Authentic Italian Struffoli Recipe - An Italian in my Kitchen (2024)

Jump to Recipe

This Authentic Struffoli recipe is made with small crunchy fried dough balls mixed with honey and decorated. The perfect Italian dessert recipe that is served on Christmas and Easter.

Authentic Italian Struffoli Recipe - An Italian in my Kitchen (1)

During the holidays I always like to make a few traditional Italian recipes, from a Panettone to a Colomba to even some delicious Italian cookies.

The first time I tried Struffoli was actually quite recently, when my daughter brought home a homemade one from her visit to her Neapolitan friend.

The small balls which are actually a little bit smaller than a marble (before being deep fried) are crunchy and a little soft on the inside, then coated in warm melted honey and sprinkled with nonpareils, sometimes sliced almonds and candied fruit are added. They are a delicious sweet treat with a honey glaze.

Table of Contents

Recipe Ingredients

  • Flour – all purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt – pinch of salt if you use unsalted butter then add a bit more salt
  • Butter – room temperature
  • Orange – zest or lemon zest if you prefer
  • Sugar – granulated sugar
  • Gran Marnier – or Orange juice room temperature
  • Eggs – large room temperature

Topping

  • Honey
  • Sprinkles – nonpareils or also known as 100s or 1000s.
  • Slivered Almonds – optional
  • Maraschino cherries – optional or candied fruit

Why use room temperature ingredients?

With cakes and other baking, it’s always better to use room temperature ingredients. So, take any cold ingredients out of the refrigerator an hour ahead of time or sooner if it’s cool in your kitchen. Room temperature ingredients blend easier, which will help to create a more tenderbaked good.

How to make Struffoli

In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, the baking powder and the salt, then add the butter, orange zest, sugar and Grand Marnier (or orange juice), start to combine with a fork until crumbly.

Add the eggs one at a time and mix to combine, when almost combined move the mix to a lightly floured flat surface add an extra 1 – 1/2 tablespoons flour and knead together to form a soft dough. Cover with a clean tea towel and let rest 30 minutes.

Authentic Italian Struffoli Recipe - An Italian in my Kitchen (2)

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into thin ropes 1/4 inch in diameter. Cut to make small cubes and roll each cube into a ball slightly smaller than a marble. Try to make them all the same size.

In a medium pot add 2-3 inches of oil and heat until hot, add the struffoli (in batches)and fry, turning a couple of times, when golden brown remove from the hot oil with a slotted spoon, drain on a paper towel lined plate and let cool.

While struffoli are cooling, in a large pan, heat the honey until warm and slightly watery. Add the cooled struffoli and mix to coat, then sprinkle with sprinkles and slivered almonds.

Move the struffoli mixture to a serving platter or plate that has been lightly greased or sprayed, form the mixture into the desired shape, a dome or wreath shape. Let the finished Struffoli sit until the honey solidifies (approximately 1 1/2 – 2 hours) and then serve.

To give it more of a Christmas feel I added some red maraschino cherries.

Authentic Italian Struffoli Recipe - An Italian in my Kitchen (3)

How to Fry

Choose the correct oil, Peanut oil is considered the best because it has a delicate flavour. I usually use a vegetable oil specifically made for frying. Make sure you use enough oil, food should be able to move freely and not stick to the bottom. A good rule is fill the pot to half full or at least 2 – 3 inches of oil.

Be sure to heat your oil before frying, I always use a thermometer. You could also try by throwing in the pan a crouton or a piece of carrot. If it starts to sizzle and forms a lot of bubbles around it, then the oil is ready to start frying.

Although I don’t like this way, because it is hard to tell if your oil gets too hot, then the food fries too quickly, when the oil is not hot enough then the food does not cook on the inside.

Be sure to fry in batches, because too many together can lower the temperature of the oil, of course it all depends also on the size of your saucepan.Which can leave the food less crispy and greasier.Place fried food on a paper towel lined plate to remove excess oil.

