How to make struffoli: the original recipe – Italian Cuisine

How to make struffoli: the original recipe

Many small golden balls, held together by a generous amount of honey and decorated with sweet sugars and candied fruit. Here is the traditional recipe from Campania to make struffoli

In Campania it is not Christmas without the struffoli! They are made in all families and each jealously guards their traditional recipe.

What are struffoli and the meaning of the name

The struffoli are made with a simple dough made with flour, eggs, sugar, butter and aniseed liqueur. The dough is then worked to form a cylinder and it seems that the name "Struffolo" derives precisely from this operation of "rub" and roll the dough before slicing it into many small pieces all the same.
The dough balls typically come first fried and then glazed with honey and colored sprinkles. Regarding the shape you can opt for the classic pyramid or arrange the struffoli in the shape of a donut. Making struffoli at home is simple but obviously it is a long and painstaking operation.

Struffoli: the original recipe

Beautiful to look at and very sweet to eat try to make them struffoli following ours original recipe and you will get a great result! If you want softer struffoli you can add a level teaspoon of baking powder to the dough while for frying you can replace the peanut oil with lard for frying.

Ingredients for 10 people

for the dough:
400 g of flour 00
80 g of cold melted butter (or 60 g of lard)
40 g of granulated sugar
3 medium eggs
2 tablespoons of anise or rum liqueur
grated zest of 1 organic orange
grated zest of 1 organic lemon
1 pinch of salt

for frying:
1 liter of peanut oil

to decorate:
300 g of honey
50 g of mixed candied fruit (cherries, orange peel, cedar)
2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
sugared almonds and colored sugar to taste


Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the salt, the grated citrus peel, the sugar, the cold melted butter (or lard) and liqueur. Mix coarsely with a spoon until you get a sandy mixture. Make a hole in the center and add the egg. Now mix with your hands until the mixture is smooth and homogeneous. Form a block, wrap it in cling film and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

After this time, resume the dough and detach a piece of about 50 g. Form a cylinder with a diameter of 1 cm and with a small knife remove many small pieces 1 cm wide. Continue like this for the rest of the dough. If you want to get round balls you have to shape every single piece of dough with your hands.

Pour half of thefry oil inside a steel saucepan with high sides and put on the stove. Fry a few struffoli at a time and if foam forms on the surface, remove it with a slotted spoon. The struffoli will cook in 30-40 seconds and during frying move them with a ladle to cook them evenly. Retrieve them with a slotted spoon and drain them on absorbent paper for fried food. Proceed in this way until all the struffoli are fried and use several sheets of absorbent paper to absorb excess oil.

In a large saucepan, which must contain all the struffoli, pour the honey and the icing sugar and melt over very low heat, stirring with a spoon. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the struffoli, most of the sprinkles and sugars and mix well so that each ball is sprinkled with honey.

Finally, also add i candied fruit and keep mixing. Transfer the struffoli to a serving dish and shape them immediately giving them the desired shape. Complete with the remaining sugared almonds and serve immediately. Alternatively, pack the struffoli for a delicious homemade Christmas gift.

Browse the gallery for all the photos and further tips!

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