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italian struffoli

Italian Struffoli is the Christmas gift your neighbors will fall all over this year

Try out this traditional Italian Struffoli for the holidays!

Want to really wow the neighbors this year? Whip up a batch of struffoli! Never heard of it? We don’t blame you, but after this, you’re going to want to make it every Christmas.

Marguerite Henderson shares her recipe for this Italian holiday classic. She shares how to top it off with a tasty sauce, and why they’re even better the next day.

Find more recipes from Marguerite on Instagram, @margueriteh100.


Italian Struffoli


  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract or 2 tsp. dark rum
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ cup butter (4 oz.)
  • zest of 1 lemon or zest of 1 orange
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups vegetable or peanut oil
  • 3 cups honey and ½ cup sugar
  • colored candy sprinkles
  • pine nuts


In bowl of mixer, combine the flour, vanilla, sugar, baking powder, butter and lemon zest.

Beat until combined and add eggs, one at a time until dough is well mixed; about 2 minutes more of mixing.

Remove from bowl. Divide the dough into eighths, and on a floured board roll each piece into a rope about ½’ thick. Cut each rope into ½” pieces and set aside.

When all the dough has been cut, heat oil in a large pot (at least 4 quart pot). Test one piece of dough to see if oil is hot…dough should sizzle then rise to top of oil. Add about 12 pieces at a time, when golden brown, remove with slotted spoon to a paper towel lined bowl. Dough should be crispy on outside and soft in center. Continue to fry remaining pieces until all dough is cooked. Be careful frying in oil…if oil should foam, turn off heat immediately and allow to cool. Continue with new oil. Remove paper towels from bowl when finished.

Heat honey and sugar in saucepan until sugar is dissolved and mixture is bubbling. Pour hot honey mixture over the fried balls in bowl and immediately toss to coat the honey with the dough. Gently pour onto a serving platter and shape into a pyramid. Sprinkle with colored candy sprinkles and pine nuts, if desired. Can be made several days ahead.

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