Struffoli. A typical Neapolitan Christmas dessert.

Struffoli are a typical dessert of the Neapolitan tradition. Delicious soft balls of sweet dough that are first fried, then soaked in honey and finally garnished with candied fruit and colored sugared almonds. You can find them in other areas of Italy but are known by other names. Here is the recipe to make traditional Neapolitan struffoli.

Recipe for 8 – 10 people
Ingredients for dough:

400 grams of ’00 flour
3 medium eggs
80 grams of cold melted butter
40 grams of sugar
2 tablespoons of anise liqueur (alternatively you can use rum)
grated peel of 1 orange
grated peel of 1 lemon
1 level teaspoon of baking powder
1 pinch of salt
Approximately 600 ml of oil for frying

Ingredients for decoration:

300 grams of honey
2 tablespoons of vanilla icing sugar
3 tablespoons of colored sprinkles
some cannellini sugared almonds (also called “diavolilli” white sugared almonds with an elongated shape and cinnamon taste)
1 teaspoon of silver colored sugar beads
50 grams of candied fruit of your choice (cherries, orange peel, citron)
Struffoli ingredients, tips and variations
The ancient recipe calls for the use of about 60 grams of lard. However you can use butter, or 80 grams of sunflower oil, anise liqueur.

confettini struffoli

1. Melt the butter and leave to cool.
2. Weigh the sugar
3. prepare the anise liqueur.

4. In a large bowl, where you will work the dough, mix together the sifted flour and baking powder, salt and grated citrus peels.

5. Add the sugar, butter and then the liqueur to the flour.

6. Mix everything with a wooden spoon, in order to create a sandblast.

7. Make a hole in the center and add the eggs.

8. With a wooden spoon mix everything to create a compact dough.

9. Continue to knead with your hands until you obtain a homogeneous paste, without lumps.

10. Wrap the dough in cling film and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.


Now it’s time to form the struffoli.

1. Remove a piece of about 50/70 grams from the dough.

2. Rub it on the work surface and form a 1 cm thick snake.

3. Slice the snake with the help of a small knife or a tarot and detach many small pieces of the size of 1 cm.
If you prefer, you can roll them between the palms of your hands into balls.

Struffoli. A typical Neapolitan Christmas dessert season


1. Place an 18 cm saucepan with high edges on the heat with half of the indicated oil for frying.

2. Fry a few pieces at a time (maximum 15) to avoid excessive foam, which you will remove with a slotted spoon as soon as it forms!

3. Then immerse in boiling oil, turn them a couple of times, in 30-40 seconds they will be ready.

4. Struffoli are fried to perfection when they are just golden brown. Be careful not to let it burn.

5. Take them out with a slotted spoon.
Drain them on a serving plate previously lined with absorbent paper.

Struffoli. A typical Neapolitan Christmas dessert.

Season the struffoli

1. In a saucepan that can hold all the Struffoli made, pour the honey and vanilla icing sugar.

2. melt over very low heat and mix with a wooden spoon.

3. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the Struffoli, most of the colored sugared almonds and the beads, leaving only a few aside for decoration. Turn so that the honey can drizzle on each scoop.

4. Once seasoned, immediately transfer them to a serving dish.

5. Add the remaining sprinkles, beads and candied fruit pieces.

Enjoy Your Struffoli!

Struffoli. A typical Neapolitan Christmas dessert featured