Neapolitan Struffoli

Struffoli is a Neapolitan dessert that is traditionally prepared at Christmas and made of tiny dough balls that have been deep-fried and soaked in honey, then piled high on plates and trays. Some like to form them in the shape of Christmas trees or wreaths, always festively covered with multi-colored candy sprinkles. People who grew up with this traditional Christmas treat go out of their way to make sure there is a struffoli on the holiday table.

Prep Time:
45 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs
48 servings


  • 5 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (such as King Arthur®)

  • 1 lemon, zested

  • ½ orange, zested

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 6 jumbo eggs

  • ½ cup cane sugar

  • 2 quarts vegetable oil for frying, or as needed

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 2 cups honey

  • ¼ cup multi-colored sprinkles, or more to taste


  1. Combine flour, lemon zest, orange zest, baking powder, and salt together in a food processor; pulse to combine. Mix eggs and sugar together in a separate bowl; add 1/3 cup olive oil and vanilla extract and beat again. Mix together with flour mixture using hands to knead.

  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Heat frying oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat until the temperature reaches 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), about 5 minutes.

  3. Transfer dough to a floured work surface; continue to knead sticky dough with floured hands. Flatten dough into a thin loaf about 10 inches long. Cut long ropes from the loaf, then slice ropes into 1/2-inch pieces and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

  4. Fry dough pieces in batches in the hot oil until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.

  5. Heat honey in a saucepan until warm and fluid, about 1 minute. Pour hot honey over struffoli and toss to coat. Sprinkle with multi-colored sprinkles.

Cook's Note:

I used cage-free organic eggs, organic olive oil, organic cane sugar, and raw honey.

Editor's Note:

We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. Amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and specific type of oil used.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

162 Calories
7g Fat
25g Carbs
3g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 48
Calories 162
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 30mg 10%
Sodium 67mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Total Sugars 15g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 22mg 2%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 22mg 0%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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