Apple Cinnamon Matzo Brei Zeppoles

My new recipe is a fusion of Jewish and Italian cuisine. These donuts are crisp on the outside and soft, sweet and delicious inside. Best of all, for those who are observant, they are a great Passover dessert or treat! Just make sure that you use Matzo and Cake meal that is labeled as being Kosher for Passover.


My Mom used to make the most amazingly delicious Matzo Brei when I was a kid. She also took me to the Saint Rocco festival every summer, where we’d share a paper bag of freshly made zeppoles dusted with entirely too much powdered sugar. Recently, and for inexplicable reasons, it dawned on me to try and combine the two to create a newfangled donut. And so began a week long experiment to see if this might actually work. There were quite a few fails along the way, but with help of my intrepid taste testers (thanks kids) and some experimentation, it finally came out exactly how I envisioned.

The recipe makes about 8 to 10 donuts. Double (or triple!) as needed.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 Sheets of plain matzo
  • 1/2 of an Apple, peeled and diced finely (I used Red Delicious)
  • 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon Sugar, plus extra for coating the donuts
  • 1/8 Cup Cake Meal (I like Manischewitz brand)
  • 1 Egg or Vegan Egg Replacer to equal 1 egg
  • Vegetable Oil for Frying

How To:

Break the matzo sheets into very small pieces and place them into a medium sized bowl. Coat the broken matzo with just enough warm water to cover it and let it sit for about five minutes.

Then pour the matzo into a strainer and squeeze out as much water as you possibly can. This step is crucial and will ensure that the donuts are light and fluffy inside.

Beat one egg or egg replacer in a medium sized bowl and mix in the apple, cinnamon sugar, cake meal and matzo. Use your hands to combine it well, then place it into the refrigerator for half an hour.

Next you’ll roll the matzo mixture into golf ball sized balls and set them aside.

Prepare two ceramic plates, one with several layers of paper towel sheets, and the other with a a layer of cinnamon sugar.

Now it’s time to fry them in vegetable oil for 4-5 minutes until they start to turn a light, golden brown. Use a wide, slotted spoon to gently flip them midway so that they cook evenly.

If you’re not familiar with how to deep fry food, please take a gander at this helpful guide by the BBC that details how to deep fry food safely. Because there’s nothing worse than trying to make delicious homemade donuts and burning yourself or setting your kitchen on fire.


When the donuts are done frying, shut off the heat. Use a wide, slotted spoon to remove them one at a time from the oil and allow them drain for just a moment on the ceramic plate with paper towels. Then carefully move them onto the plate with cinnamon sugar one at a time and roll them with a spoon until they’re coated. Repeat the process until all of the donuts are done. Let them cool down for a couple of minutes before snarfing them down.