Struffoli: A Taste of Italian Christmas

The Italian-American Page Team

As the festive season approaches, there’s no better way to embrace the joy and warmth of Christmas than by indulging in traditional Italian treats. Today, we’re excited to share with you a recipe close to our hearts – Struffoli, the classic Italian Christmas Honey Balls.

The Story Behind Struffoli

Struffoli, a staple in Italian households during Christmas, are small, deep-fried balls of dough, bathed in sweet honey and adorned with colorful sprinkles. Originating from Naples, these treats are not just delicious but also a symbol of togetherness and celebration. Gathering around to prepare Struffoli is as much a family tradition as enjoying them!


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 cup honey
  • Nonpareils or colored sprinkles
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)


Prepare the Dough:

  • In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and a pinch of salt.
  • Add eggs, melted butter, lemon zest, orange zest, and vanilla extract. Mix until the dough forms.
  • Knead the dough on a floured surface until smooth. Let it rest for 30 minutes.

Shape the Struffoli:

  • Divide the dough into small pieces. Roll each piece into long, thin ropes and cut into small, marble-sized balls.
  • Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Fry the Struffoli:

  • Heat vegetable oil in a deep fryer or a large, heavy saucepan.
  • Fry the dough balls in batches until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate.

Coat with Honey:

  • In a large pan, warm the honey over low heat until it becomes runny.
  • Add the fried balls to the honey, gently tossing to coat them evenly.

Serve with Joy:

  • Arrange the honey-coated Struffoli on a serving plate. Sprinkle with colorful nonpareils or sprinkles.
  • For an extra touch of sweetness, dust with powdered sugar.


Struffoli are more than just a treat; they are a festive experience, a reminder of the joy and sweetness of the holiday season. This Christmas, as you bite into these honey-soaked, sprinkle-topped delights, may you feel the warmth and love of Italian tradition.