Carnival Dessert Vegetarian

Indulgent Honey Dough Mini-Balls or Carnival Struffoli

How to prepare the real Italian recipe of Small traditional Honey Dough Mini Dough Balls or “Struffoli”

“Struffoli” or Honey Mini-Dough Balls are a typical dish from Naples, made traditionally during Christmas, while in many regions of Italy is eaten during Carnival time. Struffoli are small balls of sweet dough, fried and then dipped in honey and decorated with colored sprinkles and candied fruit. Small dough balls, really small, are deep-fried and then rolled in honey before being assembled into a cone structure. Fancy to try them? Always a good idea!


  • 500 grams of Flour
  • 8 grams of Salt dissolved in water
  • 50 grams of Sugar
  • 50 grams of White Wine
  • A bit of Semolina or Flour for the baking tray
  • 4 Eggs
  • Vanilla seeds
  • 1 Orange
  • 1 Tangerine
  • 60 grams of Butter
  • Honey
  • Candied Orange and Cedar as you refer
  • Colored Sugar Sprinkles


  1. Mix the flour with the salt, sugar and white wine. Add 2 eggs and the vanilla seeds, finely grated orange zest (better if Organic!) and tangerine zest. Include the other 2 eggs and, in addition, include the softened butter. Beat until frothy. Mix well. If it is too sticky, then add more flour and keep kneading, using either your hands or a freestanding mixer fitted with a dough hook, until you have a smooth, pliable dough. Let it stand 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. Flour your work surface and turn out your dough. Then divide the dough into 10 roughly equal pieces, each about the size of a small ball. Take 1 ball and roll it into a rope approx. 1/2 inch thick, then with floury hands divide this into about 20 small pieces, and roll each piece between your hands (flouring them again if this helps) to make marble-sized “Flipper” balls, about 1/4th of a golf ball.
  3. Place the formed balls of dough on a semolina-sprinkled baking sheet, as you shape them. Repeat the process with the remaining portions of dough. On a large frying pan heat the oil (180 °or 375°F), remove the excess of flour and fry the Struffoli balls.
  4. Gently lower, using a mesh scoop or perforated spoon, about 15 little dough balls at a time. At first they will sink and then, as they cook, they’ll float to the surface and begin to turn golden brown. Continue to cook them in batches making sure the oil returns to the correct temperature.
  5. When the Struffoli turn gold as the crust of bread we remove them from the oil  and put on paper towels. You can fish them out with your mesh scoop or perforated spoon.
  6. Pour the honey into a roasting pan that can go on the stove, and heat very gently until it becomes runny—a matter of moments, so do not leave the pan—then take it off the heat. Tip all of the fried dough balls into the warmed wildflower honey and, using a soft spatula, turn them gently to coat them.
  7. Move them to a bowl and cover the Struffoli with the candied orange peel, grated orange zest (or tangerine or lemon), mix well and present them in a structured cone shape on a serving dish with the colored sprinkles on top. Delicious!

TIP: These delicious  struffoli are best if eaten on the day they’re made. Use a scoop or spoon and fork to serve. It will be a sticky business, but that’s part of their charm.

Posted by Nicoletta and Tiziana

The Real Italian Food. Buon Appetito!