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Coffee and Cardamom Zeppole- Italian Fried Donuts

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

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The fabulous Sarah from Offbeat and Inspired is back this month with an amazing recipe for Italian Fried Donuts! When Sarah joined our team as a contributor, I was thrilled that she would be bringing her mad food skills with her.  I love both her recipes and excellent food photography!  Take it away Sarah!

Sarah Contributor


  Coffee + Cardamom Zeppole - offbeat + inspired-4

In an effort to expand my cooking repertoire, I’ve been experimenting with new dishes, techniques and recipes. I don’t often make desserts, so I figured that’d be a great (and tasty) area in which to step up my culinary game. The latest sweet treat? Italian fried doughnuts, also called zeppole (singular: zeppola). Yup – deep-fried, buttery, sweet dough covered in sugar. What’s not to love?

After making a few classic-style batches (which thankfully my friends and family helped devour), I decided to make a version that incorporated one of my favorite flavor combinations – coffee and cardamom.

The cardamom balances out the richness of the doughnut while a sprinkling of powdered sugar helps sweeten up the coffee flavor. In the zeppole shown, I used espresso for added intensity, but you can also use coffee concentrate (see recipe below).

Coffee + Cardamom Zeppole - offbeat + inspired-1

Coffee + Cardamom Zeppole - offbeat + inspired-6

Coffee + Cardamom Zeppole - offbeat + inspired-2

Coffee + Cardamom Zeppole - offbeat + inspired-3

Coffee + Cardamom Zeppole
Adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis
Yields 4-6 servings

1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup strong coffee, espresso or coffee concentrate*
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
3/4 tsp ground cardamom
1 Tbsp very finely ground coffee
Vegetable oil, for frying

Coffee + Cardamom Zeppole - offbeat + inspired-8

1. Combine butter, coffee, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring every once in a while. Allow the mixture to boil for about 10 seconds and then remove from heat.

2. Add the flour, about ¼ cup at a time, stirring well to ensure all the flour is fully incorporated and a thick dough forms. Return the saucepan to medium-low heat and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.

3. Transfer dough to a stand mixture with the paddle attachment. Turn the mixer to a medium speed and add the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time. Add the cardamom and coffee grounds. Mix until all the ingredients are fully incorporated and the dough becomes glossy and smooth (about 5 minutes of mixing, total).

4. Refrigerate the dough for about 15-20 minutes.

5. In a large, heavy saucepan, pour in enough oil to fill the pan about a third of the way. Heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 375 degrees F.

6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Using a small scoop or two spoons, drop scoops of dough about one tablespoon in size into the oil. Cook for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes, turning occasionally, until the dough becomes crisp and puffed. Remove zeppole with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Continue this process until all of the dough has been fried. Allow the zeppole to cool slightly, top with powdered sugar (or a coffee glaze like this one) and serve immediately.

Quick Tip: Zeppole taste best when served right away. However, the dough can be made ahead of time, covered and refrigerated until you’re ready to use it.

*Coffee Concentrate

My favorite way to brew coffee concentrate is to use a Toddy Cold Brewer. However, if you don’t have a Toddy, here’s an alternative method that uses a French Press.

1 cup coarsely ground coffee (I suggest FreshGround Roasting’s Market Blend or Honduras)
4 cups cold water

1. Add coffee to a French Press. Pour the cold water over the grounds, ensuring that all of the grounds get wet.

2. Let steep overnight, or for 8-16 hours.

3. After coffee has steeped, use the plunger on the French Press to strain your coffee.

4. Pour brewed coffee concentrate into a container that can be covered and stored in your refrigerator. This recipe makes more than you’ll need for the zeppole; the leftover concentrate can be refrigerated for up to two weeks.


Yum!!  I can’t wait to try this recipe Sarah!

Here’s another recipe from Offbeat and Inspired that makes my mouth water!

Coffee Cake Donuts


And don’t let all these desserts distract you from linking up your submission project for Creating with the Stars!  We want to see your best DIY project from the last year!  Make sure you link up before next Wednesday!!

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The comments +

  1. Kate says:

    This truly looks like heaven! I am craving these like crazy…

    Lovely photography too!
    <3 Kate @ Clover and Dot

  2. […] This post was originally featured by East Coast Creative. […]

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