Gluten Free Zeppole Recipe

Gluten Free Dairy Free Apple Cinnamon Zeppole Recipe

Almost every culture and region has a version of sweetened, fried dough; they are called doughnuts, fritters, or zeppole. I call them happy pills. It is simply impossible to be downhearted or depressed when eating these crispy little nuggets of apple-laced goodness topped with glistening cinnamon sugar.

Who needs Prozac when the simple act of biting into these gluten free, dairy free apple cinnamon zeppole can transport you to your happy place? Unlike mind altering psychotropic drugs, these doughnuts do not come with any severe warning labels listing side effects such as thoughts of suicide, sexual dysfunction, and death. The only thing you may have to be warned against is obsessive finger licking and the inability to quit smiling.

Basically a dairy and gluten free pate choux batter with some grated apple stirred in, these zeppole take just a few minutes to whip up but should really be eaten immediately. Have all the ingredients measured out and ready as the batter comes together quickly.

A deep fry or candy thermometer is helpful for controlling the temperature of the oil but if you don’t have one just test the oil by dropping a bit of batter into it. The batter should start to sizzle immediately but not burn.

When making the batter you may think that you have done something wrong or I am an idiot for giving you this recipe as it doesn’t look real pretty until it is fully done. The oil separates from the dough in the pan after the flour has been added, it gets clumpy as you add the eggs and basically looks like a big ‘ole mess. But keep the faith, let your mixer do its thing and you will be rewarded with a mouthful of bliss.

4.67 from 3 votes
Gluten Free Zeppole Recipe
Print Recipe

Gluten Free Dairy Free Apple Cinnamon Zeppole Recipe

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 servings approximately
Calories: 634kcal
Author: Gluten Free & More


  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar – use divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 large eggs – plus 1 egg yolk
  • ½ cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup coconut milk – shake can well before measuring
  • 1 pinch kosher or sea salt
  • 1 cup sweet rice flour
  • 1 large or 2 medium apples – peeled cored and grated (about 1 ½ cups)


  • Mix 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar with the cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Crack the eggs and yolk into a liquid measuring cup or pitcher.
  • In a medium sauce pan, combine the oil, coconut milk, ¼ cup sugar and salt and bring just to a boil over medium heat. Stir to try and incorporate the oil into the coconut milk. It won’t completely happen but don’t worry. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil turn the heat down to medium-low and dump in the sweet rice flour all at once. Stir quickly and in one direction with a wooden spoon. The liquid will start absorbing the flour and will form into a ball. Continue cooking and stirring for 1 or 2 minutes. You will see that some of the oil is separating out from the dough, that’s fine.
  • Dump the dough (separated oil and all) into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat the dough for about 1 minute on medium speed to cool it off slightly. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. As you are incorporating the eggs some oil may splatter to the sides of the bowl and it will look like a lumpy, gooey mess. No worries! Continue mixing until the dough is uniformly smooth, thick and shiny, about 3 – 5 minutes. Stir in the grated apple.
  • Line a plate with paper towels. Heat about 1 ½ inches of oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven to 325 degrees. Drop the dough into the hot oil using a small ice cream scoop or two spoons, about 1 tablespoon of dough per zeppole. Do not over crowd the oil, depending on the size of your pan only fry about 6 at a time to keep the oil temperature even. Turn the zeppole over in the hot oil a few times with a slotted spoon for even browning. Fry for about 4 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Remove zeppole to paper towel lined plate with slotted spoon to drain while finishing the rest. Sprinkle generously with the cinnamon sugar and serve immediately.


Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free Dairy Free Apple Cinnamon Zeppole Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 634 Calories from Fat 396
% Daily Value*
Fat 44g68%
Saturated Fat 14g70%
Cholesterol 163mg54%
Sodium 70mg3%
Potassium 264mg8%
Carbohydrates 53g18%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 17g19%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 260IU5%
Vitamin C 2.6mg3%
Calcium 47mg5%
Iron 2.8mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. This blog accepts free manufacturers’ samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Affiliate links may be included in this post.

Disclaimer: All nutrition facts on Gluten Free & More are meant only as a guide and may differ depending on product brands used or ingredient substitutions. Some errors may occur, so you are encouraged to confirm the recipe’s ingredient and nutrition suitability for your own diet.
Have you tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and let us know your thoughts in the Ratings & Reviews section below.
Tags: Apples Cinnamon Doughnuts Zeppole
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  1. gfe--gluten free easily
    April 12, 2010

    Oh, my, how nice to click on the link and see these photos! I've never heard of zeppole, but I know the other names. ;-) I was just looking at apples on the counter and wondering what to do with them … and here's the answer!

    Thanks, Carol. These look and sound heavenly.


  2. Aubree Cherie
    April 12, 2010

    These look so amazing – And with such a small amount of sugar too!

    ~Aubree Cherie

  3. Jas.
    April 12, 2010

    my mouth won't stop watering… this is bad!

  4. Federica
    April 12, 2010

    wow che delizia! complimenti!!!

  5. Nancy @ TheSensitivePantry
    April 12, 2010

    These look like little pieces of heaven! Just perfect. Yum.

  6. The Short (dis)Order Cook
    April 14, 2010

    Growing up Italian, we often referred to pizza fritte or fried pizza dough (at least on my father's side of the family) as zeppole. It took years before I found out that most people referred to fried choux pastry as zeppole.

    (What does this have to do with your recipe? Nothing. I do have such a habit of rambling when I leave comments!)

    I love that you made these with coconut milk! What great flavor they must have. The apples make it such a homey treat.

    (and I'm laughing in agreement on the happy pills thing!)

  7. Connie
    April 18, 2010

    How do you call these dairy free, when they contain 4 eggs? I'm confused.

  8. Simply...Gluten-free
    April 19, 2010

    Eggs are protien not dairy. Dairy is made up of things that come from the milk of animals such as milk, cheese, etc. In this rcipe th emilk comes from a plant so it is dairy free.

  9. Carla Spacher
    June 1, 2010

    OMG! This is such a great replacement for doughnuts! Thanks for sharing this!

  10. July 20, 2011

    Ah yes, nicely put, evreynoe.

  11. Jennifer
    March 13, 2012

    Would this work if I decided to bake the donuts instead of frying them?

    1. Gluten Free & More
      March 16, 2012

      I am not certain about this – sorry but I have never tried it. I would say what the heck – try it! And if you do, report back – it would be a lot healthier baked instead of fried!

  12. Pingback: Recipe for Gluten Free, Sugar Free CrockPot Applesauce

  13. Lucy
    June 18, 2013

    Hi Carol,

    Thank you so much for all you amazing recipies. I just want to know if the zeppoles can be made and served later that day or the next day?

    1. Gluten Free & More
      June 19, 2013

      Hi Lucy, thank you. Yes they can but to be very honest there is nothing as fabulos as a donut straight out of the hot oil. That said, they are perfectly wonderful made ahead and reheated or not. I would not try to make more than a day ahead though. Good luck and enjoy!

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