Though not as well known as St. Patrick’s Day, St. Joseph’s Day is the second saint celebration in March. While Irish Americans indulge in beer and corned beef, it’s all about the pastries for Italian Americans on Friday, St. Joseph’s Day. One of the traditional desserts eaten is zeppola (the plural is zeppole), which are the Italian version of doughnuts. But they’re not always easy to find. For those who like to cook and want to celebrate St. Joseph’s Day, check out the simple zeppola recipe below, courtesy of All Recipes.


  • 2 quarts vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar for dusting

Note: This recipe should take 40 minutes to complete. There is a 15-minute prep time and a 25-minute cook time. It ought to produce 35 zeppole.


1. Put the oil in a deep fryer, or deep pan, and heat it up to 375 degrees F. If using a pan, keep the burner on medium-high heat.

2. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt and sugar) into a medium saucepan. Then mix in the ricotta cheese, vanilla and eggs over low heat. Combine the ingredients gingerly until the batter comes together. The consistency should be sticky.

3. Now it’s time to make the zeppole. Simply place tablespoon-sized blobs of the mixture into the oil, which by now should already be heated. Two to three dollops can be placed in the oil at a time. Here’s the fun part: They don’t need to be flipped! The zeppole will do it naturally. Let them cook 3-4 minutes, or until they have a golden brown hue.

4. When they are finished, sprinkle them with powdered sugar and shake. Here’s the biggest tip: Serve them while they are still warm.

Happy St. Joseph’s Day!

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