Vegan Zeppoles, zapplas – Sweet Fried Vegan Donuts

This Summer my sisters introduced me to another (the first being ‘Bookworm‘) treasure trove in Bangalore – Blossoms Book House.  The three floor collection of used and new books will drive you crazy. Be sure to carry a couple of sturdy bags to hold your treasures when you leave and walk in only when you have plenty of time, for the variety will keep you glued and I promise that the only reason you will move out will be the pain in the neck.  You will risk a lot of that straining to look at the books in the top rack.

It was on the third floor of this lovely haunt that I found a used book on bread baking – Marjie Lambert’s ‘New Bread Machine Book’. I grabbed it seeing the delicious titles, flavours and combinations.  When I looked it up at home I found that all the recipes were made using bread machines. Last weekend I must have looked through the pictures for the hundredth time when P reminded me that it was of no use as they were not going to come alive for me. Naturally, I was spurred to act.

I made some lovely zeppoles adapting it to suit my vegan tastes and they turned out so deliciously crisp on the outside, soft inside and appealing too!  Zeppoles or zapplas, it appears, are nothing but Italian versions of fried donuts (small circles of fried dough) that may also come in various fillings. Mine were simply sprinkled with icing sugar and chocolate. They disappeared pretty fast – ZAP! Is this why they are ‘zapplas’?

The picture setting has been done by the dear daughter, Jr.H. Did I not say she has a good eye for such things? Jr.P did his part too by dusting the icing sugar and smearing chocolate being pretty generous with the latter! P helped by gobbling the stuff. 🙂  K, my lovely, friendly neighbour loved it and her daughter, Aarya actually asked for more that evening!

The original recipe makes use of milk and eggs. I have substituted almond nut milk for the milk and used cornflour sauce instead of the egg. Depending on the quality of the all purpose flour used you may have to reduce or increase the quantity of milk in order to get a smooth, soft dough. I required more than what the recipe said. The end result was excellent.

This recipe is perfect for readers who had requested bread recipes that do not require the use of an oven. I am afraid that this time I did compromise on the health factor! This recipe has everything I normally wouldn’t use – butter, deep-frying and APF, but then, the rainy season won’t last forever so why should one not give in to some tasty cravings? Come, come… indulge.

Recipe : Vegan Zeppoles / Zapplas – Sweet fried vegan donuts
Recipe yield : 26
Recipe source : Veganized from Marjie Lambert’s ‘New Bread Machine Book’


Almond Milk: Soak about 15 almonds in warm water for half an hour. Peel and grind smooth. Add enough water to make about 180ml of milk.
Corn flour : 1 tsp. for the sauce
Warm water: 1/4 cup to dissolve yeast
Active Dry Yeast: 2.25tsp.
Butter: 1.5 tbsp. (I used Meadows Lea vegan spread)
Sugar : 2tbsp.
Salt : 3/4 tsp.
All purpose flour: 425g. (Keep 1/2 cup extra to add if needed)
Corn flour : 25g added to the above flour and mixed.

Vegetable oil for frying.
Icing sugar for dusting.
Chocolate for topping if desired.


Dissolve the yeast in warm water and set aside till frothy.

Dissolve 1tsp. cornflour in 1 cup of almond milk. Split one vanilla stick into the milk and heat on low fire stirring constantly to form a thin sauce of the same consistency as lightly beaten egg. Add the butter and sugar and stir to form a homogeneous mixture. Let it come to room temperature.

Meanwhile stir the APF, extra cornflour and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour the frothy yeast mixture and the sauce. Add half cup of the almond milk and bring the ingredients together kneading gently to form a soft, smooth and elastic dough. Add more almond milk if dough is stiff. Turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead well. It should be smooth and soft but spring back easily when poked.

Grease a large bowl and place the dough inside to raise for about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile line and grease two baking trays.

Turn out the risen dough again on floured work surface and punch out the air gently. Rest for a few minutes. Roll out the dough into a long fat rope and pinch out lime sized balls – about 25-28 approximately. Rest the pieces for a few minutes if they are resist rolling. Roll each piece into a smooth ball, flatten very slightly and pinch a hole in the center with your thumb and index finger. I used a small doughnut mould to make even sized holes and zapplas.

