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+ servings
Deep fried balls of dough

Struffoli Italian Honey Balls

Struffoli Italian Honey Balls are deep fried morsels of dough which are then dipped in a lemon honey syrup and topped with festive sprinkles.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Struffoli Italian Honey Balls
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8


  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oil I used canola
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons grappa limoncello or rum are also good choices
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour approximately
  • vegetable oil for deep frying

Honey Mixture

  • 1 cup honey
  • grated zest of a lemon
  • sprinkles of your choice


  • In a medium sized bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla extract, grappa and milk.
  • Stir in the salt, baking powder, 3 cups of the flour and the remaining 1/4 cup of flour only as much as you need to achieve a soft malleable dough.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and with floured hands knead lightly for a minute.
  • Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow to rest for a 1/2 hour.
  • Cut off small pieces of dough at a time and roll out into 1/2 inch thick ropes. If the dough feels sticky, dust your hands lightly with flour.
    Rolling struffoli dough
  • Cut the ropes into small pieces the size of a hazelnut and shape into round balls with your hands.
  • Transfer the shaped balls to parchment lined cookie sheets and repeat with the remaining dough. (you'll need 2 parchment lined cookie sheets)
  • Fill a large and heavy deep sauce pot with oil, reaching about 2 inches high in the pot.
  • Heat the oil over medium high heat to about 350 degrees F. Use a candy thermometer for accuracy.
  • Fill a spider ladle or skimmer ladle with the pieces of dough and then using the ladle gently lower it into the hot oil.
  • Fry until golden brown for about 1 1/2  to 2 minutes, then transfer onto a paper lined tray to drain.
  • Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. I fried the tiny balls in 3 batches)
  • In a separate large frying pan, heat the honey to a gentle simmer over low heat.
  • Add the lemon peel, stir and turn off the heat.
  • Add all the fried struffoli to the warmed honey and gently stir till the fried balls are evenly coated.
  • Arrange the honey balls on a serving plater and pour any remaining honey mixture over the struffoli.
  • Top with sprinkles of your choice and serve slightly warm or cooled off, allowing your guests to pluck the little morsels with their hands


Add your own touch by garnishing with your own choice of festive sprinkles, candied cherries or even roasted hazelnuts!
Store the struffoli covered at room temperature and enjoy within 3 days...if they last that long!