Homemade Struffoli, or Italian Honey Balls, is a classic Italian Christmas dessert made of little fried dough covered in honey and then topped with sprinkles.
This recipe costs about $7.81 and makes ten servings. Therefore, it costs approximately $0.78 per serving.
Try my Italian Ricotta Cookies and Cannoli Filling for fun and festive Italian Christmas desserts.
This recipe for Stuffoli is a Christmas tradition you will want to start! It is like eating an edible Christmas wreath. The round dough balls are fried to golden perfection and then coated in a honey-lemon sugar topping. They are then topped with festive sprinkles to match the holidays.
Because you can switch out the sprinkles, you can easily serve these for Christmas, Easter, or any other holiday. This is a treat that kids and adults enjoy.
After these Italian honey balls are fried, they become crispy outside with a soft, light, and airy center. You will think you are eating at your favorite Italian pastry shop this holiday season.
Ingredients and Estimated Cost
Per Serving Cost: $0.78
Recipe Cost: $7.81
- 2 cups all-purpose flour – $0.18
- Zest of 1 lemon – $0.04
- 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar – $0.09
- ½ teaspoon salt – $0.01
- ½ teaspoon baking powder – $0.02
- 3 large eggs – $1.11
- 4 Tablespoons salted butter – $0.56
- 1 Tablespoon of Disarronno – $0.11
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract – $0.50
- 3 cups canola oil – $1.44
- 1 ¼ cups honey – $3.60
- ½ cup granulated sugar – $0.08
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice – $0.07
***For complete recipe instructions, see the recipe card below.
How To Make Struffoli
- First, mix the flour, lemon zest, granulated sugar, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a stand-up mixer.
- Next, mix the eggs, butter, Disaronno, and vanilla extract.
- Then, transfer the dough to a plastic bag with flour-covered hands. Let the dough chill for up to forty-five minutes.
- Line a plate with a paper towel and set it aside.
- Add honey, granulated sugar, and lemon juice to a large pot. Stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
- Pour the canola oil into a Dutch oven and heat it to 350 degrees F.
- Roll the dough into a rectangle that is ¼ inch thick. Cut the dough into one-inch wide slices. Then cut each piece into one-inch squares.
- Roll each square into a ball and set them aside.
- Fry the dough balls in batches until they are golden, for about two minutes. Place them on the paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining dough balls.
- Add the fried balls to the honey mixture and coat them all.
- Finally, place the dough balls on a plate in a circle shape. Sprinkle with sprinkles or powdered sugar before serving.
***For complete recipe instructions, see the recipe card below.
- You will have some honey mixture leftover, I like to fill the middle of the ring with honey, and folks can dip their Struffoli in more honey mixture.
SERVE: These are best served warm, but can be served at room temperature.
STORE: The stroffoli can be kept in an airtight container on the counter for 2 days and in the fridge for up to 4 days. BUT, it’s best eaten the day it’s made.
FREEZE: You can freeze the dough balls before they are tossed in the honey mixture. Place them in a freezer-safe container and freeze for 1-2 months.
THAW: Thaw at room temperature for 1-2 hours before tossing them in the warm honey mixture.
Italian Honey Balls are also known as Struffoli. They are little balls of dough fried and then covered in a deliciously sweet Honey-lemon sugar mixture. The dessert is an Italian treat you can enjoy without going to Italy!
Struffoli traditionally comes from the Campania region of Italy. You can make this Struffoli Recipe year-round, but it is typically served during Christmas in Italy. The Italian dessert is perfect for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner.
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- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Zest of 1 lemon approximately 1 teaspoon
- 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 3 large eggs
- 4 Tablespoons salted butter room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon of Disaronno or any Amaretto optional
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups canola oil for frying
- 1 ¼ cup honey
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- Sprinkles optional
- Powdered sugar optional
- Add flour, lemon zest, granulated sugar, salt, and baking powder in a stand-up mixer bowl. Mix until combined
- Add eggs, butter, Disaronno, and vanilla extract. Mix until combined, it will be a sticky dough.
- Cover your hands with flour and transfer the dough to a plastic bag or wrap it in plastic wrap.
- Chill in the fridge for 30-45 minutes.
- Line a plate with a paper towel. Set aside. This is where you will put the balls once they are fried.
MAKE HONEY COATING:
- In a large pot, add the honey, granulated sugar, and lemon juice.
- Mix and warm over medium heat until the sugar is all dissolved.
- Pour the canola oil into a Dutch oven. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F. Keep a close eye on the heat.
FORM DOUGH BALLS:
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle that is ¼ inch thick.
- Cut the dough into slices that are 1 inch wide. Then, cut each slice into 1 inch squares.
- Roll each dough piece into a ball. Set aside.
FRY DOUGH BALLS:
- Once your oil has reached 350 degrees F, Fry the dough balls in batches until they are nice and golden, approximately 2 minutes.
- Take them out and put them on a paper towel lined plate.
- Repeat until all balls are fried.
- Once all the balls are fried, make sure the honey mixture is nice and hot and the granulated sugar is dissolved.
- Add all the fried balls into the honey mixture and mix until they are all coated.
- Place the dough balls on a plate in a circle shape. If the mixture is too hot, use spoons to help shape.
- Sprinkle with sprinkles or powdered sugar.
- You will have some honey mixture leftover, I like to fill the middle of the ring with honey, and folks can dip their Struffoli in more of the honey mixture.
- When frying, it’s essential for the oil to be at the right temperature. Too hot, and it will burn the dough; not hot enough, and the dough balls will absorb the oil.
- Make sure you gently put the balls in the oil, so it doesn’t splatter.