Zeppole with Whiskey Caramel Sauce

If you’re on a diet, click away, OR just plan on getting on the treadmill for a little longer. Fried dough (aka doughnuts, donuts, fried dough, just gimme). There’s something completely irresistible about it. Doughnuts are my weakness. Especially warm right out of the fryer. Swoon. I feel better about eating these small little doughnut holes, somehow it seems like I’m consuming less calories (even if I do eat 2 dozen by myself). I also have a unicorn that lives in my backyard and leaves me presents. Are you jealous LOL?

Seriously though, it’s about balance. When I do decide to make doughnuts I try to balance it out. Yogurt for breakfast maybe a little fruit and granola, and then doughnuts for dinner. If you’re going to go through the effort of making homemade doughnuts then you might as well make the WHISKEY CARAMEL SAUCE (aka Drunken Caramel Sauce) to go with. You’ll thank me. Your thighs won’t but you will.

Now who’s ready to dip? I have one ready for you …


Disclaimer: I have an ongoing relationship with Dixie Crystals. Opinions are my own. Always have been. Always will be.

Zeppole with Caramel Whiskey Sauce

Total Time 0:00



  1. In a small mixing bowl, add yeast into the milk, gently stir and set aside.
  2. Into your mixing bowl add: flour, sugar, 1 whole egg + 1 additional egg yolk, lemon zest, pinch of salt. Add milk mixture. Mix with your paddle attachment until it forms into a ball. Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead for 8-10 minutes until dough is soft and supple.
  3. Add butter and continuing kneading for additional 4-5 minutes. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel and allow to rise until it doubles in size.
  4. Once dough has doubled, knead it again for approx 4-5 minutes. Pinch off 1" sections of dough and roll into balls using your hands. Allow zeppole to rest and rise for approximately 10 minutes.
  5. WHILE zepppole are resting, place oil in a large deep sided pot and heat to 350 degrees. Place a few dough balls into oil (do not crowd the pan) Cook just enough to allow them to puff up and turn golden. This will take about a minute. Turn them with spoons. Transfer to paper towels to absorb oil and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Continue until all are cooked.
  6. Dip in Whiskey Caramel Sauce if desired


0.0 rating


  1. 1

    How delicious! I love how ooey gooey drizzly this sauce is!

  2. 2

    I am drooooling (still) over that sauce. And now zeppole…so good!

  3. 3

    Oh my gosh Paula! I am drooling all over my keyboard. So delicious. You have my mailing address, right? All I need is a spoon and that sauce. And a quiet place. YUM! 😉

  4. 4

    Zeppole PLUS caramel sauce! Oh help me! I’d never stop eating them!

  5. 5

    Yeah, there’s no way I could eat just one. Probably not even just five. Probably 20. Yeah, I think that’s possible.

  6. 6

    These sound so good! Love that sauce!

  7. 7

    That gif of the dipping doughnut is all you need to say to convince me 🙂

  8. 8

    Oh my gosh! I need this in my life. And whiskey 🙂

  9. 9

    Oh my gosh….I just drooled, licked the screen and repeated. YUM!

  10. 10

    Oh, my. Delish! Thanks, Paula!

  11. 11
    AA /

    The link is not working for the caramel sauce.

  12. 12

    Get. In. My. Belly!!!!!!!!

  13. 13

    Heavens to Betsy, I need these!

  14. 14

    Darn it…I should have clicked away when you told me to. Now I’ll be thinking about these zeppole and that gorgeous sauce all evening!

  15. 15

    Ok, I’m coming to your house. And when I get there, I’m going to stand on one side of your kitchen with my mouth open and you’re going to toss these into my mouth one by one. Mmmk? 😉

    I thought about you when we were in South Carolina last week 😉 xo

  16. 16

    OMG! I love zeppole. I get them whenever i can. I would love to make these except I have a fear of deep frying 🙁

  17. 17
    Lora @cakeduchess /

    Look at the dipping action shot…sheer torture, I say! I will take a jar of that sauce and a dozen zeppole-please….!

  18. 18

    Oh my heavens — these look incredible!!! Love the whiskey in the caramel sauce!

  19. 19

    Yummy, yummy, yummy!! My dad used to make these (or very similar) every year around Christmas. I hope to try these some day! Thanks!

  20. 20

    Me, me, me! I am ready to dig in! YUM!!

  21. 21

    These look amazing, Paula! Such a delicious and decadent Italian treat. Love your GIF, too! 🙂

  22. 22

    Oh goodness, I loooove that dipping photo!! At first I thought my eyes were doing tricks on me! LOL! Well, I am not on a diet and my treadmill is collecting dust…bring on the caramel!! YUM!

  23. 23

    I saw this recipe all over Pinterest the other day. No wonder – it looks fabulous!

  24. 24

    Woah, I did a double take, Paula! Looks amazing!!

  25. 25

    Oh my gosh, that sauce looks sooo good! I could eat it with a spoon, but eating it with a zeppole sounds better! 🙂 Pinned!

  26. 26

    I could have swore that I commented on this already but I must have been to memorized by my screen! This caramel sauce looks wonderful! I can totally see it drizzled over cupcakes or heck I’d eat it right out of the jar

  27. 27

    Oh my, this looks heavenly! I could eat the sauce on its own, can’t wait to try it (and try not to eat it all myself!)

  28. 28

    Paula… these look to die for! I am definitely going to have to make these for my mom–she’ll be in heaven. p.s. what type of yeast did you use? instant?

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