STRUFFOLI RECIPE | Italian Honey Balls

    • Prep Time
    • Minutes

Recipe Rating

  • (4 /5)
  • (4 Rating)


Struffoli are deep fried authentic Italian honey balls traditionally from Southern Italy with a zesty twist. Add citrus flavours of Sicily to this festive dessert and create smaller versions to gift! The crispy outside layer mixed with sweet honey will see you dance your way into Christmas.

Watch video recipe:

STRUFFOLI | Italian Honey Balls | Struffoli Recipe


250 g (1.66cups) Plain Flour
2 tblsp sugar
2 x eggs
Orange & Lemon Zest (1/2 of each depending on size)
2 x tablespoons Limoncello
Peanut oil
Pinch of salt

150ml (0.44cup) of Honey

Coloured sprinkles

1 x stand mixer & dough hook (for kneading)
Grater for zest
Tea towel (for the dough to rest)
Small, deep saucepan for frying
Medium size wide saucepan


  1. To make your struffoli, add 250g (1.66 cups) plain flour to a mixing bowl followed by 2 tablespoons of sugar and two eggs.
  2. To add an incredible southern Italian citrus flavour to this sweet recipe, add lemon zest from both a lemon and an orange – at least ½ based on medium sized fruit.
  3. Follow the citrus zest with the limoncello (Nonna’s homemade is best but store-bought will work too!), along with 2 tablespoons of peanut oil and just a pinch of salt.
  4. It’s now time to start mixing the struffoli dough! Fix the dough hook inside the mixer, seal it into place and start mixing at a medium speed.
  5. Your dough will come together quite fast, but if its looking really sticky, add some more flour, just a sprinkle at a time and continue to mix.
  6. Once all of the ingredients from the side of the bowl have disappeared and come together, your dough is ready.
  7. Sprinkle a small amount of flour on top of a wooden board or your kitchen workbench before removing the dough from the mixer and placing it on top. Then, gently working it a little more, gradually into a ball until it becomes nice and smooth.
  8. Now, cover the struffoli dough with a dry tea towel and leave it to rest for at least 1.2hr. Even a little more if you have time!
  9. After ½ hr, remove the dough from your tea towel and stretch it with a rolling pin into a wide shape – only roll it a few times, making sure it’s not too thin.
  10. Next, cut a piece of the dough – up to 1.5cm wide, and begin rolling it with the palm of your hands, almost like gnocchi, until you get a long, medium-size snake.
  11. It is best to start from the middle and use both hands to roll back and forth until you form the shape.
  12. When each one is ready, place it to the side on a tray with some baking paper underneath so it doesn’t stick.
  13. Keep forming the long snake-like shapes until you finish the struffoli dough.
  14. Once you have finished, place up to 10 of them at a time back on your bench/wooden board and cut them straight down, making each piece less than 1cm.


VINCENZO’S PLATE TIP: Make sure the struffoli are not too big as they grow when you cook them!

struffoli italian honey balls

  1. Heat up peanut oil in a deep saucepan and bring it up to approx. 180degrees celcius.
  2. Drop each small ball in separately, making sure none of them stick together.
  3. Gently lift and turn the struffoli, making them dance in the pan and turning them as you go until they brown all around.
  4. It is important you don’t take your eyes off them, as they can very easily burn!
  5. Once they have browned all around, lift and strain them, transferring them on to a paper towel to remove any excess oil.
  6. Repeat steps 18-20 until there is no dough left!
  7. Get the medium size wide saucepan and put it on a low-medium heat. Once it has started to warm, add 150ml of honey as well as a spoonful of sugar – and stir quickly!
  8. Add the struffoli quickly to your pan and mix through using a spatula.
  9. Next, grate 1/3 lemon and orange zest, and continue to mix through, then switch off the pan and add lemon and orange peel – as much or as little as you like.
  10. For the finishing touch, add coloured sprinkles and mix through again before transferring onto a plate.


  1. Spoon the struffoli on to a coloured plate into the shape of a small mountain/triangle and sprinkle coloured sprinkles on top once again!

VINCENZO’S TIP: If you want to make small portions, pour spoonfulls of the struffoli into cupcake/pattycake holders and add some extra sprinkle – you can even wrap these in transparent cello and a Christmas bow and hand them out as a gift!

Then, make sure you separate them and put them back on to the tray with baking paper so they don’t stick.

STRUFFOLI | Italian Honey Balls | Struffoli Recipe


E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate…Enjoy!

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