What part of Italy is Struffoli from?

Struffoli are considered a Easter or Christmas dessert from Naples, but there are also a similar ones, one from Sicily called Pignolata and another one from the North in Abruzzo called Cicerchiata.

Apparently struffoli arrived in Naples from ancient Greece. The name “struffolo” comes from the Greek, word “strongoulos” meaning rounded.

Authentic Italian Struffoli Recipe - An Italian in my Kitchen (4)

Tips for making it

Struffoli are made with a very simple and easy dough. I added a little Grand Marnier but you could always add Rum, Brandy or even orange juice if you wanted.

The only thing to remember is to make your honey balls small, a little smaller than a marble is the perfect size. Because when they are deep fried they will swell up a bit.

Be sure to drain them on a couple of paper towels before tossing them with warm honey.

Struffoli Italian Honey Balls can be formed as a simple Pyramid, or as I did in a wreath / donut shape, place a glass in the middle of a plate and place the honey balls around it. Once the honey has solidified remove the glass and serve.

A great idea is to use half an orange to help shape your struffoli, that way you don’t get your hands all sticky. Just guide the orange cut side against the honey balls to help firm it into place.

I did the traditional Italian way by adding some coloured sprinkles and sliced almonds or even chopped hazelnuts and a few maraschino cherries once it was formed.

How to Store the Struffoli

Keep it well covered with plastic wrap and it will keep for up to three days. You can keep also keep the fried and unglazed honey balls in an airtight container for about five days.

Or they can be frozen also. If you prefer you can make the dough with a maximum of 3 hours in advance and let it chill in the refrigerator.

Authentic Italian Struffoli Recipe - An Italian in my Kitchen (5)

If you are looking for an Authentic Italian treat to serve this holiday season, I hope you give this Strufoli recipe a try and of course let me know what you think. Enjoy!

Authentic Italian Struffoli Recipe - An Italian in my Kitchen (6)

Authentic Italian Struffoli

Rosemary Molloy

This Authentic Struffoli recipe is made with small crunchy fried dough balls mixed with honey and decorated. The perfect Italian dessert.

Prep Time 30 minutes mins

Cook Time 10 minutes mins

Total Time 40 minutes mins

Course Dessert

Cuisine Italian

Servings 10 servings

Calories 303 kcal

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Ingredients

STRUFFOLI DOUGH

  • 2⅔ cups flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1 zest orange
  • tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier or Orange Juice
  • 3 large eggs

TOPPINGS

  • 10½ ounces honey
  • 2-3 tablespoons sprinkles
  • 2-3 tablespoons slivered almonds

Instructions

  • In a large bowl whisk together the flour, the baking powder and the salt, then add the butter, orange zest, sugar and Grand Marnier (or orange juice), start to combine with a fork until crumbly.

  • Add the eggs one at a time and mix to combine, when almost combined move the mix to a lightly floured flat surface add an extra 1 -1½ tablespoons flour and knead together to form a soft dough. Cover with a clean tea towel and let rest 30 minutes.

  • Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into thin ropes ¼ inch in diameter. Cut to make small cubes and roll each cube into a ball slightly smaller than a marble. Try to make them all the same size.

  • In a medium pot add 2-3 inches of oil and heat to 350°F add the struffoli (in batches) turning a couple of times and when golden drain on a paper towel lined plate and let cool.

  • While struffoli are cooling in a large pan on low / medium heat, heat the honey until warm and slightly watery. Add the cooled struffoli and mix to coat, then sprinkle with sprinkles and slivered almonds.

  • Move the struffoli mixture to a serving platter or plate that has been lightly greased or sprayed with cooking spray, form the mixture into the desired shape, a dome or wreath shape. Let the finished Struffoli sit until the honey solidifies (approximately 1 1/2 – 2 hours) and then serve.

Notes

Struffoli are made with a very simple and easy dough. I added a little Grand Marnier but you could always add Rum, Brandy or even orange juice if you wanted.

