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Italian crespelle, a.k.a fritters or zeppole, are a sweet dough with raisins that are fried until golden and sprinkled with sugar before eating.

Crespelle with raisins


Soft dough with raisins deep fried until golden


  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 teaspoons white granulated sugar
  • 2 large white potatoes boiled and well mashed and cooled
  • 3 large eggs slightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1 1/4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 11 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups lukewarm water
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • White granulated sugar for rolling


  1. Dissolve 2 tablespoons of sugar into 1 cup of lukewarm water. Add 1 teaspoon of yeast and stir to dissolve. Set aside until yeast mixture starts to foam.
  2. In a large bowl or container, add the cooled and mashed potatoes, eggs, butter and 1 1/4 tablespoons vegetable oil.
  3. Add the prepared yeast mixture.
  4. Add 1 teaspoon salt to the flour and add all of this to the potato mixture.
  5. Add the raisins if using.
  6. Mix all the ingredients together to form a dough. While constantly beating the dough with your hands (by grabbing and lifting the dough), add the water a little at a time with your hands to the dough. You want to continue this until you have a very uniform, soft and sticky dough (about 10 minutes) (you may or may not use all of the water to get to this stage).
  7. Now cover the dough with plastic and let it sit until it has doubled in size.
  8. Once it has doubled in size, beat it down again then set aside and let it rise to double one more time.
  9. Measure the oil into a deep frying pan to a depth of about 3 inches. Using a deep fry thermometer, heat the oil to 350 degrees F
  10. Dip your hands into a separate bowl of room temperature oil before grabbing a small quantity of dough, stretch it out slightly and very carefully place into the hot oil. Turn the crespelle a couple of times and cook until they are deep golden in colour and have puffed up (this will take about 2 minutes). Cook only 3 or 4 at a time depending on the size of the crespelle and the size of the pan.
  11. Once they are cooked, remove them with a slotted spoon, letting any oil drain back into the pan, then place them onto a paper towel lined pan.
  12. While still warm, roll them in sugar (to your liking) and place in a platter for serving.
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