everything there will be the indispensable candied cherry and a cascade of powdered sugar. To celebrate Father's Day in an absolutely special and delicious way, also try another baked version: the baked cocoa zeppole, or our zeppole in an air fryer. And for a different filling get inspired by our zeppole with mascarpone and coffee cream or the recipe for Coffee Zeppolona!


Ingredients for about 4 zeppole
Eggs 7.4 oz (210 g) - (approximately 4)
Flour 00 1 ¼ cup (150 g)
Butter 3 tbsp (45 g)
Water 8.5 oz (250 ml)
Fine salt 1 pinch
for the pastry cream
Whole milk 0.9 cup (200 g)
Sugar 1 cup (70 g)
Cornstarch 1.4 tbsp (20 g)
Fresh liquid cream 1.8 oz (50 g)
Egg yolks 2
Vanilla bean ½
for garnish
Black cherried in syrup 4
Powdered sugar to taste

How to prepare Baked Zeppole di San Giuseppe

To prepare the baked zeppole di San Giuseppe start making the choux pastry. Place the water and the cubed butter in a pot 1, then let it melt over moderate heat 2; as soon as it starts to boil add the flour all at once 3.

Stir quickly with a spatula or a wooden spoon 4. Once the mixture has thickened 5 continue to cook until the dough detaches from the sides of the pot and a whitish film has formed on the bottom 6.

Transfer to a bowl 7 and let it cool. Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a bowl, then add a little to the now lukewarm mixture and mix with a wooden spoon 8 until fully incorporated 9.

Add a pinch of salt and add the remaining eggs gradually 10. Continue to add the eggs slowly until you get a smooth and thick mixture 11. Do not worry if lumps form at first, but keep working the mixture patiently until you achieve the right consistency. Place the choux pastry in a piping bag fitted with a 1/2 of an inch star nozzle and preheat the oven to 400°F in convection mode.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper: to secure it, squeeze some dough at the corners between the tray and the parchment paper. Then create the zeppole, for each one you will need to make two rounds, one on top of the other to create a circle about 4 inches in diameter (13-14). Once all 4 zeppole are prepared, bake in a preheated convection oven at 400°F for about 25 minutes on the lowest rack, until they are nicely golden. After 25 minutes, slightly open the oven door and cook for another 5 minutes so that they also dry inside, then take out your zeppole 15. Let them cool completely and in the meantime prepare the pastry cream.

In a small pot combine the milk, cream 16, the seeds you have scraped from the half vanilla pod, and also the emptied pod 17. Bring the mixture to just below boiling, meanwhile in another bowl combine the yolks with the sugar 18 and beat quickly with a whisk.

Add the cornstarch 19 and whisk again until you have a smooth mixture 20. As soon as the milk and cream begin to boil, remove the vanilla pod with kitchen tongs 21.

Pour the milk in a thin stream into the egg mixture 22, a little at a time, whisking quickly with the whisk 23. Transfer back to the pot 24

and cook over low heat stirring constantly until the cream has thickened 25. Transfer the cream to a bowl 26, cover with cling film touching the surface 27 and let cool completely. When cold, put it in a piping bag fitted with a smooth nozzle.

At this point, the zeppole will also be cold and you can fill them. Using the piping bag, pierce the zeppola in one point making gentle pressure and squeeze some cream inside 28. Repeat the same operation on another side to fill them completely. Fill all 4 zeppole then arrange them on a serving plate, squeeze a dollop of cream in the center of each zeppola 29 and place a candied cherry on each 30.

At this point 31, dust with plenty of powdered sugar 32: your baked zeppole are ready to be served 33

How to store

The unfilled zeppole can be stored for up to 1 week in a tin box. Once filled, it is recommended to keep them in the refrigerator and consume them within a couple of days at most. It is not recommended to store the raw dough.


For a more indulgent version, try filling your baked zeppole with chocolate cream