Struffoli can be formed as a simple Pyramid, or as I did in a wreath / donut shape, place a glass in the middle of a plate and place the honey balls around it. Once the honey has solidified remove the glass and serve.

A great idea is to use half an orange to help shape your struffoli, that way you don’t get your hands all sticky. Just guide the orange cut side against the honey balls to help firm it into place.

Keep the Struffoli well covered and it will keep for up to three days. You can keep also keep the fried and unglazed honey balls in an airtight container for about five days.

Or they can be frozen also. If you prefer you can make the dough with a maximum of 3 hours in advance and let it chill in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Calories: 303kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 78mg | Potassium: 109mg | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 285IU | Vitamin C: 2.7mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1.9mg

Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!

.

Share

Share

Pin

Email

Related

Authentic Italian Struffoli Recipe - An Italian in my Kitchen (2024)

FAQs

What does Struffoli mean in English? ›

Struffoli, also known as Honey Balls (Italian: [ˈstruffoli]; Neapolitan: struffule, Neapolitan: [ˈstrufːulə]), is a Neapolitan dish made of deep fried balls of sweet dough. The dough is used in many Italian sweet treats such as chiacchiere. For struffoli, the dough is formed in to balls about the size of marbles.

Where did struffoli originate? ›

What does struffoli taste like? ›

Struffoli have a sweet citrus flavor, a sticky honey glaze, a crispy exterior, and the softest center imaginable… I can't think of anything that would make this Italian Christmas dessert recipe any more delicious than it already is!

What is another name for struffoli? ›

Italian Honey Balls (Pignolata or Struffoli)

What is struffoli made of? ›

For the dough: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together 2 cups of flour, lemon zest, orange zest, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the eggs, wine, and vanilla. Pulse until the mixture forms into a ball.

What is a fun fact about struffoli? ›

The dish originally came to Naples from Greece, and the name struffoli comes from the Greek word stróngylos, meaning “round.” Struffoli can be found throughout southern Italy, with many names and varieties, including cicerata and cicerchiata.

Who invented struffoli? ›

A true traditional dish has ancient origins

The history of Neapolitan struffoli begins with the arrival of the Greeks in the ports of Partenope. It seems that they were the inventors of this dessert.

What is the difference between Turdilli and Struffoli? ›

Turdilli are similar to Struffoli – both are dripping in honey, however Turdilli cookies include a special ingredient – wine! Turdilli are native to Calabria, but Italians and Italian Americans everywhere enjoy them.

What do you eat with fried dough? ›

There are traditional fried dough toppings that are just delicious, like maple syrup, powdered sugar, and honey. Use your imagination and your sweet tooth to find even more toppings ideas: like cinnamon sugar, salted caramel, blueberry sauce, chocolate syrup, and Nutella.

What are honey balls made of? ›

To make these Italian honey balls you need; flour (Tipo 00 is typically used in Italy but all-purpose flour will also work), sugar, eggs, butter, baking powder, orange zest, rum (or liqueur of choice), honey, sprinkles, and vegetable oil for frying.

What is the meaning of the word zeppoli? ›

zeppole in British English

(zɛˈpəʊlɪ ) nounWord forms: plural -le or -li or -lis. a sweet Italian pastry similar to a doughnut or churro.

What is the Italian word for fried dough? ›

Italian Fried Dough (Pizza Fritta/Zeppole) Author: Jessica Formicola. Published: 02/13/2023.

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Ms. Lucile Johns

Last Updated:

Views: 5822

Rating: 4 / 5 (41 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Ms. Lucile Johns

Birthday: 1999-11-16

Address: Suite 237 56046 Walsh Coves, West Enid, VT 46557

Phone: +59115435987187

Job: Education Supervisor

Hobby: Genealogy, Stone skipping, Skydiving, Nordic skating, Couponing, Coloring, Gardening

Introduction: My name is Ms. Lucile Johns, I am a successful, friendly, friendly, homely, adventurous, handsome, delightful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.