St. Joseph’s Zeppole and Sfingi Are Almost Too Good to Be True

Custard, cannoli cream and golden brown dough are never a bad thing.

By: Rossella Rago, Cooking with Nonna


For 1 Dozen

For the Zeppole:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Crisco shortening
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • Custard cream (see link below)
  • Cannoli cream (see link below)
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Anarene – Wild cherries in syrup


    1. In a medium pot, boil water, salt and the Crisco. Once the mixture comes to a boil, add the ¾ cup of flour. Mix with a wooden spoon continually for about 2 minutes until all ingredients are incorporated.
    2. Remove the pot from the heat. Take out the dough and let it cool on a flat surface. Spread dough for cooling. Let it rest for about 10 minutes.
    3. Take the cooled dough and put into a bowl. Add the 4 eggs, mixing in one egg at a time. Beat with a hand mixer until you have a very smooth mix.
    4. Heat 2 inches of oil in a pot.  Bring to 325 degrees.
    5. Using a large soup spoon, place spoonful size of dough into the oil. Grease the spoon to let the dough release easier.
    6. Fry 3 or 4 sfingi at a time a few minutes until golden. As the sfingi fry you will note that they continue to expand in volume. This is expected as you want the sfingi to be somewhat hollow on the inside.
    7. Let the sfingi cool off. Gently slice open and fill with cannoli cream, dust with powdered sugar and top with an optional cherry. Get the Cannoli Cream recipe HERE!
    8. To make Zeppole, put the mix in a pastry bag, cut squares (4″x4″) of parchment paper, and with the pastry bag, pipe the mix on the paper in a circle. Overlay two circles on top of one another.
    9. Put the squares of paper with the piped mix in the hot oil and fry until golden.
    10. Please note that as the mix fries, it will expand quite a bit.
    11. Once the Zeppole are fried, slice them in half and fill them with custard cream. Get the Custard Cream Recipe HERE!
    12. Decorate with Amarene.


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