Rest the zeppoles on the greased trays. Cover with oiled clingfilms and rest for 40 minutes till plump. They will not exactly double. Heat oil in a wok or wide saucepan. The oil should ideally measure 180 deg. Cel. I simply heated to moderately hot and kept the temperature constant by reducing the heat and increasing as and when required.

Add one or two zeppoles at a time and cook turning them over for an even golden colour. They will end up with toad skin if added in hot oil so be careful.

You may put icing sugar in a paper bag and shake the zeppoles or just sieve some sugar on top of the fried zeppoles like I did.

My son insisted on melted chocolate as a topping. They taste best when warm and served with tea or coffee. We had them for breakfast and they were quite heavy – probably we all had one too many for they were also very tasty!

These were not very sweet. If you have a sweet tooth and expect them sweet you will have to add another tbsp. of sugar.

I am sending these to Susan’s ‘yeastspotting’ – a weekly event I like very much but haven’t been a part for some time now. I hope this will be the second start!

I am sending these also to Zorra’s BBD#22, being hosted by Hefe and Mehr. The theme this month is sweet breads.


I saw Harry Potter the Sunday that followed the day of release of the ‘HP and the Half Blood Prince’ and was terribly, terribly disappointed! 80% of the story was swallowed and too much time wasted on Harry and Ginny getting closer. Some unnecessary additions were made, like the burning of the Burrow which does not take place in the book. Further more, Harry was supposed to be very tall and lanky – Dan Radcliffe was neither! I expected some magic to work when the ‘half blood prince’ was revealed and there was none! Snape was flat. The guy who did Draco’s part fitted perfectly. Umm… I liked Ron Weasely – that part was saved though Mr.Yates could have used some editing in Ron’s scenes. Many of the important characters were not even introduced! Poor Neville Longbottom did not feature in most scenes whereas he has quite an important part in the book! I stand corrected.

Jr.H read this post today and informed me “Mummy, he has a big part only in Deathly Hallows.” (But I still am correct – Even Fleur and Bill were not introduced – I hope I am right!) One scene that was really shot well was the one with Harry and Dumbledore in the cave getting the first horcrux. That was good! Still…., I know I will see the next one with the same fervour when it releases. 🙂

Update:  Over the years I have become a huge fan of Mr. Radcliffe and am willing to forgive and say I loved the movie.  I have watched it many times since this post. 😀


Harini is a vegan food photographer, writer and recipe developer. She also loves feeding birds, reading, watching crime thrillers, and travelling amongst other things.

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  • sunshinecookie

    Mmm.. would love it if you could contribute such recipes for my Upcoming Event 🙂

  • Lisa

    You are a bread baking/frying etc…master (just looked through some of your other amazing breads, among other culinary delights). I saw your photo in the latest BBD roundup, and as soon as I saw 'zeppole', I zoomed over. I worship the mighty zeppole, and from the San Gennaro feast to many a carnival, I never leave without a bag or three! Yours look even better, and love your substitutions! I agree with your son, add chocolate too ;D

  • Stefanie

    Your Zeppoles looks perfect!
    And I was disappointed from the new HP, too.

  • Dhanya Nambirajan

    Wow…Awesome click . Bread also looks delicious.

  • Asha

    No problems H, apology accepted and I appreciate your thoughts as always. Sometimes we all rush to judgment but good friends of mine always know what I mean when I write something from my heart without any hidden agenda! Hugs to you too.

    We are busy shopping for dorm stuff for the daughter, don't know when I will be relaxed enough to come back blogging. Have fun, see you later. Thanks again! 🙂

  • Andhra Flavors

    Wow those looks fantastic. nice click

  • Jude

    They look so perfectly shaped. Your substitutions actually sound so much more appealing to me than the original. So much more wholesome.

