Struffoli honey balls recipe: tiny dough balls, fried, dipped in honey, and sprinkled with colorful confetti. Read on to get the authentic Italian struffoli recipe.

struffoli pyramid with golden confetti
struffoli recipe for Christmas

The struffoli honey balls recipe is a traditional Italian Christmas dessert with Southern origins. Although the authentic struffoli recipe comes from Naples, you’ll find these delicious, sweet bites of delight on every Italian Christmas table. Because struffoli are extremely easy to eat: by picking one little ball from the pyramid (or other shapes you’ve given the dessert), you end up ingurgitating quite a lot of these tiny doses of sugary happiness! But that’s ok… it’s Christmas!

struffoli recipe with honey
struffoli recipe from Italy

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struffoli recipe from Naples #gourmetproject #italiancake
5 from 1 vote

struffoli recipe

Course authentic Italian recipes
Cuisine Italian
Author Claudia Rinaldi | Gourmet Project



  1. Place flour on a working surface (or food processor bowl). Form a hole in the middle and pour in egg, butter, sugar, lemon zest, limoncello and 1 pinch of salt.
  2. Work the dough until it comes together and you can form a ball.
  3. Cover the dough and let it rest in a warm spot of the house for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Take back the dough and work it to get 3 cm/1 inch large cylinders. Cut them in 2.5 cm/1 inch pieces and display them over a floured surface. For a better result, you may work each piece between your palms to get a spherical, more regular form (not mandatory).
  5. Heat the oil in a medium tall pot.
  6. Shake the struffoli to get rid of excess flour, using a coriander or fine thieve, and dip them in the hot oil. When they get golden brown, use a skimmer to transfer them to a plate with blotting paper.
  7. Immediately after frying, melt honey in a large pot. Throw in the struffoli and mix delicately. As soon as they are well covered with honey, and the temperature has decreased a bit, add confetti, mix well and pour the whole thing on a serving plate.
  8. Bring to room temperature and serve. 

Recipe Notes

  • You can make struffoli 1-2 days before Christmas.
  • Struffoli will last 5 days-1 week, stored at room temperature and covered with a plastic film (yes it will stick a little :-)).
  • Do not store struffoli in the refrigerator, only the dough, before frying them, for one day.

Struffoli are a hand eating dessert. People can pick bite-sized balls from the sticky pile, or they can use tongs, but it’s too complicated…


Enjoy a sweet Italian Christmas!



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