Struffoli Recipe

Struffoli Napolitan Pastry

Struffoli Recipe


Originating in Naples, this sweet treat can be found in other parts of southern Italy as well, such as Calabria and Sicily, under different names and topped with other ingredients. Traditionally prepared during the Christmas Season, Neapolitan struffoli are served with honey and brightly colored sprinkles.

  • Prep Time30 min
  • Cook Time35 min
  • Total Time1 hr 5 min
  • Yield6 Servings
  • Cuisine
    • Italian
  • Course
  • Cooking Method
    • Frying


For Struffoli:

  • 4 tbsp (2 oz) unsalted butter (melted)
  • 400 g (14 oz) flour
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 3 tsp limoncello or white wine
  • Peanut oil (for frying)

For the glaze:

  • ½ cup honey
  • Nonpareils sprinkles, as needed to generously cover struffoli



Start by melting the butter then let it cool. Meanwhile, place the flour, sugar, eggs, pinch of salt, and orange zest in a mixing bowl. Add the melted butter once cooled followed by the limoncello or white wine.


Mix the dough with a large spoon to combine the ingredients then knead by hand until you can form it into a dense ball. Cover with a kitchen towel and let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes at room temperature. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.


When the dough is ready, cut the dough vertically into 6-7 even slices with a dough scraper or knife.


Roll out each slice into a long tube approximately 1 cm thick. Next, cut each tube into small round pieces about 1 cm wide. Place on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper (make sure the dough is evenly spread out otherwise the pieces will stick together).


In a large Dutch oven, slowly heat the peanut oil to approximately 350 degrees (use a deep fry thermometer). When the oil is ready, lower the dough balls into the oil with a wire skimmer. To ensure the temperature does not fluctuate too much, only cook about 2 handfuls of dough at a time. Stir the oil with the skimmer to ensure even cooking. Fry for about 2 to 3 minutes then remove the dough balls with the skimmer, strain, and place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.


While the struffoli are cooling, pour the honey into a deep pan and melt over low heat. After about 1 to 2 minutes, add the struffoli and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool a bit before adding the nonpareils sprinkles. Stir to combine.


Place a glass jar in the center of a round serving platter (this will help shape the struffoli into a ring). Arrange the struffoli around the glass jar. When the honey has solidified, remove the glass jar and enjoy!

Note: Instead of frying, you could also bake the struffoli at 390 degrees for 15 minutes then proceed with steps 6 and 7.

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