  • Yasmeen

    Donuts are a big favorite here.The homemade sound fresh and ever so tempting.Me and DH do love the special effects and thrill in HP sequels:D

  • Sunshinemom

    Sonu, I remember reading your comment! Did I delete it by mistake? Woah… I am getting old!!! Thanks for sharing my sentiments. So many kids (note "kids" and not adults) I know loved it but then, like Dumbledore said in the movie that is how the youth react to the sting of young love:). My daughter and son shared my sentiments though Jr.H did like Ron;).

  • Sonu

    Hi Harini, it seems like my previous comment didn't reach to you. I did leave a comment here 2 days back.
    Anyway, thanks for dropping by at my blog.:) Yeah, the latest HP movie is quite boring and disappointed. I felt same like you tht punching to Mr.Yatch! stupid.
    Well, your donuts look so yummy!:)

  • Sunshinemom

    Thanks everyone!

    A warm welcome to visitors from yeast spotting:)

    Aparna, better be prepared for a catch in the neck! Carry moov:)

  • Aparna

    Love, love, love doughnuts! and thy're best unadorned like yours.
    So the bread machine book didn't go to nought. 🙂

    Next time I'm going to Bnagalore, you know where I'm definitely visiting.;)

  • Mimi

    I try to avoid donuts but my gosh! yours look great!!

  • Vaishali

    Hey, like the homemade almond milk. I ought to try that too, because although one can buy almond milk off the shelf here, it is expensive and it spoils faster than I can use it.
    The chocolate-covered donuts look awesome.

  • Laura

    Mmmmmmmmmmmm . . . . fried bread! I love doughnuts and your pictures are wonderful.

  • Madam Chow

    What a beautiful blog! Found you via Susan's Yeastspotting, and I will be back again. These zepolle look lovely, and I am impressed by how you adapted the recipe.

  • Nags

    Such beautiful pics! and those look chubby and indulgent!

  • Uma

    love those gorgeous donuts. looks so perfect and yummy 🙂

  • Simran

    Lovely pictures! I've recently been a bit crazy about Mad over Donuts. Tried those yet?

  • Shri

    Beautiful Zeppoles!I have seen this on Giada's show and since then I have been wanting to make them.Your pics are inspiring me to make them!

  • veggie belly

    wow! these look spectacular! and there is something so wonderful about old books 🙂

  • Susan/Wild Yeast

    Wow, how lovely. Tell all your helpers they did a great job (and you too)! Welcome back to YeastSpotting.

  • Jaya Wagle

    Wow! Not a fan of doughnuts but enjoyed reading your journey all the same. 🙂
    The clicks are amazing.

  • Sunshinemom

    Lissie, thanks!

    Sharmila, if you have read the book you will definitely not enjoy the movie otherwise you may like it. CD is a better option!

    Soma, mujhe ek raaz toh malum pad gayaa! Black coffee:)

    Peachkins, we too love them:)

    Raaga, please do and let me know in advance! I too have some goodies on your blog that I would love to sample:). Will be a nice meeting with all things sugar and sweet:)

    Sweatha, did I tell you about it when we met? You must visit! You will find some really good books for your girl too:)

    Jayasree, looks like we just look for excuses all the time:)

  • Curry Leaf

    They look perfect and I will definitely be adding more sugar after reading your verdict.Love all the clicks.Too perfect and I never ever gets such ideas.
    PS:I am not a HP fan!.
    I am yet to visit blossoms.

  • Raaga

    Can I just come over the next time I'm in your city? I love these!

  • jayasree

    Lovely doughnuts.. Jr.H deserves spl mention for the photo shoot. Here too, its too much of deep fried goodies all in the name of rain.

  • ?peachkins?

    I soo love donuts of all kinds!

  • Soma

    We are all aunties after all;-D I always crave these kinda sinful things with my afternoon black coffee!

  • Sharmila

    I am indulging way beyond the allowed quota of deep fried these days … and am really going to make these .. guess I'll use that egg and milk. 🙂
    They do look and sound like doughnuts Harini! And thanks for that HP review … I was wondering if going to the theatre will be worth it in this rain. Guess I'll just wait and rent a CD. 🙂

  • lissie

    wow, donuts look so perfect! you have an array of breads out there… great job!

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